“Imagination is the beginning of the cognitive process through which we create meaning.”
Betty K. Garner
One morning last week, I found myself following a builder’s pickup truck on my way to work. A long length of yellow tape was trailing out of the bed of the truck. At first, I was slightly annoyed that this tape was slowing me down, but I became so fascinated watching its gyrations that I was sorry when the driver realized what was happening and pulled over to capture the escaped tape.
Coincidentally, I had just finished reading an article by Betty K. Garner called “The Power of Noticing” in Educational Leadership‘s February 2013 issue on creativity. Garner explains that taking the time to really notice something “supplies the raw material for creative thinking” and that “this kind of cognitive engagement stimulates curiosity and creativity.” So when I arrived at school, I rushed to my desk and wrote everything I remembered about what the wayward tape had conjured in my mind. Several days and several drafts later, here is a poem I created out of those images.
Charmed by the warmth of the morning sun
and the fresh air filled with bird songs,
a length of yellow construction tape
rises up out of its cardboard home
in the back of a pickup truck
and catches a ride on the breeze.
Dancing down the road,
it undulates like a cobra,
lured out of its basket by the call of a pungi,
waving back and forth,
creating serpentine shapes,
its message of caution
thrown to the wind.
© Catherine Flynn, 2014
Since this is the last Tuesday of National Poetry Month, I hope Mary Lee won’t find this poem’s link to imagination too tenuous and mind if I share it with the readers of her “Our Wonderful World” poetry project.