April 12, 2016

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Looking for Tarmac: 2014 Poetry Project

Writerly Friends, Snowmageddon 2014 has begun. The flakes are falling hard here in central Maryland. If you're looking outside for a glimpse of today's Pantone®  Poetry Project color, Tarmac, you'll have to grab your snow shovel. The roads are already veiled in white. We're about to get buried.

Day 11 Tarmac
Pantone ®  19-0822
FYI: I found two Pantone®  colors that refer to snow: Lilac Snow and Snow White.

Today's response poems for Tarmac vary from political, to cinematic, to a beautiful, classic haiku.

With recent news of a coal slurry spill in West Virginia, Patricia what could be (sadly) considered a current events poem.

Three Paths
by Patricia VanAmburg

A path in the coal
is a bituminous 
thin fissure through
mineral furry matter.

Paths in the woods
are another matter:
a fury of vegetation 
circuitous as veins
in mother lodes
dusty as yesterday.

Destructive distillation
of tree blood and
fossilized carbon
stretch the tarmac
from here to eternity.

I loved Linda Baie's response, because it's something I would never have thought of, but evokes a moment that is both visual and emotional.

Upon Seeing The Color Name

Tarmac color
There is no other
than Bergman’s tears
from Bogart’s words,
on the tarmac,
propeller spinning,
“We’ll always have Paris.”

Linda Baie © All Rights Reserved

I was working on something about Tarmac as the color we see in the darkness, the moment before a ghost forms. But there is something about this near black shade and the definition of "Tarmac" that reminded me of feeling flattened. Have you ever been so sick you could barely lift your head? Here's a little sketch, based on an experience I had in high school. I tried to work all five senses into this sketch.

When It Takes Me
by Laura Shovan

As soon as I turn into the long glass hall between the auditorium and our school's lobby, sunlight hits my eyes in a black wave. Sounds impossible, but it's true. The light triggers a thick, tarry curtain of darkness. The smell of janitor's disinfectant rises from the wax floors. The taste of it when I try to breathe is heavy, chemical. I would swallow, but I could swear two tennis balls have lodged themselves in my throat. The hallway is full of students heading to third period. Their voices distance themselves -- a police siren receding as it speeds away. My feet move themselves, find their way to the Health Room door. I don't remember lying down or the dark room. I don't remember my mother. It's too bright in her car, at the doctor's. He draws blood from my arm. I hear him talking, but I'm already flattened, pressed beneath the tarmac of mono. I close my eyes. I'm gone.

We'll closed today's responses with a haiku from Diane Mayr.

Tuesday, Tarmac.  A haiku:

wayward waterfowl 
...the illusion of water 
on the tarmac 

by Diane Mayr

Those of us on the East Coast may be snowbound tomorrow. That's okay -- I've got a trio of Day 12 colors for us to work on. (I'm offering you two Whisper Pinks because the Internet shows two tones for this colors).

Day 12 Green Milieu
Pantone ®  16-5806

Whisper Pink Option 1
Day 12 Whisper Pink Option 2
Pantone ®  13-1107
Day 12 Turbulence
Pantone ®  19-4215
I'm already on an imaginary hike through a forest with lichen, whisper pink fungi, and burnt tree-limbs. But before I go -- it's my son's 17th birthday tomorrow. SEVENTEEN. I know! How the heck did that happen? I will be enjoying the snow day by baking him a multi-layered, super-rich chocolate cake. Gotta love a well-time blizzard!

If you'd like to know more about the Pantone® Poetry Project, or get information on how to participate, visit the introductory post here. 


Linda B said...

Wow-just lovely all! Happy Birthday to your son, Laura, & happy snow day! Sounds like good timing to me, too!

Michael Ratcliffe said...

Great poems! I've been so busy with work that I haven't had a chance to think about writing a Pantone poem, or even to keep up with the poems each day. But, today's color caught my eye. My biggest project at work (at the Census Bureau) is our Targeted Address Canvassing Research, Modeling, and Area Classification project, which we've abbreviated as TRMAC. Yes, pronounced "tarmac." Now I'll have to write a poem about the tarmac that keeps me busy.

Michael Ratcliffe said...


Milieu, milieu, milieu.
For geographers, like writers,
it's all about milieu.
Paul Vidal de la Blache was right,
landscape holds possibilities,
environment does not determine.
It is for each of us to decide
what to do with, and within,
the milieu in which we find ourselves,
how to paint our lives
onto the canvass of the earth.
Milieu, green with possibilities,
drawn from within,
taken where we will,
colored as the mind imagines.

Michael Ratcliffe said...

Oops. Spelled "canvas" wrong in the poem I just posted. Chalk that up to thinking too much about "canvass" and "canvassing" in the sense of census operations.


Welcome, Michael! We've been pretty one-sided gender-wise!

Patricia said...

It is so nice this morning to find antiLor Francis exposed pavement and some green milieu in this nice warm spot!
The color of turbulence visited our house last weekend.

Shock Wave

Unexpected turbulence
from a five-year-old
sent the screen door
off its hinges
sent the child
into hysterics
sent her grandparents
into the void.

Patricia said...

What just got into my message?? I think it is the secret submit code lol. My message was supposed to read: it was so nice to find exposed pavement and green milieu...

Author Amok said...

Thanks, everyone! These are fabulous. Getting Thursday's post ready right now.