one time, everybody laughed.
In writing class, teachers use a prompt to get everybody’s creative juices flowing. I hiked the Old Croton Aqueduct trail today, using brown as a prompt.
The familiar sandy light brown soil. Hadn’t been here for a while. The sound of the mid-afternoon breeze rustling the leaves, late summer insects’ buzz. Black cherry trunks snake up, brown.
Underfoot, my own personal school-days madeleine, a horse chestnut, glossy brown in its miracle of a small spiky package.
Sun-browned old brick from one of the brickyards along the Hudson, a booming business back in the day.
Across the river, the light brown strip of the Piermont marshes, ancient, brackish, mysterious in a canoe.
Thinking about dog-nose brown.
Iced-coffee brown. Always great, but especially when consumed recently at MoMa before paying homage to Matisse’s magnificent canvas The Red Studio.
I’m not saying how much coffee I drink, only that if it keeps me up, the more interesting thoughts I get to have. Recently stumped by midnight riddle: what would happen if you combined orange soda with grape soda? The answer? Plenty of sugar buzz. But also the color brown, carbonated.
Thinking about young-hair brown.
On the trail, wizened mulberry trunk brown. Where I live, somebody petitioned the Village wanting to remove an elderly specimen from their property, saying the fallen berries were “messy.” Really? Messy is good, it’s what makes us alive.
I love mulberry trees with their misshapen mitten leaves.
Brown shadows. In the immortal lyrics of John Prine, Shadows. Shadows!
Fruiting bodies, if you want to sound like a supercool arborist.
Thinking of cattail brown.
Peegee hydrangeas’ pink tinged ever so slightly brown.
Oak leaves verdant, still, yet stems and acorn cap brown.
Grey cherry trunk with its delicate brown lenticels, my favorite feature, the stitch-like pores that allow oxygen in and carbon dioxide out.
Finally, coming home, the brown face of a late-summer sunflower.
You may have your run-of-the-mill rainbows. I will take my beautiful brown all around.