For We Write Poems: Prompt #21 Color Scheme
Almost two years ago, I found coloring with artist pens to be a form of active meditation. I often used designs drawn by Marc Bove that can be found here:
These are Mandalas. They symbolize the life cycle. They are geometiric and are balanced according to numbers. The lines create repetive patterns that lead from and back to the center of the design. Our lives go through many cycles and much of the time, we can, if we choose, see the patterns repeat themselves or make new connections that define that particular cycle. When I would sit to color these designs, many times words would whisper in my head and bits of poetry would form. I believe the colors were speaking to me, of my own life experiences as well as the truths to be found in such activities. I have often copied the designs on photo paper and included small bits of verse that pertained to the individual I presented them to as a gift. Here you will find three such images with poems attached. I found that after doing these designs for several months, I no longer have favorites. All colors have something important to say and to bring us.
Offered to a fellow traveler
who but needs
a hand up,
with which to proceed
deep rich music
of diverse elements,
around and through
Blue of knowing
must bind itself
of constant growth,
I love the luminosity of the yellow in the first one and the various blues in the last. The middle one reminds me of a William Morris/Sanderson design! The simple truths that accompany are all that is needed.
Thank you very much Derrick. When I work on these, I am always aware that I don’t have a clear solid idea of what the end image will look like, thus am often astounded by it. I simply love the beauty that materializes at my fingertips. Although there is a lot of thought and choice going on through out the entire time, there is also a sense of magic when it all works together and makes a statement all of its own. And, if I’m honest, I think the Mandalas are another form of poetry, unique in their own right.
Beautiful work, both with the pens and the words! I have used those pens too, to illustrate children’s books. Lovely!
Hi Diane, I didn’t know that you had illustrated children’s books. The pens were originally a gift from a friend, but once I started playing with them, they became another world, one of deep satisfaction, once I found the Mandala patterns. I actually got lost for a while, and still feel the pull back to that other world of colorful surprises. Thanks for stopping,
Absolutely beautiful the words and the Mandalas.
I remember you writing about them before.
Pamela, I have always had a problem doing formal meditation. Too much junk in my head to ever really clear it,lol. The Mandalas very swiftly became a form of active meditation and a very important and necessary part of my personal journey for all kinds of reasons. Thanks so much for reading and commenting,
Your work is beautiful, both the Mandelas and the poems. Your talents are diverse. You mentioned not being good at formal meditation. Me either. And I am even impatient with things like guided imagery. My mind races ahead.
Thank you very much Mary, but I used to have the same problem. One of the best things to come out of all of this writing, is that it slows down the racing thoughts. Otherwise the writing doesn’t make sense and is full of missed words, typos, and fruedian slips that seem to sneak in when you are busily forging ahead, lol. The other thing that helped a great deal was trying to teach others how to do the imaging. Had to slow it way down. When I do it on my own, it is instantaneous, that doesn’t work well in a classroom. But, all of that allowed me to get to active meditation. My thoughts simply don’t race ahead of me anymore. They far better match the slow moving person I have become with age.
When I think color, for some reason unknown, I see ocean, and I don’t mean just blue. Some contrast to my own poem this time perhaps (though maybe not). I think I see colors outside myself. You see colors inside of you! You take them in your hand (here, literally) and let them dance. Although I might seem calm from outside, I think you are more peaceful than me, like these colors seem to say. Honestly, right now, I most just have to say “interesting”, but mean I’m going to have to look at this again, more than only once.
Color was a useful prompt, wasn’t it?
Thanks for showing me something new.
Neil, I once had a guy call me and ask if we could sit down and discuss our poetry. I was on campus at the time, so met him in the coffee shop. I had brought a folder with some poems, he’d brought an entire three ring binder. We exchanged the poems and settled down to read. I knew I was in trouble because every poem was end rhyme on each second line, and forced to meet a very rigid meter count. And all were quite didactic in nature. While I, on the other hand was deep into breath line and free verse.
After taking some time with the few poems I had given him, his only comment was that I seemed to use a lot of color in my poetry. He’d never done that but might now have to try it. Then laiunched himself into why he’d actually wanted to talk to me. He wanted a formal introduction to my mentor, lol. I told him that was impossible because the man was exceedingly private, had a very busy and tight schedule, etc., etc.
Left him in the coffee shop, and went up to my mentor’s office and told him I’d just spared him a dreary encounter and recited one stanza I remembered in particular. He thanked me profusely, told me he definitely owed me one, and as I was leaving said, “You know you do use color well in your poetry, he might have learned something today.” We both laughed, but after that I was free to say red, green, yellow, or whatever was needed. And that was long before I encoundtered the Mandalas. But, please remember, these here, are the ones that turned out, not all of them do, lol.
And yes, I do think the prompt has been used in some rather delightful ways today. Thanks for your comments,
Visually, I like the last one especially, calm, peaceful, intuitive.
