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.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Zipper Ewe

The Zipper Ewe
lives at the zoo.
It runs and jumps
and bounces, too.

It climbs on rocks
to eat old socks.
It loves cream pie
and leaps up high.
It slurps beef stew
and marshmallows too.

It does all this
to entertain you,
when you come
to visit the zoo--
the funny Zipper Ewe.

    Some days I just want to be silly, so I wrote a nonsense poem.  The Zipper Ewe is an animal I made up.  What do you think it looks like?  I think it is a sheep with lots of zippers.  Can you make up your own animal today?  Can you write a poem about it?  Have fun and I hope you can be a little silly today too.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Paper Moon

Blythe to Phoenix
the moon
hangs at
the end of the road.

A bright yellow orb
bigger than dinner plates
it dances in and out
of the moonlit clouds.

It looks as if we could
drive long enough
and fast enough
to have a meeting
down this road.

     Did you look at the moon last night?  It was beautiful in my part of the world. I'm in a rush.  There is a lot to do.  Can you find a few moments today to write your own poem.  Perhaps an acrostic will make for a quick challenge.  Here is mine.

Make the
Orb big
Or mysterious.
Now it's night.

    I'm sure you can write a better acrostic than this one.  You're welcome to leave your poem in the comments to share.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


   I can't believe I'm coming back for one more round, I guess I'm just having too much fun with this form.  I opened my notebook this morning to write today's poem and found the beginnings of this poem that had stalled out and decided  I could finish it.

Ahem,” said an Alligator,
Biding his time, “This
Creek flows fast and mighty fine.”
Down on the bank is bunch grass to
Eat, It's juicy, sweet,
Fine, tender, and so
Good and green. The
Holopono River has the best bunch grass
I've ever seen. And
Just as the Alligator has another
'Long swims a river snake looking for lunch.
Monkeys make
Noise in the Bayans
Overhead, knowing each of them soon may be dead.
Please,” said the gator politely, “I'm looking
Quite diligently for a
Reptile for
Supper for me.
That tastes terrific and is
Ultimately filling, a
Very nice dinner.
Would you be willing?” “Can't grant the wish.” Snake
X-ed his eyes, “Here's the deal, it's no surprise,
You won't want me for your next meal, I'm too small.
Zebras make a much better dish.”

    Please help me out, any suggestions for improvement?  Have you tried writing your abecedarian yet?  Have fun writing your own poem today. 

Monday, January 28, 2013


wolf moon shines on water
howling wind blustery blows
deep lasting hunger

    I was getting tired of writing abecedarians, so I thought I'd take a break with a haiku.  The moon was full and round last night. It's reflection on the water was a long golden ribbon.  What would the illustration look like to go with this poem?  Can you write your own haiku today?  Keep warm.  You can try writing your own haiku too.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


"Aloha," said an albacore
Blowing bubbles when he
Came across a crab
Dodging the fish, the crab
Edged sideways away
From the hungry tuna,
Galloping quickly to
Hide from the fish.
"I won't eat you," said the Tuna,
"Just because I'm hungry."
"Keep away from me. You
Lean, hungry albacore,"
Moaned the Crab.

"No one better eat me!
Oh, NO! 
Please let me be," begged the crab. "I'm not 
Ready to be
Supper for a 
Unless you like eating my
Very hard shell."
"We should go our separate ways."
You better promise to let me be."
"Zion-ara," said the Tuna.

Saturday, January 26, 2013


Acted atrocious, sent to
Bed without dinner
Couldn't find comfort in my bed covers
Dreamed I was locked in a toy store at
Exactly midnight
Fumbled with the key I was 
Going to unlock the door.
Hung around waiting,
I thought others were coming to play.
Just as I was about to give up a
Kangaroo hopped by.
"Let's play
Monopoly," I said.
Now there's an idea," said Kangaroo. I got all the Get
Out of Jail Free Cards. I
Purchased hotels and wouldn't
Quit until I
Ran out of money. I
Suggested we play Sorry or Scrabble.
"Thanks, not for me," said the Kangaroo,
"Unless I get to deal."
"Very well," I replied.  "Let's play
War."  But the Kangaroo
X-ed me out and left me for

     As you can see, I'm still playing with abecedarians.  Would you like to try writing your own abecedarian?

