NPM 2019–Autumnal Paint Chips

This morning I listened to the spring peepers before the sun rose, and pulled four paint chip colors that turned my thoughts to fall: Mystical Shade, Surprise Amber, Autumnal, and Summer Day.

What mystical shade marks the shift
from summer day to autumnal eve?
Is there a surprise amber
that stealthily permeates leaves,
tints the tips of tallest trees,
then tilts the balance
toward wintry breeze?

©Molly Hogan, 2019 (rough draft)

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!

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