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.

Friday, August 17, 2012


      Oh it has been an exciting week. I got my ARC (Advance Readers Copy) of a new poetry book.

THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY Poems for the School Year with Connections to the Common Core, compiled by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong. (If you click on the title it will take you to the publisher where you can learn more about the book.)

There are 181 poems in this book – 35 for each grade level K-5, and then some extras, written by 75 poets including Jack Prelutsky, J. Patrick Lewis, Jane Yolen, X. J. Kennedy, Arnold Adoff, Linda Sue Park, Georgia Heard, Gail Carson Levine, Eileen Spinelli, David L. Harrison. For a complete listing of the poets included in the book go here. (If you would like to purchase this book, or read reviews, this link will take you to Amazon.( http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1937057682 ) There are a lot of the Poetry Friday crew in the book!

Can imagine the fun I'm having reading the poems by so many of my friends.

One of the poems that spoke to me from the kindergarten section was a poem by Rebecca Kai Dotlich. Rebecca (  http://rebeccakaidotlich.com/  ) has kindly given me permission to share the poem with you.


Knock, knock!
Who's there?

It's Mrs. Betty!

She brought us a pot
of homemade

copyright ©2012 by Rebecca Kai Dotlich. Used with permission of Curtis Brown, Ltd. All rights reserved.

I admire Rebecca's poem and the rhyming of Betty with spaghetti. This got me to thinking about rhyming people's names with foods.

Earlier this week (Wednesday, August 15, 2012), I wrote my own poem that rhymed names with foods, titled MY SIX UNCLES.
Several of my friends have tried this too. Thanks to Linda Andersen  and her grandsons Travis and Jonathan and to Jeanne Poland who has posted her poem at The Vibrant Channel Creator.

Yesterday I started thinking about using the names with other things, but keeping it all in the family with Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Nieces, Nephews, Brothers, Sisters, Moms, Dads—any relative or friend you can think of.   Some how I tumbled to a family reunion, and there was the group photo.


See Uncle Matt?
He's wearing a hat.
That's cousin Lance
in the short pants.

Auntie Grace
has a smile on her face.

Her twin sister Aunt Trace
wears diamonds and lace.

My Uncle Kurt
is without a shirt.

My Cousin Piers
is making rabbit ears.

My Sister Pearl
has all the curls.

Cousin Jed
is the red head.

And Baby Claire
with the golden hair,
slipped out of her diaper
and is running bare

      Does Baby Claire make this an X-rated poem? Anyway, I'm sure you get the idea of how much fun it is to rhyme names with some trait or activity of the person. Who else can we put into the family photo? Who have we forgotten? 
      Here is your poetry challenge for today-- write a couplet to add to our family photo. You may leave your contribution in the comments below. 
     Oh, I forgot the dog and the cat.  You're welcome to try that. 

      Thanks again to Rebecca Kai Dotlich for sharing her delightful poem Mrs. Betty. Thanks for the inspiration. Happy Poetry Friday and I hope that you too will read and enjoy THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY Poems for the School Year with Connections to the Common Core.


  1. Joy,
    Happy Poetry Friday and CONGRATULATIONS on having two poems selected for The Poetry Friday Anthology. Go Joy! How exciting! Your name appears first in the alphabetical listing of poets. I think this will be a popular collection.

    Thank you for linking to my blog and for mentioning my grandsons and myself on this post. That was so sweet of you. We really enjoyed making up rhymes with uncle names.

    The Family Reunion Photo poem is adorable. A pet or two would make it even more fun.

    Keep up the fun with poetry.

    Linda A.

  2. Lovely cover on the anthology!

    Cute name-rhymes! Can I add a bird to your poem?

    Uncle Ferd's bird Squawk
    has a mohawk.

    1. Oh Tabatha,
      You're so clever, I love the bird and the mohawk is a riot.
      Thanks for adding to the party picture.

