Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Puzzles - Poem #23 and 2014 Progressive Poem

Learn about this, my April 2014 Poetry Project, HERE!

Puzzles and Games
Photo by Amy LV

Students - Today was time for another toys poem...and puzzles it is!  I do not have a longhand draft to share with you because right before cooking dinner, I sat down at the computer to "just type a first line"  and I stayed drafting at the computer, playing with listing as many imaginary puzzle pictures as I could dream up.

Today's poem is simply a list poem, each new line (sometimes every other line) offering a new possible puzzle picture.  In my earlier typed draft, the lines included "can" as in "I can snuggle piles of kittens..." but as always, I reread to weed out unnecessary words, and the "can" in each line evaporated with the magical computer backspace.

I was curious about what I'd write today, because one of my favorite (alliteration-filled) poems I've written is actually titled "Two Puzzling" - a poem about two different people putting together the same jigsaw puzzle in different places. This poem appears in Lee Bennett Hopkins's fantastic anthology, INCREDIBLE INVENTIONS.

And now, what many of you have come here for today...the...

Today is a special day at The Poem Farm.  It is my turn to host Irene Latham's wonderful annual Progressive Poem, a potluck tradition in which everyone who signs up is given a day to add a line to our group poem.  Today I offer our poem so far, up to line 23, which is my line for today, in bold.

Of course I have been following the Progressive Poem, blog to blog, all month, wondering each day, "Where will we be on April 23?  What will happen? What will I be given in the few lines before my day?  I loved the sapphire eggs, the beasts and birds, their refusal, and the push to go...

And so we are off!

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

Tomorrow Linda carries us through line 23 of the Progressive Poem over at her most warm and welcoming blog, TeacherDance!

If you would like to follow the 2014 Progressive Poem back and forward in time, you can do so, starting with April 1, here:

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

There is only one week left of this joyous and introspective collective poem. Keep following to see where we end up on April 30.

Today you can also find me over at Nerdy Chicks Rule, chatting a bit with author Kami Kinard (THE BOY PROJECT and about-to-launch THE BOY PROBLEM) about poetry.

Tomorrow is Poem in Your Pocket Day!  Which poem will you put in YOUR pocket?

Please share a comment below if you wish.


  1. Yes, we always, always learned new things from the puzzles! And Amy, I've waited up for your line, and now I think I should have gone to bed. My mind is swirling around with possibilities! Maybe I'll 'dream' the line while I sleep. I love that you've made some time pass...

  2. Is there anything sweeter than a blown kiss? Love finding it here. And I can so see those eggs pressed to the chest.... thank you, Amy! As for puzzles, I have done my share and even have a few framed! Also, I never donate a puzzle unless I am sure it has all the pieces. Grrr... so maddening to get to the end and find one missing! Happy day to you. xo

  3. Love your list poem, and thanks for bringing back the blue eggs!

  4. Love the last two lines of your puzzle poem-- they can be taken to mean so much more!

    And just like you to send us on our way with a kiss in the progressive poem! Lovely.

  5. Hooray -- boots on the ground. And I'm so glad the sapphire eggs didn't get dropped. Awesome addition to the poem Amy.

  6. Amy,
    I'm glad you decided to spotlight puzzles from the thrift store. My mom donates them on a regular basis. They are a great bargain at a thrift store.

  7. Oh, I love these thrift store discoveries & poems. And I love this line for our progressive one - thanks for getting some mileage under our narrator's feet! [Off to Nerdy Chicks - Kami is a new, wonderful friend, and I'm looking forward to this second book!]

  8. I'm so happy that those blue eggs are safe! Love to see that kiss good-bye!

  9. So we are off with blue eggs in tow! A delightful new line which I read this morning but just getting to my computer. I shared your Thrift Store Poems with a young 3rd grade8 writer named Charlotte yesterday. She was so interested in all your ideas and it was very helpful to show her your process and your journal pages. She liked the list poem feel of "Iron" and especially your "surprise ending". We also loved the poem about Joe's hat! Then I went hunting for the Dictionary Hike and she loved that idea. I am guessing the archives for the blog are not available? Just the poems? Well, in any event she is going to go on her own hike!! I can't wait to see what poem "A" will bring.