For the past 19 days the progressive poem has pirouetted, sambaed, jitterbugged, swung, and soared around the blogosphere. Line-by-line the poets before me danced their way to dizzying heights, and then safely brought this creation to earth. But yesterday Irene Latham, mastermind of the progressive poem, posed a problem with her line: And if you should topple, if you should flop…
Which leaves it to me to decide how to pick the poem up after it dives off of life’s trapeze. I’ll admit it. My first thought was–give up! As in: Then it’s time for this poem to stop. But that line presents a bit of a problem for the ten poets who follow. And really, I might think about giving up, but after twenty-some years I’m still writing. So how else to solve the problem? Then it occurred to me that I could solve this the way I solve all my writing problems. Procrastination! I could let our poem wallow in defeat a bit longer, and leave it to Tabatha, Laura, Joanna, Katya, Diane, Robyn, Ruth, Laura, Denise and April to scrape off the dust and get this three-ring circus flying again. And so I have:
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
as your heart starts singing let your mind keep swinging
from life’s trapeze, like a clown on the breeze.
Swinging upside down, throw and catch new sounds–
Take a risk, try a trick; break a sweat: safety net?
Don’t check! You’re soaring and exploring,
dangle high, blood rush; spiral down, crowd hush–
limb-by-line-by-limb envision, pyramidic penned precision.
And if you should topple, if you should flop
if your meter takes a beating; your rhyme runs out of steam—
Now it’s Tabatha’s turn to decide where our poem will go. Look on the sidebar to see links for where the poem will travel next.