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.

Friday, February 28, 2014

CHANGES

I'm waiting for springtime 
to explode
as I watch quail and lizards
cross the road.

The lizard keeps his belly high,
his tail curled up toward the sky.
You might think of scorpion
or snakes on the run,
but it's just a lizard
enjoying the sun.

This is how he
keeps birds away
and lives to run 
another day.


    Changes are happening.  Nothing stays the same.  Tomorrow we have a new moon and a new month.  What changes are happening around you?  Can you write a poem about change?  Maybe you'd like to try a haiku if the changes are in nature that you notice.  Hope your Friday is wild and crazy.  Live big. Have fun.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

RODEO DAYS


A banana, a mango,
I'm off to the rodeo.
I'm taking a picnic lunch.

I don't know where it's at,
but I'm taking a lariat,
and planning on fun, a bunch.

I'll laugh at clown faces,
watch fast barrel races,
and sit in the stands on a slope.

I'll see bucking broncos,
a group playing banjos,
and cows hog-tied with a rope.

I'll watch steers rush from the gate.
I can hardly wait,
and I won't 
be home 
until late.


     Rodeo Days is a big holiday event in Tucson--a great part of the town's heritage.  There is a big western parade with lots of wagons and horses.  Children get out of school.  Cowboys come from all over to try their hand at the rodeo events.  Have you ever gone to a rodeo?
     What is your favorite holiday?  Can you write a poem about that day?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Dream Poem


There is a river
I skate upon
in my dreams
from dusk until dawn.

Oh the adventures,
skating near and far
and when I'm tired
I rest on a star.




    What do you dream about? Your dreams can take you anywhere.  Can you write your own dream poem today?  Make it fun.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Who is Happy?

The cats jump for joy.
The dogs leap with glee.
Everyone is happy.
What can
the excitement
be?


    What gets you excited?  Can you write a poem about excitement today? Answer the question of this poem to make the next verse.  What are you passionate about?  Do have fun writing your poem.  Happy Tuesday.

Monday, February 24, 2014

WINTER SNOWFALL


Winter snowfall gently drifting
flake by wondrous flake,
Silver moonbeams brightly shining
dancing on the lake.
In the water swans are swimming
gliding hen and drake.
Nature's mystery to be granted
in the life we make.


    Oh boy, am I in trouble.  I'm up in the wee hours and reading some old dead English poets and see what happens to my verses?  My rhyme scheme changes and my lines get longer.  Did you see the quarter moon last night?  What is a mystery of nature that you have seen or experienced?  Can you try writing a poem about that today?  Do have fun with your writing.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

haiku



Little milkweed bugs
rest upon a burst seed pod--
beginnings and end



Daffodils blooming
yellow and gold profusion--
their trumpets blaring


     It is a quiet day at my house.  I had a chance to take a walk, and in addition to lots of golf balls (I felt like I was on an Easter egg hunt) I found daffodils and milkweed bugs.  My field guide says the Latin is, Lygaeus kalmii, and they are from the "True Bug Order."  
   
Can you find a moment to write your own haiku today?  What about nature do you notice?  Have fun writing.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Desert Ocotillo


Ocotillos bloom
in spires of red, hot pokers
your birthday candles
everywhere the flames burning
too quickly they are blown out


      This poem is a tanka.  I haven't written many tankas so I did have to go back to one of my form books to check that I had done the syllables correctly.  Tankas were made popular by Chinese courtesans who published books of tanka written to their sponsor.  Those books are some of the first poetry books published of poetry by women.  The tanka has 31 syllables, five lines long in a 5, 7, 5, 7, 7 pattern.  It is like a haiku 5-7-5, with two extra 7 syllable lines.  Also, these poems encouraged the use of reference to the lover or sponsor.

    Your challenge for today is to try writing your own tanka.  Have fun.

     And here is a thought, if you get stumped in writing.




"The poet doesn't invent.  He listens."    Jean Cocteau

Friday, February 21, 2014

THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE



Whoever said,
The best things
in life are free,
stopped to listen
to birds singing
in a tree.



video
 I hoped that worked for you.  I was trying up loading a video of the bird singing.

