Progressive Poem 2022 is Here!

Happy Last Day of National Poetry Month


Last Day for The Progressive Poem 2022

Well, here we are… What an adventurous romp this years Progressive Poem has been. Many thanks to Irene Latham who began the Progressive Poem and Margaret Simon who is continuing on with it!

Wayback when, we began without maps, dipped into spring’s puddle-wonderful, saw birds, did dancing, singing, moon-slicing, even heard some chattering monkeys. Nature kept on coming– nettles and sky, gardens, libraries, lightning bugs, oh my… More birds, surfing rivers of wind, wonderful–magical and sometimes confusing, and then…one last dance– And now…

My lines at the bottom in italics…

Alas, I am teaching a Poetry and Art Workshop on this last day of National Poetry Month, and will catch up with comments later in the day. (or peek at them with my students.)


Where they were going, there were no maps.

Sorry! I don’t want any adventures, thank you. Not today.

Take the adventure, heed the call, now ere the irrevocable moment passes!

We have to go back. I forgot something.

But it’s spring, and the world is puddle-wonderful,

so we’ll whistle and dance and set off on our way.

Come with me, and you’ll be in a land of pure imagination.

Wherever you go, take your hopes, pack your dreams, and never forget –

it is on our journeys that discoveries are made.

And then it was time for singing.

Can you sing with all the voices of the mountain, paint with all the colors of the wind, freewheeling through an endless diamond sky?

Suddenly, they stopped and realized they weren’t the only ones singing.

Listen, a chattering of monkeys! Let’s smell the dawn
and taste the moonlight, we’ll watch it all spread out before us.

The moon is slicing through the sky. We whisper to the tree,
tap on the trunk, imagine it feeling our sound.

Clouds of blue-winged swallows, rain from up the mountains,

Green growing all around, and the cool splash of the fountain.

If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden,

a bright, secret, quiet place, and rather sad;

and they stepped out into the middle of it.

Their minds’ libraries and lightning bugs led them on.

The darkwood sings, the elderhist blooms, the sky lightens; listen and you will find your way home.

The night sky would soon be painted, stars gleaming overhead, a beautiful wild curtain closing on the day.

Mud and dusk, nettles and sky – time to cycle home in the dark.
There are no wrong roads to anywhere
lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove.

Standing at the fence of the cottage,
I hear the new note in the voices of the birds.

I pray to the birds because I believe they will carry the message of my heart upward.

I make up a song that goes on singing all by itself

Surfing rivers of wind way up high . . . calling zeep, zeep, zeep in the sky,

blinking back the wee wonder of footprints, mouse holes, and underground maps.

It was all so wonderful and so magical that sometimes I got a little confused by my adventures.

I feel like waving… like dancing around on the road

But, “There is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”

Aurora-Borealis, © 2015, Michelle Kogan, pencil and digital color.

1. The Imaginaries: Little Scraps of Larger Stories, by Emily Winfield Martin
2. The Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkien
3. The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame
4. Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
5. inspired by “[in Just-]” by E. E. Cummings
6. “Pure Imagination” from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
7. Maybe by Kobi Yamada
8. Sarah, Plain, and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
9. inspired by Disney songs “A Whole New World” from Aladdin and “Colors of the Wind” from Pocahontas
10. The Other Way to Listen by Byrd Baylor
11. adapted from Cinnamon by Neil Gaiman
12. adapted from The Magical Imperfect by Chris Baron
13. adapted from On the Same Day in March by Marilyn Singer
14. adapted from a line in Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
15. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
16. Prince Caspian by CS Lewis
17. The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera
18. Kate DiCamillo’s The Beatryce Prophecy
19. The Keeper of Wild Words by Brooke Smith
20. Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv
21. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
22. “Dance Me to the End of Love” by Leonard Cohen
23. adapted from Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
24. A quote from Terry Tempest Williams in Birdology by Sy Montgomery
25. adapted from “When I Was a Bird” by Katherine Mansfield
26. Warbler Wave by April Pulley Sayre with Jeff Sayre
27. a quote from the poem, “Reading in the Dark” from the book, “Please Bury Me In the library” by J. Patrick Lewis.
28. The Ship That Flew by Hilda Lewis
29. adapted from “So This is Nebraska” from Sure Signs: New & Selected Poems by Ted Kooser
30. adapted from “The House At Pooh Corner” by A. A. Milne

