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, March 31, 2013


Five little rabbits
climb through the warren door,
one hops off
then there were four.

Four little rabbits
hop round the mesquite tree,
one jumps away
then there were three.

Three little rabbits
hop in the morning dew,
one nibbles grass
then there were two.

Two  little rabbits
having so much fun
see a wild coyote,
off they run.

One  little rabbit
drinks from the pond, so blue,
he jumps over
to wish
to you.

     I hope you have a great day.  My husband is making hot cross buns for breakfast and we're eating outside because it is such a lovely day.  Your challenge for today is to write a poem about a rabbit.  Have a hopping good time.  I hope you're surrounded by lots of good eggs.

Saturday, March 30, 2013


I have been working for some time writing a few climbing rhymes.  I've tried at least four of these and am still not happy with my results.  Here is one of my climbing rhymes:

A white moon shines
on cacti spine, sharp,
strange signs for day,
its the way, bright
for play each time.
Hear bells chime, loud,
for dime phone calls.
Lean on walls dim
in halls for dance.

   Look at this poem closely.  What do you see?  There isn't end rhyme.  The rhyming word moves position in each line--thus it climbs through the poem.  Did you notice I only used one syllable words in this poem?  Each line is only four words long.
In the first line the rhyming word is at the end of the line.  In the second line, it moved to the third word position.  In the third line the rhyming word is the second word in the line and the last word becomes a new rhyming word to climb through the poem in position 4, then 3 then 2.  This continues through the poem.
 This form poem reminds me of some of the working African chants, or ghazels.  There is a long history in poetry of rhymes being used in work chants such that one person starts a chant to set a rhythm to make the work go more smoothly and entertain other workers. Then the poem is handed off to another worker who keeps the rhythm but adds to the rhyme.  In Africa, workers built reputations for being excellent rhymers or great game players in this form of poetry competition.
   This climbing rhyme has it's history in Burma and the Burmese language only has one syllable words, but here in the US adaptations are needed.  So some people suggest using only four words per line.  I was trying to be more strict and keep each line to four one syllable words.  You can see I had a difficult time.

Here is a graph for this poem using alphabet letters for the rhyme family.

Line 1 =  x   x   x   A
Line 2 =  x   x   A   x
Line 3 =  x   A   x   B
Line 4 =  x   x   B   x
Line 5 =  x   B   x   C
Line 6 =  x   x   C   x
Line 7 =  x   C   x   D
Line 8 =  x   x   D   x
Line 9 =  x   D   x   E

    This pattern of 4,  3,  2  can continue on until the poets run out of rhyme or get tired.  The real challenge is to make some sense with putting the rhymes in the right place.  If you'd like to know more about climbing rhyme, or if you'd like to see more examples you can find them here herehere, or here.

   Your challenge is to try one of these things.  I'm sure you can do a better job than I did.  If you'd like to share your poem with the rest of us, please leave it in the comments.

   Hope you are having a great weekend.  Happy Easter.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Prickly Pear Cactus

on the paddles
of the prickly pear
soon lush yellow and red flowers
then fruit.

    Today's poem is a cinquain, a five line syllabric poem with 2 syllables in the first line, then 4, 6, 8, 2.   Perhaps this chart will help:

Line 1 = 2 syllables
Line 2 = 4 syllables
Line 3 = 6 syllables
Line 4 = 8 syllables
Line 5 = 2 syllables

    Your challenge for today is to try writing your own cinquain.

    The cinquain is a nonce form invented by Adelaide Crapsey (1878-1914).  The poem has 22 syllables compressed into five lines.  If you enjoy this form, you might enjoy reading Lee Bennett Hopkins' anthology of cinquains, CITY TALK, (Knopf, 1970, photographs by Roy Arenella.)  The poems are presented by seasons from children Hopkins worked with as a consultant for Bank Street College of Education in  New York's Harlem schools.

    Mary Lee Hahn is hosting the Poetry Friday roundup at http://readingyear.blogspot.com/

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Creosote Bush

The creosote bush delights
with its springtime graces.
The yellow blossoms dance
making happy faces.