  3. Hi, Joy! The new anthology reminds me of your name - it's full of joy. :0) I enjoyed reading your fishy and jingly poems in it. Thanks for sharing Rebecca's poem.

    A family name rhyme - hmmm...

    My stepdad is Jack.
    He has quite the nack
    for nailing anything flailing

    ;0) Happy Poetry Friday!

    1. I imagine he's the one standing
      in the back.

      Thanks for stopping by and joining our poetry party.
      I loved your poem, TROUBLE ON THE TRAIL, it has me all itchy.

      SNACK RULES is fun to read out loud.

  4. Fun poem. My couplet would go right after Uncle Kurt's:>)

    At least Cousin Lance
    remembered his pants.

    Hehe. OK, congrats on being in the PFA. I can't wait to read the entire thing!

    1. Your poem PETTING ZOO, is so clever and fun. I'm certain kids are going to love the words in their own mouths.

  5. Hi PFA!
    Did you say
    I could play

    with rhyme
    each time
    I mime
    Jeanne Poland
    (ordered the book!)(Thanks for the great links)

  6. Hey Jeanne,
    Thanks for joining the party.
    I've been sitting here for five minutes trying to think of a rhyme to go with Jeanne to put you in the family photo, but decided you'd do a better job yourself.
    Ya-hoo! What a party.

  7. Maggie's always so slow
    wherever she goes
    to keep her from stubbing
    one of her toes.

  8. Cool Maggie,
    Thanks for stopping by.

  9. So, so happy for you. I didn't even realize this was happening. Congrats/ Here's my post: http://wp.me/pG1xR-mw

    1. Hey Jone,
      Thanks for coming to the poetry party.
      I'm having so much fun reading everyone's contributions. We should do this more often.

  10. I offer my congratulation
    and a dose of admiration
    for your nice poetic feat.
    What a lovely Friday treat.

  11. Thanks so much, Joy, for the poems that are in our anthology. Your "Keys" had me jingling my keys and playing with onomatopoeia out loud to describe the sound--drove my family nuts.

    I love what you've done here, riffing off Rebecca's Betty/spaghetti. As for MY family photo, I'd have to say (of Uncle Jimmy and Uncle Johnny):

    There in the back is Uncle Jim;
    I'm a foot shorter, in front of him.
    (Uncle Jimmy is The Giant in our short family at a whopping 6 feet tall; I didn't realize that people could be EVEN taller than THAT until I was 10.)


    Look at our feet, me and Uncle John:
    we're the ones with Birkenstocks on.
    (Uncle Johnny introduced me to Birkenstocks, which the rest of my family thought were ultra-WEIRD shoes.)

    It's always fun at your blog, Joy!!

    1. I love your Uncle Johnny and Uncle Jim.
      They fit right in. And that explains your Birkenstocks and the wild socks.
      Welcome to the poetry family reunion photo.

      Thank you for compiling the beautiful, wonderful, fantastic anthology. Teachers, parents and kids are going to love it.

      I just re-read Robyn Hood Black's SNACK RULES on page 76 of THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY and it got my mind spinning. It is going to be so much fun to see what happens with that.

  12. Too bad my eyesight isn't better
    because I find a swirling letter
    growing legs. It tries to flee,
    running straight away from me.
    The anti-spam's a vicious plot.
    I swear that I am not a bot

  13. Hey Margaret,
    Thanks for coming to the Poetry Friday Family Reunion.

  14. Great posts, Joy, and congrats on being published along with other great poets!! Happy dance!

    1. Thanks for stopping by aqnd joining the party, Carol.

  15. Congratulations on being included in this AMAZING anthology, Joy! You keep great company.

    At our family reunion this is how I'd be described...

    There's ol' Bridget
    She's such a midget-
    Will she ever grow?
    (The answer is, "no")

    Thanks for the Friday fun...

    1. Bridget is not a midget,
      her heart is big as the moon.
      She's such a great friend to poetry,
      I hope to see her soon.

      Thanks for coming to our party and thanks for your excellent contribution.

