Welcome

This is my playground for poetry written for children with ideas and inspiration for writing your own poems. Come on in. Sit for a spell, have a cup of words to swirl around and make your own cup of poetry. I'm so glad you are here. I hope you'll find the Kingdom of Poetry a fun place to be.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

DESERT ACROSTIC



Down in the gully
East of my house
Snake is watching a little gray mouse.
Eek, squeaked the mouse, Gulp,
Replied the snake, and
That is the end of this tale.

    I've been thinking acrostics lately, so last night I started thinking about this poem.  But, as you can see, as soon as I started writing the poem, my brain wanted a rhyming poem.  And I really wanted to make it a Western Diamondback Rattle snake and a packrat.  There were more details I wanted to include.  This is a sure sign for me that I'm forcing the poem into the form I want it in rather than letting the poem be what it wants to be.  In fact, I even started playing with using "tail" instead of "tale" to end the poem.  That way the packrat would still be alive instead of being dinner.  The point is, this is not a finished poem.  I know that.  The poem has told me so.  I need to listen to my poems.
     Here is your poetry challenge for today.  Write an acrostic poem. Then listen to your poem.  Where does it want to take you?

Children's Poetry can take you to far off lands. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

BIRTHDAY SURPRISE

      Sorry to be slow with my posting for yesterday, but it was my birthday and I was having a grand time. I went to a Friends of the Library book sale and bought lots of great picture and poetry books.  Lots of books at $10 a bag.  And here is a poem about what happened with my birthday dinner.

BIRTHDAY SURPRISE

Eating dinner,
my cards and presents
by my plate.

Unwrapping gifts
my family knows me
I get a new journal.

The cake is chocolate
the ice cream too.
I look up to see
movement out the window.

Surprise!
There in my backyard
is a bobcat.
She slowly walks closer.

She has come to give me
one more present
the gift of her sighting.

     Do I need the last line of this poem? Or, should I switch the last two lines? Can you see how, "There in my backyard/ is a bobcat." is more exciting than There is a bobcat/ in my backyard? The order of the words  helps to build excitement.
     Can you write a free verse poem about what you did today?
     I feel wonderfully blessed to have so many friends sending greetings for my birthday via email and Facebook.  Thank you all.  I'm such a lucky girl.

Editing a poem is like picking fleas from a monkey's back.

May 25,2015



WORD JOCKEY 

At night, I jockey words
Around the paddock.
The trainer keeps time
While I keep running.

I exercise the words each day
Trying for a faster time--
A better run.  Sometimes
The word stretches its legs
Lengthens its stride.

Sometimes the word
Is stubborn and lazy.
It doesn't want to move
Balks at the starting gate.

Sometimes the word
Is scratched,
Scribbled into the dirt.

Some nights the word
Totally throws me
And I am left
To pick myself up and get back on
For another night's ride.
 
   This poem uses an extended metaphor.  It combines writing words with riding horses. I dream in words, they float around in my head at night as I try to put them together into another poem.  If you write, I'm sure you have had the occasion in conversation where someone mis-heard your writing and riding.  I think that may be where this poem came from. 
      My husband is a scientist.  At one time he had over 8,000 mice, of different strains, with different genetic backgrounds that he kept to use for his experiments.  We used to call him a Mouse Farmer.  As a student in school, are you a Desk Jockey?  So here is your poetry challenge for today.  Can you knock the heads of two ideas together and extend the metaphor?  Let's see, as a student, you might also be a Desk Gardener.

On the farm
the sun comes up early
I lift the top of my desk
take out paper and pen.

Stuck in this plot
enriching the soil
each paper tries to grow.
 
At noon,
the plants need watering
so we all march
to the lunch room.

To harvest great ideas
my teacher makes us
write many drafts.
We weed out many errors.

  

   Try this and let me know how it works for you. Have fun playing with words and ideas today.
      
 
Writing poetry for children is an exercise in love.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

THE CAVES

Caves are dark.
Caves are deep.
During the day
it's where bats sleep.

    Yesterday I went to Kartchner Caverns and explored the cave. I put on a helmet and headlamp to see stalactites, stalagmites, soda straws, bacon, drapes and towers, all slowly made by dripping calcite.  I also got to see 45,000 year-old bat guano. It is hard to think of something that old. Can you imagine what life must have been like 45,000 years ago?  In the Discovery Center I saw a picture of a square foot with over 200 bats sleeping in that small space. Can I say my mind was boggled? 
   What do you know about rocks, stones, or caves? What do you know about the insects or mammals that live in caves? Can you write your own poem about one of these topics? Have fun writing.

Poetry is truth in its Sunday clothes.  
Joseph Roux

Saturday, May 23, 2015

TANKA



new moon,      a dark time
searching firefly can't find
an answering flash
a single frog by the stream 
haunts my night with his croaking

     I thought I'd try another tanka for today's poem.  A tanka is a syllabic poem like a haiku.
It starts with the 5-7-5 pattern and adds two more 7 syllable lines.  So it is 5-7-5-7-7.  Unlike haiku that is a nature poem, tankas are poems about love.  They were called pillow poems because in early Japan women would write the poems and leave them on their lover's pillow.Would you like to try writing a tanka today? Have a great Saturday. 


Children's Poetry Can Help You See.

Friday, May 22, 2015

WIND

Bend bushes bend.
Bow to the wind.
Fall petals fall.
Wind blows it all.

Springtime breezes
fly paper kites
taking our dreams
up to new heights.

    Are you ready for Memorial Day weekend?  What are some of the things you see in the wind?  Can you write a poem about the wind today?  Have fun writing.
   The Poetry Friday Round Up is hosted by Matt Forrest today over at his blog Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme.
  

 Children's Poetry Can Make You Giggle.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

LANTERNE

SPRING

Sand
cacti
when there's rain
desert blooming
hats.

    Today's poem is a Lanterne and I wouldn't know the term except my friend, children's poet, Matt Forrest challenged me to write four poems in four days and then find four friends to tag and ask them to write poems too.  Except, the last time I did this I had a hard time finding four friends who hadn't already been tapped to write poems.  AND this is Memorial Day weekend.  It is my birthday weekend and I don't want my friends to have to be glued to their computers posting poems when it is going to be a great weekend to be outdoors.
For my birthday, my husband is taking me caving.  Doesn't that sound like fun?  It is something I've never done before and I'm looking forward to it
  But, let's get back to the lanterne, because that is your poetry challenge for today.  Try writing one.  A lanterne is a form of cinquain poem.  It has five lines.  The title can work to make a sixth line for you or go without a title.  The first line has only one syllable, then each successive line adds one more syllable, until you get to the last line which has only one syllable again.  It is called a lanterne because if the poem is set with a certer margin, or centered on the page it looks like a lantern.  Each line should be able to stand on its own.


SPRING

Sand
cacti
when there's rain
desert blooming
hats.

That is a funny looking lantern to me.  I originally ended this poem with the word spring (and I didn't have a title),  but when I went back to edit, I was thinking of the Mother's Day hats that the Saguaro wear--pretty white flowers in a ring on the top.  I like the surprise of the hats at the end because when it rains, people put on hats too.  So there is a layered meaning at the end of the poem.

Line 1 = 1 syllable
Line 2 = 2 syllables
Line 3 = 3 syllables
Line 4 = 4 syllables
Line 5 = 1 syllable

An 11 syllable poem can be tricky.
 
   Now it is your turn.  Will you try writing your own lanterne?  If you want, please post your poem in the comments below.