April 12, 2016

Thursday, February 6, 2014

From Aloe to Zinc: 2014 Poetry Project

Writerly Friends, I skipped yesterday’s Pantone®   Poetry post. The kids were home from school. It was a good day for cleaning out the basement, and – to be honest – I needed a day away from the computer.

Let’s count today as Day 5 of the Pantone ®  Poetry Project. All this month, I invite you to write or draw in response to interior paint colors.

(Need the deets? Find them here.) Tomorrow, Poetry Friday, we’ll combine Day 6 (Kombu Green, Sugar Coral) and Day 7 (Jazzy).

If we can forget about my lapse, I promise not to tell you about the dead beetles, dried to the color of Bronze Mist, which I had to vacuum out of the basement window sill. Ew.

I promised you Jane Elkin’s Aloe pants first. Totally ew.

PANTone Aloe
By J. C. Elkin

Aloe, jeans I had to return.
You looked like pearl on the screen.
So much for shopping online
Where colors are not what they seem.

®  17-0620

Margaret Simon used the aloe plant, instead of the drab Pantone®   shade, to write her poem.

She says, “I used Google images to find an image of an aloe.  It was a spiral, so I decided to try a Fib poem. After a hard rain today, this is what came.”

From BlueSci Magazine
Winter Rain (or February Fib)
By Margaret Simon

to glimmer
fermenting shadows
into humidified bronze mist.

If you have never heard of Fibs, or Fibonacci poems, read this New York Times article about their inventor, Poetry Friday blogger Greg Pincus.

A few weeks ago, I won a copy of Margaret Simon’s new book, Illuminate. The poems in this small volume were written in response to a collection of Christmas cards hand-drawn by Margaret’s father, John Gibson.

I asked Margaret for permission to share her poem, “Annunciation.” The poem spoke to me because it called to mind one of my favorite paintings:

The Annunciation
by Henry Ossawa Tanner, 1898
Oil on Canvas 57” x 71.5”
Philadelphia Museum of Art
I met this painting nearly 20 years ago. My high school students and I were on a field trip at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I was raised Jewish, so it wasn’t the religious aspect of the painting that spoke to me. Instead, I was moved by its simplicity. In Tanner's image, Mary looked like a real girl of the ancient Middle East. The angel was not a winged, haloed human, but a glowing shaft of warm, bronze light.

            An angel appeared out of the night.

I am not real
I am a dust, a shadow,
a sprinkling of dots on a page,

A lonely seraphim
with open arms
at the royal gate.

I am crowned
by the moon’s light,
draped in the darkness of forewings.

I pray
my message is welcomed.
I conceal lost edges.

The sacrament,
this new birth
unveils me, makes me real
as breath.

"Annunciation," from Illuminate by Margaret Gibson Simon, all right reserved. 

The poem was written in response to this image by John Gibson, which also appears in Illuminate.

Illuminate is available at Amazon.

Margaret’s lines “I am a dust, a shadow/ a sprinkling of dots on a page,” calls to mind today’s second color: Bronze Mist.

Bronze Mist
®  17-0843

Thanks to all of you who sent in a poem for Day 5, and for giving me permission to share your work at Author Amok.

Clever Linda Baie noticed that Aloe, Bronze Mist, and Zinc take us from A to Z.

Finding Face

From aloe to zinc,
she bought her beauty 
at the nearby Walgreen’s,
filling the cart
with an alphabet of 
rejecting Mother Nature’s
paint job.

Linda Baie ©All Rights Reserved

®  17-2601

Patricia VanAmburg used the metallic nature of Zinc as inspiration for her poem.

Commodity Market (for zinc)

I asked my broker to buy
silver and gold but he
only offered shares of 
mining and manufacture—no
now I need a krugerrand
in my hand—and some
100% non-toxic zinc sinkers
that won’t leach like lead
or words from my dead father:
“Don’t take any wooden nickels.”

I had another kind of Zinc (Oxide) – and the wintry weather – in mind when I started playing around with this senryu.

Version 1

snowman in summer
lifeguard slathered with sunblock
zinc ointment

Version 2

hot beach, snowman
concentrates, folds zinc white arms
sunblocked lifeguard

Let me know which one you like best and why.

Let’s get out of the cold and snow for a moment. The Day 6 colors are a little more tropical. And Day 7 – it’s downright hot.

Day 6: Sugar Coral
Pantone ®  16-1640

Day 6: Kombu Green
Pantone ®  19-0417
Day 7: Jazzy
Pantone ®  18-1950
If you’d like to share your writing, or doodling, in response to any or all of these colors, read the instructions (with writing prompts) onhow to join this project here. Or simply leave a comment with your contribution.


Patricia VanAmburg said...

Margaret, Your annunciation poem is lovely--and how lovely also to see zinc in so many ways. As you will notice below, I just could not get serious with Sugar Coral:

Sweet Tarts

Pinky called Coral Sugar
Because she was his dish
Coral called Pinky Sugar when
Ever he granted her wish

Pinky and Coral spooning
Under a sugary moon
Their rendezvous ballooning
Into the afternoon

Diane Mayr said...

thLaura, except for "Ew," this post is a delight from beginning to end! I've never seen that painting of the Annunciation before. It almost makes one want to believe.

Author Amok said...

Diane, I hope you will meet the painting in person some day. It is breathtaking.

Margaret Simon said...

Laura, Thanks for this posting and the shout out for my book. Your connection to it pleases me greatly. I want my work to reach beyond those of Christian background.

Linda, your Walgreens poem is so funny. My girls are always buying beauty products. Now they have moved up to Sephora, paying for it themselves I might add.

Anne Higgins said...

Thanks for posting this. That painting of the Annunciation is one of my favorites, and I also very much appreciated the poem which followed it.


Author Amok said...

Isn't it a beautiful pairing, Anne? I also find John Gibson's angel beautiful.

Linda B said...

Love all these again, Laura. I'm just too tired to do more now, but am reading, will get back to it Sunday. Margaret's book is so beautiful, isn't it? And the other poems-so unique from your word gifts. I'm moving on to read your PF post!