top of page

Wavelengths Inside Sunsets on Lake Huron

 In response to Deanna Sirlin’s art



Melba Joyce Boyd

Red brightens,

blue cools,

yellow highlights

moods defining

and contouring

colors of Black space

enveloping a planet,

oscillating within

a spectrum of

light and sight.


Violets peek

between leaves.

dandelion blooms

intervene between

blades of grass,

revolting against

human control

of green space,


the black valence

of lambda,

reflections of

a sunset sinking

beneath the

water line of

Lake Huron as

the planet

rotates indefinitely

within time

indifferent to

man’s ignorance

as space frames

the moon refracting

rainbows while

owls perch

inside night

to hunt prey,

as we huddle

around fire,


small spaces,

to protect our


without colors

that shape

and define

life invisible

in the dark.


Red bleeds

into blue,

purple fractures

into lilac,

and green springs

into trees,

confirming our

belief in rebirth

and renewal

when yellow light

returns at sunrise

to assure and

to affirm us. 

 Hello Hello .jpg

Deanna Sirlin, Hello Hello, 2020, Acrylic on canvas, 84 x 60 inches

Melba Joyce Boyd is a Detroit poet, filmmaker, biographer, editor and author of nine books of poetry. Her last collection of poems, Death Dance of a Butterfly, was published in 2012, received the 2013 Library of Michigan Notable Book Award for Poetry. Her nonfiction book, Roses and Revolutions: The Selected Writings of Dudley Randall (2009), won the 2010 Independent Publishers Award, the 2010 Library of Michigan Notable Books Award, and was a finalist for the NAACP Image Award and the ForeWord Book Award for Poetry. Wrestling with the Muse: Dudley Randall and the Broadside Press received a 2004 Honor Award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. Her bio-critical book, Discarded Legacy: Politics and Poetics in the Life of Frances E. W. Harper, 1825-1911 (1994) was widely reviewed and praised by literary critics and historians.  She is also the author of  over 100 essays on African American literature and film, and is the editor of the African American Life Series at Wayne State University Press.

Melba Joyce Boyd is a Distinguished University Professor and former Chair of the Department of African American Studies at

Wayne State University.

bottom of page