     Lots of flowers are blooming right now and the creosote bush is only one.  Most of the cacti are loaded with buds getting ready to bloom.  Walking by the prickly pear this morning made me think every one of the prickly little buds will be a lush flower and then a pear for making prickly pear jam and syrup in July or August.  I took a picture of my barrel cactus this morning.

     Then I had fun playing with the cartoon ap I have on my phone.  I like this.


If you go near
it's at your peril.
The thorns are sharp
on a golden barrel.

     Can you write your own poem today about one of the changes you are seeing with spring?  Have a good time playing with words.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Breathe deep.
Smell the scent
of citrus blossoms
perfuming into warm spring winds.
Fill your lungs with the fresh promise of good things to come.

     This poem is a Fib.  A syllabic poem based on Fibonacci’s number, each line length is the sum of the two previous lines.  So the poem has 1 syllable, 1 syllable, 2 syllables, 3 syllables, 5 syllables, 8 syllables and I tried making this go to 13 syllables, but as you can see, I ran out of room.  If you are viewing this poem on your cell phone many of the lines wrap so you are missing the beauty of the Fib form.  Does this chart make it easier to see the formatting?

Line 1 = 1 syllable
Line 2 = 1 syllables
Line 3 = 2 syllables
Line 4 = 3 syllables
Line 5 = 5 syllables
Line 6 = 8 syllables
Line 7 = 13 syllables

     Your challenge for today is to try writing your own Fib.  Try making it 5 or 6 lines long.  Have fun.  Do find some time to go outside and play today.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


In the breeze
roses dance
   swing, sway
on spring.

     Gosh, I hope your day is going as well as mine.  I woke up this morning full of energy, ready to tackle some projects.  I may get some spring cleaning done today.  I had fun with today's poem and picture.  This is a picture of the roses growing on my fence that I've done some altering to.  I'm trying something new and that is always an exciting thing.  I counted the words in this poem.  There are only 11.  But, I'm happy with this little poem because it presents the idea of being drunk on spring, and that is exactly how I feel today.  Sometimes that is  how nature and flowers effect me.  They make me happy.  Does the happiness come through in the poem?  Can you write your own poem today about your favorite flower?  Have fun.

Monday, March 25, 2013

New Spring Bonnet

I'm wearing my new spring bonnet
There are pretty flowers on it.
I think it's lovely, if you please.
My only problem is the bees.

     Did you get any new clothes for Easter?  Did you enjoy the shopping, or not?  Will you hunt for eggs?  Will you dye eggs?  When I lived in England, the grocery stores only sold brown eggs.  I had to buy goose eggs to get white ones.  The children did not decorate Easter eggs.  I couldn't find dye packets and had to use food coloring.  The English children got chocolate eggs for their egg hunts (think Cadbury's). Can you write your own Easter poem today?  Have fun.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The hummingbird tasted
from the lemon tree
waxy white blossoms--

Saturday, March 23, 2013


paint held in a brush
water makes it blend
into new horizons

    I'm playing with art today and having creative fun.  So I tried writing a haiku.  It is Saturday, a day for playing.  Have fun with your writing and try making a picture to go with it.  That is what I'm going to do.  Have fun.

Friday, March 22, 2013


I'm still having fun playing with nonets, a syllabraic form that is nine lines long with 45 syllables.  Nine syllables in the first line, eight in the second.  One less syllable in each line until you get to the last line that has only one word.  Pretty simple really since the syllable count is the only rule for this form.

Driving the long, black ribbon highway,
nothing to see, sand and sagebrush.
The wind whips sandy eddies,
at the side of the road
grow yellow mustard,
pink wildflowers.
Here two weeks
then gone--

     I drove across the desert to Los Angeles yesterday, so I saw lots of desert.  Its quiet beauty quickly changes.  We are rushing all too fast toward summer.  I wonder how many days we have left before we have temperatures over 100.  My drive inspired this nonet.  Can you try writing your own nonet today?.

poetry+friday+button+-+fulllThis poem is part of Poetry Friday, hosted today by Greg at GottaBook

Thursday, March 21, 2013


I had so much fun writing a nonet yesterday, I thought I'd try it again today.  I went to my father-in-law's place yesterday to pick some more grapefruit off his tree.  There was a surprise there for me, something I hadn't expected.

