16 April 2009

April 16 - Poem A Day Challenge - Color

Today's prompt: "I want you to pick a color, make that the title of your poem, and write a poem that is inspired by that color." Poetic Asides

Probably the hardest prompt yet for me. For some reason, I was immobilized by choice. I started several poems, one with the color white, another focused on a different take on brown, but neither worked for me. It wasn't until I read about stars and their stellar spectrums that it started to click. Another weird one for those who ask "Where do you get your ideas from?" I get them from out there... somewhere.

Categorically Misunderstood

Nobody likes the color brown
I was told once upon a time.
It's such a bland, insipid shade.
Much too close to nature,
a down-to-earth color except
when astronomers hypothesize
about the presence of brown
dwarfs. Pity those poor balls
of gravity-ridden plasma, doomed
to be known for eternity
as sub-stars, too underweight
to sustain stable hydrogen fusion,
core temperature not fierce enough
to burn lithium. They fail to pass
the tests, overshadowed by red,
yellow or white stars, forced
to depend on the gravitational
collapse of material for heat,
a bum huddled around a burning
galactic trash barrel. Scientists
scoff, and call their patinas de-
saturated yellow, when feeling
generous, reddish-orange. Doomed
to the status of co-star, of mere
binary companion, it doesn't matter
how many X-ray flares the brown
dwarfs orbiting Epsilon Indi send
out, their winking infrared emissions
will never signal more than failed
planet in some space gazing eyes.


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