Robyn Hood Black - children's author, poet, artist

Hannah enjoying poetry workshop

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Hanging with fellow Georgia writers (from top, l-r) Tracy Walker, Heather Kolich, Donna Bowman, (bottom, middle) Janice Hardy and Paula Puckett
photo by Steve Kolich

Susan Rosson Spain, Robyn Hood Black, Elizabeth Dulemba, and Myra Meade at the Hall Book Exchange in Gainesville, Ga.
photo by Mel Hornsby

Southern Breeze Kudos Kites 09 - Donna, Robyn, Heather, Sarah, and Peggy

Robyn with Kathleen Duey, author extraordinaire

Robyn with Alaska Nature Writer Debbie Miller

photo by Robyn Hood Black
Paul B. Janeczko

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Life on the Deckle Edge

Progressive Poem Parks Here Today!

April 25, 2017

Tags: Kidlit Progressive Poem, Progressive Poem, poetry, Poetry Month

Greetings! The Progressive Poem parks here today. Thanks for coming by. (The Progressive Poem is the brainchild of our own Irene Latham. Here's a little history & previous poems if you've stumbled upon this for the first time. See the sidebar at left for links to this year's contributors. )

I think this is the first time I’ve chimed in this late in the poem. The trick is to stay true to the poetic tale as told so far, and hand off something usable to the poets who will wrap it up. (While realizing, of course, that everybody interprets the poem differently. My thoughts are much in line with Ruth's from a couple of days ago.)

The lines between fantasy and real experience feel a bit blurred, but that works for our creative child protagonist, I think. My take is that we still have a young storyteller who has overcome obstacles/fear to share a fanciful adventure from the stage.
A freckled youngster who was a knight in the second stanza is now on stage as a “dragon pirate,” weaving colorful tales of Dragonworld sea adventures for the audience.

With only five lines to go, I feel it’s my duty to help turn this pirate ship toward its storytelling port for whatever ending awaits. Of course, the parrot has been called upon to provide a little literary “echo.”) (Many thanks to Amy for naming the parrot – Ha! I’m happy to share this bit of poetic posterity with our other Poetry Friday Robyn, too.)

My line is at the end.


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.


It's all yours, Renée! (Feel free to remove/adjust that period at the end if needed.)


  1. April 25, 2017 6:57 AM EDT
    The pirate HOOKED the crowd -- I love it, Robyn! Hardy har :-)
    - Tabatha
  2. April 25, 2017 7:43 AM EDT
    Of course there must be land eventually... and to have hooked the whole crowd -- of course our plucky hero would do such a thing. Thank you Robyn!! xo
    - Irene Latham
  3. April 25, 2017 8:54 AM EDT
    You are a genius! TWO Land Hos! xxxx
    - Amy Ludwig VanDerwater
  4. April 25, 2017 8:55 AM EDT
    I can see the satisfaction on his/her happy face, having "hooked" the crowd as planned. It is now time to head home. Wonderful move, Robyn!
    - Linda Baie
  5. April 25, 2017 9:07 AM EDT
    Our protagonist has made it to the Dragonworld? Anchors aweigh!
    - B.J. Lee
  6. April 25, 2017 10:40 AM EDT
    A perfect line, Robyn (Robyn)! Love the fact that you've turned this toward land and an ending in a way that stays true to our young adventurer!
    - Penny Parker Klostermann
  7. April 25, 2017 10:53 AM EDT
    Good Morning, Friends - that was written in a bit of a sleep-deprived delirium after running that haiku conference this past weekend; sometimes maybe that's the best way! ;0) Glad you all think it works.
    - Robyn Black
  8. April 25, 2017 11:21 AM EDT
    Great line, Robyn. Love the (land ho!) so poetic.
    - Joy Acey
  9. April 25, 2017 11:31 AM EDT
    Thanks, Joy!
    - Robyn Black
  10. April 25, 2017 12:08 PM EDT
    Well done on hooking the crowd and turning this dragon ship toward home, Robyn!
    - Michelle Heidenrich Barnes
  11. April 25, 2017 2:04 PM EDT
    Merci, Michelle! ;0) Thanks for paddling over.
    - Robyn Black
  12. April 25, 2017 3:32 PM EDT
    Lovely job, Robyn! I'm waving at the poem from the harbour! (I'm the last day/line--eek.)
    - Laura Purdie Salas
  13. April 25, 2017 4:37 PM EDT
    You've masterfully steered this ship--land ho indeed!
    - Buffy Silverman
  14. April 25, 2017 6:05 PM EDT
    Love the echo and the turn toward home.
    - Margaret Simon
  15. April 25, 2017 6:07 PM EDT
    Hi, Laura - Oh, our poem is in VERY good hands. :0)

    Thanks, Buffy - now I can exhale and see how it gets from Point A to Point Laura!
    - Robyn Black
  16. April 25, 2017 6:21 PM EDT
    I can't wait to see what happens next! This is great and great fun.
    - Linda Mitchell
  17. April 25, 2017 7:30 PM EDT
    Hooray, we've reached land! I'm eagerly awaiting as it winds to my port . . .
    - Michelle Kogan
  18. April 25, 2017 7:34 PM EDT
    Hi, Linda - Who knows how it will end up? so fun!