Friday, January 25, 2013


A cowgirl Sue, and her
Big bay horse, Blue,
Clip-clopped, Clip-clopped
Down stone roads, of course
Entering Santa 
Fe.  "Let's go
Guzzle a gallon of sarsaparilla
Here at the Lone Branch Saloon," said Sue.
"I think that's a great idea," said Blue.  "It's
Just  what we should do."    "Any one
Know Dead Eye Dick?  We're
Looking for that
Mean Horse Thief," asked Sue.
Nobody moved.  The poker game stopped.  No
One even sighed, 'til a
Polite cowboy, who was 
Quiet and shy
"Sue, we ran Dead Eye Dick out of our 
Town--that's what we cowboys do, and
Unless you're looking for a fight, the
Vultures will show you
Where Dead Eyed Dick died.
X my heart, that ain't no lie.  In peace
You're welcome here.  The score now stands
Zip for Dead Eye Dick-- Town,plus two.

    I had fun writing this abecedarian, can you try writing your  own poem in this form?  Have fun.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Desert Abecedarian

Across the arroyo
Bouncing in the basin
Coyotes call
Down the dry, rocky wash--
Eerie echoes reach
Far into the
Gully-- yipping and yapping
Hanging on a breeze
In the chill desert air.
Jack rabbits and
Kangaroo rats jumping,
Leaping high
Making little
Noise in the night.
Only the bobcat
Pauses to
Quietly creep before
Racing after rabbit prey, then a
Scream pierces the still silence,
Talons caught
Under the fur , and a 
Wings over the dark
Yellow eyes leave
Zilch, nada, nil behind.

    I've been having fun playing with abecedarians this week.  Can you try your own poem shaped around the alphabet?  Have fun playing with this form.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Grandpa's Magic

My grandpa found a quarter
tucked behind my ear.
I know it is his magic trick.
But still it brings me cheer.

     Do you have a grandpa?  What do you call him?  What kinds of things does your grandpa do?  Can you write a poem today about your grandpa, real or imagined?  Have fun.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Last night
I went outside
to look at the moon.

I saw Jupiter,
the closest it will be
to the moon for fifty years.

Stars, moon,and planets
I stood quietly watching
and then I heard
a conversation
between coyotes
yipping and yapping
singing to each other
across the canyon.

   What did you do last night?  Did you have a good dream?  Did you watch television or go outside to watch the stars?  Today can you write a poem about your evening?  Have fun.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Thank You

Thank you for coming to visit today.
It's always a good time
when you come to play.

Now that you're here
what shall we do?
Do you want to play
a game or two?

Perhaps we could work puzzles
or even write rhyme.
You're being here
assures a fun time.

     Today's poem needs work, but it is a holiday and I'm so busy trying to catch up on work. 
Happy Inauguration Day.  I'm eager to see what Richard Blanco wrote as an occasional poem for the celebration.
Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  I can't celebrate MKL Day without thinking about T.J., a five year old autistic boy I met on this day in 2003.  I was wearing my MLK button on my collar and T.J. wanted me to know that he was a KING too, and a Jr. too. 
   T.J. has always been special to me because he gave me the inspiration for this poem.  It was first published in my collection Extra Hands, Extra Heart, poems for and about children with special needs. 


On Monday
at Burton GeoWorld Magnet School
a young autistic boy
names body parts.

He touches my neck and says, Neck.
Touches my necklace.  Necklace, he says.
Eye brow.

When his warm fingers
touch my lips,
I smile,
showing my braces.

His dark eyes look inside,
he pauses, considers
then, proudly announces,

A teeth necklace.

Sunday, January 20, 2013


Dad's pockets hold
his wallet and car keys.

Mom's pockets have
a tissue for her sneeze

My sister's pockets
hold a nail file
and a package of gum.

My baby brother's pocket
holds a box
of golden raisins.

My pockets hold
all sorts of things,
a rock, a beetle,
an extra yo-yo string.

There is also something
that might be a surprise.
It is a poem
I'm trying to memorize.

