Radiant Orchid hour 24

Radiant Orchid

I found a new hair color
a metallic I hadn’t tried before
and my first day with the color
I saw a picture posted of me
sitting in the sun

a corona of radiant orchid waves
haloed my head as if a spotlight
shone down from above to capture
this aura of ultra violet entwined
with lavender moon, punky plum,
and 24 shades of purple

a glow I fell head over tresses
in love with, adore this miracle
galaxy of color and light, I order
more of this sensation

this conditioning color that nourishes
my hair, strengthens it, protects it
and I know it’s the right thing –
it’s half off – I buy three and I’m
in orchid heaven

~ J R Turek Hour 24

Purple Skies hour 23

Purple Skies

phosphorescent paint streaks
pulse for attention across the firmament
solar winds stream across the sky
away from the sun at one million miles
per hour, a 40-hour trip to reach earth
solar flares the clash of oxygen and
nitrogen burst into colorifc waves
to tango across the atmospheric currents
spectacular spectacle at earth’s poles
aurora borealis

look up for a sky show —
light travels in waves, particles scatter
light galaxies are made of stars and
interstellar dust that glow purple, hot
infant stars pulse blue while older stars
are red, the reverse
of what you’d think

cloud formations can color the sky
constant volcanic activity, fires, or oceans
full of algae that reflect red light combined
with a bright sun and a thick atmosphere
could cause a violet-shade sky in daylight
phenomena of purple skies

~ J R Turek Hour 23


Juncture hour 22


I am on purple time
my watch, clock, phone all set
10 amethyst minutes ahead because
I run 5 lavender minutes behind,
always filling in every magenta moment,
fitting commitments in with a shoehorn
of heather determination.

I thrive on purple time
mingling poetry with purple images
to radiate orchid metaphoric soundwaves
through tapestries of aubergine sonnets
silk thread woven with tanzanite haiku,
plum love songs bordered by renga quilting
sestinas together in tapping beat time
with my heart.

I am purple on time, in connecting inner
and outer worlds for clarity and concision
in stripping away bark of falsifications to
let truth breathe free, to metronome in sync
with the universe with wisdom and power.

I am purple time, balanced between two worlds
secrecy and mystery, a transformation that defies
minutes and hours and instead embraces moments
bursting with undefinable matter wrapped in soft
sheets, cradled in creativity, swaddled in security.
I am purple in time with you.

~ J R Turek Hour 22

African Violet hour 21

African Violet

Compact, low-growing, slow-growing
houseplant with thick, fuzzy leaves and
clusters of petaled flowers that bloom
several times a year.

They can be persnickety if ignored,
love bright, diffused warm conditions
devoid of drafts, yet appreciate a soft
breeze to keep from being stuffy.

They want to be watered regularly but
not too much that their roots rot or
too dry that their leaves shrivel. They
will not wade in water.

Do not get their leaves wet, water
from beneath or plant in a two-stage
pot that holds below the plant. They
will not flower if mistreated.

Their blooms come in pinks, whites,
and several shades of purple that add
drama to your windowsill. Prepare
to be their slave.

When you compare their traits,
they are much like a mother-n-law,
bossy with needs and wants, pesky
for you to jump through hoops,

and even then, they may not perform.
Get a silk plant; they look authentic,
so lifelike, your guests will never guess
it can’t fail to please.

~ J R Turek Hour 21

Haunted Barn hour 20

Haunted Barn

A monkey, a bunny, and a flamingo
meet in a barn, where there are no horses
or cows, no pigs or chickens, not a single stick
of straw; they meet a purple-hair woman there
who takes them on a journey through walls
and halls, up hills and down in basements,
leads them into attics and above ocean waves,
a poetic roller coaster of hauntings that do not
rest in peace.

A few ghosts wail, taverns and coffee shops
open and close like shutters in a windstorm;
cadavers awaken and stroll Long Island streets
as though they hadn’t died over a century ago.
Barn boards moan beneath their feet, a door creaks
in rusty protest; the monkey oils away the fear.

A mirror on the wall clouds over, a face appears
screaming soundless; the bunny rubs long ears
across the glass and the terrified woman disappears
in a cloud of smoke. When a kite gets caught
the fan at the roof of the barn and it stutters to a halt,
the flamingo flies up, releases the bright purple kite,
and the fan resumes spinning.

The purple-haired woman claps at each feat
of mastery, delights in relieving fright, the barn
haunted no more. The monkey bows, the bunny
dances, and the flamingo flaps fuchsia wings.
They hug, the purple-haired woman arranging
their next poetic exorcism, perhaps on a street
where you live.

~ J R Turek Hour 20

Formulas Followed hour 19

Formulas Followed

Our first dog, Klondike, wore a blue collar.
Our second dog, Xerox, wore a red collar.

Our third dog, Nestle, wore a purple collar.

It’s only took me 36 years to realize
we followed the formula red + blue = purple.

Some years back, our neighbor
called to say our driveway was purple.

I thought someone, knowing my favor
for purple, spilled paint as a practical joke.

We went out, looking for purple
when neighbor came over, laughing,

pointing at our trucks. Paul’s was red,
and that week, I picked up my blue one –

I should have seen that coming.
Better than a purple painted driveway.

When I ran out of purple food coloring
I made more icing by mixing blue and red.

I’m so glad I paid attention in art class
for formulas I could follow.

