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.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Mary Ebony

Mistress Mary Ebony
loved the color black
you see.

Her hat was black
and her overcoat.
She used black ink
whenever she wrote.

She like licorice
and black bird stew
the black bear was
her favorite at the zoo.

She wore black shoes
with black shoe laces.
She bet on the dark horse
at the races.

She used black pots and pans
whenever she'd cook.
Black Beauty is her
favorite book.

She loved riding in cars
with big black tires.
Played with the smoke
and char from fires.

Some thought she studied
the black arts.
She picked black feathers
when she played darts.

Her hair is jet black,
her polished nails are filed. 
Miss Mary Ebony is
our sweet, Gothic child.

     Happy Halloween.  Hope you have a great day.  Write a poem.  You surely can do better than I have today.  What other black things can you think of? 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

My Cat

My little kitten
 furry and black,
went out last night
and didn't come back. 

Perhaps some witch
has taken her,
her shiny coat
her rumbly purr.

I hope to find her
by the light of the moon
on Halloween night
on that witch's broom.

Are you ready?  Obviously, I'm running late.  My last art class is tomorrow and I'm still busy with homework.  I should have started earlier.  Have a great holiday.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Scared Cat

My cat,
orange and white,
sat a witch's broom
on Halloween night.
Zoom, zoom, zoom.

Cat flew up.
Cat flew down.
Cat flew all
around our town.

So scared, doesn't know
 what to do.
Flying around,
she calls,

Can't get off,
doesn't know how.
Poor little cat
she cries,  

     Do you have your costume for Halloween?  Will you go trick-or-treating?  Can you write a poem about your costume? 
        Editing and Revising.  I keep reading this poem and wonder about the lay-out.  I'm thinking about making the type in the lines of the second stanza go up and down like the cat.  And wonder if the third and fourth stanzas should be reversed.  What do you think?

 When I started to revise this poem, I noticed that I used a lot of onomatopoeia--
sound words.  Zoom,  boo-hoo, and meow are all examples.  As a poet, I love the sound and feel of words.  I like the taste of them on my tongue.  Notice how your lips and mouth move as you say each of the onomatopoetic words.  Isn't it fun?  (It is also good exercise for your smile muscles.)
I like the placement of these words in the poem.  For me, it is like saying, "Let's pause for a moment for a hug from the poem."
   I have a tendency to over use s and soft a sounds, so I went back to look at my poem again.  I considered changing sat in the third line of the first stanza.  If I changed that word to rode would I have more action in the line?  On consideration, I liked that sat rhymed with cat, and using that word give me some internal rhyme, so I chose to stay with cat.
     In the second stanza, the last line--I had originally written "around this town."  I changed it to our so I could get more assonance into the line.    I thought I'd share this information with you so you can see the process poets go through in revising their poems.  Every word in a poem counts and gives weight to the line.
     Have fun with your own revisions and if you have suggestions for revising my poems, please let me know.
Thanks for your help.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Cinnamon Buns

In the morning
for a treat,
a cinnamon bun
I like to eat.
Warm and sticky
frosting drippy
cinnamon buns.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


a   ball
start to grin
when you knock
down all ten pens.


     Do you know how to bowl?  Do you enjoy the sport?  I learned how to bowl from my mother who was quite a good bowler.  I once picked up the 7-10 spare and got a patch for my bowling shirt.  My high school had a bowling team and I was one of their better bowlers.  Can you write your own poem about bowling?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Lunch with the Hummingbirds

I open my yogart
taste a spoonful.
Then whizz, chase
the hummingbirds fly.
take a sip,
rest on a branch,
chirr-rip, chirr-rip.
fluffs feathers,
to cool his skin.
Stares at me
with a tiny eye.
Emerald head,
ruby throat,
saphire wings,
these tiny gems
of hummingbirds fly by
making my lunchtime

     The fun part of taking art classes at the Sonora Desert Museum is that I get to spend my lunch hour looking at animals.  On Monday I ate my lunch in the hummingbird enclosure and had a very enriching time. 
Can you write a poem about your favorite animal?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Counting Coyotes

ONE coyote
walks over sandy ground.

TWO coyotes
pause to hear a sound.

THREE coyotes
lope in the dry river bed.

They're running off;
know what's ahead.
They're in a hurry
to get home 
to bed.