Ruth, glad that you do, it’s a particular favorite of mine for those very reasons. And, if you haven’t noticed, I used it for the banner on my Unraveling site. The banner on this site is one of my free-hand experiments, and the one on my 1sojournal site is another coloring page I especially liked. I think I’m into this stuff a bit, what you think?
Elizabeth, thanks for this very meditative series of poems. They soothed me, the mandala images and words, and I like that you ended with purple and what it means, as it’s my favorite color. Thanks so much for sharing about mandalas.
Irene, my youngest daughter is a bit hyper and when she came to visit, without her kids, she suggested that we do some of these. Her oldest sister was here and we sat around the dining room table coloring, having a drink, talking, and laughing. The next morning we each took our finished image over to my Mom’s and hung them on her refrigerator like three little kids doing show and tell. My Mom loved it and kept them there, often pointing them out to her visitors and guests.
I have a very definite list of meanings that I associate with certain colors, and I’m not at all surprised that you are a purple person. You have always struck me as such. Thanks for the comments,
I love Mandalas and your poems are gems.
Thank you Linda, I love the Mandalas as well. Like Irene said, they do soothe me and calm me, as well as center and ground me. I think of the bits of verse as frosting on the cake, lol.
Beautiful Mandalas and the accompanying poems!
colours lay bare my soul
Gautami, I love the title of your color poem. Thanks for stopping to read and comment. I love the Mandalas, love doing them and watching what happens, but also the bits of poetry that often occur while I’m coloring.
Elizabeth, no matter what your journey of the soul, meditation is indeed at the heart. I also struggled for years with focus, and mandalas (as well as labyrinths, either printed or walked) have helped enormously.
That said, the three qualities cited in your trilogy were each elegantly stated. Your meditation shows in your work. Thank you for this glimpse into an intimate part of you!
Hi Amy, and thanks for all or your kind words. You are so correct about the Mandalas and the Labrynths, I used to walk one that was outside on a cliff overlooking Lake Michigan. And each time I did so, I found quiet answers to unasked questions, as well as a soft sort of calmness, I found nowhere else.
The first two designs were gifts and the poetry was meant to describe what I felt was a attribute I found within the individual. The third design is simply a personal favorite and a bit of my personal definitions for the colors used. Thanks again for reading,
What fun to see the mandalas and learn about the colors and what they mean to you. Beautifully done.
Judy, glad you enjoyed the post. I find a great deal of enjoyment in creating both the images and the verses that accompany them. Thanks for reading and commenting,
Love this Elizabeth, your design in colours and words.
Thank you much Uma. I love the way the two work together and become more, while also giving inspiration. Wonderful balancing act,
I love this poem. I have been waiting to read these words. Still amazing, to know I have been waiting to read the words, you have been waiting to write. That is beautiful, isn’t it?
Yes Annell it is beautiful. I know this comment is meant for another poem and I like the poetic justice to be found in your words. Thanks so much for that,
Dear Elizabeth I come to these wonderful pieces again. It is early morning, and my eyes tear, from allergies. But as I wipe those tears, I see your work, fresh and new. Years ago, I designed many formal compositions similar to these and thought that the constant change possible must have been the way “God” designed. As there is constant change in the universe. For me what you speak of, is the muse. And it is the dialogue that happens when we are at work on the visual language that we create. It is the language for what cannot be spoken, and yet the talented poet, somehow finds the way. I sent a link to your blogs to my friend Susan, who is a writer, I think she will enjoy your work!
Annell, and I think the muse is our soul, speaking in that still small voice, in whatever form we will allow. The coloring is a sort of way station for me, a refueling place. Although I am a participant (choosing the colors and applying them), I am more recipient than giver. It has become a balancing act. The coloring brings on the words. The words inform and I become more particapant in the actual outcome. If that makes sense. But, and this is important, whatever dialect the soul chooses and we allow, all of our creative endeavors hold healing energy and speak the same Mother Tongue. That of the message to be found within our own story. Creativity is the expression, expelling, exhaling of the self, the soul into the world at large. Breathed out, in can than be inspiration to even more of the same. Oops, my philosophy in a nutshell. Thanks for coming back, see what I mean?
Elizabeth If you would like I will show you how to design these works yourself.
Oh Annell, that is so generous of you. I have just enough drafting experience to know and recognize the level of work involved. I have done some free-hand Mandalas and enjoy that. You can see one of them in the Mandala Gallery II posted on this site at the very bottom of my banner here. Am not sure of my time constraints or how long it would take me to catch on, but I’m game to try. Thank you again,
Dear Elizabeth I think you are right, the muse is the soul. It is all about us, isn’t it…..? When I can I will work up something for you and you will find it easy peasy. It’s on my list…..sending my love….hope you are well.
Annell, sent you an email the other day, figured you were busy or still feeling the nasties. And if you say its easy, I’ll take your word for it. My drafting skills were left behind in high school, especially after I did a report on how I wanted to really consider a career in architecture and although I got an A on the essay, which included a blue print for a small home, my teacher felt a need to let me know that the field was for men, and not for women. We certainly have come a long way, haven’t we? Will look forward to hearing from you,