A nonet is a nine line poem with nine syllables in the first line and one less syllable is each following line, until you get to the last line with one syllable.  So all total there are 45 syllables in this poem.  I had to add up the
line totals several times, and in several ways to make sure 45 was the number.  Now, I hope I counted my lines correctly.  If not, please let me know so I can fix it.

The grapefruit tree hangs with yellow suns.
Waxy, white blossoms scent
the air and bees pollinate.
Their buzz fills the branches.
Each healthy round globe,
two juicy halves,
I slice for

    I love the names of some of the grapefruit, ruby red, Texas pink, Inca gold and Indian river.  When I was young, I thought the taste was sour, but I have discovered that fresh grapefruit is sweet.  Sitting on a grocer's shelf is what makes the taste sour.  Can you try writing your own nonet today?  Or try writing a poem about grapefruit.  Have fun.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


In spring, I like licking popsicles,
icy cold, juicy popsicles,
red ones to share with a friend
ones with two wooden sticks
we split them in half
each takes a stick
then a lick

     This is a nonce form called a nonet.  It is made from nine lines, with nine syllables in the first line, and then one less syllable in each subsequent line, ending with a one syllable line.  Your challenge today is to try writing your own nonet.  Have fun.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Roadside Haiku

along the roadside
many shards of glass reflect
rainbows in the sky

Monday, March 18, 2013


The little black capped chickadee
sings a sweet tune so happily.
Spring is almost here, it calls to me
this little song from the chickadee.

Sunday, March 17, 2013


Spring is racing
to the desert, so old.
The scrub brush
is blooming
in golden

Saturday, March 16, 2013


Today is a bright, sunny day,
and because it is Saturday,
Mom says I should go out to play.
I want to stay inside to watch TV,
but Mom says outside is the place for me,
so I'm out here soaking up Vitamin D.
Outside is a fun place to be. 

I notice some worms and a robin too.
Then have an idea,
I'll make my own zoo.
The robin is a macaw
with feathers of teal.
The worm,sings for food
as a loud barking seal.
My cat is a tiger
as she stalks through the grass
and my dog is a gorilla
who sits on his bottom
to soak up the sun.
Yes, playing in my yard
 is lots of fun.

     It is Saturday, a great day for gathering information to write poems next week.  Go play.  Have fun.  Use all your senses to embrace spring.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Song Dog, Canis latrans

The moon shines silver
in slivery light.
Saguaro shadows
are dark this night.

When out in the scrub
the wind whispers
a trilling refrain,
that echos
       and echos
            repeating again.

Yee, Yee, Yee,
Yip, yip, yip, yip,yip,yip.
Coyotes are tracking tonight.

Thursday, March 14, 2013


ACT I  Scene 1

Setting:  A Tucson Backyard about an hour after sunrise


A Western Cottontail RABBIT enters and walk- hops to CENTER STAGE.

Pauses to nibble the fresh green leaves of Lantana.  His ears twitch.

He raises his head to look around.  EXITS stage right.

Enter two Gambel's QUAIL, who bobble-walk across stage and EXIT stage left.

White-winged DOVES sit in their balcony seats along the fence, observing.

And I, with my pen poised stand watching through the kitchen window wondering what ACT II will bring.

    I made up my own form for this poem.  It is written like a stage play.  I'm sure some poet before me has done this, actually many of Shakespeare's poems were written as plays. Now there is some good company to be in.  It just seemed like this morning the animals were putting on a production for me. I had so much fun watching.
   Your challenge for today is to take one of your old poems, or one of someone else or even write a new one and try it in a different form.  What ever you decided to write, do have fun playing with your poetry. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Two robins were looking
for a place for their nest.
They wanted to build
in a spot that was best.

"Shall we build here?"
said one.
"No, here," said the other.

"My dear, tell me where
you will be a mother."

So they found a large oak
and there built their nest.
And with four blue eggs,
 it was time for a rest.

The female sat  the eggs
until they hatched.
And she loved them all,
her broody batch.

She kept them warm
under her wings.
Fed them worms,
taught them to sing.

And when they had feathers,
she gave it a try
Pushed the hatchlings out
and taught them to fly.

