Get Your Golden Shovel! No. 02 (a 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 works.

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”. Check out the “rules” here. There is also an example provided.

If you missed the first prompt, check out all the contributions from the community in the Week 1 Round-Up. Feel free to contribute yours anytime. It was a great poem line prompt with lots of creative potential.

Enough said. Here’s our second prompt. Enjoy!

Golden Shovel No. 02

Cocoa in pods and alligator pears”

The Tropics in New York by Claude McKay

You can either post on your own blog and link to the prompt post so that we can all see it and further share, include it in the prompt post’s comments section, or post on twitter and tag me (@montyvern).

While there is not any hard deadline, the intention is to share your Golden Shovel poem during the prompt week before the following Golden Shovel Saturday. I’ll target posting my own poem along with some of yours with links in a round-up post ahead of the following week’s prompt.

That’s it! I’m looking forward to seeing what we all come up. It should be a bit challenging, but hopefully fun.

Be well,



  1. I’m gonna follow the rules on this one lol


  2. “Cocoa in pods and alligator pears?” WTF were you thinking? Clearly – you were not. How do you come up with these? Is it random?

    I will try to create something for my Thursday post, but this is tough. I have ‘interface’ as another prompt waiting for me… It’s going to be a challenging week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Monty Vern says:

      Haha. Well this is a real line from a real poem, but I’m selecting them based on my personal attraction to the words. I’ve already done mine for this line and I loved it 🤷‍♂️. Sorry if I’m stretching it too far on only the second week. Haha.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I make it a point not to read other entries (yours) before I write mine. I don’t want to be too influenced – I like how unique yet sometimes the same the entries are.

        I like being pushed. Let’s see what comes of it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Monty Vern says:

        Agree. I don’t post mine for the line till the end of the week for the round-up post for exactly that reason.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Kathleen says:

    Delicious! Cocoa
    Seduced from pods
    And finding
    Of alligator
    Under the shack
    Massages mysteriously happen
    In zihua
    Like sweet whispers
    Of pears.


    1. Monty Vern says:

      Beautifully Fun!


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