  Each morning, I walk two miles with my dog Spot.  For the first quarter mile, coming and going, I let him off lead because there is nothing around but desert.  This morning, on the way home,  Spot was off lead and quickly had to put him back on again when I saw three coyotes.  I didn't know if Spot might chase them trying to defend his territory, or if the coyotes might see Spot and decide he was a threat or dinner.  All of us got home safe, but it was an exciting and beautiful sight.  I hope your day is as blessed as mine is today.  What a gift.  
     Can you write a poem about a simple gift you have received?  Have fun.  You are amazing.
     Know  what?  I just looked at this poem and see that I have a concrete poem.  All I have to do is draw the head shape for a coyote with 2 ears and whiskers!  WOW!  Another gift.  It is going to be a great day!

Monday, October 24, 2011


Two dogs, Three owls,
Four frogs.     All gathered by 
my tent to croon       --sing a song to
 the full moon.       They're buzzing, howling,
croaking-cheep!        It is so loud I can not sleep.

    I was trying to make this a concrete poem in the shape of a camping tent.  I think it looks more like a triangle than a tent.  What do you think?
What do you do when you are kept awake at night?  I like to write.  The house is quiet.  The phone doesn't ring.  I don't want to do noisy things and wake the rest of the house, so I write.  Can you write a poem about what you do?  Have a great week.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I'm Awake

A train is whistling
down the track.
Its wheels chug
Don't know 
where it's going
or when it'll
come back.
Why does it
waken me
when it's only 

    What are some of the noises you hear in the night?  What do you do to get back to sleep?  Can you write a poem about those sounds?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Crazy English

Isn't this language funny?
One is me, an I
and two is us
me and you.
But when it comes 
to other things
I'm not sure what to do.

ONE cactus
TWO cacti
growing in the desert.

ONE octopus
TWO octopi
swimming in the sea.

English is a crazy language,
as crazy as can be.

Friday, October 21, 2011

My Eyes

I see the ocean.
I see a trees.
I see the wind
blowing with a breeze.

I see a bird
at the feeder eating seeds.
I see a hummingbird
getting what he needs.

I see a butterfly.
I see the sun.
With so many things to see
aren't I the lucky one?

Some eyes are blue,
green, hazel, or brown.
What is it you see
when you look around?

  Aren't our eyes wonderful?  The best thing I get to see is a smile on your face.  Seeing is one of our five senses, and it is the one writers mention most in their writing.  This is another poem you can play as a poetry game.  Each person can take a turn and tell what they see, or what they use their eyes for.  Make a list today of all the things you see.  Can you shape your list  into a poem? Or just use the list to write a free verse list poem.  Hey, this could be cool.  Start with the date for your title.  Your first line would be "Things I saw today:"  I'm sure you can come up with a great last line, but mine would be something like "This is what I saw, how about you?"  What would someone know about you from the things on your list?  
Have fun writing your list poem and share with me and your friends.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

My Cold

Doctor, Doctor
please come quick.
Dad is coughing.
He is sick.

     Ok, that verse had a TRUE rhyme.  See how the last word in the second and fourth lines end in ICK?

Doctor, Doctor
please come fast.
Granny has taken
her last gasp.

Doctor,  Doctor
Please come fast
Dad is in bed.
He's passing gas.

     These two verses have slip rhyme, near rhyme, off rhyme, or rhyme based on assonance.  See how both lines two and four have the same soft or short a sound, followed by the s, but don't end in the T to match fast?

Daddy, Daddy
please come now.
The dog is dead
and so is the cow.

Brother, Brother
phone Auntie Rose
Joy has a cold
and a runny nose.  

      In these verses, the lines are a little forced, The second line is there simply so I can have something to rhyme with the fourth.  But let's play with this a little more and see what we come up with.

Sister, Sister
what should we do?
Mama is throwing up
she has the flu.

Uncle, Uncle
bring a clothes peg.
Grandad has fallen
and broken his leg.  
        Now, this is a good example of forced rhyme.  A clothes pin has nothing to do with a broken leg.

Jeanne, Jeanne
get out of bed.
Linda has fallen
and bumped her head.

Doctor, Doctor
bring every pill.
Brother is sick,
he's very ill.

     This could be done as a circle game with children where each child's name is used for the first line and the person next to that child is used in the third line.  Then the child in the first line is moved to the third line in the next verse.  The key to this is figuring out what the last line will be.

