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, November 30, 2011

Baby's Present

                                Can    You                                   
 is this gift under the Christmas
tree, wrapped in pretty  paper
with a shiny   red bow?  It is a
present, not   for me. The   gift
  tag says, it is for BABY. If you
shake the square box , can you
guess? It hardly makes a sound.
It   does  not rattle, it only rolls.
That  is  its  only  noise,  except
for  a   tinkling bell  that   rings
with a muffled sound.  It is soft.
It is round.Baby will surely clap
with glee, when he finally  gets
to see what is inside this pressy.

      So could you guess what present Baby is getting under the Christmas tree?  Can you see the ball inside the package?  I do hope this present presents the way it shows up on my screen, but if you are viewing this on your cell phone, I know the letters wrap.  It is supposed to look like a green wrapped Christmas present with a red ribbon and bow.  Inside you should be able to see the light blue ball that is Baby's present.   I still haven't got the bow on the top right, every time I start to adjust that spacing, an extra blank line is inserted.  RATS!  This is a shaped prose poem.  Can you write your own concrete poem for a Christmas object?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Mom and Dad
May I have a drum?

For Christmas
can Santa bring me some?

Drums are the toy that I pick
to play with my own drumming sticks.

I want to drum
to march to the corner
and then march back.

Marching here,
Marching there,
Marching to the corner
and back.

     Oh, I can see a list of Christmas toys developing.  What fun. In the back of my mind is another poem from Mom and Dad saying, "No, you can't have a drum." By the end of this poem I can really hear that drumming beat.  It wouldn't take long before I'd be asking for aspirin.  When I get the second poem written, I can then try to write a poem in two voices--or maybe three if you count the voice of the drum.  Have fun writing your own poem today.  Can you try writing a poem that sounds like a musical instrument?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Silver Bell

bell, shiny 
and bright, rang
as it snowed all 
through the night.
It hung upon a tall pine
tree ringing sweet and prettily
for all the folks that came to see
the Lincoln Square Christmas tree.

     Oh I had fun writing this poem.  I started by brainstorming a long list of holiday items and then I wrote the poem.  As I was typing this version into my computer, I was struck by how easily this would make a concrete poem, so I tried it that way.  As we get busy with the holidays, do you make to-do lists?  Can you turn one of your lists into a poem? 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

My Lucky Day

I found a quarter
on the ground.
I looked for an owner
all around.

I asked lots of people
but no owner was found.
I asked out loud,
no one made a sound.

So I guess
you might say,
that today
is my lucky day.

     Have you ever found money?  What did you do?  Have you ever lost money?  What happened?  How did you go about looking for it? 
     I think I'm a lucky person because I find money about once a week.  Usually it is pennies, but I did find $20 once.  Can you tell that money is an issue for me?  Can you write a poem about money?  Have a great Sunday and try to remember those that do not have as much as you do.  What can you do today to make it a better day for someone?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Ballet

Hip, hip, hoo-ray!
Today is a special day.
I'm going to the ballet.

I'll watch the dancers
twill and leap off their feet
in a performance
of the Nutcracker Suite.

     Will you see the ballet during the holiday season?  What other activities do you have planned?  Can you write a poem about it?

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Day After Thanksgiving

OK. Here is a draft of the poem I mentioned yesterday.  I've been having fun thinking about this one all day yesterday and last night.  Here is what I came up with.

All of the animals
on the farm
have Thanksgiving dinner
in the barn.

But before they chow-down
for their meal,
each of them mentions
how thankful they feel.

The horse neighs he's thankful
for his bucket of oats.
The sheep baa thanks
for their warm wooly coats.

The ducks give their thanks
and especially the drake
with the geese and the goslings
for an unfrozen lake.

The dog says he's thankful
for treats when he begs.
The chickens are thankful
they're still laying eggs.

The pig oinks, he is thankful
for his muddy sty
and for the scraps 
of uneaten pie.

The cow says she is thankful
for cream with a moo,
and they all want to know
if you're thankful too.

    Have a fun day after Thanksgiving, and if the muse strikes you, write your own poem to share with us.
Suggestions on this draft of a poem are very welcome. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

knives and forKs and                 
T U R K E Y !

