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.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Albatross

An albatross
flew across
 the sea,
spied an island
called Hawaii.

He built
a nest
on a golf course,
then called and called,
till he was hoarse.

A lady albatross 
flew by.
She heard him clack.
She heard him cry
She gave a loving sigh,
decided she'd
give him a try.

She stopped her flying
took a rest.
She joined him 
in his cozy nest.

She folded her wings
and tucked her legs.
Together they sang
and laid four eggs.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Fishing with Grandpa

My grandpa takes me fishing
in his little rowing boat.
I have to wear a life vest
'cause if we tip, I want to float.

We take our rods and reels
out upon the lake.
We also take along
a can of wormy bait.

I do not like to touch them,
I only like to look.
So Grandpa takes a juicy one
and baits it on my hook.

I feel a little sorry
for that squiggly, wiggly worm
and if I did not need him,
I would not cause him harm.

I drop my line overboard
cross my fingers in a wish.
I hope that wiggly quiggly worm
catches me a great big fish.

Sitting in the morning sun,
I'm feeling rather fine.
Quietly I'm counting,
then,  a big tug on my line.

The float on my line is bobbing,
tell me what should I do?
 I'm reeling in a great big fish.
Oh NO! It's someone's rotten shoe.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Grandma's Red Bandana

My grandma is my dearest nana.
She sails a ship as the captana
She's wonderfully great.
She's an eye-patched pirate,
who wears a wild red bandana.

    Would you like to write your own poem about a pirate?  Or how about a companion poem about your Grandpa?  Could he be a wizard, or a dragon tamer?  Have fun.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Aroma of Home

This poem has its inspiration from a poem by this title written by children's poet Bridget Magee.  If you haven't visited her blog site, take a short trip to www.weewordsforweeones.blogspot.com


Saturday morning, 
I'm lying in bed.
The day that I'm planning
whirls in my head.

When all of a sudden
I hear a loud TOOT.
I'm sure it's my father,
he's let a big poot.
A stinky aroma
floats down the hall.
"Hey, Dad," I yell to him,
"Is that the wake-up call?"

    Some mornings you don't need an alarm clock to wake up.  Can you write a list poem about the things that wake you up?  Do you have a dog or cat that wakes you?  A baby brother?  Do you wake to the smell of pancakes, or the sound of bacon sizzling?  Have a tasty time writing.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Barlow the Buffalo

Barlow the buffalo
blew a big bubble of gum.
He balanced the blob
of it on his bum.

     This poem uses consonance, the repetition of a single consonant.  I count 11 "b"s in this little quatrain.
Can you pick another consonant, perhaps one from your own name, and write your own poem?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Boy from Tucson

There was a young boy from Tucson
his manners were utterly gruesome.
His lizards and snakes
point out his mistakes
as a gentleman he's improved some.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Masked Marvel

The Masked Marvel can't meet me
for our wrestling match.
He has the measles 
and his spots I might catch.

     Did you notice all the "M" sounds in this poem?  For today's challenge, how about trying to write a poem about the measles, mumps, chickenpox of some other childhood ailment.  Have fun writing and try to stay cool.  Can you write poetry in a swimming pool? 

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Have you had enough of food fights?  Here is what the elephants do.


An elephant never
has fights with food.
His mother taught him
it’s downright right rude.
You never know who
might get hit and cry
If you toss your food,
or let it fly.

But down by the river
what an incredible sight!
All through the morning
and into the night
Spraying & splashing
left and right
Elephants are having a
water fight.

So here is today's challenge.  Think of another animal.  We all eat don't we?  So what if those animals had a food fight, or fought over food.
Maybe ants, lizards, monkeys, robins or snakes?  What would it look like?  What would is sound like, or smell like?  And my gracious be sure to include what it tastes like and feels like to the animal.  Have fun and let those words fly.   Have a great day.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Sometimes writing short poems is fun.


Alaskan Grizzlies
fight over salmon.
I hate fish!
They can have ‘em.

If you have foods you don't like, maybe spinach, okra, collard greens, try writing a poem about that.  Who is is that gives you this food?  Why do they want you to eat it?  Are there any foods that you are forbidden to eat?  How about a poems about that?  Food poems are good to write because it is easy to get all of your senses into the poem.  Taste is usually the hardest sense to get into a poem.  Of all the senses it is the least written about.  Can you figure out why?  Put a smile on your face and get writing.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Dinosaur Food Fight

I love the idea of having a food fight.  Actually, I did have one once with a squeeze bottle of ketchup.  A boy watching was so upset that he started to cry and I felt terrible about that.  He remembers how upset watching made him feel and I've never done it again.  So, take my advice and avoid food fights if you can.


