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.

Sunday, September 30, 2012


It's scroll                     It's head
It's tuning pegs           It's neck
It's fingers                  It's frets
It's inlaid                    It's soundhole
It's strings                  It's chin
It's pluck                    It's rosin
It's horsehair              It's bow
It's pull                       It's notes
It's passage                It's twinkle
It's Little Star              It's song

        Happy Sunday.  If you had a violin, what song would it play for you?  Can you write a poem about a magic violin that plays what ever you are thinking?

My magic violin
plays fine music.
All I do
is think and the tune
begins to play.

I think of a tree
and music swishes
like leaves turning
in the breeze
to flutter to the ground.

I think of moonlight
and the music
becomes big
and round
and shines brightly
to twinkle and sparkle
like starlight.

And when I think of you
my violin plays
a merry tune
that makes me feel happy
and like dancing.

Saturday, September 29, 2012


I'm trying something different with the formatting of this poem.  I hope it works.
Read this one out loud and notice where you need to pause for a breath--something that is very important in playing the flute.

we're stick          we're silver          we're pipe
we're sound        we're holes          we're fingers
we're tin             we're tune            we're played
we're merry        we're whistles      we blow

Now try reading the poem in any direction.  Have fun.

So here is your poetry challenge for today.  Take any musical instrument and see if you can come up with at least 12 words to describe it.  then write your own poem in columns.  I'd love to see what you come up with. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

American Children

The children in Alaska wear warm coats.
Children in North Carolina feed wild horses oats.
The children in China Town learn a dragon dance.
Children in Idaho watch reindeer prance.
The children in New Mexico go to Indian Pow-wows.
Children in Wisconsin can watch milking cows.
The children in Florida keep away from alligators.
Children in Massachusetts hear clanking radiators.
In Texas, the children watch for armadillos.
In the bayou children listen to zydacos.
In Arizona they look for roadrunners and javelinas.
In Illinois the children audition to be ballerinas.
The children in New York have lions at the Library.
New Hampshire kids go hiking and it isn't scary.
The kamali'i in Hawaii wear shorts to school.
Oklahoma kids think oil wells are cool.
The children in Colorado learn to ski.
The children in Ohio win spelling bees.
Children in California learn to surf waves.
Children in Utah explore their dark caves.
Children in Montana can climb the Buttes.
Children in Virginia can play their flutes.
Children have one thing in common--
in school they learn to read,
and reading helps them learn about
what other children need.

     I can tell this poem is very rough, and it has a long way to go yet.  I'm thinking it would be fun to make this a 54 line poem--50 lines , one for each state, and then 4 for the conclusion about reading helping with understanding.  If you'd like to help with this poem, you're welcome to leave a couplet about your favorite 2 states--or even one line will help. Go ahead an make suggestions for states I've already included.   Did I forget to include your favorite state?  Or you are welcome to leave a couplet about other countries.  What is something unique about the children there? What about my Canadian friends?
     I did think about starting this poem with "In England children call their teacher, Miss," but  the moment I got that far, I then knew that the way to control this big poem was to limit it to the US.  Did you know that kamali'i is the Hawaiian word for children?  I thought the word keiki was children, but when I looked it up in a Hawaiian dictionary, I found that was the word for baby.  (Now you know two Hawaiian words. )
   Teachers, this format would be easy to do for each classroom in your school with a quatrain at the end to say something that all the children in the school have in common.

    In Ms Clark's class the children have two goldfish.
    In Mr. Jones' class the children made a clay dhish.
    In Miss Butler's class the children wrote a book.
    In Mrs. Macy's class they learned to cook.
    All of the children at Esperanza School
    Think reading books is very cool.

   Hey, this definitely is an example of a list poem.

Have fun writing.  I look forward to reading your comments.  Thanks for stopping by. Happy Poetry Friday.

Thursday, September 27, 2012


My body feels twisted
like a figure eight.
So I stretch and reach
To get my back straight.

I stand up tall
and straight like a tree
reach for the roof
I'm good already.

     Isn't crick a funny word?  Do you ever wake up with the feeling that your bones aren't in the right order, that they aren't aligned?  What do you do when that happens to you?  Have you ever watched a dog trying to get the kinks out?
A dog rolls around on his back.  A cat humps its back and stretches out its legs. Your challenge for to day is to write a poem that describes what you or an animal does to shake your body out.  Have fun stretching in your writing.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


I'm going to the dentist today.
They'll clean my teeth for me.
While I'm there they'll take an Xray.
I hope they don't see even one cavity.

