Progressive Poem for 2024 is Here

The Progressive Poem for 2024 is continuing each day. So far…

cradled in stars, our planet sleeps,
clinging to tender dreams of peace
sister moon watches from afar,
singing lunar lullabies of hope.
almost dawn. I walk with others,
keeping close, my little brother.
hand in hand, I carry courage
escaping closer to the border.
My feet are lightning;
My heart is thunder.
Our pace draws us closer
to a new land of wonder.
I bristle against rough brush—
poppies ahead brighten the browns.
Morning light won’t stay away —
hearts jump at every sound.
I hum my own little song
like ripples in a stream
Humming Mami’s lullaby
reminds me I have her letter
My fingers linger on well-worn creases,
shielding an address, a name, a promise–
Sister Moon will find always us
surrounding us with beams of kindness
But last night, as we rested in the dusty field,
worries crept in about matters back home
I huddled close to my brother. Tears revealed
the no-choice-need to escape. I feel grown.
Leaving all I’ve ever known
the tender, heavy, harsh of home.
On to maybes, on to dreams,
on to whispers we hope could be.
But I don’t want to whisper! I squeeze Manu’s hand.
“¡Más cerca ahora!” Our feet pound the sand.
We race, we pant, we lean on each other
I open my canteen and drink gratefully.
Thirst is slaked, but I know we’ll need
more than water to achieve our dreams.

April 1 Patricia Franz at Reverie
April 2 Jone MacCulloch
April 3 Janice Scully at Salt City Verse
April 4 Leigh Anne Eck at A Day in the Life
April 5 Irene at Live Your Poem
April 6 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
April 7 Marcie Atkins
April 8 Ruth at There is No Such Thing as a God Forsaken Town
April 9 Karen Eastlund
April 10 Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
April 11 Buffy Silverman
April 12 Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
April 13 Denise Krebs at Dare to Care
April 14 Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link
April 15 Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities
April 16 Sarah Grace Tuttle
April 17 Heidi Mordhorst at my juicy little universe
April 18 Tabatha at Opposite of Indifference
April 19 Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
April 20 Tricia Stohr-Hunt at The Miss Rumphius Effect
April 21 Janet, hosted here at Reflections on the Teche
April 22 Mary Lee Hahn at A(nother) Year of Reading
April 23 Tanita Davis at (fiction, instead of lies)
April 24 Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone
April 25 Joanne Emery at Word Dancer
April 26 Karin Fisher-Golton at Still in Awe
April 27 Donna Smith at Mainely Write
April 28 Dave at Leap of Dave
April 29 Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
April 30 Michelle Kogan at More Art for All

Progressive Poem 2023

This year’s #kidlit progressive poem is in progress here. Thanks to Margaret Simon for signing us up and coordinating this project.

Each day I have been adding the next author’s progressive line to the poem.

Suddenly everything fell into place
like raindrops hitting soil and sinking in.

When morning first poked me, I’d wished it away
my mind in the mist, muddled, confused.

Was this a dream, or reality, rousing my response?
The sun surged, urging me to join in its rising

Rising like a crystal ball reflecting on morning dew.
I jumped out of bed, ready to explore the day.

My feet pull me outside and into the garden
Where lilies and bees weave…but wait! What’s that?

A bevy of bunnies jart and dart and play in the clover.
A dog barks and flash, the bunderstorm is over. 

I breathe—brave, quiet. Like a seed,
as the day, foretold in my dream, ventured upon me.

Sunbeams guided me to the gate overgrown with wisteria
where I spotted the note tied to the gate.

As I reached the gnarled gate, pollen floated like fairy dust into my face. Aaah Choo!
Enter, if you must. We’ve been waiting for you.

Not giving the curious note a thought, I pushed the gate open and ran through.
Stopped in my tracks, eyes wide in awe–can this really be true?

Huge mushrooms for tables, vines twined into chairs,
A flutter of fairies filled flowery teawares

With glazed nut cakes and apple blossom tea,
I heard soft whispers from behind a tree. Oh my! They had been “waiting for me!”

Still brave, but cautious, I waited for them.
Forested friends filled the glade. “You’ve arrived! Let the reverie begin!”

I laughed as my bare feet danced across the dew-soaked grass.
matching the beat of paws, claws, and wings—around me, above me.
Tea cakes and hugs, twice all around, then silly games and races ’til the sun slid down
Moon shared a warm wink, and showered moon-seeds over earth’s precious ground.