And now, I noticed the moon was still out on my morning walk.

The moon is caught
in the saguaro spines.
The needles are strong,
holding like twine.

What will happen
if it can't get away?
Will we be stuck,
day after day?

Will we never
have another night?
Somehow that doesn't
seem quite right.

    

     Ok. That one will take patience.  There are a lot of long pauses.  I was trying to make a poem up on the spot, something I like to challenge myself to do and the pauses between lines are a little long while I was thinking about where the poem was going to go.  Have you ever tried to make up a rhyme while standing on your feet?  Sometimes the movement of my feet helps the rhythm of the poem.  But, in this case I just wanted something to go with the cool moon in the saguaro.  I tried a haiku too.  Perhaps you'd like to try a haiku to go with one of the pictures you've seen today, or better yet, use something from your landscape.  Have fun.
If the videos don't work, I'll come back and edit them out.  Have a great weekend. video


The Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted by Karen Edmisten this week on her blog at http://karenedmisten.blogspot.com/  Thanks for a great party, Karen.  You can find lots of other great poetry for children on her blog.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

BUTTERFLY GARDEN

 Inside the butterfly garden
the butterflies are all astir.
 Their wings, they are flapping,
flying in a whir.
 Yellow, orange and blue ones,
dancing all about.
 Careful when you exit.
Do not let them out.
 Watch them stop to rest,
dull underside of wing.
 Filled with graceful magic
the butterfly garden brings.


   Have you ever hatched a butterfly?  Have you watched one fly?  Have you visited a butterfly garden? 
Can you write your own butterfly poem today?   

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Turtle's and Mink's Conversation.

"What do you think?"
asked the mink,
"Would you like
some cocoa to drink?"

"Oh my dear,
I think it's clear,
that water
from the sink,
would make
a better drink
for a mink,"
said turtle.


   Quick, name two animals.  Now write a conversation between the two.  What would a cat say to the cow?  What would a pig say to the hummingbird?  What would Charlotte say to Wilbur?  

"Who-who,"
said the Owl.
"I think it's true,
that the night
brings a moon
to me and to you."

"Oh, no,"
said the snake.
"You've made 
 a mistake.
That light you  see
is a flashlight, tee-hee."

    Have fun creating your own poem.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

WINTER MOON

Cream sickle, dream sickle,
wintertime moon,
you rise too late
and set too soon.



     My friend Rosi wrote a haiku in response to my poem SNOW MOON.  It got me to thinking about other phases of the moon and how I like to sleep more in the winter.  Have you written a poem about the moon?  The moon currently is waning, so it soon will be sickle shaped.  Did you know that Sickle also refers to a group of six stars in the constellation Leo?  Have fun writing your own poem today.
     And yes, I was also thinking about food--Creamsicles.

Monday, February 17, 2014

EARLY SPRING

The weather is warm.
The air is dry.
The sky is blue
as the bluest sky.
Wild flowers bloom 
on every hill.
Birds are calling
their lovely trill.
Springtime is coming
what a glorious thrill.



     Today is beautiful and I'm happy and grateful.  What is making you happy today?  Can you write a poem about it? 
     Yesterday morning on my walk there was one bird sitting in the top of the ocotillo singing up a storm.  This morning when I walked past that ocotillo, there were two birds sitting there.  I guess the singing bird found someone to sing with him.  I think my own life is like that.  I have lots of friends around, but unless I open my mouth to sing and say, come join me, new friends don't know they are welcome to come and play.  Who can you sing out to today?

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Snow Moon

Canopus and Sirius
are the brightest stars 
tonight.
Even thought the moon
is full, and round
and snowy, white.
Come along and join me.
It's quite a sight to see.
And the best part
of this vision
is it's absolutely free.




     Early Native Americans called the first full moon in February the Full Snow Moon because it came at the time of the year when the snows are the heaviest.  That certainly is true this year.  It was also called Full Hunger Moon because this was the time of the year when it was most difficult to find animals for hunting.
     Can you write your own moon poem today?

