Our Kaleidoscope Shores


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I live in Columbus, Ohio and have been married for 43 years. We have three grown sons. I write short stories and poetry for children and adults. My book, A Halloween Brew of Poems Just for You, is  [+]

Image of Summer 2020

I purchased a big box of crayons,

I hope in the neat, pointed rows
to discover the color of America,

I find Strawberry Jam, Wild Tangerine,
Screamin’ Green, Outrageous Orange,
loud, profound colors,
bold, ambitious blends,

they call to me
over subtler shades
like Robin’s Egg Blue, Mountain Meadow,
Sunset Orange, Carnation Pink,

hues with something to say,
yet holding less sway in our noisy world
where a slash of Laser Lemon
easily turns heads,

we’re a messy, noisy crowd in America,

we color outside the lines,
create our own designs,

we love with abandon,
hate with fervor,
embrace with passion,
march with purpose,
proclaim with conviction,

we like to clash,
complain, shout in ALL CAPS
while insisting our views,
our hues, are the best,

it’s a test every day
to find a color that’s us,
a shade to embody
the depth we need,
the hope we seek,

our great melting pot
under red, white and blue
will never be calm,
or a rainbow post-storm,

we’ve come far
on our kaleidoscope shores,
but not far enough,

we’ll walk on together
and continue to honor,
continue to ponder,
the colorful hues of our vexing,
perplexing, audacious,
yet ever beloved,
American land.

12
12

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Image of Tony Martello
Tony Martello · ago
Rita, if you are interested in supporting my stories that made it through to the finals: Check out "Maize of Color" and "Green Springs" to vote for the final round! Cheers. Tony
Image of Tony Martello
Tony Martello · ago
I enjoy the wonderful rawness of the poem and the celebration of its diversity. I give you my full support-5 votes. Check out my entry,"Green Springs" in the creative nonfiction category and vote if you like it. Tony
Image of Rita Bourland
Rita Bourland · ago
Thank you, Tony. I'll definitely check out your piece. There are so many ways to view our country.
Image of Maureen Shepherd
Maureen Shepherd · ago
A new positive way to look at our diversity!
Image of Rita Bourland
Rita Bourland · ago
Thank you, Maureen. I truly believe our diversity makes America what it is.
Image of J Gar
J Gar · ago
Great choice for this year, this time. Hope in colors. Very serious words yet seen through beauty.
Image of Rita Bourland
Rita Bourland · ago
Thank you, J Gar! I appreciate your kind comment.
Image of Houda Belabd
Houda Belabd · ago
My full-support of 4 points to this nice poem, dear "competitor" !
Your pen has the magical power to make us see the colors you describe !

Image of Rita Bourland
Rita Bourland · ago
Houda, I appreciate your kind comment. I love the idea of this contest. It's helping us all think more about our complex country.
Image of Houda Belabd
Houda Belabd · ago
You're always welcome, Rita !