April 12, 2016

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Oxblood Red: 2014 Poetry Project

Pantone ® Poets and other Writerly Friends, I spent yesterday wrapped in Fiesta red and Cyber Yellow. My son’s school hosted a robotics tournament. I had a great time volunteering, but felt like a run-down robot myself by the time we got home.

It’s Day 14 of the Pantone ® Poetry Project. If you’re new to the project, read all about it at the introductory post.

We only have one color for Day 14, Oxblood Red. Let’s dive into the response poems and then we’ll wrap up Week 2. All three poems have a common theme – looking to the past. What is it about Oxblood that reminds us of another time?

Day 14 Oxbood Red
Pantone ®  19-1524
Fashion blog Double Take says
Oxblood is THE color...
if you're stuck in 2012.
I have two associations for this color: oxen on a farm and penny loafers in Oxblood leather. Both feel slow and dull, which inspired this complaint – in the form of a tanka – about my dependable Toyota Sienna.

Mini Van
By Laura Shovan

You are Oxblood Red—
dull as a worn out loafer,
heavy as an ox—
and I, your patient driver,
dream of my black Mustang days.

Yes, I really did have a classic black Mustang back in the day. That’s a story for another color. Diane Mayr (Random Noodling) is also looking to the past in her Oxblood poem.

Oxblood Oxfords 
by Diane Mayr

In my youth shoes 
were made of real 
leather, and costly. 
So, each week 
my dad would get 
a rag and a brush, 
twist open a tin 
of dark, rich, polish 
labeled "Oxblood," 
dip the rag in and 
smear the burgundy- 
brown over his shoes. 

I never gave thought 
to the color's name until 
one day it struck me: 
Ox - blood.  Blood of 
an ox! I was horrified. 
Today, almost all my 
shoes are black as 
coal, onyx. Obsidian, 
or a raven. My shoes 
are polished only rarely 
now, but every day I 
make a study of words.

I love the turn at the end of the poem, Diane. Did anyone look up the etymology of “Oxblood”?

February 14 is Valentine’s Day, which Linda Baie (Teacher Dance), used as inspiration for her poem.

Even Oxblood Red Can Be Romantic
by Linda Baie

It’s romantic, 
I remember when
you hit your head
and blood pooled 
in the hat, which 
you held, leaning over.
The blood darkened 
to oxblood red.
It was Valentine’s Day.
With your goofy grin,
you said: “Guess we’ll
celebrate in the ER!” 
You bought us a Hershey bar
from the vending machine,
best chocolate ever!

Linda Baie ©All Rights Reserved

The Pantone ® Poetry Project Week 1 wrap up is here.

If you'd like to go back and read the writing responses from Week Two:

Day 11: Tarmac
Day 13: Paprika, Burnt Russet (With next week's colors.)
Day 14: Oxblood Red

Some of you have already sent in poems for Day 15! Get ready for a delicious repast of Lemon Meringue and Margaritas.

Day 15 Lemon Meringue
Pantone ®  12-0771

Day 15 Margarita
Pantone ®  14-0116


patricia said...

Lovely remembering.

Diane Mayr said...

Who would have thought that oxblood could release such strong memories? I guess it's because the color is not as common anymore, despite the 2012 re-emergence. It's a strong color and probably better suited to accessories.

Michael Ratcliffe said...


It was a bit too early on Sunday to have a margarita, so I read about the drink's history instead. Quite a fascinating and mysterious history, with no agreement on its origins. The multiple locations in which the drink was supposedly invented provided the basis for my poem. Here's what flowed:


Her name was Margarita,
and she danced atop the bar
at the Rancho La Gloria,
between Tijuana and Rosarito.
She was all the rage in Baja.

Her hair, the color of lemons,
her eyes, green as limes.
Those days with Margarita,
those were the best of times.

I saw her next in Ensenada—
Hussong’s Cantina, if I remember.
She and I danced the merengue.
When I told her that I loved her,
all she said was "de nada."

Her hair, the color of lemons,
her eyes, green as limes.
Those days with Margarita,
those were the best of times.

At Tommy’s Place in El Paso,
before I shipped out from Fort Bliss,
we drank tequila in the shadows.
They said she was a German spy.
She told me she was Swiss.

Her hair, the color of lemons,
her eyes, green as limes.
Those days with Margarita,
those were the best of times.

At the Balinese in Galveston,
she teased me with her games.
It was there she drove me crazy,
then said her name was Daisy,
and she really came from Ames.

Her hair, the color of lemons,
her eyes, green as limes.
Those days with Margarita,
those were the best of times.

Linda B said...

I remember the shoe kit, Diane, and the patience of my dad in polishing everyone's shoes. I still have one tin... And Laura, how car tastes change with a family. I had a tiny MG midget, my dream car, fun to imagine you in a Mustang!

Margaret Simon said...

Linda, The Valentine's Day in the ER is priceless. It's hard to not think of blood when reading oxblood. Diane, my husband still polishes his shoes and will occasionally do mine for me. I could smell the polish reading your poem.
Laura, I'll try to be better this week. I promise.