Progressive poem is here

So, April has had a number of firsts for me, beyond “first pandemic.”

It’s the first time I’ve attempted to write a poem a day for National Poetry Month. My first plunge into Poetry Fridays.

And this is the first time I’ve participated in a Progressive Poem.

Our poem was born on the first day of April, with the first poet writing two lines. The next poet chose one of those lines and left two more for the subsequent poet to choose from … and so the poem grew in stature and whimsical beauty as it rolled all the way down to me on Day 29.

Here’s how it was up ’til now:

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.
I gasp! Shudder! Breathe out. Relax…
as a whitetail doe comes into view.
She shifts and spotted fawns debut.

We freeze. My green eyes and her brown
Meet and lock. Time slows down.
I scatter the cakes, backing away
Safely exiting this strange ballet.

I continue the path that winds down to the lake.
Missing my breakfast for beauty’s sake.
But wait, what’s that delicious smell?
Something familiar, I know so well.

It’s a campfire. I follow my nose. I see
a circle of friends waving at me.
I free up my banjo, quicken my pace

And here were my two choices for the next line:

Option 1: Find a place to sit and gaze into space
Option 2: Find a place to sit and unlatch my banjo case

And I gotta choose it, because it’s just so musical (pun intended):

(are you ready?)

(really ready??)

Option 1: Find a place to sit and gaze into space (!)

So here we have it:

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.
I gasp! Shudder! Breathe out. Relax…
as a whitetail doe comes into view.
She shifts and spotted fawns debut.

We freeze. My green eyes and her brown
Meet and lock. Time slows down.
I scatter the cakes, backing away
Safely exiting this strange ballet.

I continue the path that winds down to the lake.
Missing my breakfast for beauty’s sake.
But wait, what’s that delicious smell?
Something familiar, I know so well.

It’s a campfire. I follow my nose. I see
a circle of friends waving at me.
I free up my banjo, quicken my pace
Find a place to sit and gaze into space.

—Now what?

Apparently I have to compose two lines.

I then hand the poem to the thirtieth and last poet in the line of succession, Michelle Kogan.

Dear Michelle … I leave my two lines to you for your choosing. The chosen line will, however, be hanging out there by its lonely self at the end of all these lovely quatrains. What if you add your own line after mine and we end as a couplet? You can also have the distinction of titling our collective masterpiece! Such choices!

Here’s what I’ve got:

Option 1: Then my fingers pick out the old, old tune

Option 2: Then together we sing, and the song is our story

Thank you, poet-friends, for this alluring, ambling April adventure. It’s an honor to have walked this path in your company.

Here’s the progression of the poem:

1 Donna Smith at Mainely Write
2 Irene Latham at Live Your Poem
3 Jone MacCulloch, deowriter
Liz Steinglass
Buffy Silverman
6 Kay McGriff at https://kaymcgriff.edublogs.org/
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 at Mainely Write
29 Fran Haley at lit bits and pieces
30 Michelle Kogan

28 thoughts on “Progressive poem is here

  1. Hooray, hooray….joining in and singing, with poetry in our hearts. Time will tell. Midnight awaits! Love your choice, your offerings and getting to know you a little, Fran.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Welcome to the Progressive Poem Pilgrimage, Fran! You’ve done a marvelous job offering up a choice of two wonderful lines. (First time we’ve ever added this kind of dynamic, but it’s been so interesting.) Great set-up for whatever ending Michelle conjures up. :0)
    Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s been a lovely month, and I love both lines. Off to see how Michelle wraps things up. I was worried when you chose gazing into space, but it provides a spot of quiet before this journey ends and the music begins.

    Like

  4. I’ve done progressive stories with students before, but never a progressive poem…and this one turned out just lovely. In my mind, banjo music is storytelling music, and this poem fits the instrument.

    Liked by 1 person

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