Freddy, Freddy
stop doing sums.
Bridget is here
and chewing gum.
      Ah, this one has another near rhyme.  Let's see if I can do better.

Kenny, Kenny
get off your bum.
Freddy is here
and he's chewing gum.

Oh, I can hardly wait to get together with a group of friends to try this out.  Now it is your turn.  Can you add your own verse to this ramble?  Start with the last line of the poem and work your was backwards.  Have fun.
  I'm giggling already with crazy ideas.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My Nose

I smell roses.
I smell the seas.
I smell cookies
and tall pine trees.

With my nose
I snff and sniff.
I think my nose
is a special gift.

     Here is today's fun challenge.  Make a list poem of all the stinky, smelly things you wish you did NOT have to smell.  Ask your friends to help, because this list could give you the giggles.  Have fun and share your creations.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Brown Poem

I have a friend who
wears stars in her crown
she suggested I write
about the color brown.

Not the brown of dead leaves
or the color of dirt
or the brown of the coat
worn by my dog Gert.

But the brown
of dark chocolate
in cakes or pies
and the deep rich brown
I see in your eyes.  

Brown for footballs
and brown for skin.
Isn't it a marvelous
world we live in?

      Ok. Linda there is the beginning of a brown poem.  Not the world's greatest poem but a good attempt.  I was going to include chocolate brownies, and pudding, ice cream bars and candy, but it all was making me hungry, so I took a break.  I hope you have a great day and enjoy writing your own brown poems.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Halloween Party

Come to my house 
on Friday night.
My Halloween party
is sure to delight.

There will be cats 
and bats
and ghosts
dressed in white.

We'll bob for apples
all through the night.

With ghouls and monsters
who'll give you a fright,
it's sure to be
a scary sight.
So come to my party
and bring a flash light.
We're sure to have fun
on Friday night.

     I was going to suggest that you write a poem about the color orange, but it will have to be in free verse because orange is one of the words in the English language that doesn't have a true rhyme.  So, here is your challenge--write a poem about a Halloween color (it can be in free verse.)

Sunday, October 16, 2011


One jack-o-lantern
with a smile shining bright.

Two jack-o-lanterns
with faces carved in fright.

Three jack-o-lanterns
lit with candle light.

Four jack-o-lanterns
ready for a fight.

Five jack-o-lanterns
what a scary sight.

Fell off fence posts,
took a spill,
started rolling
down the hill.

They kept rolling,
 are rolling still,
scary old jack-o-lanterns
rolling down the hill. 

     I've been really busy this weekend.  I finished a picturebook manuscript tonight, so I'm celebrating.
This is a counting poem.  Can you think of some other Halloween feature?  Witches, bats, cats, pointed hats, bobbing apples, corn candy?  Can you try writing your own counting poem?  Please, have fun.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Persona Poem

My Poem
by Boa Constrictor


I want a kiss.

     A persona poem is a poem that is written in the voice of someone other than yourself. You could write a poem in the voice of your bed, a tree, your desk, or an animal.  A spoon, your pencil, the goldfish in the bowl.  What would your bed say to you?  What would it want someone to know?  If a tree. could write a poem, what would it say?  So, the task for today is to write a persona poem, and to make it easy try this one in free verse.  Remember to use your senses.
     I've been having fun with the person poems.

My Poem
by Gina Gorilla

Oh, Holey Hanna,
Gimme a banana.

    Have a great Saturday.  I'm off to the junior college for a children's writing weekend workshop.

Friday, October 14, 2011

My Face

My jaw chews
munch,     munch,     munch.

My lips
smack,     smack,     smack.

My nose smells
sniff,     sniff,     sniff.

My eyes
blink,      blink,      blink.

So tell me
what do you think?
Isn't my face

     I think I'm still stuck on sound poems.  And the problem is that I haven't written the ONE sound poem that I know is back there hidden in my head.  I have the idea, but the words aren't coming out right yet.  So I'm writing all around the idea.   But I also believe that if I stick with it, that really good poem is going to arrive.   I notice that I'm using the rule of three here again with the sniff,sniff, sniff, and blink,blink,blink.  I did consider going with munch-munch, and smack-smack; using the sound twice with a hyphen in the middle, but I didn't like the look of that.
     Are you up for trying to write another sound poem today?Pick any sound you like--a tractor, the garbage disposal, your dog.  Then try using the sound in multiples of two or three in your poem.

