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Traditions can be a comfort when life is not as it should be. The tradition of a Kidlit Progressive Poem started in 2012 by Irene Latham. Last year sometime she decided to pass it on. I said yes to coordinating this year, and so far, it’s been an easy job. The Progressive Poem is such a well-oiled machine that it just works. Each poet takes their turn. I haven’t had to remind anyone…yet.

This year Donna Smith started us off with a choose-your-own-adventure style by giving a choice of two lines. Subsequently, each poet has done the same. Choose a line. Compose two lines. Move on.

The first stanza wasn’t following a strict rhyme scheme. However, stanzas 2 and 3 unfolded in rhyming couplets.

Leave it to Kat Apel to stir things up a bit. From across the globe in Australia, she introduced some suspense. I’m good with that, but the two end words were snaps and glimpse. Try a search for rhymes, and you get impossible words like claps and wimps. When I left a comment for “katswhiskers”, she responded, “I confess, I wasn’t thinking ahead to any rhymes when I wrote my line. But now that you say that… I think a disruption of flow (and rhyme) is a good thing in a turning point. #permissiontobreakrules”

Sweet violets shimmy, daffodils sway
along the wiregrass path to the lake.
I carry a rucksack of tasty cakes
and a banjo passed down from my gram.

I follow the tracks of deer and raccoon
and echo the call of a wandering loon.
A whispering breeze joins in our song,
and night melts into a rose gold dawn.

Deep into nature’s embrace, I fold.
Promise of spring helps shake the cold.
Hints of sun lightly dapple the trees,
calling out the sleepy bees.

Leaf-litter crackles…I pause. Twig snaps.

As I pass this pleasant romp to the lake on to Leigh Anne, I decided to go the way of near rhyme. Will our hero fall? Or will they handle the pressure with mindfulness? You choose…

Option 1: I stumble, reach out… there’s nothing to grasp.

Option 2: I gasp! Shudder! Breathe out. Relax…

You can follow the Progressive Poem using the links on my sidebar. Thanks for stopping by.

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Amy at The Poem Farm

I am writing from my favorite perch on the back deck on Bayou Teche. While I was here, Laura Shovan’s face popped up on my phone inviting me to an Instagram Live. Little did I know that she could actually click me in. Ha! There I was, no make up, saying hi to Laura! She was reading a robot poem. Y’all should check it out!

Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels

My poem today was inspired by a prompt on Go Poems using Joy Harjo’s poem When the World as We Knew it Ended as a mentor text. I posted on our Kidblog page and a few students wrote their own poems. (We welcome comments.)

When School was Closed

We were writing
every day in colored ink:
100 Days of Notebooking goal.

Sticker charts were filling up
like a calendar of events:
Twenty books, thirty, forty.
We were wild readers 
racking up the highest AR scores.

We had been watching
the President in news conferences
say “This is no big deal, a few weeks,
warmer weather, it’ll all go away.”

We saw it when
our parents stayed home, too,
buying supplies for more than a week,
taking our temperature with their hands.

We heard it
from Governor Edwards,
“Stay at home.”
No more school.
Will I ever see my friends again?
What about the soccer game on Saturday?

But then my dad
took me fishing,
showed me how to bait a hook,
slowly helped me throw out the line.

We waited
side by side
together
for a bite.  

By Margaret Simon

The Spreading Virus

We were getting off the school bus
when he said bye
see you in a month or two

A game of pass the toy
going from here to there.
Until that person has it no more.

We had been watching the passing fields.
stopping every couple of minutes
Barely any cars
driving around
No strangers walking around
outside

still playing games
learning new things
being with the family.

We heard it has claimed lives, many
Must keep everything germ-free
Can’t go see our friends anymore

But then
it is nice being home
this is bringing families together
having to spend
more time
with each
other


by Breighlynn, 4th grade

Follow the progress of this year’s Progressive Poem. We are walking a path to the lake. Matt Forrest Esenwine has today’s line choices.

