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.

Saturday, March 31, 2012


      Thank you to everyone who entered the drawing for an autographed copy of DECLARATION OF INTERDEPENDENCE Poems for an Election Year, a collection of poems by Janet Wong.   
 You can find all the books that Janet Wong has published at her website by clicking on her name.

             There were a lot of entries, and I got to read lots of good poems.

     I put each of your names on a yellow slip of paper and they all went into the hat.

I figured my magic top hat was the perfect thing to use.

So all the entries went into a hat.

I had my husband close his eyes and draw out four of the entries.

If you didn't win, you can still ask your library to order the book, or order the book yourself either from your local independent book store, or from Amazon, where electronic versions of the book are also available in a Kindle edition for only $3.99.  (clicking on Amazon should take you right to the order page for details)

    The four slips that my husband drew were...
(Now if I were really clever I'd know how to get a drum roll here.)

  • Mrs. Harvey's class--you always seem to be winning, dear.
  • Maureen Wartski
  • Heidi Mordhorst
  • Cory Corrado

I have addresses for everyone except Mrs. Harvey's class.  If you could email me the address where you'd like your autographed copy of the book sent, I'll get them in the mail on Monday.

Congratulations again.  I think we're all winners.  Thank you for a fun week.

And the winner is....

Right now, the winner is me.  I've gotten to have fun writing poems in response to Janet Wong's poetry collection DECLARATION OF INTERDEPENDENCE.
I've gotten to read all of your brilliant poems that you posted in the "comments" yesterday.  And I've gotten to have the fun of running the contest to win the free books.  I've had so much fun doing this.  Thank you. 

Today I will put all the names into my hat and pull out  four names to receive the four autographed copies of the book.

But for right now, it is still Friday and I want to wait until after midnight to close the contest.  (See I'm really writing this on Friday night to post first thing Saturday morning.) 

So, while you patiently wait on me, lets see if I can come up with a poem for today.

tonight stars sparkle
across the bowl of dark sky
an airplane flashes

It has been a wonderfully warm day.  We hit 85 degrees, so this evening it is lovely to sit outside, drink coffee and converse while watching the night sky.

     Have a happy Saturday and enjoy the weekend.

More later

Friday, March 30, 2012



       Today is an exciting day.  I have four autographed copies to give away of Janet Wong's collection of political poems titled, DECLARATION OF INTERDEPENDENCE Poems for an Election Year.  This is a creative collection of poems to get you thinking about the privileges and responsibilities we have as US citizens.

      The first poem in the collection is:


I pledge acceptance
of the views,
so different,
that make us America

To listen, to look,
to think, and to learn

One people
sharing the earth
for liberty
and justice
for all.

     This poem certainly makes me want to stand up and salute.  It takes and re-frames our Pledge of Allegiance, and in so doing refreshes the words so we have to pause and think about our role in making a promise to our country.

    But just so you don't get the idea that this is a boring book of history, it isn't, here is Janet Wong's humor that just has to come out through her poetry.
Any kid can relate to:


When the teacher
asked about the Bill of Rights 
my friend said:

Is that
when you get charged
for Free Speech?

    The poems do what good poetry is supposed to do--they give you something to think about and there is a surprise in each one.  What fun. 

    So, if you would like to win one of the copies of DECLARATION OF INTERDEPENDENCE Poems for an Election Year, all you have to do is leave me your poem in the comments below.  It can be simply a couplet, a quatrain, a haiku or a one sentence prose poem.  Just leave a comment and I will take all of the emails, put them in a hat and draw out four names.

    I want to thank Janet Wong for this fun week for me.  When I first heard the title of the book, I did think, how unexciting for a kid.  I never in the world would have thought that I could come up with five poems written in response to the collection.  So Janet Wong, you surprised me,  Thank you for that.

   And just so I  can show  an example of a haiku, here is my poem for today:

American flag
clanks on the metal flagpole
let freedom ring

   I'm looking forward to reading your comments.  Have fun writing your poem.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

At My School

  This is another poem I've written in response to reading the poems in Janet Wong's poetry collection DECLARATION OF INTERDEPENDENCE Poems for an Election Year.

