Grass Roots Open Writers

Flowers & Colours
Writing from the workshops of March 2013

 10 April 2013

Flowers and colors

Seven kind of flowers
in seven colors.
Colors mixed with green.
Springy wreath
is hanging on the door.
Spring is here.
Eggs in seven colors
lying in green grass
among white daises
and daffodils.
come with your baskets
and collect Easter eggs.
Don't step on daffodils.
Daisies will survive
Seven kind of flowers
in seven colors.
Colors mixed with green.
Springy wreath
is hanging on the door.
Spring is here.
Eggs in seven colors
lying in green grass
among white daisies
and daffodils.
come with your baskets
and collect Easter eggs.
Don't step on daffodils.
Daisies will survive
the lights steps
of birds and children.

Seven colors of seven
different flowers
in the vase
on the dining table.
Dinner is on the table.
Sit down,
it's time to eat.
Spring is here
chirp sparrows,
when taking
their dust bath
creating holes
for planting flowers
in seven colors
for seven children
living in grey house
down the street.

Marie Neumann

Her World

She wore her coat of many colours
with sensual and proud aplomb

Threw on her simple print
cotton gown of French Rose
and headed for the bathroom

Emerging freshly showered in
creamy Honeysuckle White

She let slip the Paris Green
and in the reflection of Silver
saw the woman, who was the wife

Dressed the peachiness of her face
in delicate and sweeping strokes

Shrugged on Prussian Blue jeans
with a simple V-necked shirt
and embraced a mother’s looks

Her coat of many colours
Was worn throughout the day;

Golden corn and toasted wheat
Spilt orange on chequered floor
Black briefcase and Chelsea schoolbag
Waving good-bye on terracotta
Moulding pink, blue and lilac sheets
Green liquid in rainbow foam
Cleansing of bleach and ruby scarf
Blonde child strapped in silver car
Green-grocers and fresh brown bread
Metalled trolley in palette board store
Snuggled sleep and haze of quiet
A chance to sit for a bite to eat
Kicked of school shoes and portrait of red
Paint-chipped cars stretch across the room
Pink- iced biscuits and chocolate milk
Dolls are dressed in tangerine wool
Felt-tip, crayons and colouring books
Table cleared towards five a day
Superman p j’s and Peppa Pig nightie
Moving pictures of bedtime stories

Now her coat of many colours
Lent itself to culinary skills

Peeled off marigolds
untied a Sunflower apron
slipped out of faded espadrilles

Refreshed the sweeping strokes
soft pink lips, Copperglaze Sienna

Waved a spray of Cartier de Lune
glided into silk Ebony gown, and
onto bare shoulders, relaxed Henna

Guests departed, Midnight colour
Collar and tie pulled undone

Gown discarded on Beige pile
Lilac linen resting, soothing
wife, mother, became a lover

Monday brings extra colour
More embroidery to interweave

Tailored suit, hung behind
stripped pine; Black heels
point the end, of Maternity Leave

Jan Hedger

Colours of War

Louisa sat in her bedsit staring in to the fire, mesmerised by the colours of the flames being swept up the chimney. Her life was now at a crossroads; retirement was on the horizon; never in her life had she felt so alone. She had never married; her existence had revolved around her work.

At the time in her life, when she should have been going out dressed in pink flowing gowns and a silver shawl, matching shoes and handbag of black patent leather; spending teenage years looking for the man of her dreams, marriage and children; a very dark time was looming as rumours of war was spreading.

Life at home was quite comfortable, not posh, but clean and very loving parents; with six mouths to feed I left school at fourteen. I was the second eldest; Tommy was seventeen, Ann twelve and Lilly ten.

Dad got Tommy a job with him at the local factory, we had no choice money had to be earned. I remember the day mother dragged me to Lewis’s store in Birmingham; they wanted someone to work in the stockroom. We sat in front of a very stern looking man, slick jet black hair, and grey pin-striped suit.

‘Well speak up girl. Why do you want to work here?’

‘Err, well I have always liked the store and eventually I would like to become a sales assistant.’

I must have done something right. He said ‘Okay, we’ll give you a start.’

Four years had now gone by and we had been at war with Germany. At first it had been a ‘phoney War’ but it soon became real and conscription became compulsory. Tommy was becoming an angry young man. He came home from work one night; sat in the chair and cried.