 


April 1 Mary Lee Hahn, Another Year of Reading
April 2 Heidi Mordhorst, My Juicy Little Universe
April 3 Tabatha, The Opposite of Indifference
April 4 Buffy Silverman
April 5 Rose Cappelli, Imagine the Possibilities
April 6 Donna Smith, Mainely Write
April 7 Margaret Simon, Reflections on the Teche
April 8 Leigh Anne, A Day in the Life
April 9 Linda Mitchell, A Word Edgewise
April 10 Denise Krebs, Dare to Care
April 11 Emma Roller, Penguins and Poems
April 12 Dave Roller, Leap Of Dave
April 13 Irene Latham Live Your Poem
April 14 Janice Scully, Salt City Verse
April 15 Jone Rush MacCulloch
April 16 Linda Baie TeacherDance
April 17 Carol Varsalona, Beyond Literacy Link
April 18 Marcie Atkins
April 19 Carol Labuzzetta at The Apples in My Orchard
April 20 Cathy Hutter, Poeturescapes
April 21 Sarah Grace Tuttle at Sarah Grace Tuttle’s Blog
April 22 Marilyn Garcia
April 23 Catherine at Reading to the Core
April 24 Janet Fagal, hosted by Tabatha, The Opposite of Indifference
April 25 Ruth, There is no Such Thing as a God-Forsaken Town
April 26 Patricia J. Franz, Reverie
April 27 Theresa Gaughan,Theresa’s Teaching Tidbits
April 28 Karin Fisher-Golton, Still in Awe Blog
April 29 Karen Eastlund, Karen’s Got a Blog
April 30 Michelle Kogan Illustration, Painting, and Writing

 

National Poetry Month 2023

Here are some of the projects I’m involved in during this year’s National Poetry Month. I’m posting for two reasons:

  1. to help me keep track of my poetry month commitments, and
  2. to invite you to join in for any National Poetry Month events.
Ethical ELA #Verselove

Free Minds – Read and respond to poetry of poets who are incarcerated

Work on Milo’s first year book
The #kidlit Progressive Poem in progress here on my blog
Digging for Poems with Laura Salas and my posts on Google Drive

This Photo Wants to Be a Poem on Wednesdays with Margaret Simon
Classic Found Poem with Jone MacCulloch  My poem here
2-Day Poem Contest, beginning on April 22-23. My poem here
#ClimatePoemProject on my blog and all the prompts with Laura Shovan
Poetry Fridays hosted by:

April 7 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
April 14 Jone at Jone Rush MacCulloch
April 21 Karen at Karen Edmisten*
April 28 Ruth at There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town

Kidlit Progressive Poem 2022

For the second year, I have the honor of participating in the Kidlit Progressive Poem, originated in 2012 by Irene Latham, and organized since 2020 by Margaret Simon. I’ve been editing this post to add the next line of the poem as it is being built line by line, poet by poet.

Today, April 14, I get to write the next line. I made a couplet joining Karin’s line with mine. My line is adapted from a line in Bridge to Terabithia. Over to you, Carol, at The Apples in My Orchard.

2022 Progressive Poem

Where they were going, there were no maps.

“Sorry! I don’t want any adventures, thank you. Not today.”

“Take the adventure, heed the call, now ere the irrevocable moment passes!”

“We have to go back. I forgot something.”

But it’s spring, and the world is puddle-wonderful, so we’ll whistle and dance and set off on our way.

“Come with me, and you’ll be in a land of pure imagination”

Wherever you go, take your hopes, pack your dreams, and never forget – it is on our journeys that discoveries are made.

And then it was time for singing.

Can you sing with all the voices of the mountain, paint with all the colors of the wind, freewheeling through an endless diamond sky?

Suddenly, they stopped and realized they weren’t the only ones singing.

Listen, a chattering of monkeys! Let’s smell the dawn and taste the moonlight, we’ll watch it all spread out before us.

The moon is slicing through the sky. We whisper to the tree, tap on the trunk, imagine it feeling our sound.

Clouds of blue-winged swallows, rain from up the mountains,

Green growing all around, and the cool splash of the fountain.

“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.”

a bright, secret, quiet place, and rather sad; and they stepped out into the middle of it.
Their minds’ libraries and lightning bugs led them on.

The darkwood sings, the elderhist blooms, the sky lightens; listen and you will find your way home.

