• Christine Delea

April 26: Color My World

Chances are, if you are a writer or an artist, you love color. A large box of crayons, the display of thread in spools at the craft store, or the mishmash of colors in no particular order in a field during late spring--it all pulls you in.

Rather than just think of color as another type of image description, for this prompt you should focus on color.

Read the poems below for inspiration, and then write your own poem about color. Feel free to also listen to Chicago's song "Color My World" while you're at it!

Colors of the Comanche Nation Flag

by Sy Hoahwah


Mupits’ breath, in moonlight, outside a child’s bedroom window

Hunter’s bones scattered on the prairie

Fragrance of Comanche gangstas who entered The Zoo Club

and assassinated the bosses of Underworld Seven,

a Navajo crime syndicate

Little Stoney Burgess’s footprints after catching ghost sickness

by running through Post Oak Cemetery chased

by snot-nosed bully, Blender Plenty Bear


Lips of the poisoned tribal chairman collapsed on the buffet table

at the 1974 Comanche Nation Inaugural Dinner

Silk handkerchief drawn over the stuffed owl used to converse

with the dead

In the woods, it’s the laughter of Deer Woman as she stomps

her male victim to death

Electric guitar distortion of the Messiah playing Jimi Hendrix’s

Machine Gun as she strolls into the Indian bar


Coyote’s eyes in the darkness of the backseat at midnight

as you speed down Mt. Scott, on a dare, with the headlights off

Crushed buffalo kidney stones used in graffiti to magically

imprison the river-witch underneath the I-44 bridge

Intricate beadwork on Lucifer’s cane

left at the funnel cake stand at Comanche Fair

Flashing ignition light to the engines of the great abyss

Losing the Eight Colors

by Pamela Gross

Crayola crayons said yesterday they are . . . eliminating eight old favorites: maize, raw umber, blue gray, lemon yellow, green blue, orange red, orange yellow, and violet blue.

UPI Release

. . . red is what red leaves repel.

Ellen Bryant Voight, “Turning From a Loss”

Can we refuse their claim

on us? Resist the three exact blues

of the Stellar’s jay, who startles

even hemlocks, drooped arms crepe-hung,

out of a dark day’s gloom. These blues

do a slow burn, releasing vapors

in colors pinioned at the center

of propane’s flame.

Can we reject

the several curdled yellows of

Butter-and-Eggs, served up

roadside on spiked stalks? Each bloom

a face, whose pouched cheeks, wide mouth

and broad, protruding lower lip

suggest its other name. Toadflax.


raw earth’s genuine umbers. Its residues

of manganese, of iron’s ruddy oxides. Or

renounce this miracle:

the orange red torch

of the Firebush. A transplant thrust

sky-high, thriving and feeding

the flame-swallowing hunger

of at least a hundred hummingbirds—

Black-chinned and Anna’s—

who swarm

its gaunt, vertical branches,

its tiny flower-flares

in a buzzing, smoking cloud.

And if it is true, that

“red is what red leaves repel”? Then believe

that its blue is what

the jay is busiest getting rid of. That

each dear thing, loved face, even now,

is working and working

to lose itself.

Genesis: The Resilient Colors

by Roberto Tejada

And surfaced a flame in the dark elsewhere

of one remembered form: just one,

suppose it the flesh of unspecified man

a mouth down deeper between my legs

his heavy beard in the beginning

against these wet thighs our bodies scribbled

in signs to draw the grey curtain of steam back

by which we found ourselves surrounded

sound of water off the tile (or on this sheet

of paper stammering) by which we came to nestle

a will from which the colors rose resilient

sparks of orange over the waves of trickled

hair on chest and forearm light

green to trace the conduits formed by

vein of biceps and prick the pink

ridges of his brown nipples in brackets raised

this tongue in blue translucent embers

to emanate where a moon of fingers along

the dark red notch of earth is a field

over which armies raged with catapults of burning

stones until all was left there smoldering below.

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