This month, I’m tagging along with Christie, Margaret, Jone, Mary Lee, and other writers to play with poetry for National Poetry Writing Month. I’ll be creating poems using haikubes, metaphor dice, magnet poetry, paint chips and anything else that catches my fancy.
Today’s poem happened because I’ve been wanting to write a poem for a paint chip called Slow Down. The color itself is really ugly, the color of dirty elementary school walls. But what a great name for a paint chip. This morning, I read a couple of chapters in Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge’s Poemcrazy, and one of her suggestions was to write from the perspective of an inanimate object. I was thinking about maybe trying a tree poem. Then I was thinking about how many “spring has sprung” slices I’ve seen over the last couple of weeks, and here it mostly still looks like winter. Last week the snow had finally melted and the mud had dried, so I was able to get out for my first two hikes of the season. But even though it was nearly 80 degrees, spring has still been telling me to slow down, it’s not time yet. And then I had the concept for my poem. I sorted through my paint chips to find some words to work with. The words in bold are paint chip colors.
prairie hike, early spring
in the black hills shadow, spring says slow down
it’s not yet time for always greener
the fields are a fuzzy scruff of last year’s growth
dried prairie sage a silver blue pearl
grasses still the soft honey gold of autumn
here and there a pasqueflower blooms,
its petals the delicate thistle of a thyme flower,
its sunburst center nearly hidden
in the canyon hush, the meadowlark’s song is a spring promise