Wednesday, April 1, 2015

NaPoWriMo Day 1: The Birth of Your Art

Prompt: Base your first poem on the first work of art that inspired your creative addiction.


there was a time i remember
before teachers
and rules
when numbers were magic
and lived and danced and breathed
colors that were fluid like watercolors
that danced in a liquid ballet

in that time seven was a graceful purple
and three a dignified blue
fours were brash shades of yellow
and fives bold reds that demanded attention

and everything made sense to me
numbers multiplied by blending their colors
and subtracted by growing more pale
and i loved them
and cared for them
and knew one must show great caution
before putting a nine with a genteel two.

but then came those rules and lessons
and important and serious math
i did not understand
and don't make up stories
numbers are not colors
memorize this table
and show your work

and all the numbers were pinned
to a multiplication board
like butterflies that could no longer fly
and the colors bled out of them


the numbers died on their specimen board

the colors still live
and sometimes still I can remember
when numbers danced for me
alive and enchanting.

~ Lynda E. Hardy, 2015


  1. This is beautiful and heartbreaking... I pray for a world where rules are just guidance on how to make things even more fun.

    I love the suspense in these lines: "and knew one must show great caution / before putting a nine with a genteel two."

    Thanks a bunch for participating in NaPoWriMo with Magaly Guerrero 2015!

  2. Love this, love thinking of colours as numbers, multiplying into other colours or subtracting and getting paler. Rules are used by adults to get the young to conform, to fit nice and still in the boxes society creates for them. Some adults grown wings, fly out of the boxes and once more start seeing numbers as colours for their imaginations to play with.

  3. No Matter what - "the colors still live"

  4. This is so beautifully sad. "Numbers pinned on multiplication boards", just WOW! I truly loved this!

  5. Bravo! What an imagination! I wondered if children kept the colors of the letters and numbers that came before them, and now know they do. What a tale! It deserves to be fully illustrated on video just as vividly as you tell it.

  6. Oh wow.....I cried at the numbers pinned bleeding on the boards :D XXX

  7. Really liked this. It had a lot of heart and a lot of weight in its words.