Friday, April 25, 2014

Progressive Poem, Day 25

I feel privileged to be hosting Irene Latham's 2014 Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem on the final Poetry Friday of National Poetry Month.  

This poem has traveled quite a distance over the last 24 days– visiting 24 unique blogs with 24 unique poetic sensibilities, each coming together to add a new line.  And now it's in my pocket... literally.  As I write this on Poem in Your Pocket Day, I've been carrying it around with me on my daily rounds– hemming and hawing, pondering and planning, imagining and envisioning what might come next.  This poem is precious cargo, not only because of the beautiful words and imagery contained, but because it carries a piece of every poet who has come before me as well as the collected anticipation of everyone who has been following its journey.  That's a lot of pressure, but I've been looking forward to this challenge since Day 1.

Linda Baie at TeacherDance provided me with an intriguing line to use as a jump off point.  So many possibilities hidden in those shifting shadows!  Who's there?  Is it friend or foe? A beast or bird stowaway perhaps?  The winging words of the wind?  Whispering dreams?  Irene, come to offer more advice?  Or maybe it's a less-than-trustworthy merry hen demanding her eggs back?  As much as I'd  like to bask in the delicious mystery a while longer, this poem must find closure in five days, so I've decided to cut to the chase.  It's taken an awful long time for our traveler to get underway, and I would like to make sure we arrive at some kind of destination or resolution– if not physically, than at least mentally.  To me, the coast still seems far off, but the host?  Hmmm... well, you know what they say:  

If Mohammed won't make it to the coast, then the host must come to Mohammed.  

What, you mean that's not how the proverb goes?

2014 Kidlitosphere Progressive 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
like luminescent jellyfish, awash in mystery.
I turn and whisper, “Won’t you come?” to all the beasts and birds,
and listen while they scamper, their answers winging words:
“Take these steps alone to start; each journey is an art.
You are your own best company. Now it's time to depart!"
I blow a kiss. I hike for days, blue eggs pressed to my chest.
One evening's rest, campfire low, shifting shadows brought a guest.
A boy, with hair in wild waves and eyes blue as the sea,

Tomorrow, join Lisa at Lisa Schroeder Books to see what happens next!  If you would like to revisit where the poem has been, here is the list of 2014 Progressive Poem participants:

                    Line 1: Charles at Poetry Time
                    Line 2: Joy at Joy Acey
                    Line 3: Donna at Mainely Write
                    Line 4: Anastasia at Poet! Poet!
                    Line 5: Carrie at Story Patch
                    Line 6: Sheila at Sheila Renfro
                    Line 7: Pat at Writer on a Horse
                    Line 8: Matt at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme
                    Line 9: Diane at Random Noodling
                    Line 10: Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
                    Line 11: Linda at Write Time
                    Line 12: Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
                    Line 13: Janet at Live Your Poem
                    Line 14: Deborah at Show--Not Tell
                    Line 15: Tamera at The Writer's Whimsy
                    Line 16: Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge
                    Line 17: Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
                    Line 18: Irene at Live Your Poem
                    Line 19: Julie at The Drift Record
                    Line 20: Buffy at Buffy Silverman
                    Line 21: Renee at No Water River
                    Line 22: Laura at Author Amok
                    Line 23: Amy at The Poem Farm
                    Line 24: Linda at TeacherDance
                    Line 25: Michelle at Today's Little Ditty
                    Line 26: Lisa at Lisa Schroeder Books
                    Line 27: Kate at Live Your Poem
                    Line 28: Caroline at Caroline Starr Rose
                    Line 29: Ruth at There is No Such Thing as a Godforsaken Town
                    Line 30: Tara at A Teaching Life

Finally, a reminder before I send you on your merry-hen way:

Be sure to come back next week for Today's Little Ditty's new Spotlight ON interview series and the first Ditty of the Month Club challenge!

Tabatha Yeatts, Pet Wrangler and Imaginary Poem Keeper, has today's Poetry Friday roundup at The Opposite of Indifference.


  1. Marvelous connection to the coast, Michelle. You're created such a terrific picture of this stranger.

  2. Ah, love is in the air! It's spring after all!

  3. It's fascinating how before something happens, it's a big question, and afterwards, it's "of course!"

  4. Very nice, Michelle! I love that this wild ocean boy has joined the traveler.

  5. The ocean incarnate--a fine portrait of our stranger!

  6. Thanks for setting things up so nicely for me. Been working on my line for a few hours, but I think I've finally settled on something. :)

    1. Looking forward to seeing what you've come up with, Lisa!

  7. Wonderful, Michelle - those wild waves of hair and sea-blue eyes - I hear the gulls from here! (Well, I really do hear gulls, but you know what I mean.) On to Lisa! :0)

  8. I like the idea of a young boy showing up - and your description of him gives Lisa plenty to ponder!

  9. enter a young boy with wavy hair and sea blue eyes. Nice move!

  10. A guide? A host? another advisor? The sea incarnate offering voyage? Way to cut to the chase, Michelle!

  11. Who is it? Who is it? Who is it?
    Off to catch up and see!!

  12. Oh wow, dear Michelle, I think this is a stranger I would so love to meet. You have taken the poem to a different level entirely - very lovely!