Day 28 of the 2017 Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem, Poetry Friday & #NaPoWriMo–Oh my!



It’s Poetry Friday, and the annual Progressive Poem, that began way back on April 1st, has landed at my port. Irene Latham began the Progressive Poem, in 2012.  Which begins each year April 1st and and runs through April 30th. The Poetry Friday community and all other lovers of poetry are invited to sign up and contribute a line to create one poem by the end of the month. It’s similar to an exquisite corpse drawing, although all following the poem get to see the lines as the poem develops. 

 I’m at the end, we’re headed towards the finish line. It’s taken some interesting turns in the last few stanzas and has to quickly pull together. I wrote a line, put it aside came back, wrote a variant of it, and then came back to my original. Our pirate-dragon wanted one more interlude before he/she takes their bow. Hence, without further adieu my line is the last one here in bold. I’m handing off the closing lines adventure to Charles, and then it goes to Laura.

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 lip
Blue scales flash, claws rip, the prophecy begins
Dragonworld weaves webs that grip. I take a trip…

“Anchors aweigh!” Steadfast at helm on clipper ship
a topsail schooner, with sails unfurled, speeds away
As, true-hearted dragon pirate, I sashay
with my wise parrot, Robyn, through the spray.

“Land Ho!” (“Land Ho!”) We’ve hooked the whole crowd.
So it’s true what they say: the play IS the thing.
Stepping back from my blocking, theatre grows loud…
I draw my sword, while shielding the BOOK–the house din dies.



Aye Matey’s, I’m not sure what happens next but it’s been a seaworthy journey! Perhaps the artist will transform the sketch into color. . .


In the Spirit of the Sea I’m sharing a watery poem by Lucy Maud Montgomery. You can read the entire poem at: Famous Poets and Poems!  And here is an interesting biography of Lucy Maud Montgomery.

THE SEA SPIRIT by Lucy Maud Montgomery
I smile o’er the wrinkled blue­
Lo! the sea is fair,
Smooth as the flow of a maiden’s hair;
And the welkin’s light shines through
Into mid-sea caverns of beryl hue,
And the little waves laugh and the mermaids sing,
And the sea is a beautiful, sinuous thing! 

I scowl in sullen guise­
The sea grows dark and dun,
The swift clouds hide the sun
But not the bale-light in my eyes,
And the frightened wind as it flies
Ruffles the billows with stormy wing,
And the sea is a terrible, treacherous thing! 

When moonlight glimmers dim 
I pass in the path of the mist, 
Like a pale spirit by spirits kissed. 
At dawn I chant my own weird hymn, 
And I dabble my hair in the sunset’s rim, 
And I call to the dwellers along the shore 
With a voice of gramarye evermore.

Ahoy Mates, here’s a map of the Progressive Poem’s journey . . . 

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 HERE!
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 blog-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 Rush MacCulloch
23 Ruth at There’s 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 Illustration Painting & Writing
29 Charles at Poetry Time
30 Laura Purdie Salas at Writing the World for Kids

 For more Poetry Friday Poems visit JoAnn at Teaching Authors. Thanks for hosting, and Happy 8th Blog Birthday too!



About Michelle Kogan Art, Illustration, & Writing

Michelle Kogan is an artist, illustrator, instructor, and writer, creating colorful allegorical figure, flora and fauna paintings and children's illustrations, which have a sensitivity to endangered species, and the environment. She is an art instructor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Evanston Art Center and offers Plein Air Painting Workshops at nature venues in the Chicago area including the Lincoln Park Conservatory, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, and Lurie Gardens at Millennium Park. Visit her online Etsy Shop at: and her website:
This entry was posted in Children's Illustration & Writing, Nature, Pencil Drawing, Picture Book Sketches, Quick Sketches, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

42 Responses to Day 28 of the 2017 Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem, Poetry Friday & #NaPoWriMo–Oh my!

  1. I’ve never thought of Montgomery as a poet! Like most people I only know her for Anne of Green Gables, but it seems I should look a bit more closely into the life and work of this icon!

    • I didn’t know about her poems either, and have just started exploring them. It seems to fit her perfectly though and where she lived. Jane, I haven’t been able to post comments on your blog for a couple of posts. I have this same problem with another wordpress blog too. I’ve contacted wordpress about it and hopefully they’ll help me correct the problem.

  2. lindabaie says:

    Ahoy, you’ve writ a good line for that dear pirate, Michelle. Protecting the treasured book makes good sense. I love the drawing, and Lucy’s “I smile o’er the wrinkled blue­
    Lo! the sea is fair.” It goes with our own poem, doesn’t it? Thanks for all!