  16. Congratulations, my friend! YAYAY! This sounds a lot like the clerihew poems! Love all the family tree poems you've written so far!


    1. Donna,
      Thanks for the link to Kenn Nesbitt's post on how to write a clerihew. He has poems in THE FRIDAY POETRY ANTHOLOGY. On page 190 is his "My Porcupine is Feeling Fine." It's a funny quatrain.

  17. My Uncle Jim was tall and slim
    Despite his love of Coneys
    He ate until his belly burst --
    Fed the scraps to his ponies.

    1. Oh dear, Julie,
      I hope the ponies didn't get sick from eating Uncle Jim.
      I can see 5th graders enjoying the burst stomach.

      Thanks for coming to the party and for your contribution to the family reunion photo..

  18. Hi Joy! Congratulations I loved both of your PFA poems.

    Let's not forget uncle Ned.
    He's not here in fact he's dead
    but to be fair---
    that's his chair.


    1. Ok Ken, this is sooooo funny. I'm seeing a blue spindle back chair, I hope Uncle Ned doesn't mind if I sit in it.
      I loved your poem THE WOODLAND VOLE on page 112 of THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY. When and where are you and I and Juanita Havill going to have an AZ reading of poems from the book? We need to do this.
      BTW thanks for coming to the party and letting us take your picture.

  19. Hey, Joy!

    Thanks for the invite and hooray for The Poetry Friday Anthology!

    Okay for my contribution to the party:

    My mother's name is Saralee
    she plays the piano merrily.


    1. April, thanks for the link and for the ideas of dealing with poet's block. Congratulations to you and Bruce for writing a poem a day. Keep up the great work.

  20. Cool April,
    Thanks for coming to the party.
    I'm glad to see Miss Saralee in the photo. I bet she led us in a group sing of some of the family favorites. What songs did we sing?
    I enjoyed your poem HOW TO OPEN THE ATTIC DOOR on page 252 of the Anthology.We need the person in the bathing suit and blue cowboy boots in the family photo.

  21. Dear Joy,
    Congratulations on being chosen for the Anthology. I am very happy for you and very proud of you. You are the best!
    Take time to have fun and celebrate for at least a month!
    Love you,
    Joan Y. Edwards

    1. Hey Joan,
      Thanks for coming to the party. I'm having so much fun. Don't you just love some of the contributions to the family photo from the reunion?
      Thanks for the suggestion of celebrating for a month. Hmm, I'm thinking about celebrating every day. It is just so much fun, and I've so enjoyed this poetry party.
      I'm hoping that Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong are going to want to do a new anthology each school year. Wouldn't that be fun for everyone?

  22. I love your family reunion poem - what a great idea! Congrats on the anthology, which is winging its way to my door as we speak. Can't wait to read everyone's work!

    My father (Ed) was the youngest of 13 kids, and he and his brothers were all short and bald.

    There's my dad, Ed,
    not a hair on his head,

    His brothers, George and Lou...
    they're pretty bald, too.

    Hope you don't mind if I take your idea and run with it! I have a huge family, and this would be so much fun!

    1. Thanks for coming to the party, Renee. I thought you'd like this game. Run as far as you like with this idea, as you know I got my idea from Rebecca Kai Dotlich and she was kind enough to let me use her poem so I could run with it. And then you gave me the idea of developing a whole family photograph album of poems. So lets keep the poetry rolling.
      Thanks for adding someone with a bald head to the photo.
      One thing Linda Andersen and I talked about was using this rhyming couplet game in the car while driving with children. Kids have fun playing too.

  23. Sorry I missed the party. I must blame it on ....

    Dear old grandma Drake
    Her weary bones sometimes ache
    The remedy (she swears) a family drive to the lake.