I went to school today
it didn't cost me
taxes make it free.
Founding fathers
decided all children
should have
a free education.
I didn't have to pay
for my teacher.
I didn't have to pay
for my school books.
At recess I went
out on the playground.
I climbed on
the jungle gym,
swung on a swing
I'm glad taxes
pay for all
these good things.

Just one more day until Friday when I'll announce how you can win a free copy of Declaration of Interdependence, a poetry collection written by Janet Wong.  Also tomorrow I'm going to share one of Janet's poems with you from the collection.

    The flag of the United State flies over our Capitol, over government buildings, post offices, at businesses and hospitals.  Is there a flag that flies at your school?  The flag is a symbol for our country.  What does the flag stand for or mean to you? Can you write a poem about that?  Have fun writing.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Going to the Library

     Only two more days until Friday when I'll announce how you can win a free copy of Declaration of Interdependence, a poetry collection written by Janet Wong. Did I mentions the book is autographed by the poet?

     Here is what children's poet David L. Harrison has to say about DECLARATION OF INTERDEPENDENCE.  "Three cheers for Janet Wong for providing this collection of thought provoking and reassuring poems just as the election process heads toward a heated finish. Many of her poems bring wry smiles and all of them give the reader serious thoughts to ponder and nod over in agreement. Readers of all ages will finish this book with a deeper sense of pride in our country and gratitude for being an American."

     Yes, I'm glad to be an American.  Here is my poem for today,


I drove to the
on roads
paid for
by my taxes.

I checked out a book
to read.
It didn't cost me
a cent.
My taxes
to keep

I'm glad
I live
in the USA
I can
I think
and don't
have to worry
about going
to jail.

     Your poetry challenge for today is to write a poem about why you are glad to live where you do.  Have fun writing your poem.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


On Friday, I'll announce how you can win a free copy of Declaration of Interdependence, a poetry collection written by Janet Wong. I have four autographed books to give away that Janet Wong generously donated.

Here is another poem I have written in response to the poems in Janet Wong's collection DECLARATION OF INTERDEPENDENCE Poems for an Election Year.

Signing Petitions

At the street fair
I stopped to sign
a petition.

One for more
gun control
in our state.

Another for more
for our schools.

I wanted debate,
I wanted legislators
to hear my position.

I'm glad I live
in a country
where I can sign
a petition.
I can try to change
without sedition.

     One of the stanzas in this poem uses the poetic device of alliteration.  Can you find it?  Sedition is a big word.  Did you guess that it means rebellion, defiance, insurgency?  Have you ever signed a petition at your school?  Have you ever written your own?  Make a list of things you might change at your school, home, community?  Talk to people and ask them what they would like to change.  Now, can you take all these ideas and thoughts and make poetry?

Monday, March 26, 2012


On Friday I'll announce how you can win a free copy of DECLARATION OF INTERDEPENDENCE Poems for an Election Year, a poetry collection written by Janet Wong.

Here is my poem for today--

Blessed by the moonlight
and sparkling stars all around.
Blessed by the sun
that casts my shadow
on the ground.

Blessed by my fore fathers
who traveled over sea.
They fought for  liberty
so I am free to be me.

    For your poem challenge today, can you write a list poem of all the things or people  that bless your life?  Have fun writing.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Sunday is a fun day
I'm thinking of you.
It's a come play day.
What shall we do?

      What are you going to do today?  I hope you have your own fun day.  What would be the best play day for you?  Can you write a poem about it?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Fourth Street Fair

Hey, it's Saturday.
I want to play.
I'm going to
the Street Fair today.
I'm all ready.

 The street fair was really crowded.
 folks came from everywhere.
 Craft, and art
food and friends
were all out on our street.

Notice the mountains in the background and it was very warm yesterday so lots of people were in shorts.

 There were artists
painting pictures.
And people exploring art.