The night sky would soon be painted, stars gleaming overhead, a beautiful wild curtain closing on the day.

Mud and dusk, nettles and sky – time to cycle home in the dark.

There are no wrong roads to anywhere

lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove.

Standing at the fence of the cottage,
I hear the new note in the voices of the birds.
I pray to the birds because I believe they will carry the message of my heart upward.
I make up a song that goes on singing all by itself
Surfing rivers of wind way up high . . . calling zeep, zeep, zeep in the sky.
blinking back the wee wonder of footprints, mouse holes, and underground maps.
It was all so wonderful and so magical that sometimes I got a little confused by my adventures.
I feel like waving…like dancing around on the road
But, “There is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”

 

The sources of the lines are:

  1. The Imaginaries: Little Scraps of Larger Stories, by Emily Winfield Martin
  2. The Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkien
  3. The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame
  4. Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
  5. inspired by “[in Just-]” by E. E. Cummings
  6. “Pure Imagination” from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
  7. Maybe by Kobi Yamada
  8. Sarah, Plain, and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
  9. inspired by Disney songs “A Whole New World” from Aladdin and “Colors of the Wind” form Pocahontas
  10. The Other Way to Listen by Byrd Baylor
  11. adapted from Cinnamon by Neil Gaiman
  12. adapted from The Magical Imperfect by Chris Baron
  13. adapted from On the Same Day in March by Marilyn Singer
  14. adapted from a line in Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
  15. from The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  16. from Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis
  17. From The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera
  18. The Beatryce Prophecy by Kate DiCamillo
  19. The Keeper of Wild Words by Brooke Smith
  20. Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv
  21. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
  22. Dance Me to the End of Love by Leonard Cohen
  23. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
  24. A quote from Terry Tempest Williams in Birdology by Sy Montgomery
  25. adapted from “When I Was a Bird” by Katherine Mansfield
  26. Warbler Wave by April Pulley Sayre with Jeff Sayre
  27. a quote from the poem, “Reading in the Dark” from the book, “Please Bury Me In the library” by J. Patrick Lewis.
  28. The Ship That Flew by Hilda Lewis
  29. “So This is Nebraska” by Ted Kooser
  30. adapted from “The House At Pooh Corner” by A. A. Milne

April Progressive Poem Schedule

1 Irene at Live Your Poem
2 Donna Smith at Mainely Write
3 Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
4 Mary Lee at A(nother) Year of Reading
5 Buffy at Buffy Silverman
6 Linda at A Word Edgewise
7 Kim Johnson at Common Threads
8 Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities
9 Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link
10 Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
11 Janet Fagel at Reflections on the Teche
12 Jone at Jone Rush MacCulloch
13 Karin Fisher-Golton at Still in Awe
14 Denise Krebs at Dare to Care
15 Carol Labuzzetta at The Apples in my Orchard
16 Heidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little Universe
17 Ruth at There is no such thing as a God-forsaken Town
18 Patricia at Reverie
19 Christie at Wondering and Wandering
20 Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
21 Kevin at Dog Trax
22 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
23 Leigh Anne at A Day in the Life
24 Marcie Atkins
25 Marilyn Garcia
26 JoAnn Early Macken
27 Janice at Salt City Verse
28 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
29 Karen Eastlund at Karen’s Got a Blog
30 Michelle Kogan Painting, Illustration, & Writing

We Wrote a Poem

I joined the collaborative poem effort for #KidLitosphere. We wrote this sweet Progressive Poem for 2021 about kindness and friendship.

I’m a case of kindness – come and catch me if you can!
Easily contagious – sharing smiles is my plan.
I’ll spread my joy both far and wide
As a force of nature, I’ll be undenied.

Words like, “how can I help?” will bloom in the street.
A new girl alone on the playground – let’s meet, let’s meet!
We can jump-skip together in a double-dutch round.
Over, under, jump and wonder, touch the ground.

Friends can be found when you open a door.
Side by side, let’s walk through, there’s a world to explore.
We’ll hike through a forest of towering trees.
Find a stream we can follow while we bask in the breeze.

Pull off our shoes and socks, dip our toes in the icy spring water
When you’re with friends, there’s no have to or oughter.
What could we make with leaves and litter?
Let’s find pine needles, turn into vine knitters.

We’ll lie on our backs and find shapes in the sky.
We giggle together: See the bird! Now we fly?
Inspired by nature, our imaginations soar.
Follow that humpback! Here, take an oar.

