Enter your email
for blog updates

For my last poem in this space, I’m honored to join a howling pack of poets in the Kidlitosphere.

The brainchild of Irene Latham, this Progressive Poem has been moving from blog to blog, growing poet by poet, for 29 days until it’s come here for one final line.
For the poem and a list of contributing poets, see below.  At the end of a month posting rough drafts of poems about dogs, I think you could say that this, too, is a rough draft.
As Laura Puride Salas says, it’s poetry improv.  Yes, a poetry game.  It’s been fascinating to read the process of those who’ve proceeded me.
When I got the fantastic line by Denise Mortensen, I thought I should just write THE END as my line.  Then I could talk about how every good poet needs to know when to quit–when a good line’s a good ending.  That would be funny. If only I had the courage!
But I don’t.  So off we go!
Here is the list of the poets who each contributed a line (in this space, some appear to be a line and then some, but they are all really one line each), and below their names is the (yikes!) finished poem.  Take a bow, poets!
girl holding picture frame.

1  Amy Ludwig VanDerwater
2  Joy Acey
3  Matt Forrest Esenwine
4  Jone MacCulloch
5  Doraine Bennett
6  Gayle Krause
7  Janet Fagal
8  Julie Larios
9  Carrie Finison
10  Linda Baie
11  Margaret Simon
12  Linda Kulp
13  Catherine Johnson
14  Heidi Mordhorst
15  Mary Lee Hahn
16  Liz Steinglass
17  Renee LaTulippe
18  Penny Klostermann
19  Irene Latham
20  Buffy Silverman
21  Tabatha Yeatts
22  Laura Shovan
23  Joanna Marple
24  Katya Czaja
25  Diane Mayr
26  Robyn Hood Black
27  Ruth Hersey
28  Laura Purdie Salas
29  Denise Mortensen
30  April Halprin Wayland

Poetry Month 2011! drawing (c) by April Halprin Wayland


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—
know this tumbling and fumbling is all part of the act,
so get up with a flourish. Your pencil’s still intact.
Snap those synapses! Feel the pulsing through your pen
Commit, measure by measure, to the coda’s cadence.

You’ve got them now–in the palm of your hand!
Finger by finger you’re reeling them in—
Big Top throng refrains from cheering, strains to hear the poem nearing…
Inky paws, uncaged, claw straw and sawdust
Until… CRACK! You’re in the center ring, mind unleashed, your words take wing
they circle, soar, then light in the lap of an open-mouthed child; the crowd goes wild.


P.S: Barnum’s circus was originally called “P.T. Barnum’s Great Traveling Museum, Menagerie, Caravan, and Hippodrome,” which is pretty much what our poem is.  (“The Greatest Show on Earth” was added later…that’s us, too!)

It never hurts to join forces…

…ask all the thirsty pooches at the dog park!

Let’s play some more!

Hey–where’d everybody go???

Bye!  See you next April!
be sure to check out TeachingAuthors.com
writing exercises, poetry prompts, author interviews,
book giveaways, and so much more ~


Social Widgets powered by AB-WebLog.com.