     This morning on my walk I saw a hummingbird sitting in the ocotillo.  There was a purple finch in the mesquite just behind.  When I came back from my walk the hummingbird was still sitting there.  I guess I should look for a nest near by.  Your challenge for today is to write a poem about a bird.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


   This is for all my friends east of the Rockies, who got hit with more snow last week.


Walking the gravel drive
to get the morning paper,
it's the first time
I haven't needed a jacket.

I hear the birds trilling, tweet.
Robin, jay, mocker, chickadee.
The high pitched tea tweet tee
of a Carolina wren.

Then the cardinal's song.
Even the low pitched curdle
of a common crow
makes me smile.

I look up in the bare trees
searching for signs of the birds.
Somehow the trees seem taller.
I see small tight fists

Of nubs growing on the branches
like prayers, soon to be released into the air.
I breathe deeply to smell.
My mouth waters for the taste of it.

It feels good to be here on the lip
of spring.  The kiss of it.
It feels good to just be.
This promise--soon.

     The weatherman is predicting 91 degree weather in Tucson for Thursday and Friday.  Everyone is getting out their shorts.  Your challenge today is to write a poem about the weather where you live.  Have fun. 

Monday, March 11, 2013


I like to read
and travel
on the magic carpet
a book provides.

I like meeting new people
in books. I like
learning rhyming words
from poems in books.

I like tasting sweets
I can cook from books
and songs I can sing from books.
 I've learned to tie knots from books.

I find places to hike,
and meet fairies, elves, and imps
and all sorts of things
from the books that stretch
my imagination.

I never know where
the next book
will take me
which is why
I love
books, books, books.

     Can you write a poem today about your favorite book?  Or try writing a persona poem in the voice of a book.  Have fun.

Sunday, March 10, 2013


I feel so lucky,
I'm so glad.

Today was one of the best,
I've ever had.

The weather was cold.
The skies were gray.
But I still had
a magical day.

I learned a lot.
Gave the booths a look.
Enjoyed myself
at our Festival of Books.

     Today I'm going back to the festival to hear Floyd Cooper, Cinda Williams Chima, Nancy Bo Flood, Charline Profiri,, Peter Nelson, Guy Porfirio, Chris Gail, R. L. Stein and many more.  there is more to do than I have time for.  I hope you have a great Sunday too.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

I'm Out Today

I'm going to the book fair today.
I hope the rain won't keep folks away.
I'm going off, I'm going to play
When I'm at the book fair today.

    Gotta run.  I'm late.  Having fun writing your poem today.  Thank you to everyone who left poems yesterday.  "I'll catch up soon," said the tomato.

Friday, March 8, 2013


A little girl
ready for spring
wants to fly kites
and hear birds sing.

A little girl
ready for spring
wants to have picnics.
What should she bring?

A little girl
ready for spring
in her spring dress
she's ready to swing.

     I'm ready for spring too.  The Tucson Festival of Books is this weekend
and I'm all set with my Poetry Friday Anthology for Middle School t-shirt.
I feel so honored to have one of my poems included with the other 109 poems.
Wow!  Lots of great verses from 70 other poets.  Thank you, Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong, editors of this great anthology.
    This is my friend Oscar, an ostrich.  Can you write a poem for him today?

     Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted by Heidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little Universe.  Thanks, Heidi and Happy Birthday.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Road Find

Along the road,
on my walk today,
I picked up a nail,
and took it away.

Nothing special--
a stiff wire.
Thought it might cause
a flat tire.

     Today is a great day to take a walk.  Where will you walk to?  Use all your senses, (well, maybe not taste) to observe along your walk.  As soon as you get home write what you saw, smelled, heard, and felt.  Can you make this into a poem?  Perhaps a haiku or a fib?  Have fun.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


two Gambel's Quail bob
feathered heads on the fence rail
saunter toward spring

     I recently had four haiku accepted by Dos Gatos Press for their new anthology, LIFTING THE SKY: Southwest Haiku and Haiga, so I've been thinking  about haiku recently.  It is a lovely little poem that captures a moment in nature.  Traditionally in the US we teach school children that there are 5 syllables in the first and last line and 7 in the middle, making a 17 syllable poem.
    I've been listening and watching our birds this week.  They are all singing quite loudly looking for another bird to share their nest.  The quail have been the noisiest.  In Tucson we have Gambel's quail--lots of them.  They are very similar to California quail, but they don't share the habitat.  If you'd like to know more about this interesting bird, to see a video and hear the bird's call, go here.
    Your poetry challenge for today is to write a haiku about something from nature you see today.  You are welcome to leave your haiku in the comments.  I'd love to read them.  Have a fun day observing.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Pardon my sneeze.
It's not a cold.
It's allergies.
Will you hand me
a tissue, please?
I'm trying hard
to remember
to use my sleeve.

