Tag Archives: blue

Climbing Poems: NPM #9

Climbing Poems

I climb

rung by rung

collecting words

wearing them like necklaces, strung together like pearls

I stretch higher

one foot pushing

one hand reaching

the blues:

cobalt, cerulean, azure

sing to me

a poem painting a layer of calm

a soothing lullaby reaching my ears and eyes

waves hush and roll onto the shore

step, reach, step, reach

breathe in the blue

and sing out nature’s wonder

as I climb poems


Searching for Blue: NPM 2019 Day 29

A weekend with a horrific shooting at a local synagogue and today’s unexpected downpour created a feeling of gray that seemed to seep through the bones into the soul.

On the second to the last day of National Poetry Month, here is my poem for the day.

Searching for Blue


Some days feel like

crawling through a tunnel of gray

sides pushing in

narrowing vision

muffling sound

restricting each breath


breathe in, breathe out


I search for a crack

a break in the tunnel

a space where light

threads through

brightening the sky

where streaks of blue open paths

to hope and possibility




Texture: NPM 2019 Day 27



My eyes trace the curves

filigree curlicues


into what was once a smooth sheet

Blue peeks through

adding a pillow of soft

to the sculpted edges

Shadows cast on concrete

echo as sunlight

passes through

cooling the midday rays

Texture tap dances

on my heart

rhythms as reminders

that life takes place

in the spaces between

touch the raised surfaces

the dips and cutouts

the places we feel

leaving impressions


of life lived



Water Blues: NPM 2019 Day 12

How do you maximize your vacation on the day you fly out? Head to beach at the crack of dawn! The beauty of Hawaii is that the morning is warm and the beach pretty empty—perfect for that last dip in the cool blues of the sea.

And then 5 hours in the air gives quiet time for composing poetry. I’m not sure I quite got to any particular point…but maybe that is what poetry is all about. I followed the words, letting them lead me.

Day 12:

Water Blues

In the crack before dawn

morning rises fresh and new

dark becoming blue that

beckons us outdoors.

Breezes whisper nature’s secrets

in our ears

telling stories of

blow holes

and green shelled turtles

that give us reason to smile

and care.

Raindrops caress our faces

smoothing out the creases

of worry

carrying them deep

into the sea.

Stepping into the not-quite-warm


where blue cools

concerns that churn

under the surface

splashing up waves

of frothy salty foam, intricate as lace.

Our eyes follow the lacy white

into a spectrum of blues:

the palest dance

along the surface

pirouetting into fine mist

keeping the air soft and moist

the darkest dive


swirling with all the waters

through the ages.

Stories rise up

taking us on travels

through time and space

that skip and play like children

delighting in the unexpected

and wondrous.

Variations of blue

like a symphony

of sound and color

sing out

painting rhythms

on worry

sculpting melody

into hope

listen with all your senses

and you’ll hear the possibilities

as the sea performs

the water blues.

NPM 2019: Days 6 and 7

Somehow Saturday evaporated and Sunday appeared…it’s Spring Break, so my schedule is disrupted as I travel and enjoy some vacation time.  But I continue with the poem-a-day challenge…here are entries 6 and 7.

Day 6

Flight 297

They queue



into the heavy metal tube


it will hurtle

through the sky


but not.

Once inside

they vacillate


fear and boredom

seatbelts latched

tray tables too

eyes glazed

by movie after movie

restless to arrive

hours crawl

moving back in time.

As never-ending approaches





Day 7

A Blue Kind of Day

The day dawned blue

with light that warms

your shoulders

and your heart










and all the colors nature invented in between

Blue that melts worries

lets you breathe deeply in and out

and calms the soul.

It was a blue kind of day.



What Does it Take to Thrive? SOLC 2019 Day 14

I walk below these cliffs all the time, noticing the canyons and wrinkles wind and water carve along their faces.  I see evidence of human interference, the places where lawns and ice plant hasten the natural erosion of sandstone along the beach.  I’m mindful of walking too close to the cliffs, remembering days when huge chunks let loose and fall to the shore.  I wonder about the multimillion dollar homes perched on the edge–the ones with the incredible views of the Pacific Ocean–that are in danger of dropping into the sea during the next big storm.  Are those homeowners insured for cliff erosion?

Today’s blue was intense, blues that need words like cerulean, azure, and cyan to begin to describe the richness of the color.  And the blue was punctuated with thousands of small orange butterflies…on a mission headed north.  It was almost as they were emerging from the sea, flying straight for the cliffs, then up, up , up.


