April 12, 2016

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Orange you glad it’s Poetry Friday, Sweet Pea? 2014 Poetry Project

Welcome back to the Pantone ® Poetry Project. We’re in our last five days of writing in response to interior paint colors. Sound strange? Heck – I’ll take inspiration in whatever form you’ve got.

The Three Muses by Orestes Gaulhiac
at RDZ Fine Art

Find your poetry muse
at Anastasia's blog, Poet! Poet!
Anastasia is hosting
Poetry Friday today.
All month, poets and writers have been joining me with their colorful poems and sketches. (Read a post with the "rules" of the project here.)

On Day 28, I’ll be giving away prizes to some of the participating writers.

But that's a few days away. It's still the 24th day of our Pantone ® Poetry project. We are writing about two colors today: Sweet Pea and Orange Ochre.

Day 24 Sweet Pea
Pantone ®  15-0531
Day 24 Orange Ochre
Pantone ®  16-1253
I was expecting to write about the tiger lilies, thick as weeds at the side of my house. I was expecting that my mother’s springtime garden, with pea pods growing on a vine, would make an appearance. I was expecting Halloween.

Instead of lilies and sweet peas, my poem came in the form of a spider. Orange Ochre inspired me to pull out an old poem. I haven’t looked at this since my teens were in preschool.

Miss Spider needed some polishing up, a little revision. But she’s ready to come out from under the car and reveal herself, as she did all those years ago when I was picking up my youngest from preschool.

Marbled Orb Weaver Spider
By Laura Shovan

I know I saw something
scuttle under the car.
A pebble-sized pumpkin
on eight spiny legs.
It’s a spider, says Mom.
What a lovely bright orange.

We watch the spider move
into the sun—orange ochre legs
carrying the round pumpkin ball
of its body, its back marked
with dark brown grimaces.
A tiny jack-o-lantern
ready to attack.

 Orange Marbled Orb Weaver - Araneus marmoreus - female
From Bug Guide!
What's That Bug? says
she's also called a Pumpkin Spider
Here's a poem from Michael C. Davis of Virginia. This one is for high schoolers and up, not for younger readers.

by Michael C. Davis

First, the black, like meal
sifted through the fingers.
Night, where now you are.

Then the orange
smeared on your cheeks.
Forever may the sun be.

Finally, the red
to pool at the base of the pit
as if you had not died
but miscarried
and life was but an interrupted dream.

Diane Mayr of Random Noodling shares this funny narrative poem for Sweet Pea.

When I Read Russian Novels
by Diane Mayr

Just out of college I went to work for 
a university library while attending 
graduate school. I had the time and 
patience in those days for Russian 
novels.  A good number of evenings, 
weekends, subway rides, and lunch 
hours were spent with the library's

brand-spanking-new copy of the 
five hundred page novel, And Quiet
Flows the Don by Mikhail Sholokhov.
One day, in the cafeteria while I read,
I sipped green split pea soup. Inevitably,
I spilled it on the book's unsullied pages.
Horrified, I blotted the soup as best as

I could, but, to this day, I'm sure the Don 
Cossacks still leap across the pea green 
puddle as they traverse Russia looking 
for war, romance, and everything else 
a character craves in an novel existence. 
Forty-years gone, I now read chapbooks
and write about green split pea soup.

I admit -- I have more than once accidentally schmutzed a library book.

Please be sure to visit Margaret Simon’s blog, Reflections on the Teche, today. I was so excited to hear that Margaret’s students “did our chalkabration poetry with colors, inspired by your project. I will be posting for Poetry Friday.” I can't wait to check it out, Margaret.

I will post your Sweet Pea and Orange Ochre poems throughout the day. Feel free to leave them in the comments.

Tomorrow, have a very different pair of colors: Plein Air and Syrah. Are you imagining Claude Monet painting en plein air, a glass of red wine resting on his easel?

Day 25 Plein Air
Pantone ®  13-4111

Day 25 Syrah
Pantone ®  19-1535

Photograph of Monet painting
by the water lily pond, 1920.

Today's Forecast: 2014 Pantone Poetry Project

Take out your electric blankets, everybody. The Polar Vortex has returned.
Temperature map from Foot's Forecast.

It was eleven degrees out when I went to bed last night. Ha! After this winter—when we saw the thermometer dip to 1 (yes, ONE) in January--I scoff at double digit temperatures. You call this cold?

Writerly Friends, I’m glad we have some fair-weather colors to work with today. It is Day 23 of the Pantone Poetry Project. (Read a full description of the project and how to participate here.) I think you’ll be surprised where Solar Power, Gulf Stream, and Nimbus Cloud take us.

Day 23 Solar Power
Pantone ®  13-0759
Day 23 Gulf Stream
Pantone ®  14-4511
Day 23 Nimbus Cloud
Pantone ®  13-4108
Poet Patricia VanAmburg often draws from the well of mythology, one of her areas of expertise, for her poems. Patricia is a professor at Howard Community College and has traveled with students to Athens and Crete.

Persephone holding patera.

by Patricia VanAmburg

Nimble Nimbus—even when you are not
cumulus as could be—you hold enough
moisture to force Persephone’s bloom.

Patricia and I were surprised to find that both of us found the word “nimble” in our cloud poems. As I was researching the etymology of the words “nimble” and “nimbus,” I happened to find the news story that inspired my Nimbus Cloud poem.