The dinosaurs are having
a fight over food.
I know their behavior
is tremendously rude.
Tyrannosaurus Rex is baring
his teeth--they're white.
Stegosaurus is snapping.
He's ready to fight.
Apatasaurus is snarling.
Oh what a sight!
Allosaurus is gnashing
his jaws to bite.
Triceratops is gnawing,
with all his might.
The pteradon’s feet are clawing,
They're gripping tight.
Ankylosaurus’s tail is thrashing.
He's signaling fright!

I’m leaving this party
as quick as can be,
Cause the food that
they’re fighting

     Do you like knowing about dinosaurs?  I do.  Try writing your own poem about a dinosaur.  Have fun and share your poem with me if you'd like.

Monday, June 20, 2011

What's In There?

    Today's poem written for two or more voices using a repetitive chant.  Maybe it is my irregular eating habit lately that has me thinking food!


Mama, oh Mama!
Look in there,
In my milk
There’s a hair.
Drink it child
And do not sass.
How else will you grow
A milk mustache?

Daddy, oh Daddy!
What’s the big deal?
There’s a cricket
In my oatmeal.

Hurry to eat it,
And get the froth,
Munch it quickly
Fore it jumps off.

Granny, oh Granny!
There’s a fly
Sitting in my
Chicken potpie.

Eat it child.
Just blow off that fuzz.
How else will you get
A good fly buzz?

Granddaddy, oh Granddaddy!
They’ve tried to hide her,
But inside my hamburger
There’s spider.

Hush now child.
Don’t be mean.
It’s just some good
Lean protein.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

Thank You, Daddy

Thanks for giving me a hand
to pull up when I crawled.

Thanks for hoisting me
on your shoulders
so I could feel tall.

Thanks for teaching me
how to ride a bike,
and how to hit the baseball.
Thanks for asking me questions
that really made me think.

Thanks for the movies, the libraries,
the museums, galleries and parks
you took me to.

Thanks Daddy, for all the things
you do to help me grow
to be the kind of person 
I want to be--
like you.

     As we celebrate this great holiday, we focus on fathers.It is a chance to tell the men in our lives how important they are to us.  My own father-in-law is in an acute rehabilitation hospital and so I think of him as I write this poem.  Can you try writing an acrostic poem for your father?  It is a great day for being thankful.
    Publishers Lee and Low have a whole collection of father poems In Daddy's Arms, I Am Tall, collected by Javaka Steptoe.    My friend Lenard Moore has a poem in this collection.  www.leeandlow.com/p/daddy_tg.mhtml

Saturday, June 18, 2011

It's Mine!

David MacPhearson Alistair Magee
had every toy you can name
for a boy
that is three.

When he had friends over
he always would whine:
Don't touch my things
every toy here is mine!

He'd take all his toys
and he wouldn't share.
He didn't have a friend.
and he didn't care.

Now David MacPhearson Alistair Magee
is as alone
as a little boy can be.

     Thanks to Joan Edwards for the suggestion for this poem.  Have you ever had your feelings hurt because someone wouldn't share with you?  Can you write a poem about it?  Or perhaps you'd like to try writing a list poem about all the toys that David owned.  Write on!

Friday, June 17, 2011

There Is A Monster Under My Bed

I'm sorry that I woke you
in the middle of the night.
I'm sure I heard a monster
and it's filled me full of fright.

I'm certain he is sleeping
underneath my comfy bed.
I do not want to wake him,
may I sleep with you instead?

     It is always fun to write poems about monsters.  If you had a pet monster, what fun things would you do with it?  Would you take your monster to school for Show and Tell, would you go roller skating or bowling with your monster?  What do you think would happen if your monster took swimming lessons with you?  Can you write a poem about it?  Have fun.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


I see a tiger in the jungle
and his eyes are shining bright.

I see a tiger in the jungle
and his teeth are big and white.

I see a tiger in the jungle
and he's running fast and free.

I see a tiger in the jungle
and he is going to eat. . .

     This poem uses a repetitive line, "I see a tiger in the jungle," which makes it like a chant and easy to use as a poem in 2 voices.  One person (or half the group) can say the first line of each stanza, and the second person (or second half of the group) can say the second line of each stanza.  Then everyone can say the last word together.  Have you tried writing a poem that can be used by two voices?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Characture poem


Monica Felicity Harrington-Stone
lives like a princess with her own cell phone.