1 Donna Smith at Mainly Write
2 Irene Latham at Live Your Poem
3 Jone MacCulloch, deowriter
4 Liz Steinglass
5 Buffy Silverman
6 Kay McGriff at A Journey through the Pages
7 Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
8 Tara Smith at Going to Walden
9 Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link
10 Matt Forrest Esenwine at Radio, Rhythm, and Rhyme
11 Janet Fagel, hosted at Reflections on the Teche
12 Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
13 Kat Apel at Kat Whiskers
14 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
15 Leigh Anne Eck at A Day in the Life
16 Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
17 Heidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little Universe
18 Mary Lee Hahn at A Year of Reading
19 Tabatha at Opposite of Indifference
20 Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities
21 Janice Scully at Salt City Verse
22 Julieanne Harmatz at To Read, To Write, To Be
23 Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com
24 Christie Wyman at Wondering and Wandering
25 Amy at The Poem Farm
26 Dani Burtsfield at Doing the Work That Matters
27 Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
28 Jessica Bigi
29 Fran Haley at lit bits and pieces
30 Michelle Kogan

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I hope you have been following the Progressive Poem. Today I am adding a line. This amazing interactive poetry community builder is the brilliant invention of Irene Latham.

It all started with Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe when she introduced a first person character with fidget, friction,and ragged edges. Mary Lee let the idea of F words dance back into the poem with “facing the day as my fickle, freckled self.” Then Janet set me up the steps to the stage.

I placed myself in the narrator’s shoes, climbing the stairs to the stage. What else would I feel except pure fright? So with alliteration dancing in my head, my blow dryer blew out this line. Every good story needs a conflict, right? Here you go, Jan, have fun with this fidgety, freckled, frightened storyteller. What will he/she do next? Look at the link up in my side bar to follow this poem through its journey.

I’m fidget, friction, ragged edges—
I sprout stories that frazzle-dazzle,
stories of castles, of fires that crackle,
with dragonwords that smoke and sizzle.

But edges sometimes need sandpaper,
like swords need stone and clouds need vapour.
So I shimmy out of my spurs and armour
facing the day as my fickle, freckled self.

I thread the crowd, wear freedom in my smile,
and warm to the coals of conversation.
Enticed to the stage by strands of story,
I skip up the stairs in anticipation.

Flip around, face the crowd, and freeze!

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NPM2016

Discover. Play. Build.

Ruth Ayres invites us the celebrate each week. Click over to her site Discover. Play. Build. to read more celebrations.

This week was state testing week. We made it through. Because I am an extra teacher, I was assigned a small group to test. The routine was changed. I stayed at one school all day.

When on Friday the test was over, I resumed my routine. My students were so excited to see me again. They truly missed me. I think they also missed the flexibility of our days. It was as though they could breathe again.

I celebrate the love I share with my students while I am sad to realize the year is quickly coming to an end. So many activities planned; end-of-the-year picnics, talent shows, and field trips will interrupt my class again and again.

I want to stay calm about it all, so I planned a creative end-of-the-year project. We are making re-purposed books. They will paint the pages of a discarded book and add art and writing to them. They are already excited, and the mess making has begun. I celebrate creativity and mess making.

I am altering a book as well. This inspires the creative side of me. No one sees it, really, so I let go of my inhibitions about my art talent and just do it. Here’s a page I’ve painted waiting for a poem.

kaleidoscope

Pass the scissors
then the glue;
I am pasting poems
in a book.

Make a mess
filling the pages
with happy words.

Anyone can make a book.
Let’s make a book today!

National Poetry Month is at the end. I thought it would never come. Writing a poem a day has been a challenge. I celebrate all the poets out there writing daily and inspiring me and my students to do the same.

I celebrate Irene Latham who blogs here. She generously Skyped with my students on Poem in your Pocket Day. She listened patiently while they shared their own poems and responded with nothing but kindness. She even answered a question about whether or not she felt haunted. (Kids say the darnedest things.) But Irene handled it like a champ. She told my students that she likes to visit graveyards and feel the presence of people who have gone before.

Irene offered excellent advice about finding new words; brainstorm a list of words about your topic. Then mark them all out and start again. This forces you to find new and unusual words.

I also want to thank Laura Purdie Salas whose putrid poetry gave my students permission to write about poop and other yucky stuff.

And what would NPM be without Amy Ludwig VanDerwater? She wondered with us all month long and inspired my students to write about their world.

Thank you to all my readers who stuck with me each day as I attempted to entertain the poetic muse. Here’s to another wonderful National Poetry Month. Do not be mistaken, though. Poetry is made for every day!

Donna has the final line to the Progressive Poem and it is just right!

Donna has the final line to the Progressive Poem and it is just right!

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Discover. Play. Build.

Ruth Ayres invites us the celebrate each week. Click over to her site Discover. Play. Build. to read more celebrations.