For example:

My car roars
varoom,     varoom,    varoom.
Over the streets it
zooms,     zooms,     zooms.


My boa constrictor sings
I do NOT want his

  OK, now it is your turn.  Have fun writing and playing with words.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Can't Sit Still

Today is an amazing day.
I 'll celebrate in my special way.

My pen writes
squiggle, squiggle, squiggle.

My toes move
wiggle, wiggle, wiggle.

My leg dances
jiggle, jiggle, jiggle.

Tickle me, I
giggle, giggle, giggle.

I'm doing my happy dance.

     I hope today is a happy day for you.  What are some of the things that make you happy?  Can you make a list of those things?  What do you do when you are happy?  Can you write a poem about it to celebrate being you.  You are a very special person.  There is no one else like you.  Thank you for sharing poetry with me.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Crazy Day

Hey, it is Wednesday--middle of the week day.  I hope it is a good day, just right for you.

The Roadrunner


at my door.

It is a roadrunner.
He's hungry for more.

"Give me a cockroach,
give me a lizard,
Give me a small snake
or a turkey gizzard.

"Give me something
I'm hunry to eat
then I'll race off--
in the desert heat."

     It is a bright sunny day in Tucson.  I hope it is sunny where you are.  Enjoy your day no matter what the weather is like and have fun writing a poem today.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

What Is Wrong with Me?

I'm tired
I'm sleepy
my nose is
a little weepy.

I use tissues
by the  load.
Can you tell
I have a cold?


     I got another SOUND into this poem.  I do like doing that.  What is the strangest, craziest, loudest, or weirdest sound you have ever heard?  Can you write a poem to use that sound?

     I went to my are class thoday and found out that they use Fibonacci's number too.  I love learning new things.  How about you?

Monday, October 10, 2011

My Dog


My dog is chewing
 his rawhide bone.

     It has been a busy day.  I've been working on my homework for the drawing class I'm taking and so this poem is written on the spur of the moment.  But it is another sound poem.
Happy Christopher Columbus Day.  Did you know that Christopher Columbus named America after his teacher Amerigo Vespucci?  He is the one who taught Christopher and his brother Bartelomew how to draw and label maps.  If you'd like to read my Columbus acrostic poem, check out the archives for Tuesday, April 26, 2011.   So when you become famous, remember your teacher.  Now try writing a poem that tells what you are famous for.  Go ahead and use your imagination for this one.  Push your ideas over the top until they are silly.  Maybe you are the first person to turn into a dog, or a giraffe, or a tortoise.
     Make today special for yourself and others.  Celebrate.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

New Shoes

I have new shoes
they're shiny and neat
They're a size larger
to fit my feet.
With each step I take
I hear them sing


How do I silence
these noisy things?

     Here I am, playing with noises and sounds again.  I really like onomatopoeia a lot.  that is when the word sounds like what it is, like drip, bang, boom.  I'm actually working toward a sound story I can use as a picture book.  So maybe I'll see if I can do some sound poems for the next few days, but since it is Sunday, I may just change my mind by tomorrow.  Monday is Columbus Day and I think I should have a Columbus poem for you but I think I've already posted one.  We'll see what happens tomorrow.  Who knows what the muse will bring me.
      In the meantime, I'll ask what are your favorite sounds?  Do you like the sound of a carousel? Will you ride a horse, a swan or a pig?  What will the music be like?  What colors will you see?  Don't forget the smells.  Hot dogs?  Popcorn?  Cotton candy?  OK, write your own poem.  What ever you do, have fun.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Sound Poem

I eat carrots for lunch.

Rabbit eats them by the bunch.

I hear the clock.

A key is in the lock.

The dog barks

and  MOO     MOO
calls the cow.

begs the cat at her bowl.

squeaks the mouse from his hole.

All these noises
calling to me.
I'll turn them in
to poetry.

     Sit still for a moment and listen to all the noises you hear.  It is impossible to hear silence.  Once it was so quiet, I even heard my own heart beat.  That was a good day.  Can you write a poem about the sounds you like to hear?  Or write a poem about the annoying sounds that bother you.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Iguana Irv

Irv, an iguana
knew he was cool.

He was so hot
he dove in my pool.

He swam a little circle,
He blew a water spout.

Dunked his head down under
and then he climbed right out.