    When I was a little girl we carried handkerchiefs.  When we got a little older we learned how to embroider our hankies.  We did not learn how to sneeze into our elbow.  But then, I always had a funny, little kitten sneeze.  Can you write a poem today with the word sneeze in it?

Monday, March 4, 2013

and the winner is...

     I took all the names of people who left comments on Friday's post and put them in my hiking hat for a draw to win a copy of Charline Profiri's new rhyming riddle picture book GUESS WHO'S IN THE DESERT.

   And the winner is,

     Linda Phillips of Charlotte, NC.   (Linda if you'll send me your snail mail to joyacey@gmail(dot)com  I'll get this beautiful book in the mail to you.  

And congratulations to everyone who played.  Fighting the computer systems to leave comments is not easy.  So thank you.  If you also tried writing a FIB more power to you.  Poetry to the people.  (Can you hear me singing a happy song?)


runs across the road
white tail
a flash with uncertainty
hopping west
dashing east
under a bush
around a century plant
lost from sight
heading south
like so many
the tail catches the eye
but the feet create wonder
trying to find true north.

     What direction are you heading today?  Can you write a poem today about directions?  Have fun.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Midnight MAGIC

A snail
   slips along his trail,
       silver threads
           a road map
              for stars to slide
                 from the night
                    sky to dance
                           a jig in the garden.

     You have until 2:00 this afternoon, MST, to enter the drawing for a free copy of GUESS WHO'S IN THE DESERT, a rhyming riddle book written by Charline Profiri.  If you'd like to be entered in the drawing, leave a comment on my Friday post.

Saturday, March 2, 2013


Dad bought me 
a sweatshirt
when we went 
to the game.
It's warm 
and it's red
and has 
the team's name.

I wore it to school.
I wore it to play.
For a week I wore it

Mom said, "This 
needs washing,
it's started to stink."
Now my socks
and my undies
are all colored

     There is still time to enter your name in the drawing for a copy of GUESS WHO'S IN THE DESERT, Chaline Profiri's new rhyming riddle book about the desert.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Coyote Fib

Dash up a driveway
Leap fences, run along the wash.
Soon they will be gone
No longer
Can they

  You'll notice I'm using the content from yesterday's post to write this poem.  I'm playing with the FIB form today.  A FIB is a 6 line  poem based on the Fibonacci number.  Like a haiku, syllables are counted.  Each line is the sum of the two previous lines added together so that the lines have this many syllables 1/1/2/3/5/8. I didn't like ending on the 6th line so I then reversed the sequence.  8/5/3/2/1/1.  The funny thing is, I actually like this poem when I read it from the bottom up, too.

   Can you try writing your own FIB today?  And if you'd like, try writing the reverse, too.

    I don't normally review books on my blog, but I wanted to share a fun new picture book GUESS WHO'S IN THE DESERT, written by Charline Profiri with beautiful illustrations by Susan Swan.  Charline is in my children's poetry critique group and she has shared every step in her publishing process with our group.  The final product is a very, very beautiful book.  It is written in rhyming riddles and is lots of fun.  All my favorite desert critters are having a party in this book.

   If you leave a comment on today's post, on Sunday (2:00 PM MST)  I'll take all the names and throw them in my desert hiking hat.  I'll draw one name and send you my autographed copy of this book.  If you leave a FIB with your comment, I'll put your name in my hat twice.

  Thank you, Charline Profiri for this wonderful book, GUESS WHO'S IN THE DESERT.  I'm sure children will love your poetry and the desert.

  I believe Julie Larios is hosting the Friday Poetry Round Up today on her blog at http://julielarios.blogspot.com/   http://julielarios.blogspot.com/