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

Hannah enjoying poetry workshop

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Enjoy these Great
Children's Lit Blogs and Websites:

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

Take a Break from Tax Day with the 2015 Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem

April 14, 2015

Tags: Progressive Poem, poetry, Poetry Month

Take a refreshing dip away from numbers, forms, and lines at the post office today. Here we are, smack-dab in the middle of National Poetry Month!

One of my favorite Kidlitosphere events is this annual communal traveling poem (a different blog every day), the brainchild of talented poet and my dear friend Irene Latham.

This year's poem is especially intriguing; we have a character who seems to be a bayou mermaid, with a mysterious bracelet and wisdom-filled whispers from her grandmother. She went from land to water, and as she reached me she was reaching and seizing something, thanks to Renée yesterday, under a surprising (ominous?) shadow at the surface, with a paddle dipping, thanks to Doraine...

I suppose she could have been reaching for a literal pearl underwater, but I prefer to think of the pearl metaphorically. The rainbow-topped dewdrop would suggest she needs to find her way back to terra firma. So in my line, she has seized the paddle instead...

Progressive Poem 2015

She lives without a net, walking along the alluvium of the delta.
Shoes swing over her shoulder, on her bare feet stick jeweled flecks of dark mica.

Hands faster than fish swing at the ends of bare brown arms. Her hair flows,
snows in wild wind as she digs in the indigo varnished handbag,

pulls out her grandmother’s oval cuffed bracelet,
strokes the turquoise stones, and steps through the curved doorway.

Tripping on her tail she slips hair first down the slide… splash!
She glides past glossy water hyacinth to shimmer with a school of shad,

listens to the ibises roosting in the trees of the cypress swamp–
an echo of Grandmother’s words, still fresh in her windswept memory.

Born from the oyster, expect the pearl.
Reach for the rainbow reflection on the smallest dewdrop.

The surface glistens, a shadow slips above her head, a paddle dips–
she reaches, seizes. She’s electric energy and turquoise eyes.

Lifted high, she gulps strange air - stares clearly into

Into what? That's for the creative and insightful Ruth to decide! I'm quite curious to see where we go from here.

Below is the entire schedule, so you can follow along. If you'd like a peek at a Poetry-Month-themed little piece of art I just made (vintage mixed media/found poem) click over to my artsyletters blog ! Thanks for visiting today, and happy travels as you make your way through the rest of April.

2015 Kidlitosphere
Progressive Poem

1 Jone at Check it Out

2 Joy at Poetry for Kids Joy

3 Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe

4 Laura at Writing the World for Kids

5 Charles at Poetry Time Blog

6 Ramona at Pleasures from the Page

7 Catherine at Catherine Johnson

8 Irene at Live Your Poem

9 Mary Lee at Poetrepository

10 Michelle at Today's Little Ditty

11 Kim at Flukeprints

12 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche

13 Doraine at DoriReads

14 Renee at No Water River

15 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge

16 Ruth at There is No Such Thing as a Godforsaken Town

17 Buffy at Buffy's Blog

18 Sheila at Sheila Renfro

19 Linda at Teacher Dance

20 Penny at A Penny and her Jots

21 Tara at A Teaching Life

22 Pat at Writer on a Horse

23 Tamera at The Writer's Whimsy

24 Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect

25 Tabatha at The Opposite of indifference

26 Brian at Walk the Walk

27 Jan at Bookseedstudio

28 Amy at The Poem Farm

29 Donna at Mainely Write

30 Matt at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme


  1. April 15, 2015 7:13 AM EDT
    What does she see, what does she see? :) Thank you, Robyn! You've left it wide open for Ruth. And yes, thank GOODNESS for poetry on tax day. xo
    - Irene Latham
  2. April 15, 2015 7:39 AM EDT
    I love all these cliff-hangers! Can't even begin to plan for the ending of this!
    - Donna Smith
  3. April 15, 2015 8:03 AM EDT
    Oh my, what next? You've added much to the action, Robyn, without telling much at all. I imagine the rising up, and then Ruth will have to tell us why. Great line!
    - Linda Baie
  4. April 15, 2015 8:13 AM EDT
    Nice line. I can't wait to see what she sees!
    - Doraine Bennett
  5. April 15, 2015 8:16 AM EDT
    I wanna know what she sees, too, Irene! ;0) Thanks for organizing this fun unfolding which lasts the whole month...

    Donna - who KNOWS where we'll be by then?!

    Thanks, Linda; my haiku sensibilities are probably showing!Though I overcame them to include the adverb. Don't tell Mark Twain.
    - Robyn Black
  6. April 15, 2015 8:16 AM EDT
    Hi, Doraine, thanks - & me too!
    - Robyn Black
  7. April 15, 2015 11:46 AM EDT
    What does she see? You've left us gasping for more!
    - Buffy Silverman
  8. April 15, 2015 11:51 AM EDT
    Oh goodie, Buffy - that was my devious intention. Bwah ha ha.
    - Robyn Black
  9. April 15, 2015 3:56 PM EDT
    Now you wouldn't be "passing the buck" on tax day, would you? Ha! I crack myself up. Seriously though, LOVE the suspense! Can't wait to hear what Ruth has to offer tomorrow.
    - Michelle Heidenrich Barnes
  10. April 15, 2015 4:31 PM EDT
    Ruth is trembling...
    - Ruth (
  11. April 15, 2015 4:47 PM EDT
    I like it, Robyn! This poem is so fascinating and mysterious...
    - Tabatha
  12. April 15, 2015 5:02 PM EDT
    Oh, Michelle - Laura Shovan accuses me of being "punny" and I will share that label with you. Glad you like the line!

    Dear Trembling Ruth, you've handled a lot worse than this. ;0) Whatever turn you take, it'll be great.

    Hi, Tabatha - good words! I love fascinating and mysterious... and we still have a couple weeks to go!
    - Robyn Black
  13. April 15, 2015 10:15 PM EDT
    Robyn, the intrigue mounts each day. What's next?
    - Carol Varsalona
  14. April 16, 2015 11:23 AM EDT
    Hi, Carol! Thanks for stopping by. I'm about to go find out where Ruth has led us... :0)
    - Robyn Black
  15. April 16, 2015 9:19 PM EDT
    "gulps strange air" is just fab!
    - Amy Ludwig VanDerwater
  16. April 17, 2015 5:24 AM EDT
    "Gulps strange air" is so wonderful, Robyn! And for the record, in my head she was reaching for the paddle, not a literal pearl, so I love that you went in that direction -- and she's been lifted up! I didn't expect that. Terrific line!
    - Renee LaTulippe (@ReneeMLaTulippe)
  17. April 17, 2015 12:17 PM EDT
    Thanks, Amy! :0)

    Renee - oh, good - I certainly entertained that you might have had that in mind, but you kindly left it open. Still, I'm glad you and I were reaching for the same thing! ;0)
    - Robyn Black
  18. April 17, 2015 7:34 PM EDT
    This is so much fun as I play catchup. "gulps strange air" adds much to the intrigue!
    - Penny Parker Klostermann
  19. April 17, 2015 8:51 PM EDT
    Thanks, Penny - I did that (play catch up) earlier in the month, and then it was hard to give up the instant gratification when I reached the actual day! ;0)
    - 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!