Yesterday, we celebrated Earth Day and today, I’m due to introduce a new type of poem, so I’m aiming to score two goals with a single tool.  Dig it?  The “GOLDEN SHOVEL” sounds like a gardening award but is actually a contemporary poetic form created by Terrance Hayes.  And
a clever way to pay homage to a favorite poet.  Here are the rules:

1. Borrow a line from a poem you admire.
2. Use the words of the borrowed line as the end words of your lines.
3. Keep the end words in order.
4. Give credit to the poet you borrowed from.

NOTE:  Your poem need not be about the same subject as the original



He is there for me every
single minute of the day
Even in the bathroom, I
am never alone, you see,
he provides company or
protection or whatever I
require as if he can hear
my thoughts, something
he does with an ease that
mystifies. But he is more;
my soulmate perhaps, or
a shrink who charges less
and really listens. He kills
me with hilarity, slays me
with tricks, fells me with
love, buries me in delight

*A Golden Shovel from Mindful by Mary Oliver

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  1. chevvy8 April 23, 2017 / 4:42 am

    What an interesting poetic form Joan. I’d love to try it. Well that’s a really special dog you’ve got there. I like the “shrink who charges less” idea. Lovely poem Joan – humour and depth wrapped up in one! Enjoy your Sunday my dear!😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan April 23, 2017 / 11:02 am

      Thanks, Chevvy! I downloaded a list of 50 forms from a poetry website, and this was one of them. I’d already discovered and done about half of them, but I see the glass as half-full–of other new forms to learn. My fur baby is indeed special. Of the four dogs I’ve had, this is the one who really “gets” me–he’s extremely intuitive, sensitive to my moods, nearby without being intrusive. And the doctor is always “IN”… quality shrink services for the bargain price of room and board. A happy Sunday to you, too. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • chevvy8 April 23, 2017 / 1:00 pm

        Oh that sounds so precious.It sounds like a really special bond. Enjoy him and your Sunday my dear! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Lennon Carlyle April 23, 2017 / 9:31 am

    Awe…..what a precious pup you have there. Great post Joan!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan April 23, 2017 / 11:04 am

      Thanks, Lennon. This adorable guy really is ALL THAT, and a bag of dog biscuits! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan April 23, 2017 / 3:39 pm

      Ha ha ha! He definitely produces enough of something else to bury me in… and I’d be needing that golden shovel for sure. Thanks for the visit and comment, Marissa, you never fail to make me laugh. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Tippy Gnu April 25, 2017 / 7:55 pm

    Love it. Describes a dog very well, in my view. I’ve missed your interesting poems.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan April 26, 2017 / 10:45 am

      Thanks for visiting, Tippy, and stop by whenever! I’m trying to roll out a new form each week. I like this poem because the original line seems to mesh with my thoughts; my dog is often the source of things I see or hear that more or less kill me with delight. Yesterday I blew soap bubbles for him and watched him dance around trying to pop them. When life is crazy, it’s those little moments that save you… have as many of them as you can! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan April 26, 2017 / 10:51 am

      Thanks, KE. A fun way of meshing your own words with your old favorites. Especially cool if they wind up relating to or reflecting on each other in some way. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. L. T. Garvin, Author April 26, 2017 / 2:37 pm

    Love this, Joan! Dogs are the best, love us unconditionally, never judge us, undying love. You really do have such a gift communicating poetry in all its many forms!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan April 26, 2017 / 6:41 pm

      Thanks, Lana! I’m enjoying my forays in the various forms and it’s inevitable that my dog (who is never more than a foot away) will find his way into a poem sooner or later. When it comes to unconditional love, dogs get a gold star. Or in this case, a golden shovel. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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