Ahh! Here comes a wave — let’s hold on tight,
splashing and laughing, let’s play until night!
When the Milky Way sparkles, and the moon’s overhead,
we make a pretend campfire and tell stories we’ve read.

Some stories are true and some myths of our time.
I love all of them, but my favorite ones rhyme!
With windows to see other lives, other places
We’ll find and treasure a rainbow of faces

When you open your heart to a new friend
kindness for another kindles and ascends!

Here are the 30 poets and their posts where they showed their thinking and choices that helped create the poem above.

  1. Kat Apel at katswhiskers
  2. Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
  3. Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
  4. Donna Smith at Mainely Write
  5. Irene Latham at Live your Poem
  6. Jan Godown Annino at BookseedStudio
  7. Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities
  8. Denise Krebs at Dare to Care
  9. Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche
  10. Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone
  11. Buffy Silverman
  12. Janet Fagel at Reflections on the Teche
  13. Jone Rush MacCulloch
  14. Susan Bruck at Soul Blossom Living
  15. Wendy Taleo at Tales in eLearning
  16. Heidi Mordhorst at my juicy little universe
  17. Tricia Stohr Hunt at The Miss Rumphius Effect
  18. Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
  19. Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link
  20. Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
  21. Leigh Anne Eck at A Day in the Life
  22. Ruth Hersey at There is No Such Thing as a God-forsaken Town
  23. Janice Scully at Salt City Verse
  24. Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference
  25. Shari Daniels at Islands of my Soul
  26. Tim Gels at Yet There is Method
  27. Rebecca Newman
  28. Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
  29. Christie Wyman at Wondering and Wondering
  30. Michelle Kogan at More Art 4 All

Read about this project here on facilitator Margaret Simon’s blog. Read past poems from 2012-2020 here.

KidLit Progressive Poem 2021


Greetings and welcome! It has been a privilege to participate in this written-for-children progressive poem this April. Here’s what was decided for the first six days:

I’m a case of kindness – come and catch me if you can!
Easily contagious – sharing smiles is my plan.

I’ll spread my joy both far and wide,
As a force of Nature I’ll be undenied.

Words like, “how can I help?” will bloom in the street.
A new girl alone on the playground – let’s meet, let’s meet!


Rose then offered two sweet lines for me to choose from:

We can jump-skip together in a double-dutch round.

or

I spy Mrs. J toting grocery bags.


So, like Rose, I wasn’t ready to let the new girl go. I decided to get them together, and chose Rose’s first line.

I’m a case of kindness – come and catch me if you can!
Easily contagious – sharing smiles is my plan.

I’ll spread my joy both far and wide,
As a force of Nature I’ll be undenied.

Words like, “how can I help?” will bloom in the street.
A new girl alone on the playground – let’s meet, let’s meet!

We can jump-skip together in a double-dutch round.


Now, what will happen with this new girl? Perhaps the two children will join together on a kindness mission, or this new shy girl may be won over by the “case of kindness” child. Or likely something else entirely! It’s exciting to see where this meandering poem will lead by the end of April.

For now, Margaret Simon is invited to choose one of these next lines:

Over, under, jump and wonder, touch the ground

OR

But she was shy when greeted; she didn’t make a sound.

I look forward to following the rest of the Kidlit progressive poem journey for 2021. You can too, here at these blogs:
  1. Kat Apel at katswhiskers
  2. Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
  3. Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
  4. Donna Smith at Mainely Write
  5. Irene Latham at Live your Poem
  6. Jan Godown Annino at BookseedStudio
  7. Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities
  8. Denise Krebs at Dare to Care
  9. Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche
  10. Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone
  11. Buffy Silverman
  12. Janet Fagel at Reflections on the Teche
  13. Jone Rush MacCulloch
  14. Susan Bruck at Soul Blossom Living
  15. Wendy Taleo at Tales in eLearning
  16. Heidi Mordhorst at my juicy little universe
  17. Tricia Stohr Hunt at The Miss Rumphius Effect
  18. Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
  19. Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link
  20. Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
  21. Leigh Anne Eck at A Day in the Life
  22. Ruth Hersey at There is No Such Thing as a God-forsaken Town
  23. Janice Scully at Salt City Verse
  24. Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference
  25. Shari Daniels at Islands of my Soul
  26. Tim Gels at Yet There is Method
  27. Rebecca Newman
  28. Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
  29. Christie Wyman at Wondering and Wondering
  30. Michelle Kogan at More Art 4 All