     I hope you have a great day.  The animals have all gathered in the barn.  They are having their own Thanksgiving dinner.  But before they eat, each one of them tells something they are thankful for.  What animals are there?  What are they thankful for?  Have fun writing your own poem.  Or just take one animal and write his poem.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Turkey

There was a young  turkey from Raleigh,
who was warned to walk woodlands was folly.
So he didn't go out,
or gobble about.
Thanksgiving just made him melancholy.

     I thought about using, "so he booked a plane ticket to Bali," for the last line.  Can you think of a better last line?  It is a tough, busy day getting ready for the feast tomorrow.  I have painters in my house painting the interior, so you can imagine the upheaval.  Can you try writing your own short poem today about the turkey?

A turkey was caught
in a shot gun volley.
He was plucked and trussed
to his folly.
He was buttered and basted,
then everyone tasted
and remarked,
this is good,
by golly!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I Love to Eat

Thanksgiving is my favorite time of year.
My family gathers for good cheer.
I eat the turkey and the pies
the stuffing, the yams,
and the vegetable surprise.
Like the potatoes
and stewed tomatoes.
Love the jellies
and crushed cranberries.
Fruit salad and jello molds,
cornbread and hot dinner rolls.
I eat and eat, more than enough--
the turkey isn't the only one

     Every year my husband makes our turkey dinner from the recipes in Bon Appetite magazine.  Over the years, I've had some amazing meals.  This year he is making a cauliflower dish that calls for pomegranate seeds and mint in it.  I'm waiting to see that one, I think it will look like a Christmas package with snow white cauliflower and the red and green little bits.  So today's poem is a  list poem of all the foods I eat for Thanksgiving dinner.  Perhaps you'd like to write your own list poem of all the people that are going to sit at the table with you for turkey day dinner.  Have fun shaping your poem. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

My Wish for You

Moonlight slides from the valley,
sparkling stars start to fade,
sunlight slips over saguaro and ocotillo,
birds begin to sing,
laughter and light,
magic and music,
surprise and sunlight.
May you have a spectacular day.

     Do you like to watch the sun rise or set?  I have friends in Kauai, Doug and Sandy McMaster  who watch the sun set every night from Hanalei pier. Doug plays slack key guitar.   They say it is their time to connect with the ancients.  A time to be thankful for all the good things in their life.  Since this is a time to be thankful, can you write a poem about the things you are thankful for?  Perhaps you'd like to make it a list poem.  Do have fun.  Or start your poem with a line like, "My favorite thanksgiving foods are:"  Oh, I'm getting hungry, just thinking of that.  Have fun.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Autumn Mist

is it
 You bet.

Would you
I can see
my own

     Watching a football game on TV last night, I saw the players panting and I could see the fog each breath made.  As a child, I remember walking to school and playing with this mist trying to blow smoke rings or just making interesting streams.  In my bedroom I'd blow that mist on my window so I could use it to draw pictures or write words. 
      What hints or clues can you find that let's you know that it will soon be winter?  Can you write a poem about that?  Enjoy your misty words.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Good Night

I'm tired.
I'm sleepy,
and I'm cranky.
All I want
is my favorite blanky,
a good night kiss
my bedtime prayers,
then tuck me in
with my teddy bears.

     I've been having fun working on night poems this week.  Things at night look very different than they do in the day time.  Which do you like better, day or night?  Can you write a poem about that?  Have fun.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Coyote Dreams

Coyotes pause in the river bed
to sing a song to the moon.
Their yip, yip, yip,
is a raucous tune.

The pack of coyotes
travels in the wash,
while bats fly by
and elf owls watch.

The javelinas look
for a tasty treat
to fill their
night time dining.

The night air cools
and the songs echo
making memories
of a desert night.

And as I nod to sleep
I hear those songs
rippling through
my dreams.

Good night coyotes.
Good night javelinas.
Good night elf owls and bats.
Good night to us all.

      This poem is a lullaby, because it is one that should be read just before going to sleep.  Can you try writing your own lullaby?  Have fun. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Under the Covers

This poem is for children's writer Stephanie Greene who supplied the inspiration.

Don't make a noise.
Don't make a peep.
The rest of the house
is trying to sleep.

While I'm under the covers
with my flashlight,
I'm reading a book
through half of the night.