Snow on Mars
By Laura Shovan

A laser instrument designed to gather knowledge of how the atmosphere and surface interact on Mars has detected snow from clouds about 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) above the spacecraft’s landing site. 9/29/08

The air is on Mars is quick to seize each flake.
Snow sublimes before it touches down
on red soil. Am I nimble enough
to comprehend the thought?
Snow on Mars: a dusting, white
as the puffs of snow that fell
yesterday morning. I was home,
watched light footed snow
fill the sky, the trees. Nimbus
from nabu, the Sanskrit word
for sky. Even on other worlds,
nimbus clouds are darker, dense
with water. They hang low
in the Martian sky, round as apples,
waiting for our grasp.

Diane Mayr of Random Noodling turns our attention to the sun with her take on the color Solar Power.

by Diane Mayr

You might say
his daily trip from
east to west is
all in his head.
Answer: Sunflower 

Got a poem or response to today’s colors? Feeling sorry for Gulf Stream (it got no attention today)? There’s still time to add a poem or sketch. Put your written response to one of our colors in the comments. I’ll add it by the end of the day.

UPDATE: Thanks to Linda Baie, we now have a poem for Gulf Stream. (Actually, Linda included all three colors in her four-line poem.)

The nursery painting
by Linda Baie

The brush sweeps a nimbus cloud
over the gulf stream sky
with the solar powered smile.
The boy whispers, “it’s raining.”

Linda Baie ©All Rights Reserved

And one more Solar (Flower) Power, from Margaret Simon:

Spring comes
dressed in sunflower yellow
with a bow 
of golden glow. 

Margaret reports: "My students told me I hit the jackpot with 'golden glow.'" That was one of our inspiration colors on Day 10. You can read the poems  here.

We've got two food/flower-related colors for tomorrow, Day 24. I hope you'll come up with a Sweet Pea of a poem for Poetry Friday.

Day 24 Sweet Pea
Pantone ®  15-0531
Day 24 Orange Ochre
Pantone ®  16-1253
I'm already seeing Tiger Lillies...

Photo by J. Shovan

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Quicksilver Ballerina: 2014 Poetry Project

Writerly Friends, I am the type of girl who cannot resist a hot-pink tutu. Show me a box of dress ups, and I’m happy to pull on hats, scarves, and tulle creations for hours. 

Dressing up as a "Merry Man"
at Nottingham Castle.
It’s Day 22 of the Pantone®  Poetry Project. (“What’s that?” you ask. Read about the month-long writing project here.)

Today’s colors are Quicksilver and Ballerina.

Day 22 Quicksilver
Pantone ®  17-3907
Day 22 Ballerina
Pantone ®  13-2807
Many of us tied on a pair of ballet slippers at some point, or helped a child pull on tights, or pinned a grandchild's hair into a bun. Dance is a rich metaphor for life and the passage of time, as you’ll read in today’s poems.

Ballet Slipper
by Patricia VanAmburg

Her slippers, leotard and skin
are all the wrong color on
this very first day of class—
brilliant jungle dancer
pirouetting through the house—
leaping—twirling—unable to sit
still in the four-year-old circle
with fingers slippering the floor
in time to some very small music. 

Patricia's granddaughter is a girl after my own heart. As long as we're wearing a costume, let's go crazy!

by Diane Mayr

At four it is all about the tulle,
pink and light as French buttercream.
At fourteen it is all about the pointe,
toes raw, pink with blood and sweat.
At twenty-four it is all about the anguish
of seeing pink roses tossed for another.
At thirty-four it is all about the dance
lesson for four-year-olds in pink tulle.

I love the circular nature of Diane's poem, which we'll return to in a moment. Margaret's daughter celebrated a birthday this week. This is a "not" poem -- Margaret cleverly uses pink (NOT her daughter's color) as a jumping off point for this portrait.

29 year old
            For Maggie, 2/24/14

Ballerina pink is not your color
as you take to the streets in an obsidian Lexus,
You fly to San Francisco. Run by the Golden Gate;
International orange looks good on you!
Undaunted, throw your hair to the wind—
Quick like silver, don’t look back.

Vintage postcard from The Old Collector.
I like the sense of movement in Linda's poem, which brings us back to the young dancer.

Granddaughter’s Kiss

netted tutu
sparkle shoes
ballerina pink
turning twirling whirling

Linda Baie © all rights reserved

For my Quicksilver Ballerina, I looked outside. Ballet can be seen as a metaphor for another kind of growth…

Maple Seeds
By Laura Shovan

Each green ballerina
pirouettes through air
and where she lands
her curtsy brushes low.
She disappears
behind a curtain of earth,
changes costume, waits
for spring’s spotlight
to call her back onstage.

Same poem in the form of a haiku

green ballerina’s
quicksilver dance—tree to earth
she waits for spring’s cue

Tomorrow, Day 23, is bringing us all kinds of weather words to play with. Your colors are Solar Power, Gulf Stream, and Nimbus Cloud.

Day 23 Solar Power
Pantone ®  13-0759
Day 23 Gulf Stream
Pantone ®  14-4511
Day 23 Nimbus Cloud
Pantone ®  13-4108
If you’d like to revisit poems from the first three weeks of the project, here are the links:

Pantone®  Poetry Project Week Two Wrap-up:

Pantone®  Poetry Project Week Three Wrap-up:

And you’ll find a list of our last seven colors at this post:

Remember: keep writing, keep sharing and this could be yours!

I'm saving this prize for our most
frequent Pantone
®  Poem poster.