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, June 30, 2012


Red and blue macaws,
guides call them chicos.
Babies born from macaws
used for research.

The chicos know
where food comes from.
They fly in the dining room
sit on your shoulder
beg for food--easy pickings.

Pretty birds
next to your plate
a delightful treat.

     At the Tambopata Research Center ( www.perunature.com)scientists study macaw behavior at the world's largest clay lick.
    Have you heard the old adage that birds of a feather flock together?  For today's poem, can you write one about feathers?  Have fun.

Friday, June 29, 2012

A Room in the Jungle

Tambopata Research Center Room 

My Room

Two beds
mosquito netting
a candle
and fan
a chair for my suitcase
a coat hook for my jacket
and an open window
to the jungle
where I can stand
and breathe
and bow to nature
who at any moment
will delight me
with another creature
or flowers
in the trees.

     Many people have asked me what my room was like  on our trip to the Rainforest.  If you'd like to know more, the eco-resort company has a web site  (with lots of great pictures) at www.perunature.com   The picture above I took from their web site. 

    The challenge for today is to write a poem about your room.  You certainly can rhyme the poem if you choose, but I think you'll have more room and can have a better chance of hitting the emotion you want in free verse.  Try it.  I hope you are enjoying your summer.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Owl Butterfly

 Owl butterfly
quiet and shy
on its wings
an owl eye.

    This butterfly gets its name from the owl eye on its wings as a form of protection.  Birds who might eat this butterfly are frightened by the owl, even if it is only an eye on the butterfly wings.  Camouflage is employed for protection by a lot of the animals in the rain-forest.
    For today's poem, let's write about camouflage.  Or if that doesn't work for you, how about protection?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Poison Dart Frog

Nature can be deadly.
Watch out
for the poison dart frog.
Natives catch them
on a palm frond
gently squeeze
and the frog secretes
a deadly liquid
for the tips of poison darts.

     This tiny frog looks so cute, but do not touch.  In the dim forest light the yellow stripes glow.
    Can you try writing a poem today about frogs?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Howler Monkey

A red howler monkey
stretches, sways
lazes in the tree tops
and brays
a loud howl.

    On my recent trip to the Rain-forest, I had the opportunity to see two howler monkeys--this red howler and a night howler.  The monkeys get their name from the loud howling noises they make. 
     Have you ever written a poem about monkeys?  Today is a great day to try writing a monkey poem.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Monkey in the Rainforest

In the rain-forest
jungle vines quiver and shake
a squirrel monkey

     When was the last time you wrote a haiku?  How about trying one today?
This haiku is written in the American form of 5-7-5--with 5 syllables in the first line, 7 in the second and 5 in the third.  The haiku should also be about nature.
Summer is a great time for being outside with nature and writing haiku.  Have fun.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


what are you doing?
Licking up salt
from the clay?
Silt from the river
is salty to lick
before you fly away.

     I saw many beautifully colored butterflies in the rain-forest.  Can you write a poem about a butterfly today?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Black Vulture

Three black vultures
will have a treat.

They've found a dead caiman
they're going to eat.

    The black vulture is called a Gallinazo in Peru.  This caiman is a white caiman.  Yesterday's poem featured a black caiman.  When I started writing this poem I wanted to write black buzzards for the alliteration.  Plus, I like Z words because there are so few of them.  Today can you write a poem that uses lots of Z's?  I hope you'll leave your poem in the comments.  I can hardly wait to read them.

Friday, June 22, 2012

River Caiman

In the Tambopata River 
a black caiman floats
in a daze.
He sleeps and swims
so lazy
until there's a lizard
or snake--
then he's awake.
Gliding so quickly
to find his prey.
In a gulp the lizard
is gone
and once again
the black caiman
had nothing
more important
to do than

    The caiman is a South American alligator.  It was exciting to watch this black caiman and a white caiman eating in the river.

Thursday, June 21, 2012


A capybara
rested by the river
watching the waters flow.
He thought about 
going swimming
but he didn't want to go.

A cattle bird sat on his head
eating the ticks and lice.
"Oh thanks," said the capybara,
"that really is quite nice."

     The Capybara is world's largest rodent.  Some call it a giant guinea pig.
This is another picture from my Peruvian trip.  Where are you going for a summer vacation, or where would you like to go?  Write today's poem about that.  And remember you are supposed to be having fun writing your poems.  So, if you don't like my suggestion,write something else.  The important thing is to write early and often.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Monkey in a Tree

A Saddleback Tamarin
hugs the tree,
he moves away
so I can't see
he is trying to 
hide from me.

     This is one of the many animals I got to see on my recent trip to the Peruvian Rain-forest.  What would you do if you saw a monkey in a tree? Could you write a poem for him?  If you wrote a poem from the monkey's voice that would be a persona poem.  Give it a try.  Have fun.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Things I Like in Summer

I like hamburgers
and french fries to chew
chocolate milk shakes
and ice cream too.

I like roses
and irises blue
cool long grass
with morning dew.

I like making necklaces
bead by bead,
and summer books
I can read.

I like going to the movies
whenever I can
to see Laurel and Hardy
and The Thin Man.

