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, December 1, 2012


     Last Thursday I presented a poem with an epigraph by Wistawa Szymborska.  I discussed the term "epigraph" and suggested that you try writing your own poem with an epigraph.
     In talking with Jessie Artes about epigraphs, he mentioned one from his mom.
"A hard time will make a monkey eat pepper," by Arnell Artes. I did a goggle search on this phrase and found it was an old Southern saying.Have you heard it before.


Hard time will make a monkey eat pepper-- Arnell Artes

You know the hard times,
we've all had them
I walked to school
in the snow
once had only peanut butter
and crackers to eat for a week
shoe holes stuffed with newspaper
collars turned inside out
to get twice the wear
I wore skirts made from
Daddy's trousers.
Nothing was wasted
but any time I didn't
clean my plate
mom would mention
that monkey.


  1. Hi Joy,
    I never heard this epigraph, and I'm a southern girl. It is a good one. Thanks so much for sharing. Your poems teach so we reach for new understandings.

  2. Actually, Linda,
    I'd never heard this one before either, but it was just to good not to share it with you and I've got to find out which part of the South this saying comes from. "Goggle" knew the phrase, so I guess it isn't unique to Jesse's mom. isn't it fun to learn new words and phrases? Do you have a saying your mom always said to you?