     What is in your pockets?  Can you write a poem about that?  Or better yet read some poetry today and try to find a poem you would like to memorize.  Write the poem out and put it in your pocket so when you have a few moments you can take it out and work on memorizing your poem.
      I'm going to try to memorize more poems this year.  Won't you join me?  You never know when having a poem can come in handy.  Have a fun Sunday.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Keeping Healthy

I want to stay healthy
so here's what I do--
each year I get
a shot for the flu.

I wash my hands
sing Happy Birthday 
twice, to keep germ free.

I use my elbow
when I sneeze,
exercise, sleep
and eat healthy.

I'm doing everything
I know how to do.
I hope you stay
healthy too.

      Happy Saturday.  What are doing today for fun?  Can you write a poem about it?

Friday, January 18, 2013

My Anger

Sometimes I get angry.
I shout, stomp and scream.
My face turns a hot, bright red.
Can you see the steam?

Sometimes I simply lose it
when I try to hold that knot.
I'd call my anger an enemy
but then again it's not.

For anger let's me know
that something isn't right,
and I should try to talk things out
instead of starting fights.

Yes, anger is a friend of mine
for I must learn control,
and anger sees what needs to change
to make my life more whole.

     I'm not mad, actually I'm happy it is Friday--time for Poetry Friday Roundup.  Violet Nesdoly is hosting today and you can find lots of other children's poems to read by following that link above.  Thank you Violet for hosting us.

     Your challenge for today is to try to write a simile about being mad or angry.   "I'm as mad as ________.
What simile can you find to fill in that blank?
A startled rattle snake.
An alligator transported to Alaska. (seems I'm stuck on short a sounds, let' see)
A bucking zebra bitten by hornets.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Mirror, Mirror

In our house
there were no 
full-length mirrors.
We did not need
to see the full picture.
We viewed ourselves
in small pieces.
hoping the picture
presented to others
was not cracked
with bad luck.

    Todays challenge is to write a persona poem from the viewpoint of a mirror,
or you can write your poem about a mirror and what you see in it. What do you think Snow White's mirror was really like? 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


I blow
my breath
the glass.

My window
fogs up

I draw
the moon
and watch
it glow.

in my

    This morning on my walk I watched my breath come out of my mouth in a fog.  I tried to blow circles. 
     Your breath is a marvelous thing.  Can you write a list poem today about all the things you can do with your breath? 

  I can whistle,
blow up a ballloon,
blow bubbles,

Or pick just one of the things and write about that.  Keep warm.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Thank You

     Yesterday at about 7:00 PM, the 40,000 page view of my blog occurred.  Thank you very much for coming by for a visit.  If you follow me regularly, you have my gratitude.  It is so much fun for me to have you read my poetry.  I appreciate all your help with my blog.  Thank you for giving me a reason for writing my poems. 
     If you have a topic that you think would make for a good poem for children, just leave me a note in the comments and I'd be happy to give it a try. 
     If you know of someone who needs a poem, I'll give that a try too.
     Finally, if you want to share your own poem for children, please leave your poem, or a link to where you've posted your poem, in the comments below.


Let's celebrate
and have a party.
Let's sing and dance
and eat very hearty.

Let's give out hugs
and shout a cheer.
40,000 visitors
have come here.

     Today, let's celebrate you.  What are the good things about being you?  Can you write a poem about that today?

Monday, January 14, 2013


Sometimes I'm happy.
Sometimes I'm sad.
Sometimes I'm good.
I try not to be bad.

But whatever I am,
whatever you see,
I try to be glad
that I am me.

Today I decide
what I will be
and I'm glad that
I'm happy and me.

    How are you feeling on this Monday?  It is a new week?  What are you going to decide to do this week?  Pick one thing to work on this week and see if you can make it happen.  Do you have a book you want to finish, or a spelling test to ace?  Maybe your goal is to make your bed each morning.  What is your goal?  Can you write a short poem about it?  Have fun. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Freida the Frog

Said Freida, a frog
laying her eggs,
"I'm bored, and exhausted
and I've cramps in my legs,
from squatting here laying
in this cold pond each night
It's a chore, I abhor it.
It's definitely not right."