I like swimming
and riding my bike.
Can you tell me
what you like?

     I've been feeling really tired and down lately and I find that making a list of all the things to be thankful for often pulls me out of my funk.  Can you make a list of the things you are grateful for?  Can you turn it into a list poem?  Have fun writing.  I hope this is a super great day for you.

Monday, June 18, 2012


Zoom, zoom
I love my car.
It zips and zags
and goes far.

Over sand box
roads it goes.
Roaring high,
dipping low.

Wheels leave
two clear tracks.
To the edge.
then motor back.

With the tracks
I'll write my name.
Then you can come
and do the same.

Cars in the sandbox
my favorite joys.
Can you come
play with my toys?

     What is your favorite toy?  Do you share your toys?  Can you write a poem today about something you like to play with?  My favorite thing to play with is words.  I love trying to put them together in interesting new ways.
Have a great Monday.  Are you on summer vacation?  what plans do you have?  what are you reading?

Sunday, June 17, 2012


I remember
waking early
to go fishing
with my daddy.

We'd put the poles
in the trunk and head out.
Daddy drove until 
he found an open bait shop.

He'd buy a styrofoam tub
of night crawlers,
fat pink worms.
I'd walk around 
on the worn wooden floor
looking at all the wares.

"Hey kid,"
he'd yell to me.
"Want some chips?"
And then he's toss me quarters 
to get a coke out of the machine.
He'd grab a six pack for himself 
and we'd head out again.

Drive around again until
Daddy found a likely spot
along the canal
and we'd toss in our lines.

We'd talk in the car,
but now while we were fishing
we'd both be quiet.  
Hoping to lure
the bigger fish.

And if we were lucky
fresh pan fried fish
would be the dinner menu.

Thanks for all those
good quiet times,
Daddy. I love all
the times we shared.

     I hope you have a wonderful Father's Day enjoying the quiet times with your own dad.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Food Chain


On my walk today I saw
a dead rabbit,
dead tarantula,
dead pack rat,
dead snake.
They all made
a deadly mistake
Decided the road to take
to get to the other side.
Poor dead rabbit,
dead tarantula,
dead pack rat
dead snake
now, in the desert sun
they bake.

     Happy Saturday.  Sorry I'm late today. I've been at the hospital with my father-in-law who fell and broke his other hip, the left one this time.  Dad is 91 years old  and so has lots of health issues that take a lot of time.  Try writing a poem about one of your relatives today.  If you make it your dad, you can use it for a Father's Day card tomorrow.  Have fun.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Whale and Mouse

A whale and a mouse
tried living together
in a shell house
deep down in the sea.

But the whale
wouldn't fit in
and the mouse
couldn't swim
in their shell house
deep down in the sea.

So they went their own ways,
got together on Sundays
to eat cookies, drink tea
and talk of their shell house
deep down in the sea.

      I was going to do something totally different for today, but this poem came out instead.  It is very rough-drafty, but that is OK.  I need something to start with for revisions.  It is always best to get something written so you have a place to start. 
I was going to create a fill in the blank poem, but that hasn't happened-- yet. The first thing for that poem was to name 2 animals, with the suggestion to make them as different as possible or opposite as you can.  That is how I ended up with a great big whale and a small furry mouse.  The question is always there--how can they be friends?  And there you have today's exercise.  Can you write a poem about 2 animals being friends?  Hey, have fun playing with this one.  It doesn't have to be animals.  Can you imagine the conversation between a great big double bass fiddle and a tiny flute?  How can they be friends?  Or the flute and a bird?  Now there is an interesting combination.  Have fun writing.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


It takes my Aunt Hannah
time to get ready.
On her feet
she's not too steady.

Oh dear.
Poor Aunt Hannah
she slipped on
a yellow banana.
Now she's sore
from her head
to her can-na.

And, oh dear.
My Uncle Danny,
he slipped too
and hurt his fanny.

      Do you remember the "yo mama" jokes?  I'm thinking of some Uncle and Aunt jokes written as poems. 
My Uncle Bill / rolled down a hill. /had himself /  a nasty spill.
My Aunt Peg broke her leg.
My Uncle Pat is very fat.
My Aunt Jane uses a cane
My Uncle Rudd / slipped in the mud.
My Aunt Bess, she's a mess.
My Aunt Daisy / is a little crazy.
My Uncle Doug / was socked in his mug.
My aunt Grace / fell on her face.

     Yes, I know this is weird and who knows where it might go, but if you'd like to try your hand at a rhyming couplet with and Aunt, Uncle or even a dog or cat, please give it a go.  Have fun.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Played hard all day
with blocks
and trucks
and reading books.

I've had 
a busy day.
I think
I want
to take
a nap.

What did
you do

    Quick, how do you fell right at this moment?  Are you happy, sad, disappointed, glad, mad, tired, frustrated?  Can you describe how you feel?  Our emotions are a slippery thing, and that is why we need to write about them.  Have you ever thought about how a young child learns to label his emotions?  So just for fun today try writing a poem about how you are feeling.  You're welcome to share your poem in the comments below.

Have fun writing.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Apple pie,
     Apple Betty,
          Apple crisp,
Make them ready.

