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Poetically Yours Ep. 59 - Colors And Creativity

RhondaK /Unsplash.com

Imagination is everything.

Welcome to Poetically Yours. Poetically Yours features poems by northern Illinois poets. This week highlights the work of John O'Halloran.

O'Halloran lives in DeKalb and serves on the board of the Lincoln Highway Association. His poetry covers a variety of topics, and today he explores the artistry of painting in his poem "How To Become A Great Artiste."

Palette, smock and paintbrush – You could be the next Cezanne…

OH DROP that downer attitude. Repeat: say “Yes I Can!”

First you pick a subject, like people in the park,

or nighthawks in a diner, huddling from the dark.

Then texture, outline, shading, color tint and hue,

smear it on a canvas and they’ll think you’re

Vince Van Goo… You can get all lion-chompy,

like Eugene DelaCroix. Or drop a glop of cyan

and create your own Blue Boy…


Goya. Degas,

Gramma Mosey? Winslow Homer,

tangled posies, Marilyn or Campbell Soup,

suggestive orchids. Racing Sloops!

Botticelli, Beauguereau

Injun ponies in the snow

Pointillism, realism

Melting clocks, luminism

Arp and Klee, -Jackson Pollack-

Fishing nets draped on the dock

Screamin’ Munchies, western dudes,

bowls o’ fruit and winsome nudes,

green-eyed Can-Can hootchie-kootchies,

dollies wearing diamond broochies,

packs of poker playing poochies…

‘magination-you just pick it.

It can be a meal ticket!


Envision dappled lilies, floatin’ in a pond.

Or a frothy South Seas maiden wearing

nothing but a frond, and in the distant

background, a solitary man:

If you’re not the next Monet,

Then you might be Paul Gauguin!

You claim you’re artly challenged?

The ideas just don’t flow?

A crushing lack of talent didn’t stop

ol’ Pi-ca-so

You’ll know you hit the big time

when your name sets them on fire.

But to really be successful,

It’s best if you expire!

© John O’Halloran written at Fort Myers Beach Florida, finished December 31 2016. Minor changes made in April 2018.

  • Yvonne Boose is a current corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. It's a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms like WNIJ. You can learn more about Report for America at wnij.org.