    Enjoy, Michelle... It's fun to throw, and catch, these "lines"!
    - Robyn Black
  19. April 25, 2017 8:34 PM EDT
    You "Hooked" the crowd, in loose iambic tetrametaaaaarrrrhhh!

    Interesting that you & Ruth saw a play being undertaken, and I saw the "stage" as a metaphor...two totally different perspectives!
    - Matt Forrest Esenwine
  20. April 26, 2017 12:10 AM EDT
    Perfect turn of events. I can't wait to see how it turns put.
    - Jone
  21. April 26, 2017 1:08 AM EDT
    Late stopping the echo and the delicious wordplay.
    - Ramona
  22. April 26, 2017 11:35 AM EDT
    Matt - you are too cleveaaaaarrrhhh!
    And I could see more than one avenue for interpretation with this, but all that storytelling and threading through the crowd and up the steps to the stage steered me to keeping it as our narrator actually sharing an imaginative tale; but who knows what will happen when it lands in your corner? ;0)

    Hi, Jone - me either! This is a fun one.

    Many thanks, Ramona; I had to fit in that namesake parrot presence somehow. ;0)
    - Robyn Black
  23. April 26, 2017 12:57 PM EDT
    Yes, the crowd is definitely hooked! Nice job!
    - Ruth (
  24. April 26, 2017 3:08 PM EDT
    And back to land! Playing catch up today.... days are flying by!
    Love this nearer to shore and home again line.
    - Donna Smith
  25. April 27, 2017 2:47 AM EDT
    I forgot to stop in and say thank you for your analysis of the poem, without which I would have been lost. :D
    - Renée
  26. April 27, 2017 8:07 AM EDT
    I'm play catch-up on the poem. What a wonderful line to feed towards the ending, Robyn - whilst also flowing on from what has been before. And perfect use of that parrot. Beautifully done!
    - KatApel
  27. April 27, 2017 8:22 AM EDT
    I love that you've give the parrot a line. Such fun to have participated and to see my word "hook" echoed so masterfully here. :-)
    - Brenda at friendlyfairytales
  28. April 27, 2017 1:37 PM EDT
    Thanks, Ruth! :0)

    Hi, Donna - I've been doing that all month. Glad you like the line!

    Renée, I can't imagine you'd be lost for long anywhere... but glad it helped. Thanks for your theatrical contribution!

    Thank you ("Thank you"), Kat - such fun this has been!

    Brenda, I loved that you "hooked" us earlier - thought it was a strong enough word/idea to appear one more time (and enough lines away from yours - :0) )
    - Robyn Black
  29. April 30, 2017 7:25 AM EDT
    Robyn, I'm coming by late to appreciate your contribution to the Prog Poem--and what a line! Thanks for returning us solidly to the stage, for the parrotical echo of the piratical hook, for the connection to the crowd. Sensible and delectable!
    - Heidi Mordhorst
  30. April 30, 2017 11:07 AM EDT
    Thank you, my sensible and delectable friend. :0)
    - Robyn Black
  31. April 30, 2017 8:02 PM EDT
    Pray tell me, Robyn, the poet (not the pirate's parrot) if perhaps the echo of Land Ho! could be part of a call/response? I see it as audience participation. It's a masterful line.

    Welcome back from your Haiku fun last week.
  32. April 30, 2017 9:05 PM EDT
    Oh, Jan, I always love how your mind works! That's a very fun idea. And thanks for the good wishes. :0) Hope you had a fantabulous Poetry Month.
    - Robyn Black

Quick Clicks

bio, photos, interview links, etc.
Explore a poem or two or five....
Explore this genre of sparely crafted poetry which offers endless depth. Resources for students, teachers, and writers.
Author visits
In schools or other settings, Robyn shares her passion for writing and encourages creativity. Presentations for all age groups.
In addition to writing books, Robyn has sold her writing to major children's magazines.
A rhyming tale of a young boy's knightly adventure with an imagined dragon.
Nonfiction, interactive book on wolves featuring giant pop-up and tons of info!