It's my turn!

It’s my turn!

Today is Saturday, time to celebrate with Ruth Ayres and my fellow bloggers, but first I must stop and post a line to the Progressive Poem, the brainchild of author Irene Latham.  This year’s poem has taken on a pattern.  It rhymes, too, but I am grateful I don’t have to complete a rhyming line.  All I have to do is set up the next stanza.  The pattern of first lines began with Laura’s “A squall of hawk wings stirs the sky.”  Then Penny made the decision to repeat this pattern in “A cast of crabs engraves the sand.”  So all I have to do is fill in the blanks “A __da__ of __de___ __da-da____ ___di___ __doe___.”  Where do we want to go next?  From observing the sky to the ocean we have watched hawks and hummingbirds and crabs.

I have been working with images for my poem a day project.  My friend, Kimberley, in Maine sent me this picture of purple crocuses in her yard wilting in the recent cold snap.  I decided to keep us in the natural world but move into the plant world.

photo by Kimberley Moran

photo by Kimberley Moran

A squall of hawk wings stirs the sky
A hummingbird holds and then hies
If I could fly, I’d choose to be
Sailing through a forest of poet-trees
A cast of crabs engraves the sand
Delighting a child’s outstretched hand
If I could breathe under the sea
I’d dive, I’d dip, I’d dance with glee
A clump of crocuses crave the sun.
In the spirit of poetry and connecting through blogging, Kevin Hodgson left a comment on my abecedarian post yesterday that honored me as a writer, but also honored the entire blogging community.  Thanks, Kevin!
A
Blog has
Character beyond
Description:
Everywhere you write,
For yourself and readers,
Good words chewed like fine food, nourishing
Health and happiness and creative
Inspiration.
Just listen to the music of the dance,
Knowing you are invited to
Learn about the world through
Many voices, many stories, many
New ways of seeing the world, always
Open to
Possibilities.
Quell your qualms, for writing has
Real value beyond the shape and texture, and
Somewhere, someone will read your words
Though it might seem terribly silent at times,
Until that moment when they write a note that lets you know with
Veracity that your Truth resonates
With their Truth,
eXceeding the notion of one writer/one story;
You are writing the World together, dancing the
Zydeco Write!Kevin
— Cheated at X.
:0

 

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Use this button created by Leigh Anne Eck to post your Digital Poetry this month.

Use this button created by Leigh Anne Eck to post your Digital Poetry this month.

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Lake Martin sunset

Lake Martin sunset

2015ProgressivePoem (1) copy

Today is my turn to add a line to the Kidlit 2015 Progressive Poem. When I volunteered to do this, I chose day 12 knowing that the poem would already have an established meter and theme, and I’d just have to keep it rocking along. This year the poem is free verse which is comfortable to me. It also ended up in the cypress swamp right down the street from me here in South Louisiana. I am posting a few pictures from a fall canoe trip to Lake Martin, St. Martinville, LA, which is a natural bird conservatory and cypress swamp. We can imagine our mermaid here.

Yesterday, Kim gave some grandmotherly advice to our maiden as she glides through the water. I added in my One Little Word and my blog title to complete the metaphorical advice. I was thinking of this photograph by my friend, Marjorie Pierson (cousin to my husband), who is using her fine art photography to promote saving the wetlands. Her image makes dewdrops look like jewels. If you need images to help you when adding your own line, I suggest flipping through the slides on her site.

As I pass this on to Doraine at Dori Reads, I wonder if we will stay in the swamp. Does she have a friend in the trees? Perhaps an egret or a roseate spoonbill? Does she have a friend in an alligator or nutria? I wonder where this poem is going. That is the joy of a progressive poem. You must send her out in the wild like this mermaid.

She lives without a net, walking along the alluvium of the delta.
Shoes swing over her shoulder, on her bare feet stick jeweled flecks of dark mica.

Hands faster than fish swing at the ends of bare brown arms. Her hair flows,
snows in wild wind as she digs in the indigo varnished handbag,

pulls out her grandmother’s oval cuffed bracelet,
strokes the turquoise stones, and steps through the curved doorway.

Tripping on her tail she slips hair first down the slide… splash!
She glides past glossy water hyacinth to shimmer with a school of shad,

listens to the ibises roosting in the trees of the cypress swamp–
an echo of Grandmother’s words, still fresh in her windswept memory.

Born from the oyster, expect the pearl.
Reach for the rainbow reflection on the smallest dewdrop.