 But most of all we
just walked the street
looking at all
the new things
to meet.
 The stores along Fourth Street
set out balloons
and their best wares.
Goods and wares,
wish you had been there
to be with with me
to ooh and aah
over all we'd see.

Friday, March 23, 2012

4 AM

The clock
on my nightstand
gleams red
4 AM.
It is dark.
 I'm still a bed.
Across the night air
comes the whistle
of a train
and in my dream
I'm riding
the Santa Fe
through the rain,
through the snow,
all the way
to the moon.
Clackety-clack, clackety-clack.
I'll be there soon.

     This is one of what I call my dream poems.  Many famous poets, have written poems about their dreams.  John Barrymore, Langston Hughes, Edgar Allen Poe--
just to name a few.  My dreams are usually short.  What are your dreams like?  Do you write your dreams down?  I keep a dream journal on my night stand.
It doesn't take long to write your dreams down first thing in the morning so you can keep them.  Otherwise all those good ideas that come to you in the night get lost.  Today's challenge is to write a poem about one of your dreams.  Do you think dreams are important to your life?  Why?  What do dream poems do for you?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Three Pirates

Three bold pirates
I once knew,
a fat one,
and a skinny one--
they were two,
but the one bold pirate
with his hair tied back,
he ruled the seas
with his sword--
whack, whack.

Traveling the ocean
they would go,
taking bounty to and fro,
but the one rough pirate
with his hair tied back,
he ruled the seas
with his sword--
whack, whack.

   This poem has been running around in my head for three days driving me crazy.  So I'm hoping that sharing it here will let me move on.  Do you ever have that happen to you?  Something gets stuck in your head and won't let your brain rest.  Oh wait, didn't the Muppets have a tune, This is the song that never ends...it was like that, or Barney's I love you song.
   Do you recognize the song Three Little Ducks, in this poem?  So here is the wild and  crazy challenge for you today.  Take any noun that you can have three of--bears, bubble gum, rocking chairs--and write your own poem.  And yes, you can change the end rhyme.
   OK, so here I go again.  Let's see if this will work for books.

Three good books
that I once read,
a nonfiction,
and a mystery
kept under my bed,
but the one picture book
'bout a mouse that roared,
I read it often
and never got bored.

   Ah, got through that one.  Let's try another.

Three gray mice
that I once knew
a small one,
a fat one,
they were two,
but the one little mouse
who was very meek,
he scared elephants
with his
squeak, squeak, squeak.

    Oh yes, that is much better.  Can you see the hand gestures to go with the mice?  If you have a poem with obvious hand gestures, it makes it a lot easier for children to learn or memorize the poem. 

   Thank you.  That silly rhyme caught in my head has turned out to be fun. It got me laughing.  Now it is your turn.
   If you'd like to share your own silly poem, I'd love to read it.  
    Thank you for stopping by.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

haiku three

goldfinch this morning
sits on desert marigold
sunshine everywhere

     On my walk this morning the birds were singing from all directions.  The doves from over head on the power lines, the quail on the ground, the finches, sparrows and wrens were flying over--a lot of bird gossip was going on.  It even sounded like a landlord and a tenant were having a discussion over the nest in the saguaro.  A finch landed on the marigold in front of me and it struck me how they are both the same color of gold.  The plant provided camouflage for the bird.  This only took a few moments before the bird flew off, but it was a lovely sight and made me happy to see it. 
    I started to think about the settings we put ourselves into.  They can protect us and keep us safe, and they can expose us, let us shine and stand out.  Which setting are you in today?  Can you write a poem about your setting?  Have fun writing.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

double haiku

inside his burrow
          dug into the arroyo
                    sleeps a diamondback

                    a covey of quail
                              zip and dart, running quickly
                                        snake opens his jaw

        If you enjoy haiku, you might enjoy reading the blog of children's author, poet and quilter Maureen Wartski who makes a practice of writing a haiku a day.
        A haiku journal Simply Haiku has lots of good reading and you might enjoy my friend Lenard Moore's haiku.  He and the North Carolina Haiku Society have taught me a lot about haiku.
      A fun exercise to try is to get a few friends together and try writing linked haiku.  Each person can write one haiku that links to the one before.  Or you can write them yourself.  Take the haiku you wrote yesterday and write another haiku to link to it.  You are welcome to post your double haiku in the comments section.
     Lenard Moore has told me about haiku parties, called renga, in Japan where tables of poets sit to write haiku directed by a haiku master.