    I went to a workshop yesterday morning and one of the things we talked about was using mentor texts to help us with our writing. One of my favorite writers of picture books in verse is Dr. Seuss.So I thought I'd try this re-vamp from one of his stories.  So your challenge today is to take a poem or story written in verse and write your own version.  You don't have to do the whole story, just try the experience of this and see if it works for your and gives you any ideas.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


A multitude of small delights constitutes happiness.  Charles Baudelaire

It is time to dance.
It is time to sing.
It is time to notice
the little things.

One single flower
or button, or plate,
can make me feel happy,
can make me feel great.

Today I will notice
all little things
like birds at my feeder
and the songs each one sings.

Today I'll be joyful,
and happy, and glad.
I'll be so dog-gone merry
there's no room for sad.

      It is so cold today that I'm going to work all day at being a happy me.  Can you make a list poem today of all the little things that make you happy?

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Fierce winds blow.
The wind chime sings loudly.
Leaves chatter on the trees
and I huddle 
in my warm blankets
listening to this night speak.

    Have you ever had nights when you couldn't sleep and you listened to all the sounds in the silent house?  Did you hear the clock ticking, a water faucet dripping, the heater click on? Could you hear someone snoring, or your dog wheezing?  Do you have a loud purring cat? Perhaps you heard crickets chirping.  Most houses make some creaking noises as the bones expand or contract.  Can you write your own poem today about what your house sounds like at night?

   Renee LaTulippe at NO WATER RIVER is hosting POETRY FRIDAY today.


Woke up to a beautiful morning,
just as the gray was slipping away.
The sky is full of pink feather clouds.
I think it will be a beautiful day.

    Did you get up early enough to see the sun rise?  What did the sky look like on your way to school?  Does the way the sky looks affect your mood for the day?
Can you write a poem today about a bright, happy day?  Or if you feel like it, write a poem about a really gray, dark day?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Hear the golden daffodil.
Yellow horn with little frill,
Trilling, trilling,
Heralding spring.

   I went searching for a pretty picture I have of blooming daffodils, but I couldn't find it.  RATS!!!  But look what I did find, a minute poem.  I wrote a whole series of minute poems once about things in my garden, I couldn't find a publisher for it at that time.  A minute poem is a fun form since it has only 60 syllables.  Three stanzas, 8 syllables in the first line and 4 in each of the next three lines.


Yellow jonquils bend in the wind
bowing their heads
flower trumpets
heralding spring.

King Alfred daffodils swaying
lift their bright cups
to the sunshine,
a song playing.

Yellow and green, orange and white,
smell the fragrance.
Winter is gone
springtime delight.

So you guessed it, your challenge today is to try writing your own minute poem.  Do have fun with this one while I try finding that picture, I know I have it somewhere.  Time to get organized.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

I'm Sick

I think I am sick.
My body feels like ick.
My tummy is rumbly.
My bowels are grumbly.
I wish this bug would go away.
I'm going back to bed today.

     Yesterday, I wasn't feeling up to par.  I spent the whole day sleeping and was going to skip today's post but then I thought everyone doesn't feel great all the time and that is worthy of a poem.  Can you write a poem today about being sick?  Have you ever broken a bone, thrown up or needed a band-aide?  Can you write a poem about that today?  Make poetry.  Have fun.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Bye Bye Balloons

At the end of the day
they put away
the party decorations.

After the bash
balloons went in the trash--
the end of the celebration.

     I saw these balloons on my morning walk.  Your challenge today is to take a walk and write a poem about something you see on your walk.  Have fun.
     My friend Joan Edwards is blogging about 8 reasons to walk,

Sunday, January 6, 2013


This pin of four Dutch girls playing ring-around-the-rosy, belonged to my mother.
She had another pin of four Dutch boys too.  Mom gave the girls to my older sister and I got the boys.  When my house was burgled last Christmas, one of the things the robbers took was my pin with the four Dutch boys.  My sister felt so badly for me that she gave me her pin. The police eventually caught the thieves, but sadly my Dutch boys were not found.

When was the last time you played ring-around-the-rosy?  Do you remember the verse?

Pockets full of posies.
Ashes, ashes,
All fall down.

I was thinking about this rhyme and played with the flowers to get:

Ring around a tulip.
Careful now, don't you trip.
Whirling, twirling.
Don't fall down.

And then I thought of another.