~ J R Turek Hour 19

Grape Jelly hour 18

Grape Jelly

My favorite lunch was peanut butter
and jelly on white or whole wheat
with the crust cut off and cut on a diagonal
or I wouldn’t eat it. Crunchy or smooth
peanut butter, I vacillated between them.

Grape jelly. Not strawberry or raspberry
or orange marmalade that I still dislike,
and the only butter was peanut butter.

Grape jelly, like I put on white rice
and still do, though I don’t know why,
maybe because rice is sticky like
Nana’s farina and she always put
a spoonful of grape into the middle
and let me mix it up. I didn’t always
eat it but I liked it.

Today, my favorite lunch is Goober’s,
the brilliant invention of peanut butter
and grape jelly in a jar; a spoon, no need
for bread or cutting crust or diagonal cuts.
Once, I bought strawberry Goober’s,
just once.

Some people put grape jelly in sauce
saying it cuts the acid from tomatoes
but I’ve never done it. I did find
a recipe for meatballs cooked in
grape jelly and ketchup, another favorite
growing up, a staple for hiding my peas
and drowning anything I didn’t like.

I’m going to make these meatballs,
my kind of simple. Frozen meatballs,
store bought ketchup and grape jelly.
Slow cook, serve hot over white rice.
Perfect pairings.

~ J R Turek Hour 18

Impression hour 17


He stood in front of me
mixing bowl and a wooden spoon
stirring stirring stirring what looked like
grape HubbaBubba gum. Distinct color,
you either know it or not, and I knew it.

I think he stood there, blocking my exit,
afraid I would bolt at any moment. It’s
nothing personal, I do not like dentists.
Bad experiences as a child, hard to scrape
away memory scars, hard to open wide
while remembering.

But here is this dentist, smiling, of course,
wearing a violet smock and mask, deep
purple gloves, in an office that pulses purple.
Everything from waiting room chairs to
wallpaper to clock, to pens they give out.

I relax. He stirs. The goop looks like
a childhood memory, a mouthful wad
of bubble gum, guaranteed to blow
the biggest, bestest purple bubbles…
also the stickiest mess to comb out
of my long hair but worth it. That tangy,
chemicalesque flavor like no other. Unique
like the color. I open wide, he spatulas
the goop in, tells me to stay open while it sets
the impression. My mouth waters in protest,
a rancid unpurple bile, a taste like something
that should be locked up and buried under
the ocean forever fills my mouth.

I gag but he’s gone. I calculate my odds
of leaping from the chair and spitting this vile,
anti-grape gum substance that has now adopted
an eye-watering smell that has me paralyzed.
He comes back in, his smile arriving before him.
He yanks, pulls, tugs at this leech form until
it disengages. I spit without command.

He laughs. I know, it doesn’t taste good
but it looks good. His pearly whites are the last
I saw of him that day. I wonder if they still make
grape HubbaBubba gum but it doesn’t matter.
I’ve never going back to that either.

~ J R Turek Hour 17

Barney hour 16


I love purple
everything about purple
all shades of purple but…

Barney the purple dinosaur
is an atrocity I do not appreciate.
Here are my top ten reasons why:

1) A-nnoying songs that play over and over
until you want to stuff your ears with wax.
Hot wax.

2) Barney was on for 18 years
and that is just wrong wrong wrong.

3) Too much sugar for kids in the 90s.
Someone finally woke up and pulled
the sugar plum plug on Barney.

4) A fat, purple, singing dinosaur, really?
Tell the truth… did you ever watch it?

5) I love you, I love you, I love you
so many times that I changed the words to
I hate you, I hate you, I hate you.
Better but not by much.

6) It’s Barney, after all, not Sesame Street.
Now that’s a show with longevity.

7) A purple t-rex that’s an educational dancer –
that should be more than enough.

8) 150 Ways to Kill the Dinosaur…
nuff said.

9) Barney actor is a tantric sex specialist. Yikes!

10) Any other color dinosaur, I could care less
but he wrecked purple’s reputation. I take that
as a personal affront.

I refuse to listen to rumors
that they are resurrecting Barney.
Get the garlic and the silver bullets.
Or at least lots of orange target paint.

~ J R Turek Hour 16

Grape Gloss hour 15

Grape Gloss

I place an order online
from Home Depot for 2 cases
of Grape Gloss spray paint.
Popular color, they never have
enough in the store; I ordered it
shipped to the store one time
and an employee sold all 12 cans
before I could pick them up.
Easy order, ships in a few days.

I go about my life then realize
I never got the paint. Next day,
UPS leaves a sticky note on my door.
Sorry we missed you, be back tomorrow.
Except I wouldn’t be home. I call, get
a runaround, next day, get another note.
A little threatening, sending my order
back if I don’t sign for it. Sign for it?
I call, another waste of time.

Spray paint, do they think I am a child,
a teenager set to paint our neighborhood
gloss grape? I’m anxious, want to paint
porch flower pots, deck tables, things
I want purple. Finally, I get someone
on the phone who promises the driver
will be to me at 8 the next morning.

I set the alarm, go outside to prune roses,
weed gardens until he gets there, except
he doesn’t. Two hours later it is raining.
I give up and go do my errands. A final
threat stuck to my door. I lose my cool,
scream and threaten them. Next day,
I see the driver pull up; I secure the dogs
to open the door and sign and he waves
me off, tells me he’ll sign it for me,
smiles and leaves.

Hmm, why couldn’t the other driver
do that? Still annoyed, next time
I order it, I’ll request FedEx; I think
they will understand. After all,
their logo is part purple.

~ J R Turek Hour 15

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