It’s Thursday afternoon as I write this 37th paint chip poetry prompt. It’s been a struggle to concentrate on anything today as the skies and air around me becomes smokier by the minute and friends south of me are having to evacuate their homes. Some no longer have homes to go back to due to the many wildfires burning in Oregon. If you’re reading from Washington or Northern California, you’re likely experiencing the same thing. I didn’t think 2020 could come up with anything worse, but it did.
And yet I am thankful for so many things, including having this poetry prompt to distract me. (Even if my poem ends up focused on wildfires and other 2020 nonsense).
I hesitated a moment to title this section “the challenge” as I always do, because, well, writing a poem doesn’t seem near as challenging as many other things. But traditions must be maintained if only for my sanity.
The theme for this week is When I’m Old. Some of you reading and joining in on the prompt may already be there so this will be easy. Others of us are well on our way, and some may be young still and have to use their imagination to respond to the prompt.
The words or phrases for this week are wild huckleberry, cumulonimbus, verdant, spice market, antique brass, the grass is always greener, and candlelight. I think we have our longest paint chip phrase ever this week and so as part of the challenge I’d like you to be sure to use that one plus at least three more in your poem. And while I could use some humor or cheering up, I won’t hold it against you if your poem takes a somber tone.
Here is my poem, which is admittedly a bit somber. Sometimes you just gotta work with what you’ve got.
I'll Always Remember When I am old I'll remember this week, this day, in sepia tones and skies of spice market orange, not because of nostalgia and camera filters on cumulonimbus clouds in a clear blue sky. It wasn't clouds, we'll recall, but smoke from a thousand wild huckleberry bushes going up in flames with brush and trees, high winds to fuel the fire as homes burned. Until the wind abated and the smoke settled and we remembered how the grass is always greener before arsonists with cruel hate and candlelight spark a blaze unending and unsettling in its path. All that was once verdant, vibrant, and alive lay in ash and the charred remains of whole towns simply gone, including the antique brass doorknobs on the corner store in a favorite vacation town. When I'm old I'll remember how friends packed, and waited for the alert to evacuate NOW, trying to carry on with the day's tasks, to work, to teach, to live in sepia tones and hope. I'll remember how we prayed even when I'm old and gray.
Now it’s your turn to write about when you are old, whether that’s now or years in the future. I’d love to see someone write about being young at heart even when their old. Or if you are old, I’d love to read about the lessons you’ve learned in getting there.
So write your poem and post it in the comments. Or if you have your own blog, post it there and drop a link in the comments. Be sure to link back here from your post so your readers can come join the paint chip prompt. The more player, the more fun.