Paint Chip Poem: Playing with Poetry #playingwithpoetryNPM 1/30

CCBY Dave_B at

I wasn’t going to do an April writing challenge. I had many reasons not to commit to more daily writing. Don’t we all? And truly, the daily poem challenge last year was HARD. I write an occasional poemish thing when I’m slicing, but I don’t think of myself as someone who writes poetry. Another good reason not to tackle a daily poetry writing challenge!

But then the very first thing I saw this morning when I got online was Christie’s Paint Chip Poem. And all my writing antennae tingled. I tried to be firm with myself. But… PAINT CHIPS. I love paint chips. And before I knew it, I was ordering a set of haikubes and metaphor dice and making a plan to raid Ace Hardware for all the paint chips. (Also, there is an actual Paint Chip Poetry Game!)

As a serious person who struggles with play AND with poetry, this won’t necessarily be an easy month of writing. But I think there will be daily wonder and surprise as well as plenty of silly and weird, at least the way I will do it. Plus, lots and lots of paint chips!

The idea for a list poem of possible cat nicknames came to me as I was collecting paint chips and marveling over the names (and also calling across the store for my husband to guess what color “Au Contraire” was). I knew I didn’t want to add any of my own words to this first poem; mostly I just wanted to celebrate the weird wonder of these paint chip names. Even the title of my poem is a paint chip color.

My own cats have many nicknames, and a couple of the cleverer ones respond as quickly to their nicknames as to their real names. Well, inasmuch as they respond at all. They are cats after all.

Tabby Cat
love junkie
old soul
cat woman
cuddle bug
pretty rascal
navy bean
frisky whiskers
brown hen
fickle pickle
thyme flower
lady ophelia
friendly frog
puka shell


36 responses to “Paint Chip Poem: Playing with Poetry #playingwithpoetryNPM 1/30”

  1. Only you would see cat nicknames in paint chips & then turn them into a list poem. And, of course, I love it. I simply cannot imagine what colours some of these are, but I feel like maybe I need to investigate “cuddle bug” or “frisky whiskers” for a room in my house.

    • Frisky Whiskers and Cat Woman are both green, which really makes no sense to me. I need to get a cat photo added to this post, since obviously the topic just invites it. I’ve got a nice one of my mom’s tabby, Lola, but it wouldn’t load earlier. So…. once I can figure out stuff, there will be a pretty cat photo of Lola.

  2. I’m so glad to see you decided to write poetry this month. I thought I’d not find anyone whose poems I read regularly last year on this journey. Love the paint chip poem and have that on my list of forms for the month. Now I must order those dice and investigate the game. Looking forward to cat photos from you!

    • Oh yay! I am looking forward to your poems this month too. I can’t believe i’m doing this again–especially after I was so certain I wasn’t. But you know how it is when you see a shiny new writing challenge! I picked up some magnetic poetry too…. not exactly sure what this is going to lead to, but it will be fun to play!

  3. I love this, and who would think that paint chips would lead to cat names! I have never been successful with this April challenge. I always start, but never finish! But his is so tempting.

    • Last year was the first year I actually finished. The two years before that were both abandoned shortly into it. So I definitely understand! This one was just too challenging. Who doesn’t want to play with magnetic poetry and paint chips??

    • I’m so glad it’s not just me! I was 100% certain this morning that there would be no April challenge. And then not five minutes later click click and haikubes are coming my way!

  4. I’m looking forward to reading your poems this month. I have decided to give it a try again, although I am telling myself that I am going to try and write as spare as possible. Ha. We shall see how that works out.
    PS, I have missed you at IMWAYR

    • Oh I’m so glad you’re writing again too. My reading life has plummeted during the Slice of Life Challenge–in the last two weeks I managed to finish only one book, and it wasn’t even a big one! But I will be back next week. I miss all of you! Spare is a good idea…

  5. Love the pic of Lola., she looks so much like our Hadley. My three faves – old soul, cuddle bug, and pretty rascal. I’ve given myself leave to not participate (still waiting on that baby boy), but I’ll be around sharing in the fun and have an idea for Poetry Fridays this month.

  6. What a great idea for a list poem with paint chip colors! I love pretty rascal. I’d also have to find tuxedo diva in there somewhere. Glad you decided to play with us!

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