  3. cvarsalona says:

    The little pirate is quite an actor, Michelle, as exemplified by your line and sketch. I really am wondering where all this leads. Thanks for the additional poem.

  4. margaretsmn says:

    What a pleasant surprise to See our poet on the stage! Thanks for the illustration. Your line is perfect for keeping us riveted to the action. I wish it didn’t have to end.

  5. And the suspense continues! Thanks for keeping this going just a little longer…and a perfect illustration to go with it!

  6. katswhiskers says:

    Well aren’t you just the cherry on top! I love that there is an illustration to accompany the poem, and so fabulously rendered!

    And just like that, looking at your art and reading the poem again, I get a knew ‘picture’ of a child at home, donning (and discarding) dress-ups, either for a family performance… or perhaps even at play, in a messy bedroom (‘I thread the crowd’… of toys) cautiously avoiding a ‘tidy the room’ task. And suddenly, ‘Shiver me. Look who’s here…’ becomes Mum or Dad, coming to remind him/her… and someone to be avoided… or distracted!

    Who knows? Time will tell… But that’s a completely new interpretation I got from this post, today!

  7. Well, the poem seems to be rushing to a climatic ending. I can’t wait to see how the final lines take shape. THank you for sharing the LMM poem. I’ve read many of her books (both the Anne of Green Gables and Emily of New Moon stories), but I’ve somehow missed her poetry. I’m glad there’s more for me to read!

  8. Another twist before the end–great line, Michelle!

  9. Great illustration! Wonderful to make the book a treasure in itself, to be protected. Like a child who’s reading by flashlight. 🙂 Two lines to go! Can’t wait to see where it heads.

  10. Hooray! You brought the book back to center stage! Waiting gleefully (and a bit anxiously) to see Charles’ line tomorrow. And Michelle, your art is just stunning. I love watercolor and black lines (is that the same as pen and ink?). Enjoyed perusing your site a bit.

    • Hi Laura, Many thanks, and thanks for taking a look at my art! I’m not sure which art piece you are referring to but I move back and forth between using pen and dip pens with watercolor, pencil with watercolor, and watercolor pencils with watercolor.
      As an aside I am working with wordpress folks via email to fix the problem of not being able to post on your blog. I’ve cleaned my cache, but they’ve also suggested cleaning out all my cookies, and I’m a little leery of doing that. Hope I can get it fixed I’d love to be able to leave a comment on your blog.

  11. I love that you illustrated the poem. The stage is so perfect with the water and sea shell lights. And you’ve included the freckles and the dragon and the parrot!!! I love it!
    On top of that, your line is just what the poem needed!

  12. haitiruth says:

    I love that you gave our heroine a face! Ruth,

  13. A wee bit more tension here at the end! Thanks for the visual and verbal fun, Michelle – and for educating so many of us that Lucy Maud Montgomery wrote poetry, too! “And the sea is a beautiful, sinuous thing! ” – love those stanza-ending lines.

  14. I’m really enjoying watching the Progressive Poem evolve. “The Sea Spirit” was an intriguing surprise–I had to go read the rest to see how it ended. I also looked up “gramarye”–magic! Ah, now I understand.

  15. Donna Smith says:

    A hush falls over the crowd! And the book is being guarded! Love it!

  16. Terrific line, Michelle! It makes perfect sense to me that this child, full of friction, ragged edges, and dragonwords would be protective of her book of stories… or at least that’s how I interpret it. Who knows what spin Charles will put on it?! The illustration is fantastic—love the dragony embellishments and the determination in the eyes. Even Robyn, the parrot, seems to be saying, don’t come to close there, matey.

  17. Irene Latham says:

    Thank you, Michelle! And an illustration to boot. 🙂 Perhaps we should add this element more formally in the future? I appreciate the LucyMM poem as well. xo

  18. I love what you did here, Michelle…line and lines! Beautiful and thank you!!! xx

  19. We are doubly fortunate for your contributions, Michelle. Your great line & also this perky pirate
    And make that triple appreciations, for sharing this beryl blue poem with a shipload of fabulous words & images in it from Lucy Maud Montgomery. I want to slow down when I read it, again!

    Happy, happy, happy!

  20. Your line and illustration are perfect, Michelle! Of course she is shielding her book! Thank you for the LMM poem. Like many others, I had no idea she wrote poetry as well. “The sea IS a beautiful, sinuous thing!”

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