Circle round the violet.
Tip-toe very quiet.
Growing in their places
With their sunny faces.
Whirling, twirling.
Round and round.

So then I started thinking about other flowers.  Isn't the carnation January's flower?

Consider the carnation.
Growing in determination.
While I use concentration
To think about our nation.
Don't fall down.

    Now it's your turn.  Think of your favorite flower and write a poem for it.
Have fun.  Have a happy Sunday.  See if you can find someone to play ring-around-the-rosy with you.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Gingerbread Cookies

Let a joy keep you.  Reach out your hands and take it when it runs by.  Carl Sandburg

Cookies on a tray
gingerbread boys smile sweetly
will you take a bite

   I had fun making gingerbread cookies this week and wrote this haiku to celebrate. Can you write your own haiku today to celebrate your favorite cookies?  Have fun.    I wish you were here to have a cup of cocoa and help me eat these cookies.  Thank you for stopping by today.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Pinkie Promise

Each day provides its own gifts.  Marcus Aurelius

I'll try
to do
my best."

That's what
he said
to me.

And then 
he grabbed
my little finger
and held
on to
my pinkie.

"This is
my pinkie

is what
he said
to me.

     I received an email today from children's poet David L. Harrison and in his message he used the term pinkie vow.  I thought about this being another form of nonverbal communication, like the shaka.  I've been reading People Watching by Desmond Morris--a book all about nonverbal communication and wondered how children learn the nonverbal signals of our culture.  I think a poem is a fun way to learn.  Can you write your own poem today about a gesture or other form of nonverbal communication?  Have fun.

     Poetry Friday is hosted today by Matt Forrest  Esenwine at Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Lesson of the Pearl

This poem is for a man, Kawula Luna, I met at Wialua Falls who makes and sells jewelry.  He is also a natural storyteller.  Kawula showed us how to focus on the water falling and then to move our gaze to see the plates on the canyon walls shift.  A really  cool optical illusion.

the single grain
of sand--
can't be brushed off,
can't be blown off--

poking, jabbing--
a nuisance.

The oyster
can't call quits,
doesn't complain,
just worries
the problem.

and around
the oyster
adds spit
and saliva,
the problem
and creates
in a single drop--
of pearl.

      Gems and Jewels have magical power.  Can you write your own poem today about a jewel that has magic for you?  Think about a fairy tale you might want to make into a poem.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


This poem is another gift that came from meeting Welena, a three year-old Hawaiian girl.  The "shaka" is a hand gesture used in Hawaii.  It consists of the thumb and pinkie extended and the other three fingers curled close.

Originally the meaning was hang loose.  Meaning take it easy, relax, but the gesture has transcended to mean "Aloha" spirit.  The gesture traveled widely among surfers and is now firmly in our non-verbal vocabulary.

Very Shaka.
Very Shaka.
Aloha, hang loose.
Aloha, hang loose.
How are you today, Bro?
Very well, I thank you.
Just hang loose.
Just hang loose.

    I can not take credit for this poem as it is based on a traditional nursery song in French, Fere Jaqua.  So I know you can figure out the hand gestures that go with the poem.  Your challenge for today is to take any nursery rhyme and make up your own words to go with it.  Have fun playing with this challenge.  I hope you have a very relaxing day filled with Aloha spirit.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year

Every single day, do something that makes your heart sing.  Marcia Wieder

Happy New Year

Today is January 1, 2013.
I like to say 
because this way
it rhymes with

     Happy New Year.  Today marks my 639th post.  Thank you for letting me have so much fun sharing poetry with you.  I'm determined that this is going to be a very joyful year.  So your challenge for today is to do something to encourage joy in your life and to write a poem about it.  You are welcome to leave your poem in the comments below. Have a fun day today and start the new year as you'd like the year to go.  I'm going to try to get some cleaning done, for me this is another way to have a new beginning.  

        And as an extra bonus, here is a poem I received from meeting Welena, a three year-old Hawaiian  girl.


I was running.
I fell down.
My knees
they hit
upon the ground.   

The rocks,
they bit
into my knees.
It stung.
It hurt.
I cried,

I do NOT like  
those rocks.
Those rocks
do NOT like me.
See, the scrapes
that I have got
from falling
on my knees.