Monday, May 22, 2006

Colors Dance and Colors Sing

One of my favorite books is Hailstones and Halibut Bones by Mary O'Neill. A friend introduced me to it years ago and I have used it on many occasions. Just recently I held a "Celebration of Green" at work and invited local elementary school children to submit writings that answered the question "What is Green?" Several students participated and what I received back were wonderful poems that touched on many sences as these students tried to express what green was to them - everything from tasting like toothpaste, to feeling like the blowing wind.

I got the idea, of course, from this book where Mary O'Neill answered this question not just for green, but purple, gold, black, brown, blue, gray, white, orange, red, pink, and yellow. I've never thought of some of these colors in the same way since.
What is Green?

Green is the grass
And the leaves of trees
Green is the smell
Of a country breeze.
Green is lettuce
And sometimes the sea.
When green is a feeling
You pronounce it N.V.
Green is a coolness
You get in the shade
Of the tall old woods
Where the moss is made.
Green is a flutter
That comes in Spring
When frost melts out
Of everything.
Green is a grasshopper
Green is jade
Green is hiding
In the shade -
Green is an olive
And a pickle.
The sound of green
Is a water-trickle
Green is the world
After the rain
Bathed and beautiful
April is green
Peppermint, too.
Every elf has
One green shoe.
Under a grape arbor
Air is green
With sprinkles of sunlight
In between.
Green is the meadow,
Green is the fuzz
That covers up
Where winter was.
Green is ivy and
Honeysuckle vine.
Green is yours
Green is mine....

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