I brush my teeth to keep them clean
and use dental floss each day.
I want my teeth to be bright and gleam
and I hope they stay that way.

     What is the rhyming pattern on this poem?  Do you like going to the dentist?  My dentist always gives me a new tooth brush.  Do you have sealants on your teeth?  Do you get a fluoride treatment?  Having clean, strong teeth is important for good health.  Your dentist and dental hygienist can help with this.  Can you write a poem about your dentist, or your teeth today?  Have fun.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Said Pilot Tailspin Tim,
"I'm ready to go again.
I think flying is great fun.
Any landing I walk away from
I know it is a good one."

     My father-in-law and I were talking about flying today.  He mentioned the "Any landing you walk away from is a good one."  I'd heard this before, but then he mentioned Tailspin Tim.  I did a search to figure out who said the quote, and what I found is that it is an old flying proverb.  Then I did a search on Tailspin Tim and found a Tailspin Tom who was an old movie serial character.  So, I figured Tailspin Tim was mine to use.  Your challenge for today is to write a poem about flying.

In my hand
I have a surprise.
Good for flying ,
here's the word.
Soft and tickley,
it's the feather
from a bird.

Monday, September 24, 2012


It is  time for bed.
I don't want to go.
I want to watch 
this TV show.

Mom says,
"It's late.
You know the rule.
It's past 9 now,
tomorrow there's school."

So off I march 
to my bed
and dream my program
in my head.

Then tomorrow
when I'm at school,
I'll tell friends
my dreams are cool.

     What time do you go to bed?  Would you like to write a poem today about your bed time or your morning routine?  Have fun.

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Two very shy poetry lines
came together and felt fine.

"We can be strong, you can bet!
We'll call ourselves a couplet."

And when the two appeared together
their verses got better and better.

     Oh this is silly, I'm going to have to work on this a lot.  I'm thinking about
 the couple getting pregnant and when the  twins came, the family then would be a quatrain.  The twins catch a cold and  they get sick, so Grandma comes and makes a limerick. 

     Your challenge for to day is to write a poem in couplets.  Try to keep your poem short.  Can you write a complete poem with just one couplet?  Have fun.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


It's Saturday.
I feel like fun.
I put on my shoes
and go for a run.

     How do you wake up on Saturdays?  What do you do?  Can you write a poem about your Saturday morning?
     I'm going to a Family Fun Poetry program at the Poetry Center in Tucson, AZ today.  Sure wish you were here to go with me.  I'm definitely going to have a great Saturday.  I hope your day is fun too.

The thought just hit me that I could put on my shoes and do other things:

It is Saturday.
I'm ready for romance.
I put on my shoes
and then I  dance.

Friday, September 21, 2012


Travel in a space ship
off in the galaxy
you'd be surprised
at the things you will see.

A river of stars
thick like milk,
soft air, and clouds,
and a breeze like silk,

Planets of all sizes
far off in outer space
our galaxy is
and incredible place.

    I couldn't think of what to write for today, so I opened the dictionary to a random page.  I closed my eyes and put my finger down on the page.  The word under my finger was galaxy.  So, here is your challenge for today, take any book, open to a random page and put your finger down.  What is the word your finger lands on?  Can you write a poem about that?  You are welcome to share your poem in the comments below, or just share your word.  If you have trouble writing your poem, remember acrostics, haiku and cinquains.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Mr. Goldstein
would eat no pork.
His wife would eat no beans.
Their sons ate only hot boiled stork
and green snails in baked cream.
Their daughters licked
the mixer beaters,
then told all,
"We're NOT the picky-eaters."

     I'm having fun making a list of yucky foods I wouldn't want to eat.  Can you write a list poem about foods you'd like to feed to your dog?
     Today I'm going to an art aloud program where I'll be able to read my poems to an audience.  Can you read your poem aloud to an audience today too?  Find a friend, or Mom or Dad and read your poem to them.  Have fun. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


A grasshopper in the lantana
all yellow and black and green
was a big hopper in the lantana
the biggest that I've ever seen.

The grasshopper in the lantana
was looking hungry and mean.
That grasshopper in my lantana
was eating my leafy greens.