Saturday, February 15, 2014

EARTH WORM

An earth worm
hides below,
eating dirt,
moving slow.

Watch him wiggle.
Watch him grin.
Hiding out from
that robin.


     I've been reading Julia Donaldson's picture book, SUPERWORM, illustrated by Axel Scheffler, (2012, Arthur A. Levine Books, An imprint of Scholastic Inc.) and it got me to thinking about earth worms.  
     Here is your poetry challenge for today: write a poem about something you might find underground.  Have fun writing.

Friday, February 14, 2014

MY WISH FOR YOU

Goldfinch at the feeder;
hummers at their dish
a happy sunny day for you
is my Valentines wish.


     A very happy Valentines Day to you.  Can you write your own Valentines wish poem today?  Have fun writing.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

POPCORN

I made me some popcorn.
Crunch. Crunch.
Thought I'd eat it
for my lunch.

I ate a little.
Munch. Munch.
Then I ate 
a whole big bunch.

I need a drink.
May I have punch?
I can tell you,
need a hunch?
I love eating popcorn
for lunch.


    Can you write your own poem today about snack foods?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Writing Habit

I want pencils.
I want pens.
I like to write
about my yens.

Give me an eraser
to cover my mistakes.
I love poetry
and the feelings it makes.


     Can you write a poem about something you like or want?  Have fun writing.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

TIME

What time is it?
My clock is late.
It says six
but I know it's eight.
Maybe it's nine
or possibly ten.
I think it needs
a battery again.


     Do you have a favorite time a day?  A time when you feel more active and alive?  Is it morning or night?  Can you write a poem about a special time?
Have fun writing.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Sunshine

The sun is shining
sparkly bright
the doves have landed 
from their flight.

Won't you come 
and visit me.
In Tucson it is
bright and sunny.

    Can you write a poem today about the weather in your place of the world?  Have a happy day.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

On winter days
when the wind is blowy
and cloudy sunshine 
makes the landscape shadowy.

I watch the willow
be all billowy
and wonder if 
it will be snowy.

I imagine my dear friend Chloe
dancing with an Australian joey
singing and hopping
being all showy.

I think I'd surely like to know
what sort of things you would do
if you had a pet Australian joey
and you could play with a kangaroo?


    Happy Sunday.  If you could have any animal for a pet, what would you like?  Can you write a poem about that?  Have fun writing.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Arizona Slide


Come with me.
Do not hide.
Take my hand.
I'll be your guide.
March  up the stairs.
Let's take a ride.
Let me show you
fun on the slide.


     This is a slide in Carefree, AZ.  Notice the sun shade over the slide.  In Arizona most of the playgrounds for children have sun shades.  Without the canopy, the metal on the slide bed would scorch and possibly burn.  What is your favorite piece of playground equipment?  Can you write a poem about that today.

Friday, February 7, 2014

NOTHING LEFT TO FOLLOW

When respect marches boldly
over desert sands,
his brown, work-worn hands,
smooth and dry
are held out in greeting.

Respect offers sparkle
in the tiny drops of dew
gathered on the petals 
of yellow creosote blooms.

Respect bleaches the bones
of a desert packrat--
his time too brief.

Not meaning to be rude,
I clasp the out-stretched hand;
I take the creosote branch;
and watch the bleaching
of my bones, as blown sands
shift erasing even my own footprints.
There is nothing left to follow.


     I hesitate to call today's offering a poem.  I believe is would be what Theodore Roethke referred to as a thinkie--the beginnings of a poem but something that needs more thinking.  So that is what I will do with this, save it for some more work.  I'm not sure respect is the word I need.  Would you like to offer a suggestion?
     For now I will say, when the poetry muse gives you weirdness, run with it.  Who knows where it might lead?
     What does respect mean to you?  Can you write a poem that shows respect?  Have fun writing and have a happy weekend.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Dragon's Breath

A dragon's breath of green fog
rests in rough ropes
around the base
of  the Catalina Foothills.

