Colors of Hope


Dr. Tina Barr, contest judge.

Dr. Barr teaches in the Great Smokies Program, out of UNCA, as well as one on one: via phone and Skype.  She  supports those who write for personal reasons, as well as published writers.  Dr. Barr has an MFA from Columbia University’s School of the Arts (NYC), a Ph.D. and an M.A. in the study of English Literature from Temple University.


Judge Tina Barr said this about my poem:

This poet makes an ABC poem, beginning each line with a sequential letter of the alphabet.  The writer’s strategy takes me back to the delight we all experience in nursery rhymes, in the satisfactions of language itself.  At the same time, the poet has grouped the poem’s lines in stanzas of four lines each, with a closing couplet, making use of a loose aabb pattern.  The writer manages to navigate these requirements without making the language convoluted.  I especially like the line “Cocoa is reflected on the sand,” because I can smell cocoa, I can see its color, and it gives me a new way of seeing sand as a certain color.  The poem is all about landscape, but conflates the way in which artists “see” land:  “X marks the spot where color is the best.”  So the poem is more sophisticated than it first appears, and it is gratifying to read.




Amber is a color that shines

Blue is what paints our skies

Cocoa is reflected on the sand

Dandelions grow on sacred land


Echoes are found in red canyons

Fuchsia is a plant easy to imagine

Grapes make a variety of wines

Honey is the relief that satisfies


Ice cycles glimmer in the dark

Junipers thrive in nations far

Karma can be an artist’s palette

Lively paintings are only a habit


Maps allow us to see the earth

Night is when glow is rebirthed

Oceans fill our mind with hope

Possibilities a painter only knows


Quoting every poet that lived

Reaching out with a story to give

Scenery that is driven by talent

Treasuring God’s rainbow as valid


Unfurling every canvas is a shade

Variety in its tint will never fade

While the artist continues to express

X marks the spot where color is the best


Yield to those who won’t see art greater

Zeal is what you need to embrace its creator