Saturday, April 18, 2020

The 2020 Progressive Poem is HERE!

True to the spirit of collaboration and community here in Poetry Friday Land, Irene Latham started the National Poetry Month tradition of a crowd-sourced Progressive Poem, and then handed the baton to Margaret Simon this year. Margaret put out the call and thirty poets quickly filled the schedule. (See bottom of post.) This year, #1 Donna Smith started things off by giving #2 Irene Latham the choice of two lines, and so that's the way the poem's flowing this year. You get to pick a line, and offer two possibilities to the next person. Here are the choices Heidi offered me. I got to choose between "slow and mesmerizing, or brief and energizing."

Here's the poem so far:

Progressive Poem 2020

Sweet violets shimmy, daffodils sway
along the wiregrass path to the lake
I carry a rucksack of tasty cakes
and a banjo passed down from my gram.

I follow the tracks of deer and raccoon
and echo the call of a wandering loon.
A whispering breeze joins in our song
and night melts into a rose gold dawn

Deep into nature’s embrace, I fold.
Promise of spring helps shake the cold
hints of sun lightly dapple the trees
calling out the sleepy bees

Leaf-litter crackles…I pause. Twig snaps.
I gasp! Shudder! Breathe out. Relax...
as a whitetail doe comes into view.
She shifts and spotted fawns debut.

I want this moment to last a little longer, so I choose...

We freeze. My green eyes and her brown

Tag, you're it, Tabatha!
Your two choices for the next line are:

meet and lock. Time slows down.


connect in a moment so profound

Here's where the poem's been, and where it's going:

2020 Progressive Poem

1 Donna Smith at Mainely Write

2 Irene Latham at Live Your Poem

3 Jone MacCulloch at deowriter

4 Liz Steinglass

5 Buffy Silverman

6 Kay McGriff 

7 Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core

8 Tara Smith at Going to Walden

9 Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link

10 Matt Forrest Esenwine at Radio, Rhythm, and Rhyme

11 Janet Fagel, hosted at Reflections on the Teche

12 Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise

13 Kat Apel at Kat Whiskers

14 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche

15 Leigh Anne Eck at A Day in the Life

16 Linda Baie at Teacher Dance

17 Heidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little Universe

18 Mary Lee Hahn at A Year of Reading

19 Tabatha at Opposite of Indifference

20 Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities

21 Janice Scully at Salt City Verse

22 Julieanne Harmatz at To Read, To Write, To Be

23 Ruth at There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town

24 Christie Wyman at Wondering and Wandering

25 Amy at The Poem Farm

26 Dani Burtsfield at Doing the Work That Matters

27 Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge

28 Jessica Bigi at TBD

29 Fran Haley at lit bits and pieces

30 Michelle Kogan


  1. Mary Lee, you chose the better line, rhythmically speaking, and I'm glad we get to pause in this moment of connection. Nice choices for Tabatha!

  2. It is a sweet moment to "stay", Mary Lee. Heidi's line then your choices help us explore more of this moment. Nice!

  3. Such a lovely scene being shared here!

  4. I love that we get to stay in this moment. Your choices are both wonderful, Mary Lee. I'm really anxious to see what Tabitha chooses because I'll be next!

  5. I like the connection and the pause.

  6. Mary Lee, I read the poem again with both of your lines and said, "Wow!" I actually encountered a moment like on one of the Northern Virginia nature trails. I'm wondering what Tabatha chooses and adds on. Either of your options adds intrigue and a deeper connection between narrator and the animals.

  7. I'm a big fan of this choice option this year. It adds another layer to the suspense! I like your choice from Heidi's two and think you sent two great choices winging their way to Tabatha.

  8. Glad that we're spending a little more time in this magical moment. Love your choices for Tabatha--I know which one I would pick. Have to check tomorrow to see which way Tabatha goes.

  9. I'm so glad you are prolonging this magical moment.

  10. Love this poem, and your two choices, I'm climbing in…

  11. I want "meet and lock. Time slows down." Will just have to read on to see what Tabatha chose.

  12. Yes to making the moment last!

  13. Oooh - great options. (I kind of like that extra weight of 'lock' - even suggests a gun to me, which adds an underlayer of tension to the line, even subconsciously maybe? Or perhaps I'm just up way too late... ;0) ) Off to see which line was chosen!


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