Ode to My Sakura Koi Watercolor Field Box

I love you
my rainbow in a box
of endless possibilities,
your twenty-four parched jewels
panting in their tiny pans,
for the quenching strokes
of my water-brush
and another chance
to dance with paper,
to turn Chinese White into
the reflection of an iguana’s eye,
Lemon Yellow into palm frond tips,
Aureoline into a beach umbrella at el Anclote,
and Permanent Yellow Deep
into the blush of a solitary papaya
on a Cobalt plate,
or the edge of the world at sunset.

I adore swirls of Permanent Orange
as the wind-swept hair of a child
riding her bike over cobblestones
with a thin wash of Jaune Brilliant
for cheek flush, and
in a painting of the cemetery up on the highway
Cadmium Red plastic rose wreaths
hanging on wooden crosses during Day of the Dead,
and the Vermilion of fresh paint
on a Coca Cola billboard.

Forgive me for neglecting your Crimson Lake,
beloved box of bliss,
though maybe I’ll use it one day rendering
a bull after the matador gets through with him,
though I doubt it,
and Quinacridone Rose,
a prickly-as-a-cactus kind of paint,
has never been touched
by this brush,
too pink like abuelita’s smeared lipstick,
but the Purple I needed for Tía Lora’s eyes
is nearly gone (I can’t stop painting petunias)
along with your Cerulean Blue used
for parrot fish and the body-temperature water
at Xelha,
and Payne’s Gray,
for the ruins of Ek Balam
and rain clouds over Mazatlán
that took my breath away,
will need to be replaced.

I love you passionately,
but unequally,
paintbox of of my heart,
for certain of your parts are,
shall we say,
as One Hundred Years of Solitude,
as the twisted jungle above Mismaloya
vined with Yellow Green and Veridian lianas
and Permanent Deep Green shadows,
as Prussian Blue morpho butterflies flittering
over hot pink hibiscus and
parota branches dappled
with Olive Green and Yellow Ocher,
as the Light Red tiles of an abandoned casita’s roof,
or the Burnt Umber of leopard spots,
or the Ivory Black of turkey vultures
basking on the back of a burro.


It took me half a second after reading the NaPoWriMo Prompt for Day 7: “Write a love poem to an inanimate object” to know that my subject would be my paintbox. Like my camera, I never leave home without it and my watercolor journal, just in case my muse screams, “Paint that! Paint it NOW!” In addition to the rich colors, I adore the paint names, which are even better than those in a 150-pack of Crayolas, though that was my second choice.

9 thoughts on “Ode to My Sakura Koi Watercolor Field Box

  1. I think I may have to reblog this on dkatiepowellart . . . I sigh with the sentiment. I have new colors which are on their way. Amethyst (ground) and tho not a lover of purples I do adore delicious ones. Kyanite, a soft blue-grey with a gemstone’s sparkle. I love love love quinacridones, and love to say the word! Huggs


  2. Thanks, Kate. You can actually say, quinacridones? Impressive! I’m still working on Crayola colors; they’re so much easier to pronounce. On the other hand, I better practice because I’m gonna be reading this poem to a bunch of people this month. “Quina-cri-done, quina-cri-done, quina…” 🙂


Leave a Reply to Victoria Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s