I can eat apples
    every day.
It is how I keep
    the doctor away.

     Are apples your favorite fruit?  Bananas?  How about watermelon?  Lately I've been thinking about writing concrete poems (shape poems) for fruit and stressing the color.  Red apples, yellow bananas, pink watermelon (maybe orange cantaloupe would be a better example.)  Do you want to try one?  Draw some circles for purple grapes and put one word in each grape.  Maybe, round, globe, sweet, world, ball, lavender, puce, egg plant, sugary, wine, fruity, crisp.  (I could continue with all the words to describe wine.) I forgot raisin.  Do you get the picture?  What other purple words can you think of?  Crayon? Rainbow? Indigo? Violet? Harold?  Have fun making up your own concrete poem. 

Monday, June 11, 2012


Stars sing
to me
glint, twink,
shine bright
sing sweet
smile, I want
to swing
in bare feet
and to sing too.

     This little poem uses a lot of assonance.  Look at how many times you can find the word "in" in this poem. 
So here is a wild challenge for today's poem.  Can you write a poem in 12 lines or less using the word "out" hidden your poem as many times as possible?  Oh this should be fun.  I'm already thinking about the things I can write.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Our guide chews
a short, fat cigar
between his teeth.

He says the tobacco
keeps mosquitoes

He strikes a match,
a strong, stinky cloud.

I wish I was that mosquito
so I could
fly away.

Saturday, June 9, 2012


A military term
                            it means,
situation normal
                            all fouled up.

                            It means
expect delays.
                            It means
things will NOT go well.

                            It means
                            for things
to go wrong.

                            It means
plan to have a snag
                            in your plans
with SNAFU.

I'm glad I'm on vacation time.

     What will you do for your dream vacation?  Would you like to write a poem about that?  Perhaps you'd like to write a list poem.  Have fun.  I am having lots of fun.

Friday, June 8, 2012

El Sol-The Sun

The sun shines
                            on a tree.
The sun shines
                            on the bee.

The sun shines    
                            on the sea.
The sun shines
                            on me.

They say,
                            it seldom rains.

When the sun shines
                            I feel fine
When the sun shines.

     This is another poem than can be read in two voices.  Can you write your own poem today about the sun or the rain.  Yesterday I read that to be happy one needed to learn to dance in the rain.  What do you like to do in the sun?  In the rain?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

In the City

In the city
it is noisy.
there never is a hush,
with people always
in a hurry
everything is a rush.

     I'm still in the city.  can you write a poem today about city life?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Taxi, Taxi,
take me away.
I want to see  
the city today.
Hurry, hurry,
take me away.
Let's drive off
without delay.

     I am visiting a big city and most people get around here on either a bus or they take a taxi.  Do you live in a big city or in the country?  Can you write a poem aobut transportation today?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


I am learning the days of the week.
I can name the days you seek.
Sunday         Domingo
Monday        Lunes
Tuesday        Martes
Wednesday   Miercoles
Thursday       Jueves
Friday           Viernes
Saturday        Sabado

     Do you speak a foreign language?  For today try writing a poem that uses a foreign word, or a word from another language.  Have fun.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Chewing Gum Friend

I like you so much
you're as good as they come,
that I'd even share,
your chewed chewing gum.

     WOW!  I must be in a silly mood this week.  I think this poem has the yuck factor that kids would like.  What do you think?  Can you write your own poem about gum?  Maybe you can try chewing as you write and see if that effects your poem, or the rhythm of your lines.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Standing High

Mommy doesn't like it
when I stand upon a chair
she's worried that I may fall
standing way up there.

Me, I want to see the world
from her point of view.
To ponder what is way up there
that looks to me so new.

     Yuck, this stinks--but I'm in a hurry today.  I promise that I'll come back and visit this little poem and fix it later when I have more time.  But the important thing is to get something down today. 
     As a child, I loved going vertical.  I hope my mom didn't know about the times I'd climb on the roof and just sit there watching the world pass by our neighborhood--she would have had a fit, I'm sure.  My husband doesn't do to well with heights.  He's always worried he'll fall, so I'm the one that does ladder things in our family.  for some reason, I'm more steady on my feet.  That applied to learning to ski and water ski.  It wasn't till I got a lot older that I started noticing balance.  Do you like doing things that require balance?  Can you write a poem aobut one of the things?

Saturday, June 2, 2012


I sat upon the pillow,
and the pillow sang
      PLOP, PLOFF.

Then tiny, little feathers
started drifting off.

I'd say I couldn't help it,
and it caused me such delight
that I had to use those feathers
to start a pillow fight.

     Pillow fights are fun.  Have you ever had one?  Instead of starting a fight, how about doing the safe thing and writing a poem about it today?

Friday, June 1, 2012

Flying rhyme

Sitting in the airport
wondering what to do.
Think I'll just dash a line
and send it off to you.

    Hey, you know some days it takes a little longer to be creative.  I'll go do something to feed the well and hopefully tomorrow will bring a better poem.  But, the important thing is to write something everyday, right?  What can you do today to feed your creative well?  What ever it is, I hope you have fun.  If you've got a great idea, please share it.