November Monday

Monday is the colour of sky,
the first day of the week
as fresh as washing on a line.

This November Monday,
there’s a musty yellow scent,
an ochre aroma of decay,

like a pumpkin or a melon,
overripe and mushy mellow,
not citrus-sharp like lemons.

This Monday’s weather
is washed into a muddy green,
sun and wind and rain together,

mixed up like the paint pots
that we used to have at school,
or the aprons with their ties in knots.

This Monday afternoon,
scribbled out with charcoal grey,
is disappearing all too soon

and darkness will be replaced
with bright electric lights
and orange heat to warm my face.

Kim M. Russell, 3rd November 2020

brown green and blue wooden frame

My response to dVerse Poets Pub Meeting the Bar: Synesthesia, also linked to Poets and Storytellers United Writers’  Pantry #46

Grace is hosting this Thursday with an episode of the Synesthesia series. She asks if we can imagine words and numbers as colours and textures, which is one of the things experienced by people with synesthesia, the neurological phenomenon in which stimulation of one sense leads to automatic, involuntary experiences of another sense. She says that there are over eighty types of synesthesia, and nearly every combination of sensory experiences or cognitive concepts is possible, such as seeing music or numbers as colours, perceiving letters as personalities, hearing colours and touching smells.

Grace has provided a link to a talk by Richard E. Cytowic on the subject, as well as a poem by Philip Good and Bernadette Mayer entitled ‘Alternating lunes’.

Today’s challenge is to write about a colour from the perspective of a synesthete.  

Image by ConvertKit on Unsplash


71 thoughts on “November Monday

  1. And we wrote about Monday, smiles. I love that Monday’s weather – muddy green,
    sun and wind and rain together. I can’t wait to change that charcoal grey to bright electric lights and orange heat. Take care Kim!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Good concept to show that every day, although the same, is different. I’m sure that M-F 8-5 workers would have more similar Mondays — dreary and grey. I like the connections between colors, textures, and scents in your poem.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, mixing colours was something we all did, and, depending on the ratio, we all seem to have got something along the range of brown to murky green. As I said to Ingrid, that stanza reminded me of the smell of the powder paints we used at school.


  3. I think you’ve captured the different feel of the days very well, they all seem different to us as individuals. Nicely done. November Mondays are particularly difficult for me, especially a dreary one many weeks from Christmas. I love your take on the prompt.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. You’ve mixed many colours into your Monday palette here – so much more than the dull grey I normally associate with that day! I especially love:
    mixed up like the paint pots
    that we used to have at school,
    or the aprons with their ties in knots.
    Takes me back to my school days 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Cheers Ingrid. Mondays are very different since I retired, I quite like the feeling of a fresh new day at the beginning of the week. As I wrote about the paint pots, the smell of powdered paints mixed with water rose up in my memory.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is incredibly stunning, Kim! 💝 You describe the moodiness of Monday weather with such expert precision. Especially love; “This Monday’s weather is washed into a muddy green, sun and wind and rain together.” Yes! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Coming back late, I feel like I’m in a long line to vote. You’ve given us poetics with perfect pitch. I especially liked the olfactory clues, which tap my memories the strongest.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. SO late to the reading…apologies, Kim. I LOVE this. I especially liked this line
    “as fresh as washing on a line.” because many years ago, when we were raising our children and living in Iowa, I had a clothes line in our back year and especially loved hanging out our sheets. This line hit home.
    I also really enjoyed the image of the paint pots….it made me smile. Somehow when children are young, so many of them keep mixing their paints up until they just have a brown…and oh yes…the paint pots with the dripping paint…and the smudges and the weather juxtaposed to it. I REALLY enjoyed this write!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks much, Lill. As you know, I have a rotary dryer in the garden, and an airing rack in the utility room for bad weather days. I must get my paint pots out again soon.


  8. Your poetry makes Monday look so versatile and exciting. I love the idea of Monday smelling like clean laundry. It just fits. I also like that it isn’t the only kind of Monday. That, like with many things in life, Monday can be all sorts of things.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. You beautifully depict a bleak November Monday. We’re “enjoying” just such a day today. We all need sunshine to get through these November days!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. So enjoyable to read! I well know those water cups after rinsing brushes! And Mondays? That was my mother’s wash day, and she did hang some things on the line to dry! I am not sure I miss the organization of Monday is wash, Tuesday is iron… etc. or not. Of course, I don’t even own an iron! Today would have been sheet changing day to my mother.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. This is beautiful writing …. the words – as lyrical as notes – exquisitely woven together – into a really stellar piece. Clearly, synesthesia takes poetry in magical directions.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I like your array of colours! What fascinates me is that we synesthetes don’t all see the same things the same colour! Or personality or whatever. (I have this gift in a sort of background way. If you asked me, I could tell you what colours particular letters are for me, or what personality a particular word has – I get an image – but it’s not in the forefront of my mind as I go about my days.)

    Liked by 2 people

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