As I walked I knew
a knight named Sun
would come
and fly
the dragon
away.



     This is what I saw on my walk today.  The green foggy mist was quite something.  And I bet you were already thinking of "c" words for vocalizations--called, cried, croaked, coughed.  But I didn't want to become predictable or boring.  So I'll save that for another day.  Can you write your own poem today about  a green dragon?  What will the two of you do together?  Doesn't it seem like a perfect day for a dragon visit?
     Have fun writing your poem.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

LET'S TRY B

Betty, a blue bottle rocket,
buzzed through the bluebells.
"Bring me some buttons
and a blanket for my bed."

Barney, a boxer,
begged of his buddies,
"Bring me a bone
or a biscuit to eat."

Bertha, a brown bear,
bragged to her babies,
"I'll eat more bean burritos
than that big blue buffalo."

    I did have fun trying to think of vocalizations that started with the letter B. I didn't use barked, brayed, bawled, or blubbered.  So now it is your turn, can you write your own poem today with lots of B's?
    Did you know that a bottle rocket is a dragonfly?  These are all tongue twisters.  I think National Tongue twister Day falls in February, I'll have to check when that is.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

ALL ABOUT A


Asked Agnes, an alligator,
"Please fetch my afghan.
I am awfully cold and I am achy,
and my arthritis is acting up."

Asked Arthur, an armadillo,
"Can you get me an avocado?
I am ravenously hungry
and I want to eat."


Asked Andrew, and aerialist,
"Please hold my anchor line,
I want to aerobic dance
and I am afraid I may fall.
(from the high wire.)" 

Asked Alice an ant,
"Are you staying
for the picnic?
I want an ankle
and your's are
absolutely tasty."


   I'm just messing around today playing with the letter "A"   Do you want to play too?
I used asked for my dialog tag, but you could use announced.  Can you think of another "a" word to describe speech?  Then you will need a name that begins with "A" and an animal with an "a"  I haven't used them all.  What are some others you can think of?  Then what might be fetched?  Again it should be something (another noun) that starts with or has an "a" in it.  But if you are playing, go farther afield and change the lines.  Do have fun playing.  If you'd like to leave your creation in the comments, please do.  I'd love to read them.  
   Oh, these are going to be fun to make sketches for.  If you like to do math with your poetry, you can count the number of  a's in each poem.  Or get out your jump rope, these should be pretty easy to jump rope with.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Is it going to rain?
The clouds are dark and gray.
It will be a pain.
I wish they'd go away.

I'd like to run and play.
I'd like to have some fun.
I'm hoping that this day
will clear and shine with sun.


     I hope the sun is shining where you are.  Are the birds singing?  Are any flowers blooming?  I sure wish you were here so we could share a cup of tea and poetry.  Have fun writing your own poem today.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

HAPPY GROUNDHOG DAY

I knew a groundhog
his name was Phil
on February 2 
he trudged up a hill.

He looked around
to have some fun;
he couldn't find
the shining sun.

And as his brow
began to furrow
Phil walked home
to his cold burrow.


     I grew up in the desert and so I'd never seen a groundhog or a prairie dog until I was older.  I had been told, or somehow I got the idea that the two animals were very similar.  (They both lived in burrows under the ground.)  I later saw the animals in a zoo.  this reflection got me to thinking about my first trip to the zoo.  Where is the closest zoo to where you live?  Can you write a zoo poem today?

Saturday, February 1, 2014

February

I have a friend
named Rosemary.
Her birthday is
in February.

Then there's Lincoln
and Washington,
don't forget Valentines
for a month of fun.

The second of this month
is Groundhog Day,
and don't forget 
the birth of
Susan B. Anthony.

So, I send
some cheer your way
and say, Yahoo! 
It's February.


     Happy New Month.  What is your favorite day of this month?  Can you write a poem about that?  Have a great weekend writing.

  To find out about more exciting days in February, you might want to visit my friend Linda Andersen's blog,
A Writer's Playground.