      Stephanie Greene has a blog, flashlightunderthecovers.blogspot.com which I enjoy reading.  I bet you'd enjoy reading the books she has written.  Perhaps you'll read one of her books in bed.   Have you ever taken a flashlight and read a book under the covers so no one would know you were awake reading after bedtime?  I certainly did--a lot.  Do you have a ritual you go through to get ready for bed?  Do you brush your teeth?  Do you pack your backpack, or set out your clothes for the next day?  Try writing a poem about going to bed.  Have fun.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Good Night

Good Night, Mom.
Good Night, Dad.
Good Night, Sis.
Thanks for the day
I've had.

Now I put my head
on my pillow to sleep
to dream of swimming
in the ocean deep.

Or maybe my dream
will keep me at home
to play in the garden
with elves and a gnome.

Wherever dreams take me,
no matter what I do,
I sleep snuggled in my bed
dreaming of you.

Sweet Dreams.
Good Night.

     Can you write a poem about one of your dreams?  In my poem "I am a Poet," I have the line that says as poet, I can fly on the wings of a hummingbird.  I always loved the thought of flying on that tiny small bird.  I liked thinking about seeing the world from that perspective and drinking sweet nectar with the bird.  My dreams do take me to interesting places.  What is your dream?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Artichoke

An artichoke grew
on his spiny plant.
He looked for a friend,
but none were extant.

Once a worker
walked his way
but he kept walking
on that day.

The artichoke wanted
a friend to play
but everyone
just walked away.

Folks thought him spiny
and way too sharp.
They didn't remember
he has a tender heart.

      I love artichokes.  Do you?  Don't you just wonder how they were ever discovered? 
     Do you have friends like the artichoke?  They are rough and prickly on the outside, but very tender at heart.  I had an aunt like that.  She always seemed so stern, but inside she was very kind.  It just took getting around her sharp barbs to get to know and love her.  So today's challenge is a tough one.  Can you write a poem about this person?  What did you do to get around the sharp points?  This would be a good poem to start with notes or brainstorming first to get all the details down. Remember to use your five senses.  Try writing a free verse poem.  Have fun.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Counting Squirrels

One, Two, Three
squirrels in a tree.

Four, Five, Six
toss down sticks.

Seven, Eight, Nine
Pick up a stick, see it's pine.

Ten squirrels in a pine tree
tossing sticks down at me.

Oh dear, what should I do?
I pick up at stick and toss it too.

Squirrels scatter, off they go.
some are fast, some are slow.

No more squirrels in the pine tree
tossing sticks down at me.

     I tried this poem with several different animals.  I tried monkeys, parrots, toucans,  before I finally settled on squirrels.  I picked squirrels because I liked the sibilant sound of the word.  Can you see how there is that hissing "s" sound in every line?  When that sound is repeated, it is called consonance--the repetition of a consonant sound.  When it comes at the beginning of the word it is called alliteration.  This is what is done for tongue twisters.

Sixty-seven silly snakes slither slowly round the saguaros.

     So today's challenge is to write a tongue twister.  Use the first letter of your name and work toward alliteration and consonance.  This won't work if your name starts with a vowel sound.  Then you would need to use assonance--the repetition of vowel sounds.
     This is fun.  I'm going to have to try this with my friends names too.

      Joking Joy just jammed jingling jewels in her junky jalopy. 

     Please, share your tongue twister with me.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


It is raining
Raindrops fall
on this and that.

Falling on roof and tree
hills,  ocean and the sea.
Falling on umbrellas and rain coats
automobiles and on boats.

Falling on horse and sheep
and on little frogs that sing
peep, peep.

Rain is falling
here and there,
rain is falling

      It is a great rainy day.  I used to hate rainy days, because I love sunshine.  But then I had a friend, Bill Hooks who said, "Isn't it a great day for writing?"  so I started to love rainy days.  This might be a good day to write a form poem, or try one on sunshine or rain.  Or, if you'd like add a verse to my poem.  what else is getting wet in the rain?  Have a great rainy day and enjoy writing.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


The moon was round,
 shining bright
as two javelinas
ran fast last night.

They were caught
in my headlights,
racing on the road
to get out of sight.

I'm glad they didn't 
turn to fight,
their sprinting bodies
gave me a fright.

We went on our ways
into the night.
The javelinas and me
we'll both be all right.