     Can you guess what I saw this morning when I was watering the plants?  Can you write your own poem about something you saw this morning?

Let's see if I can do this

Forty pairs of school shoes
sat on the school bus floor
trying to be quiet
'til we opened up the door.

Then forty pairs of school shoes
marched out the school bus door
then the bus is quiet 'til 
they're back to ride some more.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


There are red octogon STOP signs
and yellow triangle YIELDs
There are PRIVATE PROPERTY signs
that line the farmer's fields.

The hospital has signs for QUIET
and the bus for WATCH YOUR HEAD
and the park has signs advising
to STAY OUT of the flower bed.

But the sign that is important 
to read and to see 
is the one on the bathroom door
when you're rushing in to 
comb your hair. 

     Have you ever hurried into the wrong bathroom?  How embarassing!  Can you write a poem today about an embarassing moment or situation?  Have fun writing.

Monday, September 17, 2012


Once I thought it would be
the greatest thing, you bet
to keep an opossum
for a pet.

But an opossum
is an animal wild
and NOT a good pet
for a child.

They growl, hiss and bite
and that's not all
with sharp fingernails
they even maul.

Most opossums prefer
to live as a loner.
The one I asked
didn't want me for its owner.

     If you've ever been tempted to have a wild animal for a pet, it isn't a good idea.  Wild animals prefer to live in the wild.  Is there a zoo you could visit instead and see the animals in their habitat?  Some zoos have critter adoption programs.   I know when my son was 3 he adopted a bear at the zoo.  Every time we went to the zoo, my son had to stop and visit with Chester, the Alaskan Brown Bear.
     Your challenge today is to write a poem about a wild animal.  You can research your animal on line, or like poet  Rainer Maria Rilke you can go to the zoo and observe your  animal.

Sunday, September 16, 2012


When I shut
the car door
I caught my fingers
and started to roar.

Mom ran
and got the ice
but the blue on my fingers
doesn't look nice.

Now I hardly
feel the pain
I surely won't
do that again.

    Do you remember a time when you were in pain?  Can you write a poem about that today?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

I'm late

I'm late, I'm late!
Oh, what can I say?
I thought I might take
a holiday. (I'm sorry.)

I didn't write a poem.
Oh, what should I do?
I don't want to disappoint
me and all my friends too.

Oh look, oh look.
I know what I'll do.
This is the poem,
I've written for you.

     Gosh, I'm sorry I'm so late today.  Can I say it is Saturday and life got in the way? 
     I want to share that Jone MacCulloch has interviewed me on her blog and today has a poem of mine posted  here   If you back up to Wednesday on her blog you'll see a picture of me when I was in grade school.  The poem she has posted is my FISH from the POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY.  Thank you Jone and I hope you are doing better after your accident.  I wish you a speedy recovery.
     Your challenge for today is to write an apology poem from the point of view of an insect or animal.  Your dog might apologize for eating your shoe (or your homework), a mosquito might apologize for biting you.  What other possibilities can you think of?  Have fun.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Poetry for Kids Joy: Left Handed

Poetry for Kids Joy: Left Handed: When I was little and sucked my thumb it always was with my left one. When I got older and drank from a cup I'd use my left h...

Left Handed

When I was little
and sucked my thumb
it always was
with my left one.

When I got older
and drank from a cup
I'd use my left hand
to pick it up.

And then when I
learned to use my fork
with my left hand
I'd stab the pork.

Then at school
it was my plight
to use my left hand
to learn to write.

Mom said, "Oh dear."
Dad said, "Oh my."
Grandpa just winked at me
and gave me a piece of pie--
 with his left hand.

So many people look at me
and raise their eyebrows high.
I just smile and tell them all
I am a left handed kind of guy.

     I want to thank Sharon Landeen from my critique group for the inspiration for this poem.  She showed me pictures of her new little granddaughter. Everyone is hoping she will be left handed because so many people in her family are left handed.  I understood exactly what Sharon meant because I'm left handed.  My husband is left handed.  Both of my sons are left handed.  Sharon also shared  with me a great poem she had written listing all the famous people who are left handed. 
    No matter which hand you use, your hands are useful tools.  Can you write a poem today about something you do with your hands?  Have fun with this one.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Let's go fishing
in the brook.
I'll grab the poles
you get the hooks.