Monday, March 19, 2012

haiku two

rain in the desert
tall agave flower spikes
stretch toward the sky

      It has been raining off and on all day--something rare in Tucson.  I think the agave grew 2 feet in the last 24 hours.  The spike must be 10 to 12 feet high.  There are flower buds all along the spine and I can hardly wait for them to bloom so I can see what that spike looks like in bloom and to find out if it perfumes.  
     I thought about spelling the first word of the first line reign, but I think it works better this way.  What do you think?
    This is a traditional American haiku--the form students are taught in school with a 5-7-5 pattern of 5 syllables in the first line, 7 syllables in the second and 5 syllables in the last line.  That should provide you with a strong clue how to pronounce "agave," ( a-gav-ee ).  Haiku should also have a season word in the poem.  Which word (or words) tell you what season it is?

 The challenge for today is to write your own haiku about where you live.  Please feel free to share your haiku in the comments section below.  I wish you a fun day writing.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


coyotes yipping
desert winds erase all tracks
an elf owl calls--why

     I don't normally like to use a center margin with my poems.  It seems a little too easy.  But in this haiku I felt the need to use it to represent the centering, or pulling toward the center of all beings--we are all related.  Each thing we do has an effect upon all others.  I thought I could use the center margin to help show this. 
    This poem was fun because I had to do a little research.  We're having a bit of wind tonight, so the yipping voices of the coyote are carrying across the canyon.  I have been reading the GAURDIANS OF GA'HOOLE by Katherine Laski, and I knew I wanted to include an owl watching the coyotes from his burrow in a Saguaro. I had originally used the traditional owl sound who as the last word of this poem.  But when I looked the bird up in my PETERSON FIELD GUIDES, Western Birds, text and illustrations by Roger Tory Peterson; the listing for the elf owl, Micrathene whitneyi, says the voice is "A rapid, high pitched whi- whi-whi-whi...often becoming more yipping or 'puppy-like,'" (Wow, I didn't think I'd ever have use for that single quote followed by the double quote, but there it is.)  So then I knew I had the bird I had heard and the one I wanted in this poem and I had to change the who to the why which makes the poem so much richer in conveying the meaning I wanted with this poem.  Oh, this was fun.
   This poem includes the word "tracks" which is the challenge word for this month at children's poet David L. Harrison's blog.  So I will post this poem over there too.  If you write your own poem, Harrison has a monthly challenge for adults and two categories for children. The children poems are at http://davidlharrison.wordpress.com/young-poets-word-of-the-month-poems/
So here is the writing exercise for today,  write your own haiku, or a poem about "tracks."  Share your poem with me in the comments below or post it on Harrison's blog.
   Thank you for stopping by.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Zen Garden

Some see only the gravel
and the rocks
needing raking.

See an arid land
where dust and dirt accumulates,
where nothing will grow.

Some see the same rock pile
of islands in a vast sea,

Or mountains
reaching through the clouds
striving upwards.

Today I am a rock.
Let me be an ocean island.
Let me be a misty cloud

     Do you ever have days when nothing seems to be going right?  When I have days like that, I know it is time to count my blessings, so today I'm counting.  This is a free verse poem.  I invite you to write your own poem today that uses a simile or metaphor to describe how you feel.  You're welcome to share your poem in the comments below.  Have fun writing.

    Happy St. Patrick's Day.

Friday, March 16, 2012


I said I have been over at www.thinkkidthink.com playing March Poetry Madness.
I lost out in the first round.  I was seeded 15th and my word to write an 8 line or less poem for children was DISMEMBERMENT.  As often happens, after the deadline, I thought of a better poem.

