Pen To Print

Thoughtful Tuesdays: Finding Your Balance – Applying A Colour Palette To Your Life

By Eithne Cullen

We’re still presenting our overall theme of ‘A Kaleidoscope Of Colours’ and, this week, we’re looking at the ways colours can sometimes bring poise and stability into our lives; at other times challenging us and throwing us off balance. Colour can provide the order and calm we all need at times

I’ve always been interested in the colour theory used in designing the work environment. People are calm in beige neutral and pastel colour schemes; perfect in reception areas, where calm is often needed. Blue is a commonly used workplace colour, as it has been proven to have a positive impact on productivity, and is frequently used in open plan work spaces. Yellow is an optimistic colour and can inspire increased levels of creativity so can be found in a lot of creative workspaces. Green can have a calming impact and as it is less harsh on the eyes, can reduce fatigue. White can make certain spaces look larger but needs to be used sparingly.

Another approach is to choose complementary colours. This is beneficial for spaces such as hospitals, where we commonly see the colour green in patient rooms. Green is said to reduce eye fatigue; important for doctors and nurses working in situations where being alert is more than necessary. As a complementary colour to red, it also provides a visual break from medical equipment and blood.

There is certainly much to think about!

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Maire Buonocore’s poem looks at the significance and symbolism of the colours we’ve seen through the difficult time of COVID-19.

The Rainbow Covid Song

Red for danger, dangerous stages.
Red for actors losing wages.
Orange street lamps, dim-lit mews.
Amber, pause for Covid news.
Yellow light, relentless sun.
Lock-down heat burns everyone.
Green is `GO!’ Go find a gate
Where tables, talk and tea await.
Blue, the sirens screaming chants,
Carrying parents, cousins, aunts.
Indigo, deep, the force of storm.
Come! Clear the air for those unborn.
Violet, flowers the whole year long.
Come clap for the Rainbow Covid Song.

© Maire Buonocore, 2020

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Mary Walsh’s poem makes no direct reference to colour but is full of sensory images: it’s a great description of sounds and tastes which please us and unleash our emotions and please us.

The bird of love trills and tips its feathers to tether hearts together.
Like hot crumpets spread with strawberry jam,
the luscious alchemy of it’s sugary taste leaps on your tongue,
creating a brain fog that dares us to dive in to the invisible river of emotion
on this starry night creating a signature of love

© Mary Walsh, 2020

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Madeleine White, Write On! Editor, has shared another of her poems with us. This poem reminds us of where we get our strength from, sometimes from others, and sometimes, surprisingly, from ourselves.

 I Rise

Broken, destroyed and kaput
I am drowned by the weight of I should

Compelled by the hidden I will
Although I move I am still

Buoyed by the thought of I can
I push to my feet and I stand

Caught by the light in Your eyes
I follow and find that I rise

So, just for today I shall:
Share the Thought that compels
The Truth that cuts through
The Beauty that shines
And the good that is You.

© Madeleine White, 2020

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Here’s another poem from a new addition to our team at Pen to Print, Palak Tewary. Her poem and the images that go with it take us on a colourful journey.

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And finally, the charity, ‘Freedom From Torture’, is holding an online literary fundraising event in November. One of the main events is a poetry competition. If you are a poet, or know anyone who is, or, indeed, any poetry groups, this will give you an opportunity to get involved.

Here’s their message:

“Poetry competition is at the forefront of a three-day virtual literary event in aid of ‘Freedom From Torture’ this November

‘Freedom From Torture’ is taking its biennial literary fundraising event online this year, in the form of a three-day virtual festival in November offering the chance for people all over the world to join in. The theme of this year’s programme is ‘Resilience’ – a word which has particular significance for survivors of torture and also matters a lot to all of us right now.

At the forefront of the event is our first-ever poetry competition, open to all. Again, the subject is Resilience, and our distinguished judging panel is chaired by Daljit Nagra, with Ian McMillan, Imtiaz Dharker and Inua Ellams.

As Daljit Nagra points out, you may already have written, or be working on, a poem that fits without realizing it. Resilience takes many forms; as shown by the courageous refugees who are at the heart of our work, but also as a necessary feature of everyday life for so many.

Poems can be any length and style, and should be submitted online at https://freedomfromtorture.org/poetry-competition, where you will also be able to contribute the £5 entry fee, which will go directly to funding our work.

There will three winners and two runners up, with a special award for the under 25s. ”

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This is a great coincidence as our theme for the first week of September will be ‘The Resolve To Be Resilient: When You Can’t Bounce Back To Normal’. Here’s another chance to write something for us and for the competition, it’s an interesting theme for survivors of all kinds of difficulties and everyone who is looking for a way forward.

Click here to read Issue 5 of Write On! magazine

Colours can sometimes bring poise and stability into our lives; at other times challenging us and throwing us off balance. Colour can provide the order and calm we all need at times.