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


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)


NPM 2019 Day 6: Paint Chip Poetry–Spring Celebration

56542052_340056463308408_6240535477623980032_n.jpgOnce again, I made a variation to my ongoing Paint Chip Poetry game. This time I pointed to a random page in the alphabetized index in the back of the pack of chips, and took the three names my finger covered. They were: Jubilee, Julep, and June day.

Spring Celebration

Come sing a song
of jubilee
embrace June days
and julep breeze
Change winter scenes
to memories
Breathe deeply into
spring’s reprise

©Molly Hogan, 2019

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

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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)


NPM Day 4–An Autumnal Moment

You know, I just have to say that I really wish there were a better abbreviation for Paint Chip Poetry than PCP. While Paint Chip Poetry has challenged me to think in new ways, I can say with certainty that it hasn’t induced hallucinations or lead to violent outbursts.

At any rate, today I chose these colors randomly from three different color strips: Henna Shade, Brassy, and Wheat Grass. This was definitely the most challenging poem so far. I’m not really satisfied with this, but honoring the idea of playing, I’m sharing it anyway.

An Autumnal Moment

The russet setting sun casts light
through the ornamental cast iron gate
creating intricate henna shade
on the shimmering wheat grass
while overhead, migrating geese
sound their brassy calls

©2019 Molly Hogan