NPM 2019 Beta Fish to the Rescue!

I picked another three random colors today in my on-again-off-again NPM Poetry Paint Chip play. When I saw the first selection, I thought I was doomed. “Rice Paddy”? Really!? Then I pulled “Topiary Tint” and “Searching Blue”. From some dark corner of my brain, a dim memory surfaced–a life line. Don’t beta fish live in puddles in rice paddies? Hmmm….

Looking up

Below the surface
of the rice paddy pond
does the beta fish wonder at
the verdant topiary tint
of green seedlings
rising skyward,
ever searching blue?
Or does he merely circle,
content with his own rainbow of colors
in his own boundaried world?

©Molly Hogan, 2019

NPM 2019–The Puzzle of Paint Chip Poetry


In case you’re wondering what color “Inner Child” is!

I realized yesterday that one of the things I most enjoy about Paint Chip Poetry and about Word Collection Poems, for that matter, is their puzzle-like nature. I see the color names or the words and enjoy moving them this way and that, playing with them, trying out different combinations. It really is like putting together a puzzle when I don’t know what the final picture looks like. Sometimes it can be very surprising!

Today I again opted to choose four colors randomly.  My picks were “Nurture Green”, “Midday”, “Glad Yellow”, and “Inner Child.” This poem started one way, upbeat and joyful, and ended up going another.

She yearned to nurture green
to kneel amidst the speared leaves
and glad yellow trumpets
gather them to her
hold them close and
whisper words of encouragement and praise
while the midday sun
flushed her cheeks into rosy blossoms
she stood still
tap-rooted into convention
and within,
her inner child wilted

©Molly Hogan, 2019


NPM–PF–Accustomed To Grey


I’d stepped away from Playing with Poetry for the past week or so, but seeing recent Paint Chip Poems by Margaret Simon and Kim Douillard had me itching to bring out the paint chips again. This time I randomly picked four colors: Reticence, Escape Grey, Lantern Light and Overjoy.

Accustomed to Grey

Her own reticence
was a surprise
She’d thought that
once the door opened
to allow a sliver
of lantern light within
she’d be overjoyed
to escape grey
instead she clung to
the comfort of shadows
and shielded her eyes
from the flame

©Molly Hogan, 2019

This week’s Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted by the amazing Amy Ludwig Vanderwater at her blog, The Poem Farm. During NPM, she’s writing a collection of 30 poems that will tell a story. This project has kept me on the edge of my seat and sometimes on the verge of tears. I eagerly await each day’s installment, and if you haven’t been reading along, I encourage you to go check them out now!

PF: The Gift of Dawn

This week’s Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted by the warm and talented Irene Latham at her blog, Live Your Poem. This year her ARTSPEAK poems center on the theme of Happy. I’ve loved following along as each day focuses on an inspiring piece of art and her poetic response. Wow!  This is the blog to visit if you want a lift in your day!


Not long ago, I came across the poem Rhapsody by William Stanley Braithwaite.


I am glad daylong for the gift of song,
     For time and change and sorrow;
For the sunset wings and the world-end things
     Which hang on the edge of to-morrow.
I am glad for my heart whose gates apart
     Are the entrance-place of wonders,
Where dreams come in from the rush and din
     Like sheep from the rains and thunders.

I read it again and again, and kept it open in a tab on my browser, so I could easily return to it. Something about it resonated with me, and then inspired me to write my own poem, lifting the beginning words, and using the same rhyme scheme.

The Gift of Dawn

I am glad daylong for the gift of dawn
for glowing morning light
by the river’s side with the shifting tide
where birds and dreams take flight
I am glad to roam from secluded home
to cast off my worries and woes
to embrace day’s start with a grateful heart
at peace with howe’er it flows

©Molly Hogan, 2019


NPM 2019 Paint Chip Poetry, Muppet Style

I’m occasionally “Playing with Poetry” during National Poetry Month and I’ve been primarily focused on writing Paint Chip Poetry. To be honest, some of the results feel more like vignettes than poems. To read more about my basic, constantly evolving process, visit here or here.

Tonight, I opted to choose three colors randomly again, from three different color strands. First, I pulled “Easy Green”. My thoughts immediately turned to Kermit the Frog and his lament, “It’s Not Easy Being Green.” I selected another color: “Smoky Salmon”.With Kermit on the mind, of course my thoughts next drifted to Miss Piggy.  Hmmm…Her skin maybe?  Finally, I selected the last color: “Eros Pink”. Okay, clearly this was a message from the Paint Chip Poetry gods. For better, or for worse, I needed to create some Muppet poetry.

Tune in at about 35:35 to see Kermit refute Miss Piggy’s live claim of an engagement:

Kermit’s Got The Blues

Is there such a thing as “Easy Green”?
Not for Kermit the Frog
vigorously pursued by Miss Piggy
with her smoky salmon eyelids
and thick mascaraed eyelashes
masking a steel will and
wild eros pink libido
a voluptuous pig on the prowl
looking to make her very own
Rainbow Connection

© Molly Hogan, 2019


SOL–Dawn at Scarborough Marsh


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On a chilly morning in April, there is a subdued beauty to the marsh. Filled with subtlety and variation, it’s a sensory feast. The sky transitions from peach to brilliant gold, lighting the mist that lies low over the grassy hummocks and tide-carved channels. The promise of color lies hidden in silhouettes. The rising sun rays brush the low-lying mist, setting it aglow. They light the feathery edges of fern grass with an amber glow and caress the bellies of flying mallards against brilliant blue skies. Gulls call and crows caw. The air is chilly and permeated with the deep rich scent of damp earth and the organic tang of swampy water. Song sparrows rustle and flit from shrub to shrub, intermittently singing their sweet notes. A great blue heron picks its way through the shallows. It’s a glorious place to greet the new day.




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Some people say there’s no magic in the world. Clearly, they have never have walked in the marsh at sunrise.

NPM Day 7–Classroom Palette

I wasn’t feeling too motivated to dive into more Paint Chip Poetry, until it occurred to me that it might be fun to create my own palette of imagined paint chip colors for different settings. My classroom came to mind. This one’s still a work in progress, but definitely tapped into the Playing With Poetry sense of fun!

Classroom Palette

There’s the streaky hue of
Drying Out Marker
and Dingy White
for the whiteboard,
too long uncleaned
The carpet defies a name
though a few dark spots
scream out Slime Residue
from last year’s craze
The seats are Tippy Green
and my desk must be Speckled Clutter
The bulletin boards boast fabric in
Bright Bargain Batik
while the cabinet wood
is a Peek-A-Boo Brown
beneath various charts
Outside the windows
spring flirts in Come Hither Green
with hints of Zephyr
In this last week before break
amidst Assessment Blue
there must be a shade
entitled Tired Teacher…
I leave it to your imagination

©Molly Hogan, 2019 (rough draft)