Marilyn Gardner Woods
I did go to Longfellow Elementary...
Updated: Oct 5, 2021
and as the creepy boys in sixth grade loved to chant, "She's not a poet, but her feet show it-they're longfellows."
Was that bullying? I was well on my way to Size 10 in 6th grade.
I'm not a poet. Don't read poetry. At least I haven't until recently. House isolation, or moderate house isolation, has brought poetry into my life.
It began with another Master Class, the Mother's Day gift from my daughter, Jamie.
This one featured Billy Collins, US Poet Laureate, 2001 to 2003. Dubbed “the most popular poet in America” in the New York Times, he is famous for conversational, witty poems that welcome readers with humor but often slip into quirky, tender, or profound observation on the everyday, reading and writing, and poetry itself.
Wait. You can write poems about ordinary, everyday things?
Yep. This is one of the takeaways I got from Mr. Collins. I'm a new fan. I especially loved The Lanyard and The Death of the Hat. My mom, my dad, my grandfather...so many memories evoked.
Part of my lean-in to poems is that I am anticipating attending Calvin's (Grandson #1) graduation from Amherst College in Massachusetts in May.
Okay, maybe I'm jumping the gun. But with my hopeful visit to Emily Dickinson's birthplace and home, I decided to take a deep dive into her poetry.
Chris, my total Texas storytelling, writing buddy, urged me on. I particularly loved the playful I'm Nobody, Who Are you?
And even more circling, Collins wrote an extraordinary poem about the Amherst native titled Taking Off Emily Dickinson's Clothes.
I was moved to write a poem. Turns out they don't have to rhyme these days. Who knew? Armed with that knowledge from my master class on poetry and the affirmation that I could write a poem about some ordinary, I picked orange.
And just as I was ready to put my orange poem out there, I was involved in the passing tour of docent trainee, Doug McMinimy, (and accomplihsed photographer) at The San Diego Museum of Art.
Hard to convey how magical and engaging Doug's passing tour of 20th Century Art was, a very difficult accomplishment via Zoom.
OMG, his tour was brilliant. And, he ended with everybody's favorite painting, Caged Pie by California master, Wayne Thibeau.
Even more magical, Doug charmed us all by introducing everybody's favorite dessert painting with a haiku for our times:
Prima Donna Pie.
Spotlight kisses crayola colors.
Socially distanced dessert.
So here I am, following extraordinary examples of poetry with a sort of rambling prose remembrance of my Summer of Orange.
Summer of orange
Valencias outside my window
Fruit of inspiration
Fragrance swirling in the air
My book in blossom
Days of summer orange
Gauzy ribbon bows
Orange cupcakes, nectarous treat
Doll house orchard
Everything is orange
Summer nights turn orange
Sun pales deep in the west
Monet’s Impression Sunrise, morning luminescence
Delicate day lilies
Brighten the day for a hummingbird and me
Surrounded by orange
Summertime, the livin’ is orange
Blossoms on paper umbrella
Succulent slices on my morning plate
Fragrant bouquet of scented candle
Sugared-coated candy, sip of juice
My world orange
Alone, summer of orange
Oil painting, bold expressive oranges
On book’s cover
Bookmark save the page
Book on the table
Orange everywhere I look
Summer orange is lovely
My daughter’s dress,
A hint of gloss, a whiff of cologne
Piquant pages of book
Orange uplifts me, wraps me in warmth
Alone this summer of orange
This season of orange
Finds me quiet, slowed down
Immersed in solitude’s nectar
When light is right, shadows long,
Sky cast with soft radiance
Orange afterglow watercolor washes my summer
What color is your summer?
Now adding poetry to your growing list of artistic accomplishments! I too admire Billy Collins, and you might want to look up some poems by Naomi Shihab Nye, who lives in San Antonio. She's another who captures the ordinary in extraordinary ways. DI
Love, love, love the poem. Wrapped in the warmth of orange! SB
Appreciate how effectively you carried your theme repetitively.
Clever lady !! Dale
Love this one Marilyn!! Sending you an orange sunset from Laguna. Miss you, Anne