Sword Swallower

The sword swallower practiced in his tent.
His back was straight.  His knees were bent.
He swallowed the sword
in a tight squeeze
and suddenly felt
the urge to sneeze.

     Happy Friday.  The challenge for today is to make a list of ten things you've done this week. Did you go to school? Have a music lesson? Eat oysters? Read a book?  Quickly make the list and then take a moment to add the details. Pick one of the items and write a poem about it.  Let's see if I can do something for an example.

On Mondays at 4:00
I have a music lesson
with Mr. Brock.
He teaches me to play trombone.
To make it wail and even moan.
I  blow and toot
and slip and glide.
I'm glad when I am
done inside
and put the trombone away
then  race out side
baseball to play.

   This could do with a stronger ending, but it is good for a first draft.
Now it is your turn.  Have fun writing your poem.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

What did you see?

What did you see on your walk today?
Oh, what did you see, my dear?

I saw a dead snake in the road
so dead it was nothing to fear.

A Phainopepla sitting in a tree
and a cardinal singing to me.

I saw a hummingbird fine
sitting on a telephone line.

And there, too close, were two coyotes
who stood and just stared at me.

I mustn't forget the cotton tails
and the bobbing heads of desert quails.

Of course there was a cactus wren
who sat and called again and again.

This and that and so much more
were all out walking with me.

This is what I saw on my walk today, dear.
This is what I saw on my walk.

   It was a lovely day today and yes I had a great walk.  It is definitely getting close to Spring, there was a scorpion in the bathroom this morning that I had to get rid of before my shower.  Today's poem is a list poem.  It lists the things I saw on my morning walk.  Can you take a walk today and write your own list poem?  Don't worry about making it rhyme.  Add some details that tell what the thing on your list is doing. 
Please share your poem in the comments.  Have a great day.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

March Poetry Maddness

There is still time to vote for my poem in the March Poetry Madness.  If you'd like to see what it is all about go to http://www.thinkkidthink.com/2-buttered-vs-15-dismemberment
My poem is titled Polly the Pirate's Peg-Leg Parrot.
I had a most difficult word DISMEMBERMENT to use to write an 8 line children's poem.  Can you believe it?

Anyway, I'd appreciate your help in voting and you might enjoy reading the poems other poets wrote too. 
Thank you for your help.


I have a special treat for you today.  The poem isn't mine.  Today's poem is written by my friend Willa Brigham.  Willa is the two time Emmy Award winner as hostess of the children's television program Smart Start Kids.  She is a motivational speaker, performance artist and does workshops in the schools.  She also is an awesome story teller.
Willa was working this week at an elementary school in Durham, NC and had a short break between presentations so she used her time to write this poem.  She has CD's of her stories and songs.  You can find out more about Willa at her web site www.willabrigham.com  |  www.cdbaby.com/willabrigham

There was a well fed man from Raleigh,
Who feasted on oatmeal and barley.
Though long and lean 
with the skin of a bean
His rump was as big as a trolley.

     Limericks are usually humorous poems that start with two rhyming couplets, and then a fifth line that rhymes with the first couplet.  A fun exercise is to find some limericks and remove the last line.  Then try writing your own last line that matches the meter of your first line.

   On this poem,could we try, He traveled every where with his dolly.
                                               Eating made him bigger,to his folly.
                                               His hair was green, by golly.
                                               He had a bird named Polly.

 Today's challenge is to find a limerick and write 2 or 3 alternate last lines.  Have fun.
 I'm over at www.thinkkidthink.com   playing March Poetry Madness with my poetry friends.  My challenge was to write a poem using the word "dismemberment."  It wasn't easy.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Whiptail Lizard

The whiptail lizard is a fast paced lizard
and a very quick lizard is he.
He dashed past the ocotillo.
He raced by the barrel cactus
and ran up a Palo Verde tree.

