Happy 2017 Progressive Poem!!

It’s National Poetry Month and (gulp) I have posted nothing this April. I had high hopes for an April blog project, but family matters and work-for-hire projects derailed me. So I am especially thankful to be participating in Irene Latham’s Progressive Poem. Every April Irene corrals the kidlit poetry community into writing a line-by-line masterpiece. It’s great fun to watch the poem travel from blog to blog, growing, meandering, changing course. I expected that signing up for line 18 would be safe–the direction of the poem would be pretty much set, yet I would not have the responsibility of bringing it to a satisfying conclusion. And then I read Tricia‘s line and panic set in. Am I supposed to know what is in the narrator’s heart, what lines are set in stone? Should I journey back to fifth grade, where I memorized Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening? Or maybe utter a line from the preamble to the Constitution? If that’s all that’s engraved in my brain, maybe I should avoid setting down lines I know by heart–I can always procrastinate and give the next poet the option to choose those words! Instead I’ll find some dragonwords waiting in the wings. Without further ado, here’s my six (eight?)-word contribution:


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!
Shiver me. Look who’s here. Must I disappear?
By hook or by crook, I deserve a second look!
I cheer. Please, have no fear. Find the book.

But wait! I’ll share the lines I know by heart.
Mythicalhowls, fierytones slip from my lips

I’m handing the baton to Pat–take it away!

Want to know where the poem has been and follow it’s upcoming journey? Check out these links:

1 Heidi at my juicy little universe
2 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
3 Doraine at Dori Reads
4 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty
5 Diane at Random Noodling
6 Kat at Kat’s Whiskers
7 Irene at Live Your Poem
8 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
9 Linda at TeacherDance
10 Penny at a penny and her jots
11 Ramona at Pleasures from the Page
12 Janet F. at Live Your Poem
13 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
14 Jan at Bookseedstudio
15 Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales
16 Joy at Poetry for Kids Joy
17 Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect
18 Buffy at Buffy’s Blog
19 Pat at Writer on a Horse
20 BJ at Blue Window
21 Donna at Mainely Write
22 Jone at Jone Ruch MacCulloch
23 Ruth at There is no such thing as a godforsaken town
24 Amy at The Poem Farm
25 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge
26 Renee at No Water River
27 Matt at Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme
28 Michelle at Michelle Kogan
29 Charles at Poetry Time
30 Laura Purdie Salas at Writing the World for Kids

32 thoughts on “Happy 2017 Progressive Poem!!

  1. Hi, Buffy–I apologize for the long delay in getting around to loving your line–college decision support turned into a full-time job on top of a full-time job! You may know that I’m a great fan of making up words, especially the compound concepts like you’ve used here–and I love that what our character knows by heart are more like instinctual sounds than any pale, canned verse. Great line!

  2. Love it, Buffy! I feel much the same way about Laura, April, the PP and life in general. 🙂 Life is good, but insanely busy. I had time to plant tulips today and to add to my YA novel, so all is not lost.

  3. We definitely need more mythicalhowls in our lives! Thanks for the great line, Buffy. As I see this poem creep its way toward No Water River, I’m starting to freak out. 😀

  4. First, since I’m following Joy, I’ll echo, too – I am definitely in the camp of wanting to post/read more than I have so far this month, too! Just met a weighty deadline for a writing gig last night, so peeping up from the grass to look around. Thanks for the reminder that life sometimes has a different schedule than the one in our mind… ;0)
    Second, wow! Terrifically done. (Is terrifically an adverb?) LOVE those fierytones, especially. XO

  5. Mythicalhowls! Fierytones! Nice, Buffy. 🙂 When in doubt, call on the dragon. (I should remember that the next time I’m at a loss for words!) Seriously, though, It’s nice to see a return to the frazzle and crackle. There’s so much to this child still to be discovered, I think.

  6. “Mythicalhowls,” is wonderful and conjures up so much for the imagination. I too appreciated hearing life has called you in many directions, and curtailed your daily poem, as I haven’t been able to do every day- but the call is there!

  7. Buffy, I am wide-eyed and wiggle-eared to see/hear what’s next. hinted with your invented words. And we are at a sizzle-back to a time of dragons… although perhaps the speaker isn’t a dragon… You’ve left us at such a precipice of continued anticipation.

  8. Buffy, to every season… you are exactly where you are meant to be! And THANK YOU for bringing us back to dragonwords with your mythicalhowls and fierytones! What fun. So glad you’re a part of it. xo

  9. As always you use such beautiful language. I love mythicalhowls and fierytones. I also love the internal rhyme you’ve snuck into your line. Happy National Poetry Month!

  10. Oh, I love the dragonesque of mythicalhowls and fierytones. WOW! The poem is starting to take a very interesting turn. Thanks for this line. I can hardly wait to see what happens next.
    Also thanks for not having a Poetry Month project or post. I have fallen so far behind in my own writing and I know it isn’t a competition, but your words do help me keep from beating myself up for my own short-comings. Sometimes LIFE just gets in the way.

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