Follow the progress below:

1 Jone at Check it Out

2 Joy at Poetry for Kids Joy

3 Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe

4 Laura at Writing the World for Kids

5 Charles at Poetry Time Blog

6 Ramona at Pleasures from the Page

7 Catherine at Catherine Johnson

8 Irene at Live Your Poem

9 Mary Lee at Poetrepository

10 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty

11 Kim at Flukeprints

12 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche

13 Doraine at DoriReads

14 Renee at No Water River

15 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge

16 Ruth at There is No Such Thing as a Godforsaken Town

17 Buffy at Buffy’s Blog

18 Sheila at Sheila Renfro

19 Linda at Teacher Dance

20 Penny at A Penny and her Jots

21 Tara at A Teaching Life

22 Pat at Writer on a Horse

23 Tamera at The Writer’s Whimsy

24 Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect

25 Tabatha at The Opposite of indifference

26 Brian at Walk the Walk

27 Jan at Bookseedstudio

28 Amy at The Poem Farm

29 Donna at Mainely Write

30 Matt at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme

Canoeing through the trees in Lake Martin.

Canoeing through the trees in Lake Martin.

Today is DigiLit Sunday, a link up of blogs using digital literacies in the classroom. If you are joining in for DigiLit Sunday or Digital Poetry, please link up your post below.

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The 2014 Progressive Poem is the creation of poet Irene Latham.

The 2014 Progressive Poem is the creation of poet Irene Latham.

I have been anxiously awaiting this day when the Progressive poem would head my way. As I watched the poem progress, I worried about the meter and rhyme. This poem had form and sometimes form can be intimidating. But this group of poets are anything but intimidating. I started participating in the kidlit Poetry Friday group over a year ago and have felt warmth, welcome, and encouragement. Pardon me while I get preachy. A collaborative project is not about you, the individual. It is about the product of the whole. It’s about being present and showing up when it’s your turn. Like being one voice in a chorus, you must blend in and fade out. I took this call seriously, so my line is not a punchline. It is not a Wow line. But I feel it belongs in this poem with this group of words. Carry on, Irene. I pass the baton on to the master, the creator, our leader, and our friend, Irene Latham at Live your Poem.

Sitting on a rock, airing out my feelings to the universe
Acting like a peacock, only making matters that much worse;

Should I trumpet like an elephant emoting to the moon,
Or just ignore the warnings written in the rune?

Those stars can’t seal my future; it’s not inscribed in stone.
The possibilities are endless! Who could have known?

Gathering courage, spiral like an eagle after prey
Then gird my wings for whirlwind gales in realms far, far away.

But, hold it! Let’s get practical! What’s needed before I go?
Time to be tactical— I’ll ask my friends what I should stow.

And in one breath, a honeyed word whispered low— dreams —
Whose voice? I turned to see. I was shocked. Irene’s

“Each voyage starts with tattered maps; your dreams dance on this page.
Determine these dreams—then breathe them! Engage your inner sage.”

The merry hen said, “Take my sapphire eggs to charm your host.”
I tuck them close – still warm – then take my first step toward the coast.

This journey will not make me rich, and yet I long to be

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progressive poem

Today is my turn to take on the Progressive Poem. The idea of this fun way to celebrate National Poetry Month comes from Irene Latham of Live Your Poem. I have to thank Linda Baie at Teacher Dance for inviting me to this poetry playground and for adding the last line. You can follow along using the link list on the sidebar. It all began with Amy Ludwig VanDerwater at The Poem Farm. I love her site. She is sharing sketches with poetic thoughts this month.

I have been watching this poem develop into a beautiful dance with words. Thinking with trepidation about where my line may fit, where it will lead. If it is even worthy. All that stuff. But when it came time to write, my feet started jitterbuggin’ and my fingers tapping, so here goes.

When you listen to your footsteps
the words become music and
the rhythm that you’re rapping gets your fingers tapping, too.
Your pen starts dancing across the page
a private pirouette, a solitary samba until
smiling, you’re beguiling as your love comes shining through.

Pause a moment in your dreaming, hear the whispers
of the words, one dancer to another, saying
Listen, that’s our cue! Mind your meter. Find your rhyme.
Ignore the trepidation while you jitterbug and jive.
Arm in arm, toe to toe, words begin to wiggle and flow

Now on to you, Linda Kulp!

NPM2013_logo_350

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