‘What’s the matter, Tommy’ I asked?

‘I want to fight and not keep going to the factory; I have always hated the monotony and boredom; why Lou? Why didn’t we have a choice? Why was it all about just earning money?  Tommy no longer had a choice; his work was classified as a reserved occupation; but it got me thinking. I too did not enjoy Lewis’s, as I never did reach the dizzy heights of a sales lady; I was still in the stockroom.  Women were now being encouraged to join the services. My lunchtime was due, so I decided to go along to the recruiting office. I stood in a long queue standing alongside another young girl. We got chatting, her name was Maggie.

‘Why are you here? She said

‘I really could do with an opportunity to change my life and it’s very important we do our bit, I don’t think working in a shop can fulfil this criteria. Why are you here?’

‘Oh me? I fancy the uniform an all the men are away, not much fun here anymore.’  She really was a dizzy blonde, but I liked her.

When we got inside we had to decide which line to stand in; Army, Navy or Air Force. ‘What shall we do, toss a coin?

‘Oh no’ said Maggie ‘I love the sky blue of the Air Force.’  So that was that.

My next hurdle was going home and telling mom and dad.

‘Hello, I’m home.’

‘Hello love, want a cup of tea?’ ‘Yes please. Mom is dad home yet? I want to speak to you both.’

‘He’s in the sitting room, go in and I will bring the teas in.’  My stomach was churning.

‘What’s up love’ said Dad

‘I have joined the WRAF’s.’ Mom went quiet.

‘Well love’ said Dad ‘you are old enough and we cannot stop you, but why I thought you were happy.’

‘I am dad, but this is an opportunity for women to be able to do far more things than we have ever been allowed to.’

‘When do you go?’ said mom.

‘Oh it’ll be a while yet; I have to take some tests and have a medical.
Pauline Faulkner


Rose Madder is the colour of my love for you – flaming red passion softened by the spirit of soft petals.

Lamp Black brings out the patriot in me – visions of Bobbies on the beat, wet dank streets and London.

Zinc White represents the flexible me – its neutrality and malleability inspire a spurting fountain of new life, hope and possibility to form in my mind.

Lemon Yellow warms and mellows me. Dreams of corn, wide, open spaces, freedom and the caress of the sun relax and comfort me.

Emerald Green on the other hand is as precious to me as it is traditional. In my minds eye I see pretty countryside cottage gates surrounded by flowers. Accompanied by the gentle buzz of bees I am transported to a place where picnics on a blanket and jam sandwiches with the crusts cut off are enjoyed by friends and family.

Sky Blue lifts me high into the sky! Above the clouds I walk on cotton wool into eternity…

Antony May 12/3/13

Flower in a Bucket

I stand in a grey metal bucket on a rainy pavement among cabbages and cauliflowers outside a drab greengrocers. My name is Pink (latin name of Dianthus) I look like a smaller version of my posh rival the Carnation with its vivid colours; small I may be, but I have been given boldness and able to stand up for myself.

For when I open my buds waiting to be noticed among the big brothers and sisters ie chrysanthemums who are  very big headed in more ways than one. Once I have been cut out of the ground where my roots lay my life is quite short but I like to feel I bring a lot of pleasure a gift for a loving mother or to say I love you without words there is the sad part when I play my part to say goodbye.

Sometimes I would like to have been more like my cousins who grow wild and I could have hidden behind a crag in the rock never to be disturbed .
Had I been raised in Greece I would have been very proud as my flowers would adorn the crown of the bride on her wedding day.

And the streets lined with columbine who hang there heads like bonneted old women huddled under walls and corners gossiping maybe remembering their wedding day.

Meanwhile, while I wait in my bucket, I know she will come.  A small child clutching a few coppers in her hand.  Her dress is shabby and scuffed shoes although these few coppers were given to her to buy a few sweets she just wants to please her mom with a bunch of flowers. She stands for ages trying to choose she really wants the carnations one day when I have money I will buy these. I stand as proud as I can and let my fragrance waft across her nostrills look how pretty I am she picks me up takes me to the man so I can be wrapped in paper.  Pays him.

He smiles to himself as she skips of down the road so happy with her little gift that will bring a smile on her mothers face much better than sweets.

Pauline Faulkner

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