Progressive Poem 2022

1 April 1 Irene at Live Your Poem
2 Donna Smith at Mainly Write
3 Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
4 Mary Lee at A(nother) Year of Reading
5 Buffy at Buffy Silverman
6 Linda Mitchell  at A Word Edgewise
7 Kim Johnson at Common Threads
8 Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities
9 Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link
10 Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
11 Janet Fagel at Reflections on the Teche
12 Jone at Jone Rush MacCulloch
13 Karin Fisher-Golton at Still in Awe
14 Denise Krebs at Dare to Care
15 Carol Labuzzetta @ The Apples in my Orchard
16 Heidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little Universe
17 Ruth at There is no such thing as a God-forsaken Town
18 Patricia at Reverie
19 Christie at Wondering and Wandering
20 Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
21 Kevin at Dog Trax
22 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
23 Leigh Anne at A Day in the Life
24 Marcie Atkins
25 Marilyn Garcia
26 JoAnn Early Macken
27 Janice at Salt City Verse
28 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
29 Karen Eastlund at Karen’s Got a Blog
30 Michelle Kogan Painting, Illustration, & Writing

Appreciations to All!

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, Holidays, Home, Nature, Pencil Drawing, Poem, poetry, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Progressive Poem 2022 is Here!

  1. Janet F. says:

    I sing out a Hallelujah. We did it again. Your line is perfection, Michelle. The poem turned into a beauty. So much there to give us hope. Yes, I pray we can all get there. With a little or a lot of help from from our FRIENDS !!!

  2. Tabatha says:

    Nailed it, Michelle!

  3. margaretsmn says:

    Ah, just right! Thanks for landing us softly to hope for more adventures to come.

  4. cvarsalona says:

    What a great ending, Michelle, and you brought back the “we” into the poem. This is a good reminder that adventures are magical, especially when celebrated with friends. Hooray for the 2022 Progressive Poem.

  5. Brilliant, Michelle. This year’s poem had a lovely loose-ness about it, didn’t it? And your ending befits that vibe. Well done, as always.

  6. Oh, Michelle – the perfect ending! (Leaving room for new beginnings and wanderings for our poem’s stars, whoever they are – :0) ) Your art from 2015 suits it so well.
    Thanks for all your creativity, and – lucky students! – hope the workshop is a blast.

  7. Thank you, Michelle, for bringing us back! It feels so appropriate that this journey we’ve been on is one that we can plug into anytime. But then, that is the gift of poetry!

  8. rosecappelli says:

    Such fun! Thank you for the perfect ending, Michele!

  9. Donna Smith says:

    Ah, yes…it was all SO wonderful! It felt like at any time it could become “disjointed”, but it kept coming back to “smooth” again and again with each new line. It seemed like there was always a fitting line out there waiting to drop in…and it always did! It’s a rambly, appreciative journey of a poem! Love it.

  10. heidimordhorst says:

    Thank you, Michelle! I’ve been neglecting the progress of this gloriously undisciplined thing, and now I see it more as a prose poem–I’m going to see what it looks like as a block of text…or maybe even a haibun, with your last line to close it.

  11. janicescully says:

    There is no hurry, seems so profound to me and a great place to end. Heidi’s idea of writing the whole poem as a prose poem seems so interesting!

  12. This poem took on a life of its own and it is a lovely thing to read and contemplate. So much fun to be a part of it.

  13. Pingback: Poetry Friday: May 6, 2022 – Marcie Flinchum Atkins

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