     If you don't know what a javelina is, it is a peccary, a pig-like creature.  Very sturdy, very compact.  They travel in groups and knock over trash cans looking for food.  They root up plants in gardens.  At Halloween time people are advised to keep their pumpkins indoors so the javelinas can't get to them.  Evidently pumpkin is like candy to a javelina.
    What is something you see at night?  Can you write a poem about it?  Have a great weekend.  Enjoy.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Veteran's Day

Thanks to all the Vets
who fought to save our land
Thanks to all those Vets
no matter where they stand.

My Grandpa was a veteran
he fought against Japan.
My Dad is a Veteran too,
He's off in a foreign land.

All Veterans are special
and very dear to me.
I'm glad that they will fight
while you and I live free.

       Happy 11-11-11.  No matter if you live in England, Canada or the US--I've written the date correctly today.  And it is a great day.  I get to watch the first basketball game played on an aircraft carrier tonight and my sister is here visiting, so I'm having a grand busy time.
     Do you have someone you share your poems with?  Yesterday my Poetry Pals critique group met and even though we are a new group (this was only our second meeting) I respect, admire, and care for the other members already.  The suggestions for improving my poetry were excellent and right on the money.  Mostly the comments had to do with keeping tense consistent and beefing up my verbs.  I'm always harping on the importance of good verbs, so it was good to have it reinforced.  It did make me remember that poems can always be improved.  So, your task for today is to take one of your old poems and look at the verbs.  It there a stronger verb you can use, or one with more variety?  Visit with an old poem and see if you can sparkle it up a little.  Have fun. 
     I hope you see your shadow today.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Little Fish

One little fish
swam in his dish.
He blew bubbles
and made a wish.

All he wanted
was another fish
to swim with him
in his little dish.

Another fish
came one day
to blow bubbles
while they played.

Two little fish
blowing bubbles
in the dish.
Swimming around
plish, plish, plish.

     This is definitely a pet poem.  Can you write a poem about your pet?  Use your five senses to tell me what he looks like, sounds like, smells like, feels like.  Have fun and find a friend (me?) to share your poem with.
Do you like blowing bubbles?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Dia del Muerte, Day of the Dead, All Souls Procession

Sunday night
the end of dia del muerte
All Saints Day
we had a fiesta
a parade in the street
music and dancing
and lots of good food.
Friends and neighbors
carried colorful placards
with pictures and messages
to departed loved ones.
Faces painted in white and black
looking like skulls
so the spirits would feel welcome.
We had churros, tacos,
Mexican wedding cake cookies,
burritos, chips and salsa
and the little packaged presents--tamales.
It was a fun night to remember
departed loved ones and to invite them to join us.
It was a fun night to keep their memories alive.
Later, it rained while I slept.
It was gray on my walk
the next morning.
I saw the sun rising over the desert,
saw sun rays sweep over saguaros.
I wanted to stay and watch the sun all day,
but there were too many chores to be done.
So I turned to walk home again
and there in the west
a spectacular
radiant rainbow
as if the spirits
had returned
to say,
Thank you for the party.

I meant to post this poem on Tuesday after the great walk on Monday when I had been given this gift of the rainbow, but yesterday I needed to say my own thank you  to the poets at Esperanza Elementary School.  So, today  can you write your own free verse holiday poem.  What is your favorite holiday?  Write a poem about it and share it with us.  Enjoy the experience.  Thank you for dropping by.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Thank You Esperanza Elementary Poets

Yesterday I visited with fine young poets from Esperanza Elementary School in Phoenix AZ.  This is a picture of the Princess of Poetry with their teacher Ken Slesarik.  We had a grand time learning former children's poet laureate Jack Prelutsky's poem EYEBALLS FOR SALE  from his book Pizza the Size of the Sun.  We made up our own manticores (a mythical beast with the head of a lion, the body of a human and the tail of a dragon or scorpion) and then wrote poems about them. 
     With the children's help I made a beaversaurus with the head of a beaver, the body of a boy, legs of a horse and the tail of a dinosaur.  We decided to call it a beaversaures and called it Mr. S. after their teacher.

So here is my lame picture of the beaversaures.



Mr. S is my beaversaures.
He likes singing
in the school chorus.
He sings high.
He sings low.
He sings poems
where ever he goes.

(More verses to follow.)

     Have fun making your own manticore and writing a poem about it.  You can use your five senses to find things to tell about your creature.