Free choice paint chip poem

Linda Kruschke’s paint chip poetry prompt this week left the choice open to us. I wrote a very clunky 20 line rhyme, which only had the merit of being factual. Then I decided to try haikus. My Grandma wasn’t a gardener, so didn’t have any hydrangeas, but I guess a little poetic licence is permissible!

Linda was busy coordinating a writing competition. She writes:

So today I’m just posting a few paint chips with no other details. It’s a free write week. Do with these three paint chips whatever you want.

The words and phrases you have at your disposal are stepping stonegrandma’s hydrangeas, and heirloom tomato.

Have some fun with this one, with no parameters to hold you back.

Spring thoughts

Plants are sprouting shoots.
Grandma’s hydrangeas were blue;
Our lace-caps are pink.

Heirloom tomato
Plants’ crop may be tastier
Than we remember.

Growing sunflowers
Is sometimes a stepping stone
To having bird seed.


Paint chip haibun

Linda Kruschke’s Paint chip poetry prompt is for a Haibun. For the definition, the paint chip colours and examples of her haibuns please visit her post.

What I would like you to do is write a haibun in the form of a travel journal or diary entry. It must be nonfiction. I want to hear about your adventures. End your poem with a haiku (for those of you who were hoping for haiku this week, you won’t be disappointed). You can include additional haiku if you like.

The paint chip words and phrases that you have to work with are before the rainmountain peaksupernovatumbleweedtropicalin the dark, and dust bunny.

I would like you to use at least five of the paint chips, including one in your haiku.

And there is no need for a title with a haibun, much like the haiku that has no title. But you can add one if you like.

Haibun inspired by journal entries in my Decomposition Book

Monday. We were driven from the airport towards the sun, setting bright as a supernova.

Pool in Japanese garden

Pool in Japanese garden

Wednesday. In Portland’s rose garden we explored the paths, read many labels and ate our picnic lunch before the rain. Then we visited the Japanese garden.

Waterfall beyond
a pool wherein koi carp
swim near the irises

Saturday. Visiting Mount Tabor we caught a glimpse of the mountain peak we had last seen from the air. Walking up a path we reached a gap in the trees. Mount Hood, which had been hidden by clouds on Monday, was clearly visible. An awe-inspiring surprise view.

It was June. Light evenings meant we rarely stayed out in the dark. We walked a long way in the city and its suburbs.

Tree-lined avenues
diminish tropical heat
of Portland’s sidewalks


What I read in June 2018 (Part 1)

I read so many books in June that I have decided for the benefit of my readers (and my sanity) to break my review post into a currently unspecified number of parts. The final one deserves a post all to itself.

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian a novel by Marina Lewycka is everything it says on the cover. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Although it is humorous, there is also pathos and all the tensions of family life. It is a well-told tale about human weaknesses and resourcefulness, in which the complications of communication in two languages give extra depth. I found a second hand copy in a local sale.

King of Shadows by Susan Cooper is a children’s book, which I borrowed from the library. I was looking for The Dark is Rising (the book used last year as a twitter reading group book with Robert Macfarlane), but took the only book available by the same author. I loved it and even learned a new word from it. In Shakespeare’s day a pickpocket was known as a cutpurse. I wrote a post or two about Shakespeare way back. This book is about child actors performing A Midsummer Night’s Dream. There are unexpected twists and turns. I shall be looking for more books by this author even if it does involve passing the barriers into the children’s area in the library!



Haiku Beyond the Mountain by John Chambers is a beautifully produced book of short poems (Haiku obviously) by a member of the writing group I attend. It is available in Bookends, Carlisle and other bookshops in the North of England. John has studied haiku and gone on to use the form in his own way. Many of the poems are about nature. To quote the back cover, “Expect to be surprised as you turn each page!” It is a book I shall read again.