I'll bring the reels
you bring the bait
to catch some fish,
I can't wait.

    My daddy used to say, there's no such thing as a bad day for fishing.  Do you like fishing? Your challenge for today is to write a poem about something you like to do.  And as always, you're welcome to leave your poem in the comments.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Dancing Frog

There was a frog
who wanted to dance.
He begged his mom
to have a chance
to take lessons
and learn the samba.
He also wanted
to cha cha and mamba.
He tried to be graceful
when he danced the waltz
but his teacher pointed
to his big feet faults.
He did lack rhythm
couldn't hear the beat
in fact he had
two left feet.
There was one dance
he liked a heap.
It was the dance
where he could leap.
So while other frogs
went out to play,
this young frog
practiced ballet.

       Oh I had fun with this one thinking about what a dancing frog would look like.  I wonder who would want to be a frog's partner, would you?  For today's challenge, put a frog some place unexpected and write about it.  Do you know a frog that would like a birthday cake?  What do you think the flavor would be?  Have fun

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Wrestle Mania

The Masked Marvel
can't meet me
for our wrestling match.
He has the measles and
his spots I might catch.

We'll get together
when he's feeling fine
then I can tell you
The Mask will be mine!

     What do you know about wrestling and boxing?  Can you write a poem about wrestling today? 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Rin Tin Tin

I want a dog
like Rin Tin Tin.
Who'll put himself out
and let himself in.

He'll scare away robbers
and cause them fright.
He'll sleep by my bed
all through the night.

     Today is the birthday of the first Rin Tin Tin.  When I was a child, my family had a German Shepherd we named Skip. Skip had a dark coat and his parents came from Japan.   In Europe the dogs are called Alsatians and in the US we call the breed Police dogs.  My parents worked at night, so I always felt safer with Skip around. 
     Your challenge for today is to write a poem about a dog.

Sunday, September 9, 2012


It is awfully confusing,
all these programs
and buttons.

Trying to download
and then
make it work.

I promise I read
all the instructions,
then why does this program
make me a jerk?

I try and I try
I can't make it work.
I guess what I need
is someone to help.

Where is that kid
I want to find
the one whose 
computer skills
outdistance mine?

      Sorry this is so lame today.  I'm terribly frustrated with my inability.  At least I have the idea down and come back later when I'm not ready to throw my laptop across the room.  I know you'll do better at writing a poem today than I did.
     I'd much rather write poems than keep trying to get this Skype program to work.  My adult poetry critique group wanted to have our meeting today by Skype and I thought I had it all down, but now I can't move from contacting one person to a group.  More later.

Saturday, September 8, 2012


1 worm
2 worms
3 worms
4, there's
lots of worms
maybe a score.
The robins are tugging
yanking up more.
What do you say?
It's Robin Feast Day

     I've been having fun today thinking about all the different kinds birds I know.  I'm sure someone has already written a bird abcdarius .   In my mind I started with albatross, then bluebird, bunting and barn owl, cardinal, Carolina wren.  There are just too many.  I tried to remember the first bird I learned about.  Probably a blue bird.  In the house I grew up in was a picture on the wall of a little girl with long curls looking at a bluebird nest.  And I remember seeing a robin tugging a worm on my walk to kindergarten.  Do you remember the first bird that you noticed ?  Did you learn about bluebirds from the song "Some Where Over the Rainbow" or robins from "When the Red, Red, Robin Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin Along"?  How about "Yellow Bird"? 
    Your challenge for today is to write a poem about a bird. 

    I'm also thinking about what would happen if I wrote this poem all on one long loopy line like a worm.  Hum, wonder if I can do that and what it will look like.  I wonder if it would be too difficult to read that way.  Oh, I do love playing with poetry.  I hope you have fun too.

Friday, September 7, 2012


A pink flamingo sits at my desk
I think he is too picturesque.
He says he wants to write a poem
and that he'll use a pseudonym.

I ask, why not just use your name?
He say he wants to find more fame.
What is better than Pink Flamingo, my dear?
He say he wants to be William Shakespeare.

    Oh, I'm going silly today.  I've used a really big word in this poem, pseudonym, it is a nom de plum, or a pen name.  If you had a pen name what would it be?  Today's challenge is to write the poem you think Pink Flamingo would write.  Some people would call this a mask poem--a poem written in the voice of another.  I call it a persona poem.  Have fun writing. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012


A grasshopper hopped
to the middle of the road.
He watched the cars zoom by.
He sat there patiently, before
he hopped away to fly.

