Get Your Golden Shovel! (Collaborative Series)

This is an invitation to all of you poets (or potential poets, which is all of you) out there to join me in a new collaborative series I’m calling “Get Your Golden Shovel”. Here is how it will work.

Each Saturday in February (as an initial experiment and then I’ll decide whether to continue), will be Golden Shovel Saturday. I’ll post a prompt consisting of one or two lines from a well known poem on Saturday, then we all will create a new poem using the Golden Shovel form and share it with each other. I think it will be very interesting to see how different each of our pieces are despite pulling from the same source of material.

What is the Golden Shovel form, you ask? The Golden Shovel form was created by the poet Terrance Hayes, whose poem “Golden Shovel” (from his 2010 collection Lighthead) is based on Gwendolyn Brooks’ “We Real Cool” which references the phrase “Golden Shovel”. Here are the rules:

1) Take a line (or lines) from an existing poem (I’ll provide this as the prompt for the week)

2) Use each word in the line (or lines) as an end word in your poem.

3) Keep the end words in order.

4) The new poem does not have to be about the same subject as the poem that offers the end words.

5) Make sure to credit the poet who originally wrote the line (or lines) and link to my prompt post.

6. Have fun! If the rules are too rigid for what your muse is calling for then break them!

Golden Shovel Example:

Prompt: “Cursing the winter solstice sun” (from Under the Solstice Sun by Monty Vern)

New Golden Shovel poem:

Winter’s Curse

Honey sweet lips cursing;

Stoking flames, melting the

Frozen timepieces of winter;

Summoning summer’s solstice;

Accelerating earth ‘round the sun.

I’m only using my own poem as an example. The prompts will come from poems that I admire of find interesting in some way by other poets.

While there will not be any hard deadlines, the intention is to share your Golden Shovel poem during the prompt week before the following Golden Shovel Saturday.

You can either post on your own blog and link to the prompt post so that we can all see it and further share or include it in the prompt post’s comments section.

That’s it. We’ll be starting on Saturday, February 5th with the first prompt. Feel free to give it a try with the prompt line above if you want to get your feet wet.

I’m looking forward to seeing what develops from this. It should be fun!

Be well,



  1. Kathleen says:

    Bitter honey
    Not too sweet
    Falls from lips

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Monty Vern says:

      Nice!!! ☺️☺️☺️


  2. Hmmm, Sounds interesting.


    1. Monty Vern says:

      Week 1 prompt was just posted if you want to give it a try. Would love to have you 😊


  3. Oh wow this sounds so interesting! I might have to give it a try! I’m not one to write poetry but I try lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Monty Vern says:

      I’d love to have you give it a try. It’s just an experiment for fun.


    2. Monty Vern says:

      Week 1 prompt was just posted if you want to give it a try ☺️


      1. Thanks Monty! I’ll find it when I have time to go through my emails haha

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Monty Vern says:

        No rush! Take care.


  4. Look at you capitalizing on potentially new blogging buddies from the January challenge.
    This sounds pretty cool!


    1. Monty Vern says:

      Haha! I’d be excited to have you give it a try!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Monty Vern says:

      Week 1 was just posted. Would love to see what you can do with it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Heading over there soon. Thanks for the reminder!


  5. Oo, this sounds interesting!
    Count me in!

    Liked by 1 person

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