She has green flashing eyes and ebony tresses;
her closet is full of bright party dresses.

She has a stuffed teddy, a giraffe and two kangaroos.
A separate closet holds all of her shoes.

She has a TIVO, an X-Box and an Apple in blue,
a calico cat, three yorkies and a swimming pool, too.

And when she looks at all her stuff
she always whines, This is NOT enough!

She stomps her foot, she pouts and cries.
Her wailing is the reason why

All her friends call
Monica Felicity Harrington-Stone
Little Miss Moan.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Yet Another Apology Poem

To my big brother,
     Little Jess,
I hate when you told me,
     Go wear a dress.
I guess that I should confess.
I turned your room
     into a mess,
and though I didn't mean to spoil it,
     I threw your action figures
          down the toilet.
          I'm sorry.
          Your sister,
           Mary Bess

Monday, June 13, 2011

Apology poem #3

Sometimes we write the letter, but we're not really sorry.


Dear Mrs. Gambill-West,
I’m sorry the chocolate stained Margaret Jane’s party dress.
But, if she hadn’t dared me by sticking out her tongue,
And tickled and teased me and then turned to run,
I never would have thrown that cake,
Or caused the food fight mess.
Please excuse my rudeness,
And lack of thoughtfulness.

Yours truly,
Gordon G. Guess.

P.S. My mother made me write this. It’s all Margaret Jane’s fault.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Another apology poem

So here is another thing to say, I'm sorry about.


I’m sorry I let the ball bounce off my knee,

And when Mother cheered from the stands
I touched the inbound ball with my hands.

I’m sorry I missed the game winning goal.
I slipped, then fell when I stepped in a hole.

I’m sorry I let their team’s forward rush by.
Then sat on the ground and started to cry.

I hate how the ball stings my shin.
I worry about getting hit on my chin.

I don’t want to practice that header stuff.
It musses my hair and takes out the puff.

I hope that it will be OK.
I really DO NOT want to play.

Soccer is hard, and much too rough.
Frankly I’ve had, more than enough.

Come on Dad, what do you say,
May I please sign up for ballet?

Your daughter,
Ashanti McFee

Do you like to play soccer?  Can you write a poem about your favorite sport?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Apology poems

Have you ever been so naughty your mother made you give a written apology to someone?  I started a series of poems to say I'm sorry.  So here is one.

To my teacher Mrs. Page,

I'm sorry I let Rosy
get out of her cage.

I didn't put the top on right.
and forgot to close the latches tight.

I never meant for her to sneak out last night.
This roaming around has caused such a fright!

I hope our principal Mr. Van-Kite,
has calmed down and he’ll be all right.

At least when he sat on her
Rosy didn't bite.

I'm so sorry I let our snake slither out.


Benny White

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Snail


Lucky the snail
    his house
       a spiral staircase
his own camper van
    neatly packed, ready for adventure
       off to exotic locales.

How marvelous
    to leave behind
       silvery words
          trailing through the garden
             to show the world
                 his journey.

I've always enjoyed trying to read the silver trails left by snails.  Can you find an insect to watch today and write a poem about it.  Maybe an ant or a dragonfly. 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Cooling Off

Grab the wading pool
Fill it with water
splash with your friends
before it gets hotter.

Do you like splashing in the pool?  My dog certainly does.  He's a spaniel and loves the water.  Do you have a pet that likes to go swimming? 
If you are going swimming, do you use the buddy system, or does Mom or Dad watch you while you swim?  Be safe, and have fun writing a poem about keeping cool this summer.  What do you do to keep cool?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


It is sooo hot in Tucson.  Yesterday it was 104 degrees, which is quite a change from the 78 in Honesdale, PA-- that is where I was in the morning before I flew home. 

Now that it is summertime, it is the perfect time for popsicles.  What is your favorite flavor?  I love the red ones.  They taste like cherry and turn my tongue and lips red.  Do you share your popsicles with a sister or brother?  I have a friend who loves the root beer flavor and we each get half of the other's popsicle.  What is the best thing about popsicles for you?  Can you write a poem about eating popsicles?


A chilly little taste
a frosty little lick
a bit of icy cold
on a popsicle stick.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Summer Fun

What is your favorite thing to do during the summer?  Can you write a poem about it?


Snap my picture
Don't I look cute,
Standing here
in my swimming suit.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Man from Down Under

Here is a crazy character.