     I've been playing with nursery rhymes again.  This poem uses several synonyms.
Can you find them?  Synonyms are words that mean the same thing.  So fast paced, dashed, raced, and ran all mean that the lizard moved very quickly.
    You can try writing a poem like this by picking an animal and then trying to load your poem with synonyms.

 The grizzly bear is a big old bear
and a huge old bear is he.
He ate a large fish,
swallowed lots of honey,
and got stung by a gigantic bee.

    Can you find the other words that mean big in this poem? 

   Now it is your turn to try it.  You might want to use a dictionary or a thesaurus.  Have fun. You're welcome to share your poem in the comments at the bottom of this page.  I'd love to see the animal you pick and the synonyms you use.

Monday, March 12, 2012


I don't like Mondays,
I feel so slow.
I am searching
for my get up and go.

The weekend was great.
I had a good time.
I learned and wrote
a children's rhyme.

     I have a friend who hates mornings.  when I meet with her, we always make the meeting time late in the day. 
     I'm a morning person.  I usually bound out of bed ready to go,but this morning i had trouble getting my giddy up to go.  Maybe I'll need an afternoon nap.  How are you feeling today?  Full of energy?  Or just coasting?  Today can you write a poem about how you feel? Have fun. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Ocean Wave

You are an ocean wave
tossing and blowing.
You crest in the sunlight,
your white foam showing.

You give lift to surfers,
seals love your break.
You are my sunshine
in the joy that you make.

You carry sea turtles
give growth for the krill.
Your sea weed is waving
and I love you still.

You're the salt on my tongue
and the breeze of a kiss.
You always act young
my favorite dear sis.

      O, I had a great time at the Tucson Festival for the Book today.  I attended two workshops presented by children's poet Janet Wong.  For a poetry exercise, she had us write a tribute poem to a relative (mother, father, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, grandparent, babysitter, nanny, care-giver, someone you care about) and compare them to a concrete object.
    So, I decided to write a poem about my sister and she has been painting a beautiful sea scape recently.  I got to go with her to her painting class when I visited recently.  This is the poem I wrote.  This was a quick and fun exercise.  Wouldn't you like to try it?
   I'd love to see your poems.
   And just think the festival continues tomorrow.  Oh, I'm so lucky and this is so much fun.  I hope you are having a great weekend, too.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


I like to read
and learn new things
Love the adventures
reading brings.

I like the story
of the blue whale
and the princess
in a fairy tale.

I read nonfiction
and books with facts.
Reading is my way
to relax.

But, my favorite books
as you can see
are the ones 
with poetry.

     I'm off to the Tucson Festival for the Book today, so I thought I write a poem about reading and books.  Can you write your own poem today about reading? What is your favorite kind of story to read?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Breezy Nights

The wind blows fast
then slows,
stirring dust
as it goes.
Tall grass leans over,
gently bows.
The bright full moon
softly glows.
The wind chime sings

     Our March day is definitely being lion-ish.  The dust is really flying!  This poem is about the night, a nocturnal poem.  Can you try writing your own poem about the night?  Perhaps you'd like to try personification in your poem.  That is when you address or treat the night, like a real person.  For example,

Wind, why do you blow
so hard and then let go?
Why do you stir the dust?
Do you feel you must?
Or is it just
you want to sing
and hear the wind chime

     Keep warm and have a great Friday writing your poem.  Please share your poem with me in the comments below.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Honey Bee

The honey bee
sings buzz, buzz

doing what a bee
naturally does--
as he flies
from flower to tree,
collecting pollen
to make honey.

      Perhaps I'm slow this morning, but I've been thinking and can't come up with an answer.  Maybe you can help.  Can you think of any other animal that makes food for us?  There are lots of animals that are eaten, but a bee is the only one I can think of that we don't eat but it gives us food.  I'm going to have to do some more thinking and research on this. (Is this why some folks consider honey a perfect food?)
     So, today can you write your own poem with onomatopoeia in it?  That is a word that sounds like what it is.  Buzz, Buzz are the onomatopoeic words in my poem.  Have a good time writing.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Daylight Moon

It is 2:00
and the moon is out.
I wonder what 
the moon sees.