I can't go in the middle of the road,
those cars are zooming by.
When I  hop,  I watch where I land
by the side of the road
and I hold my daddy's hand.

     Today's challenge is to write your own poem about a grasshopper, or another insect.  Start by making a list of all the things you know about the insect.  (You might want to observe your insect, or do a little research.)  Then think about how you are similar or different from the insect, and make another list.  Your welcome to leave your creations in the comments.  I'd love to read them.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


My pet Charlie
is a fish.
He swims around
in his dish.
When I feed him
he darts to the top.
He swims and swims
and does not stop.

         Do you know why fish keep swimming?  The water that flows over and through their gills helps them to breathe.  Do you have a pet?  Even a pet rock?  What is a pet?  Have you ever been called "teacher's pet"?  Today can you write a poem about your pet, real or imaginary?  Oops, my pet dragon is calling; he wants to be fed.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


I think
is my
favorite color.

looks better
on my sister
than on my brother.

I think
looks the best
on these
baby birds
in their nest.

     What else can you think of that is pink?  What is your favorite color?  Can you write a poem today that includes a color?

Monday, September 3, 2012


On MONDAY I jumped to the zoo
to see koala and kangaroo.

On TUESDAY I waltz to the opera
to hear the soprano sing her aria.

On WEDNESDAY I skipped to the art gallery
to see an exhibit of Dali and Klee.

On THURSDAY I ran to the movie theater
to watch Monsterman wrestle an alligator.

On FRIDAY I walked to the aquarium
to see sardines swim in a glass drum.

On SATURDAY I hopped to the library
to find a book on the Dover ferry.

But SUNDAY is the day I like the best
that is the day I get to rest.

      This poem can be used as a circle game with  a group of children by having them move the way you suggest when reading the poem.  On Sunday everyone can sit down. 
      If you were going to write this poem using the months of the year, can you think of 12 different ways to move (action verbs)?  Can you think of 12 different places you'd like to go?

I did think about using marching to Disneyland, where I heard a one-man-band, or Mickey Mouse gave me a hand (marching and Mickey Mouse are alliterative,)  but that I will save for my poem of the months.

  Happy Labor Day and have fun with your writing.              

Sunday, September 2, 2012


Good morning, Mrs. Lizard, how are you?
It's great to see you take the morning air.
Hello, Grasshopper, fine to see you too.
Lizard ate Grasshopper, how could she dare?
Then after breakfast she ran off, adieu.

      I was trying something different today.  I wanted to work in a longer line because I tend to prefer very short lines.  These lines are 10 syllables long.  But the meter is different in each line which is why I don't think the poem is successful, even though I stayed with the rhyming pattern I set up for myself.  
Notice how the comas throw off the meter.  I'm going to have to try this poem again--removing the constraints I artificially put on this poem and concentrate on meter and see what I come up with.  I'm off to play with this poem some more.  I hope you have fun writing your own poem today.  
     I posted this poem failure so that you could see that not all first attempts are successful.

Saturday, September 1, 2012


What do pigeons do?
They billow
and they coo.

What do pigeons know
as they sit
in a row?

Not much,
I think that's fair
But pigeons can fly
in the air.

And when pigeons
want to rest
they billow and coo
on a nest.

Tucked in under
their pigeon legs,
they can hatch
pigeon eggs.

That is something
I can't do,
how about you?

     This poem is a companion poem to my poem FISH published in THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY.  In this poem I ask two questions.  What do pigeons do?  What do pigeons know?  I like asking questions in poems.  You can write your own poem that asks questions.  Make a list of animals.  Think about what the animal does, what it eats, where it lives and see if you can ask questions in your poem.

Let's see if I can do this too.


What do lions do
as they laze in the sun
at the zoo?.

They rest and sleep
and swat at flies.
They shake their manes
and roar loud cries.

What kinds of foods
do lions eat?
they're carnivores
so they eat meat.

Yup, it can be done.  So now it is your turn.  If you'd like, please leave your creations in the comments.  Have a happy Saturday and enjoy your animals.  If you'd rather write a poem about anything else, please do.

  If you'd like to know more about THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY, you can  here .

Or, you can read reviews and purchase the book from Amazon here.