NPM Day 5: PF–Paint Chip Poetry


This week’s Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted by Karen Edmisten at her blog. She’s sharing a wonderful poem by John Ashbery there. You can also find links to dozens of other poetry-related blogs. Check it out–It is National Poetry Month (NPM) after all!

I accepted Mary Lee Hahn‘s invitation to spend this NPM, or at least some of it, Playing with Poetry. I had access to a collection of paint samples, so have focused my efforts there. So far, it’s been a fascinating process. I’m only five days in, but I’m having such fun! My first effort (here) still makes me giggle, and every day yields challenges and surprising outcomes. Some names come together immediately and others just won’t play nicely. I love the way the paint chip names encourage me to make new and unexpected combinations. 

I’ve been varying the game each day.  Today, I decided to pull one random color strip and choose from amongst the seven possible color names on that strip. I chose these three: Meander Blue, Cloudburst, and Raindrop.


As Winter recedes
she withdraws her white cloak
revealing the flowing river
reborn in full meander blue glory
with cloudbursts dancing on its liquid surface
birds swimming in reflective depths
and rising fish creating raindrop ripples
that expand into infinity

©2019 Molly Hogan

DSC_0984 (2).jpg

I also was tickled by the thought of enthusiastic poets swarming their local hardware stores to score some paint chip samples. With that in mind on Day 3, I wrote this poem highlighting the colors: Sensible Hue, Manitou Blue, and Angora. I’m sharing it here again (with a few changes–it’s still drafty and I’m still playing!).

Meanwhile at the local hardware store…

“Here comes another one,”
sighs the exasperated clerk.
“No sensible hues,” she announces
“I’m looking for exotic names,
or at least some rhyming potential.”
Her eyes skitter across the rainbow
of graduated color samples
Moving closer, she pushes back the sleeves
of her bedraggled angora sweater,
her ink-stained fingers hover, twitch
Lost in thought, she mutters,
like a fledgling incantation,
“Perhaps enlightened lime, euphoric lilac
or maybe this brilliant Manitou blue?”

©Molly Hogan, 2019 (draft)


18 thoughts on “NPM Day 5: PF–Paint Chip Poetry

  1. Ha! here comes another one indeed! I love both these, Molly. So rich, and yes play-full. Thank you! xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Thanks, Irene! My class is loving your poetry this month. (As am I!!) They were also huge fans of “Can I Touch Your Hair?” In fact, they think I’m practically famous because I have one of your poems on my fridge 🙂


  2. lindabaie says:

    I love your imagining of those running in to choose paint samples, Molly. I’ll need to ask my local Ace Hardware if it’s happened to them. And I love the first poem, especially your use here” “reborn in full meander blue glory” of ‘meander blue’. One year, Laura’s birthday month prompts were Pantone colors. It was fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      The Pantone colors must have been before my time. I love Laura’s challenges but was unable to do this last one justice. I’m glad that the Paint Chip Poetry is keeping me entertained and writing this month.


  3. jama says:

    Both great, Molly! Second one is so funny. 🙂 Love the blueness in the first poem — so lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Linda Mitchell says:

    Bwa ha ha ha! I always feel like such a thief when I’m collecting paint chips…but then do I decide to gather just a few?! NO! I’m of the go big or go home club…and stuff my purse full of the silly things. One of these days I’m going to get busted. That line, ” reborn in full meander blue glory ” is luscious. I might just take that one and play.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      There are so many ways to approach that imagined paint chip scene. I keep changing my mind. I love the image of you with your big bag skulking about! I was so excited when I picked “Meander Blue”, as, of course, my beloved river immediately came to mind!


  5. Linda KulpTrout says:

    I love both of your poems. I think you should submit the second one to a poetry journal!


  6. alwriting says:

    Here’s to paint chip colours Molly. Such exotic and inspiring names. Poets need to indulge in wordplay on a regular basis. the challenge is stimulating and often leads to revelations. Loved the colours. loved the poems that flowed from them.


  7. Alice Nine says:

    They are both so good, Molly. I laughed as I read the second one. Your character sounded like she could be a friend of Scott’s old woman in the poems he wrote for Laura Shovan’s food poetry challenge. I really think your character could become a regular for the rest of April. I think she has a poem to share. 🙂


  8. haitiruth says:

    So great…I’m loving these paint poems! Ruth,


  9. “reborn in full meander blue glory”
    What a lovely poem, and what a lovely way to use your chosen color.
    I love this idea!


  10. The second poem had me laughing. That’s definitely me this month. And my mom dropped by one day with a bit stack of paint chips for me too, gathered from a different hardware store. So I’m getting quite the stash!


  11. Amy says:

    I love this! The images your poems invoke are strong….particularly ….birds swimming in reflective depths and raindrop ripples that expand into infinity. I also am chuckling at the quote from “she/her” in your second poem….”I’m looking for exotic names or at least some rhyming potential” I’m sure I’ll be muttering similar things to myself on my run to the paint store now in a few hours. LOL I’ve got to get in on this fun. It’s deliciously inviting and very inspirational.


  12. Donna Smith says:

    Both of these have wonderful sensory appeal… “eyes skitter”! That’s what they do!


  13. I wonder if hardware store employees have any clue about how popular their paint sample cards are in the poetry world and in the classroom?! Love that your having fun, Molly—giggling and surprising yourself. That’s what it’s all about!


  14. So much fun! (And who knew that paints now had such poetic names? I guess it must be time to repaint around here because I am clearly behind the times.)


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