I signed up for April 23rd to add my line to the Progressive Poem because it is the birthday of my blog. Today my blog is eleven, and like any eleven-year-old, I am very excited and would like lots of birthday wishes. Plus cake, if you have it.
But in the meantime, I have to add a line.
So, I've been reading and rereading the poem much of the day, in between grading and lesson plans, and I think that the boat that was added at the beginning of this stanza is not a real boat, but actually scenery on a stage (think something like the photo below, which I got from tripadvisor.com).
I say that because our persona/protagonist was on a stage, having climbed the stairs and turned to face the crowd, and was saying lines s/he had learned by heart, when suddenly the boat was mentioned. I think this person/dragon/person in a dragon costume is acting in a play. Perhaps s/he wanted to be a knight, but that part was taken by someone else, hence removing the spurs and armor. Maybe s/he has been told that a dragon can't be an actor. And it seems there's someone in the crowd who is a surprise, or someone s/he is afraid of. Or it could just be the crowd, because it can be pretty surprising when you're on stage to see all those seats full, all those eyes staring up at you...
What on earth?
You see, the thing with the Progressive Poem is that no one person is in charge. When I write one of my own poems, I can make it take whatever direction I choose, but with the Progressive Poem, I only have one thirtieth of the power, and I can puzzle out all I want, but I'm never going to have more than one thirtieth. (In my post from yesterday, you can see the full list of all the participants.) I can add my line, but then I have to stand back for everyone else, and all my puzzling may not be how the people who come after me see our little scenario. Every year this exercise reminds me of how much I like to be in control, but, as in life, I'm not. All I know is that we need a strong verb here; our protagonist needs to do something, standing there on the deck of the ship...
Here we go. My line is at the end, in bold.
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
Your turn now, Amy!
7 minutes ago