Oddly, though, my eyes were drawn to a small bunch of yellow flowers high on the wind-blown cliff, a tiny patch of blossoms flourishing in hardscrabble sandstone.  I’m reminded that some of us make the best of where we are planted and take advantage of whatever resources are available…not dependent on soil amendments, special fertilizers, and protection from wind and other elements.  What does it take to thrive in sandy soil and harsh conditions?  Sometimes the blue skies, mild temperatures, and more plentiful than average rainfall is enough.



Weekly Photo Challenge: Color

As the sun has come out, so have the colors.  The combination of a wet winter and some spring-like temps have plants growing and flowers blooming.  I noticed these native beauties near the beach the other day peeking around the railings near the parking lot.  With their vivid yellow color, they are almost like tiny suns on a stem!


Later in the week, from my walk along the shore, I noticed this house on the hill.  Now I walk this stretch regularly, so the house is not a new sight, but I was drawn both by the seagull sitting on the rooftop and by the tones of green displayed on the cliff.  If you look in the foreground you can see prickly pear cactus in abundance.  Just wait til they begin to bloom!


Sometimes the color I find on the beach is less desirable.  I came across this beautiful blue bottle in the surf, washed up or left on the beach.  As part the efforts of the #litterati (a group of people who post photos of trash they pick up and dispose of), I snapped this shot before picking up the bottle.


Blue is not an unusual color on the beach.  I notice lots of blues there in both the sky and the water, like this shot with the sun coming through the cloudy skies.


And this one of the waves curling and crashing in the hazy afternoon sun.


And then there are the colors of a sunset, this one with some pelicans flying through.  In this case enhanced by a filter that took ordinary beauty and intensified the colors into these brilliant yellows and oranges.  I’m always surprised by how certain images are transformed by a filter (like this one) while others are not.


So, take a look around.  What colors are you seeing this week?  Are they bright and vibrant, or subdued and muted?  You might consider capturing hues of a single color or maybe you’ll try to capture all the colors of the rainbow.

You can post your photo alone or along with some words: commentary, a story, a poem…maybe even a song! I love to study the photographs that others’ take and think about how I can use a technique, an angle, or their inspiration to try something new in my own photography. (I love a great mentor text…or mentor photo, in this case!) I share my photography and writing on social media. You can find me on Instagram and Twitter using @kd0602. If you share your photos and writing on social media too, please let me know so I can follow and see what you are doing. To help our Weekly Photo community find each other, use the hashtag #color for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.

Turn your camera on the color around you, and share what you find with us!  What color is most prevalent in your place, or is it the absence of color that you are noticing?  I’m looking forward to your color this week!

Learning From Blue

As I have worked through photographing with a focus on a color each week during July, I have noticed that the weeklong focus pushed me to think about not only color but also composition differently.


Blue…only a short three days as July came to an end…expressed itself differently than I expected.  When I originally crafted the color challenge I thought blue would focus on water…beachy things that are so prevalent in summer.  But my end of July didn’t take me to the beach or near the water as expected.  Instead, with the color in my head, blue appeared in unexpected places.  When I photographed this butterfly I didn’t even know it had blue dots on its wings. I don’t think I even noticed it was sitting on a blue chair.  What I saw was an opportunity to capture this beautiful creature through my lens.  I took a shot, then crept closer took another shot, crept closer…  I was amazed that the butterfly let me get so close.  Maybe it could sense my appreciation.

I find myself looking at the world around me as an opportunity for composition.  And I’m also thinking about the ways my eyes see things differently than my lens does.  Sometimes it’s the light…and my camera captures a silhouette where I see color.  Other times I can clearly see that bird in the sky…and my camera records a spot.  It’s a reminder to me that our lens shifts our view and understanding of the world.  We can look at the same thing and understand it differently.  It’s important for me to remember that what I see and understand doesn’t necessarily represent what someone else sees and understands through their lens.  And looking at those differences creates an opportunity to learn from one another.  As Margaret Wheatley reminds us in her text Willing to be Disturbed:

We live in a dense and tangled global system.  Because we live in different parts of this complexity, and because no two people are physically identical, we each experience life differently.  It’s impossible for any two people to ever see things exactly the same.  You can test this out for yourself.  Take any event you’ve shared with others (a speech, a movie, a current event, a major problem) and ask your colleagues and friends to describe their interpretation of that event.  I think you’ll be amazed at how many different explanations you’ll hear.  Once you get a sense of diversity, try asking even more colleagues.  You’ll end up with a rich tapestry of interpretations that are much more interesting than any single one.

This is what I love best about the photo-a-day challenge…I get to explore my own lenses and see what my friends and colleagues see through their lenses.  And I know this openness and exploration helps me beyond photography…into my classroom, with my fellow educators, and out in the world.