Should every toilet in the world have a poem posted in front of it, to enrich those stolen moments in a hectic day? The answer, my friends, is yes. Yes they should. Are your toilets so adorned? What are you waiting for? Break out your favorites, draw odd looks from your family and colleagues, and create a little respite for yourself every so often.
That’s really the extent of this hack. However, I hope you’ll read “Purple,” the poem that got me thinking about this: I found it posted in a bathroom at the University for Peace through the Global Poetry Project. It’s a humdinger (so is “Blue,” referenced below) now printed out and stuck on my daughter’s bathroom wall, as our own “reminder to lay yourself open and sparkle.”
Purple, by Katharine Zaun
After Carl Phillips’ “Blue”
As in the skin of plums,
purple-black falling from the tree
in our backyard. Teardrops
heavy with ripeness,
branches like lashes
letting go. Theirs is the midnight
glow of the cosmos. A swirl of dark
that signals history, or destiny.
Inside, a red purple that matched my blood,
and I ate greedily, consuming myself.
I haven’t found any like them since.
This is the purple-blue
of violets, the same as the suede
cowboy boots my aunt gave me
at seven; crushed fabric
a luscious embodiment of little girl dreams. A duplicate mood
found in the geometric middle
of a geode that sat on my shelf
at twelve and sparkled; a reminder
to lay yourself open and sparkle.
In that room, a painting
by another aunt
with a purple the color of kings
and forgiveness – a likely combination.
The women around me
forever granting forgiveness,
This is the man-made purple
that leans no closer
to red than to blue; the one I avoid in favor
of deep purple daydreams of plums and the cosmos.
I’m a writer in San José, Costa Rica, on a year-long quest to share daily posts on inspiring people, places and ideas from my adopted home as a kind of tonic during a rough time in the world. Sign up (top right of this page) to receive a little dose of inspiration every weekday in your mailbox; tell a friend; check out past posts; and please connect with me on Instagram or Facebook! You can also find me churning out small, square poems on any topic under the sun (here on the site, on Instagram or Twitter).