     I was going to write about the lizard I pulled out of my swimming pool this morning, but then I remembered swimming with the iguanas when I was visiting the Galapagos Islands.  They really can swim.   So now it is your turn.  Think of an animal that likes to go sky diving, rock climbing, deep sea fishing, play on the playground, run races, or hop scotch.  Pick something you like and write your poem.  Oh, I'm thinking giraffe.  What fun.  See you tomorrow.  Somewhere I have a poem about the zoo animals going to the movies.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


When young fleas
go to school
they have to learn
all the rules--

like how to leap
and how to dive
doing gymnastics
to stay alive.

     Today's poem came from reading the funny pages this morning.  There was a picture of bugs in school and I thought how funny it was for a flea to go to school.  We all know lice often go to school.  So pick your insect or any animal at all and write a poem about what they would learn at school.  Or just read the comics and write a poem inspired by your reading.  Have fun. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


What a bunch
pink peony,
yellow and orange
a stately spear 
of freesia,
gathered together
in an arrangement.
I use my notebook
as a fake flower vase
for the art class.
A blind contour exercise--
draw flowers.

I enrolled in a basic drawing class at the desert museum.  The first session was on Monday and our first assignment was to draw this bunch of flowers without looking at the paper or our pencil.  Very interesting.  I couldn't help but think about all the times I've written at the computer without looking at the screen.  Today's writing assignmnet is to write a poem about your favorite flower.

I am the trumpet
blowing jazz into the wind--
yellow daffodil.   

     Now that was fun.  Thank you.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Wolf

I had so much fun yesterday writing that FIB, that today when I saw two beautiful drawings done in colored pencil of a wolf, I wanted to write another FIB.

lifts his nose
to smell scented air
knows this whiff maybe his dinner.

   Can you write your own FIB about an animal?  Do have fun and if you want try illustrating your poem.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Thank You

I love racing
along the beach.
Love the cool sand
between my toes.
Love the tickle
of foaming ocean bubbles.
I'm lucky.
Thank you
My life
is fun.

    I owe the inspiration for this poem to writer extraordinaire Joan Edwards.  Thank you.  What things are you thankful for?  Soap bubbles, chocolate cake, dancing, raking leaves?  Can you write a poem about it?  There are so many blessings and lots of poems.  Thank you.


A red ant marches across the sand
the hardest worker I've seen.
His legs move up and down and around
he's a moving machine.

     I wrote this poem on my walk yesterday morning as I knew I needed a poem for today.  I saw an ant walking with me and I knew he was a real moving machine.  I ended up using reverse rhyming to write this poem.  I started with a red ant is a moving machine, but then when I tried to write a line to rhyme with it, everything sounded forced, or like a throw away line written just to rhyme with machine.  So I moved the moving machine to my last line and worked backwards for a line to go with that.  Try reading the poem with the second and fourth lines reversed and you'll see what I mean.  Of course, you can always try the other trick I use when I can't find a good rhyming line.  I see if the poem will fit as a haiku.

one red desert ant
hurries across the hot sand--
a moving machine

  Or as a FIB (a poem based on Fibanachi's number  1,1,2,3,5,8.)
ant hurries
across the rough sand
legs scurry-- a moving machine.

  Then as serendipity sometimes works, the poem posted on children's poet David Harrison's blog this week is from his collection  BUGS  and is titled ANTS.  You can read it here:  http://davidlharrison.wordpress.com/2011/10/02/poem-of-the-week-ants-2/

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Happy Sunday

Today I wish
you sunshine
and a silly
happy grin.
Also I wish
you lots
of  words
to flow
quick from
your pen.

     Today is a great day to write.  I love lazy Sundays.  I write to help me organize the week ahead, to set some goals for myself, and to catch up on notes to friends.  I hope it is a great writing day for you too.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


My telephone rings

Should I stop sleeping
or let it ring?
I lift the phone
to hear
my brother sing:

Happy Saturday to you,
Happy Saturday to you
Happy Saturday, Happy Saturday
Oh what shall we do?

Sometimes he thinks
I'm a real

      Don't ask me why, but my family has the habit of singing our messages when we get the answering machine.  Do you do silly things like that?  Can you write a poem about one of the silly things your family does?  Do you make weird sandwiches? Does Mom leave strange notes in your lunch sack?  Does Dad make up songs when he is shaving, or sing in the shower?  What ever your weirdness, have fun writing.