The man from Down Under wears underwear
of silky, stripey red.
He thinks the world is upside-down
so wears them on his head.

His socks he wears for mittens.
His glasses ride his shoes.
And anyone who sees him knows
he is totally confused.

This is a totally, silly nonsense poem.  Can you write a silly poem about a character you make up?  Perhaps it is the substitute teacher, a crazy musician or how about an artist?  What crazy things can they do?  Have fun writing.  I'd love to see your creation.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Slippery Sunday

Sorry this is late.  I'm on my way home after spending the weekend in Honesdale, PA at a Highlights Educational Foundation Workshop titled SOMEBODY OUGHT TO WRITE A POEM led by superb children's poet David Harrison.  I had a wonderful time writing poetry with 7 other great children's poets: Susan Carmichael from OH, Cory Corrado and Carol-Ann Hoyt from Canada, Rebecca Menshen from PA .Heidi Mordhorst from MD, Jeanne Poland from NY and Ken Slesarik from AZ.  These are all terrific poets and I learned so much just by writing poetry with them.  It was a great workshop and it has been a long time since I've laughed so long and hard.  I want to thank each one of them for all the help they gave me .

So here is a very short little poem.


Don't tell my sister,
she's sure to squirm,
eating her salad
is a little green worm.

What bugs or insects did you see today?  Can you write a poem about it? 
While I was at Honesdale, I saw fireflies at night.  They were the first ones I've seen this summer. 
It was exciting to watch them flash.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Food Poem


I wish I was a muffin
all plump in pleated cup,
I'd wear sweet sugar crumbles
on my brown domed muffin top.
I'd give you muffin hugs and kisses
as you eat me up.

If you could be a food,any food, what would you be?
Would you be yummy like a peanut butter sandwich or exotic as escargot? Write a poem about it and you're sure to include a metaphor or simile. Try to use all your senses.

This poem came after reading Madeleine L'Engle's Newbery Medal Acceptance Speech for A Wrinkle in Time.. She included the words, “making muffins of us,” and maybe it was the alliteration of those m's or the consonance of the double f in muffins followed so closely by the f in of but all of the sudden I wanted to say muffin, muffin, muffin and feel those words in my mouth.

Have fun writing your poem and experiencing words in your mouth. Have a yummy time.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Poem for Baby

This one is for the very young set.


Wiggle me. Tickle me.

Wrinkle my nose.

Hear me giggle

when you count my toes--

1 2 3 4 5

5 4 3 2 1.

Have you ever written a poem with counting in it?  It might be fun to try.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Happy Dreams

This is a poem that should probably sit and percolate some more, but I like the way it is shaping up and I like the way it sounds in my mouth.  So I thought I'd share it with you.  This is a story poem about dreams.  Very different from the ice cream dream poem of last week.


An eagle soared high in the sky
he watched below with his eagle eye.

He saw a boy playing, it looked like fun
sledding a hill in the winter sun.

Eagle circled, floated and started to drift.
He looped and knew of a gift
he would send to the young boy.

The boy's mother gathered fluffy goose down
to put in her rough sack
She picked up the eagle feather gleaming white
added it to the sack on her back.
Took home her treasures,

made a little blue bag

then put the feathers in
to make a pillow for her son.

When he lays his head down
he has great dreams
of birds flying in the blue sky
wind drifting and clouds floating by
of castles and dragons
and princes in wagons
fast speeding racing cars
and thousands of glistening stars
shining in the sky at night
and of one little feather snowy white.

He thinks the perfect place to lay his head
is in his own little room on his own little bed
so he cuddles his pillow
and has feather dreams
remembering today
is a wonderful day.
Good night to the boy.
Good night to you.
And may you have
feather dreams too.

Can you write a poem about one of your dreams?  What do you like to dream about?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Our New Puppy


I have a new puppy, she’s started to teethe;

the things she chews, you wouldn’t believe!

She bit a hole in my running shoe,

munched lions and tigers from Junior’s toy zoo.

She chewed the leg on the kitchen chair,

the family sofa and the Frigidaire.

Destroyed my backpack and basketball,

she even chewed a hole through the wall.

She ripped up carpet in the hall,

tore up Dad’s tools, and Mom’s red shawl.

She gnawed off bark from our neighbor’s tree,

punctured the tire on our SUV.

If she went to Alaska, I know what she do—

She’d chew huge holes in an icy igloo.

The President called on his secret phone

said our dog had chewed holes in the ozone.

Before this K-9 ruins my home

will someone please give

our puppy a bone?