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 stone, grandma’s hydrangeas, and heirloom tomato.
Have some fun with this one, with no parameters to hold you back.
Plants are sprouting shoots.
Grandma’s hydrangeas were blue;
Our lace-caps are pink.
Plants’ crop may be tastier
Than we remember.
Is sometimes a stepping stone
To having bird seed.
From Lynda Kruschke’s post, where the whole challenge, colours and her poem may be seen:
…the title, “Baptismal Gowns Upstairs,” is a strange one for a prompt theme.
I suppose you could write about family, which is what this poem is about, at least two members of Brent’s family. Or you could pull a thread from the lines of verse themselves to spin your yarn in poem form.
Now for the paint chip words and phrases: cream of the crop, blue suede shoes, cave, ember, zest for life, sagebrush, and porcelain. I’d like you to use at least five of these words and phrases in your poem.
Zest for Life
The day of our children’s baptism was near.
What were they going to wear?
No baptismal gowns or christening robes here.
In any case our son was a nearly three-year-
Old child – too big to hold or dress in white
A surprise gift was just right
For our baby girl – a polite
Thank you letter went to the knitter
Of an off-white woolly dress.
The cream of the crop of sitter-
Knitters had made a garment to fit her.
I do not recall any blue suede shoes
Among the guests. Aunts and uncles
Were the godparents whose
Numbers were three twos.
Three Grandparents were there as well
As a few friends and a cake
With icing in the form of a candle
At the party in a nearby hotel.
It was October not November
No ‘Cave canem’ sign in the bar
No open fire, no glowing ember
It was a happy day, I remember.
For my other paint chip poems please visit Paint Chip Poetry.
Ghost Trees: Nature and People in a London Parish by Bob Gilbert was on a display of books shortlisted for this year’s Wainwright Golden Beer Book Prize. Having returned a book about woods, I picked one about trees!
The author had moved to the East London parish of Poplar as his wife was appointed rector there. He conducted research both on the ground and from written records in order to write this very readable and informative book. There is information about the time of writing, the past, people with connections to the area, people with connections to the flora of the area, traditions and beliefs both past and present. The language is poetic without being pretentious.
I do not know the area around Poplar. It was only when I had read all but three chapters that I decided to look at online maps (including satellite images) of the area. There are no maps included in the book, but with so much information readily available, that is not a great loss. Maps would have increased the production costs. The hardback volume is relatively light to hold and well set out. Chapters are divided into sections. The seasons of the year, the local people, wildlife, plants, waterways and much more have been carefully observed.
I learned a lot about the history of urban tree-planting, how some plants were named and more besides. This is a fascinating book with an index and bibliography.