It is so strange
with daylight about
to think of the moon
looking at me.

The moon may cast shadows,
but those I can not see
for the sun is still shining brightly,
as bright as it can be.

     Today's poem is a little different because I wanted to share a photo of the moon that was out at 2 o'clock.  Has the moon been out early at your place too?  Today's poem challenge is to write a poem about the sun or moon.  One is thought of as being full of brightness, the other dark.  Do you think they would like to change places?  Have you ever wanted to change places with someone?  Did you discover that your own life was pretty good.  Have a good day.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Happy Marigold

                Desert marigold
          yellow and bright
          hosted a butterfly
          who paused in flight.

           When the butterfly
           flew out of sight
           I gave thanks
           for this morning's delight.

     Just looking at a butterfly makes me happy.  What beautiful, delicate creatures!  Butterflies belong to the Lepidoptera order, which means they have four scaled wings--but you'd need a magnifying glass to see the scales.  I think this butterfly is a hairstreak, probably the very common Gray Hairstreak, part of the gossamer-wing family, which can be seen in southern Arizona year round.
     If you were a butterfly, you'd always be smiling.  What colors would you be?  Where would you travel?  Can you write a poem today from the view point of a butterfly?  This is called a persona poem.  You take on the personality, or become the person (the butterfly) of the poem.  Think about the four stages of your life--eggs, emergent larva or caterpillar, cocoon, and winged butterfly.  Have fun writing and share your creations.

Monday, March 5, 2012


A black bird
sits in a mesquite tree,
the phainopepla
calls to me.

He's as black
as he can be,
until in flight
he starts to flee,
then his white wings
I can see.

He calls warp, warp
from up in the tree
saying good morning
to you and me.

     The Phainopepla is a common bird to southern Arizona.  It is about 7 inches big and looks like a black cardinal to me, because they are similar in size.
What birds are common to where you live?  Can you write a poem about the birds?  Can you draw a picture to go with your poem.  Use your ears and try to include the sounds your birds make in your poem.  What ever you write today, have fun.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Count all the stars,
count all the moon light.
Count all the bird songs
that bring their delight.

And when you're 
done counting
here's what to do
take that number,
multiply by two.

The number is still
not as great as
the gifts I receive
from you,
there is
always more fun
when I am
with you.

    Happy Sunday.  Today is a good day for listening.  Can you write a poem about something you hear?  Have fun.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Do you ever wonder
how moonlight
halos your hair?

How stars
twinkle and glitter
in the quarter moon air?

Do you believe rainbows
come at the 
best of times?

And poems
sometimes come
all set in rhymes?

These are days
I feel I am
a lucky one

to see another
day with 
a rising sun.

     What do you wonder about?  What do you think about when you look at the moon or the stars?  can you write a poem about that today?

     I have a special treat today.  My friend Cory Corrado is a brilliant photographer and poet.  She has designed a beautiful, awe inspiring book, NATURE SMILES, using both of her skills.  She has given me permission to share the link to her book with you.


Sorry, you may have to cut and paste to get there, but I guarantee it is worth the effort.   I hope you enjoy her book as much as I do.      

Friday, March 2, 2012

Magic Swimmers

Sea lions--
magic swimmers,
in their eyes
the sea's reflection.

Slick soft fur,
long dark whiskers,
they brush against me
with pinniped flippers.

 They sing
all day long,
a laughing tune,
a loud barking song.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Little Bird

A little bird
sits at my feeder
singing to me.

I smile and think
he is smiling
at me.

I smile, he smiles.
He sings
and I sing too

It seems to me
a happy 
thing to do

What a wonderful
way to spend
our day.

    The Carolina Wren makes a call that sound like tea kettle, tea kettle.  The barred owl calls Who cooks for you?  Who cooks for you?  Today listen to the songs of birds.  Aren't they magical?  Can you write a poem today about bird songs?  Please share your creation.

   Can you see the ghost of a bigger bird looking out for my little sketch?