Resourceful teachers and others interested in encouraging writing know how to use even the simplest of black and white images as stimuli for discussion and the creation of written compositions. For example, what does a photograph of a fire hydrant bring to mind? Or a doorway? Or a pair of shoes? Or just about any other thing that we see during the course of a normal day? The list is as endless as the number of images that exist in today’s digital universe.
A teacher of English at Lake Forest High School, Lake Forest, Illinois, Mara Dukats writes of “shells of empty eggs” when she discusses a broken love affair. Using imagery of objects to express her emotions, the poet expresses her feelings in such words as embers, ashes, gritty gravel, and eggshells. This poem, its accompanying image, and the keywords “fragile,” “broken,” “fallen,” and “eggs” provide unlimited opportunities for writers of all ages to relate everyday objects to different feelings or emotions.
white on white
these are words I’ve been avoiding for
some time now
their embers still burn in the ashes of
where I’ve tried so many times
to bury them
you see, I’ve fallen and
not even the shimmer of your cocoa eyes
can catch me, for
i’ve landed and it’s really not
not as gritty as the gravel playground
on a moonless night
i’m shattered on the inside, fragile on
the outside, but strangely whole, you see
i’ve fallen and I’ve scraped my knees and
i’ve an ebbing pain like
shells of empty eggs that spill
no trace of yolks
for yellow is too soft a color
white on white
i’ve fallen and this time I’ve got the words
just right I’ve fallen out of love.