    So ...for her sake we left our lawns UNraked
    and drove for two hours never taking a break.
    Chocolate-chip muffins and corn bread we baked
    while Grandma Drake whipped up decadent chocolate cake

    Round a roaring fire we ate, we drank and we ate
    laughing till the wee hours, barely staying awake
    while grandma told stories of her friend dear old Blake
    whose midnight ritual (she said) was a bowl of milk with corn flakes AND
    a side order of one LARGE (barbecued-to-a-crisp) T-bone steak

    So what could we do?
    You guessed it. Fire up the BBQ!

    Once again we ate picking the bones clean to a T
    leaving room, of course, for more cake, muffins and tea.

    Yes. Dear Grandma Drake
    will do anything-
    even creaky bones will she fake
    for a long drive to FAMILY REUNION Lake.


    1. Cory,
      I LOVE old Grandma Drake, that woman knows how to eat. Sure wish I could try her decadent chocolate cake.
      Thank you for sharing your wonderful poem.

    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    3. On the way to the party, a funny thing happened.
      Cory made post with the poem above.

      And then came another post, from Anonymous with a critique of Cory's poem.

      I thought it was terribly unfair for someone to do that to Cory and then not even leave their name. (Notice the post that says---Anonymous this comment has been removed by a blog administrator.)

      I feel very strongly that the poems posted in the comments shouldn't be "open season" for anyone to come along and tear apart. So, I removed the post and I telephoned my friend Cory to tell her how sorry I was that this had happened to her on my blog. I couldn't reach Cory by phone, so I ended up emailing her my apology.
      and then the next morning Cory called me, Except she is in Quebec--essentially E.S.T, and I'm in Tucson, three hours earlier. So it was 5:45 AM here. Now, normally I'm awake at that time, but this was a weekend.
      Cory told me she had written the post critiquing her own poem but had forgotten to sign it. So I've been laughing about this ever since and I promised Cory that I'd put her correction post back in the comments. So here it is. didn't she do a nice job improving her poem?

      Cory, what were you thinking???? Don't you remember... the family debate...muffins or cupcakes!!

      Doesn't this sound better?

      Chocolate chip cupcakes and corn bread we baked
      while Grandma Drake whipped up decadent chocolate cake.

      Don't you recall the fire? I would say it was BLAZING, not roaring.

      Listen to this.

      Round a blazing fire we ate, we drank and we ate

      AND while you're at it...

      while grandma shared tales of her dear friend, old Blake

      Cory. I know you are confused. The revised version---

      Dear old Grandma Drake.
      Her weary bones sometimes ache.
      The remedy -she swears- a family drive to the lake.

      So ... for her sake, our lawns stay UNraked
      and for strEIGHT hours, the highway we brave, never taking a break.
      Chocolate chip cupcakes and corn bread we bake
      while Grandma Drake whips up decadent chocoLATE cakes.

      Round a blazing fire we ate, we drank, and we ate
      laughing till the wee hours, barely staying awake
      while Grandma Drake shared tales of her dear friend, old Blake.
      His midnight ritual (she said)-- a bowl of milk with corn flakes. AND
      a LARGE side order of one (barbecued-to-a-crisp) T-bone steak.

      So what could we do?
      You guessed it. Fire up the BBQ!

      And partake.
      We ate and we ate even licking the plates
      Saving room, of course, for cupcakes, coffee and MORE chocoLATE cake.

      Yes. Dear Grandma Drake
      will do anything-
      even creaky bones will she fake
      for a long drive to FAMILY REUNION Lake.


      Keep revisiting, Cory. You're getting better.

      P.S. Tenses need your attention

    4. Dear friend,
      I apologize. For the stress I caused, for waking you up SO early, for the extra work I gave you, for forgetting to sign my self- critique.
      THANK YOU for the laughter, for your kind comments, for reposting the poem. THANK YOU for inspiring me to create grandma Drake and to have SO much fun experiencing her world. THANK YOU for this beautiful safe place, a welcoming space to experiment with poetry.
      THANK YOU for sharing YOURself.


  24. So. Much. Fun!

    And may I just say how tickled I am to have one of my poems living between the same two covers as yours?!?!