We’re nearing the end of National Poetry Month—just a few days left and they are weekend days. It’s a perfect time to revisit a favorite poem, read some new ones by a poet whose work you want to spend more time with, or write a poem that’s been niggling at your thoughts or spirit.
We’re also nearing the end of the 2023 Progressive Poem. Irene Latham began the Kidlitsophere (world of children’s literature blogs) progressive poem tradition in 2012 “as a way to celebrate National Poetry Month (April) as a community of writers.” A different blogger/poet hosts the progressive poem each day in April and adds a line to a group poem. Irene headed up the project from 2012 to 2019 (archive here). And Margaret Simon took over the organizer role in 2020 (see that poem and links to later ones here). Thank you, Irene! Thank you, Margaret! And thank you to all the poet participators!
This is my second year participating in the Progressive Poem. Below is this year’s poem, so far, with my line at the end in italics. It’s followed by some thoughts on my process and the names of the other poets with links to their blogs.
Suddenly everything fell into place
like raindrops hitting soil and sinking in.
When morning first poked me, I’d wished it away
my mind in the mist, muddled, confused.
Was this a dream or reality, rousing my response?
The sun surged, urging me to join in its rising,
Rising like a crystal ball reflecting on morning dew.
I jumped out of bed, ready to explore the day.
My feet pull me outside and into the garden
Where lilies and bees weave…but wait! What’s that?
A bevy of bunnies jart and dart and play in the clover.
A dog barks and flash, the bunderstorm is over.
I breathe-brave, quiet. Like a seed,
as the day, foretold in my dream, ventured upon me.
Sunbeams guided me to the gate overgrown with wisteria
where I spotted the note tied to the gate.
As I reached the gnarled gate, pollen floated like fairy dust into my face. Aaah Choo!
Enter, if you must. We’ve been waiting for you.
Not giving the curious note a thought, I pushed the gate open and ran through.
Stopped in my tracks, eyes wide in awe—can this really be true?
Huge mushrooms for tables, vines twined into chairs,
A flutter of fairies filled flowery teawares
With glazed nut cakes and apple blossom tea,
I heard soft whispers from behind a tree. Oh my! They had been “waiting for me!”
Still brave, but cautious, I waited for them.
Forested friends filled the glade. “You’ve arrived! Let the reverie begin!”
I laughed as my bare feet danced across the dew-soaked grass,
matching the beat of paws, claws, and wings—around me, above me.
I love how, with yesterday’s line, Theresa Gaughan echoed the image of water soaking into the earth from Heidi Mordhorst’s line 2, and added joy and action. I wanted to expand the excitement and bring together the forest friends and fairies that come up throughout the poem, plus tie the earth and air settings together—and give the feel of a dance beat too! When Mary Lee Hahn posted the first line of the 2023 poem, way back on April 1, she wrote: “Write me a story that ends with sudden clarity.” I hope I helped bring that intention into being. Now the poem is ready for Karen Eastlund, Karen’s Got a Blog to keep going tomorrow, and then for Michelle Kogan at Michelle Kogan Illustration, Painting, and Writing to finish it up on Sunday.
All that and it’s Poetry Friday too! Visit Ruth at There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town for more poetry links.
Wishing you a happy and poetic wrap-up to National Poetry Month!
Below are links to the blogs of the poets who have participated in the 2023 Progressive Poem, listed by date of participation.
April 1 Mary Lee Hahn, Another Year of Reading
April 2 Heidi Mordhorst, My Juicy Little Universe
April 3 Tabatha, The Opposite of Indifference
April 4 Buffy Silverman
April 5 Rose Cappelli, Imagine the Possibilities
April 6 Donna Smith, Mainely Write
April 7 Margaret Simon, Reflections on the Teche
April 8 Leigh Anne, A Day in the Life
April 9 Linda Mitchell, A Word Edgewise
April 10 Denise Krebs, Dare to Care
April 11 Emma Roller, Penguins and Poems
April 12 Dave Roller, Leap Of Dave
April 13 Irene Latham Live You Poem
April 14 Janice Scully, Salt City Verse
April 15 Jone Rush MacCulloch
April 16 Linda Baie, TeacherDance
April 17 Carol Varsalona, Beyond Literacy Link
April 18 Marcie Atkins
April 19 Carol Labuzzetta at The Apples in My Orchard
April 20 Cathy Hutter, Poeturescapes
April 21 Sarah Grace Tuttle, Sarah Grace Tuttle’s Blog,
April 22 Marilyn Garcia
April 23 Catherine, Reading to the Core
April 24 Janet Fagal, hosted by Tabatha, The Opposite of Indifference
April 25 Ruth, There is no Such Thing as a God-Forsaken Town
April 26 Patricia J. Franz, Reverie
April 27 Theresa Gaughan, Theresa’s Teaching Tidbits
April 28 Karin Fisher-Golton, Still in Awe Blog
April 29 Karen Eastlund, Karen’s Got a Blog
April 30 Michelle Kogan Illustration, Painting, and Writing
Nice! Can’t wait to see how it ends!
What a fun line! It sounds like quite a party!
Yes, and quite a setting for it!
Oh, Karin, what a lovely idea here. I like that the creatures are keeping the same beat, and yet I appreciate the mystery the poem still holds about them with “paws, claws and wings.”
Thanks, Denise. I like what you note about the mystery.
Ah the forest folk, what can they teach us? Tell us? Help us enjoy? Love the idea of music and those keeping the beat!!!
After just reading of the love of trees at Jone’s site, and others who show their love of nature through their own poetry, having a party in the forest to a musical beat feels just right, Karin. Two lines more! Thank you!
Karin, I appreciate how you brought in wings, paws and claws to go with the feet, and noted the connection between the rain and the dew. I hope all will be harmonious and yet not too tidy!
A tastey tea party, forest-critter dance, hmmm, and anticipation… thanks Karin!
Karin, the reverie began and you added music with paws, claws, and wings. I can imagine the forest lit up with an amazing gathering. Since I fell asleep early last night, I am making my rounds, and the first stop is the next line of the PP.
Thanks for participating with a little dance of forest animals. Love it!
Love the variety of appendages, Karin!
You added the music for my dance! I love it!