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, June 29, 2013


I'm building a lemonade stand
To sell my drinks by the street.
"25 cents a glass," I'll say
To all the people I meet,
And for
a dollar,
I'll add sugar 
to make it  sweet.


   Have you ever had a lemonade stand?  What did you do with the money?  Can you write a poem about that today?


It is late
and I can't sleep
a nightmare
has me falling
into the

      Do you ever have nightmares?  Are there some nights when you can't sleep?  What do you do?  Your challenge for today is to write a poem about a dream.  Some of the best poets have written about their dreams.  Have fun writing and using your imagination.

Friday, June 28, 2013


The tarantula wasp
is a beautiful thing
with a black body
and bright orange wings.

The tarantula wasp
has one amazing feature,
it kills tarantulas--
what a lovely creature.


Thursday, June 27, 2013


Quietly I sit.
Watch lips move
on him and her.

I'm practicing,
you see-- to be
a good listener.

      I was reading Hilton Als' column CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK in an old issue of THE NEW YORKER, magazine that I hadn't read yet.  He ended his column with, "Waters has redefined yet another genre, and reengaged our interest in the power of listening."  This got me to thinking about the power of listening.  What qualities are involved in being a good listener?  How might that give you power?  If you had to choose, would you rather be known as a good listener or a good speaker.  I have a friend who is active in Toastmasters because she wants to do presentations and be a good speaker.  But I don't know any clubs to help people be better listeners.  Your challenge for today is to write your own poem about the qualities of a good listener.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Jungle Happiness

It is hot days and cool nights.
It's hiding in the long grass
so you have to carefully
look to see the tigers' stripes.

It's a whole pride of lions
resting in the trees and
zebras and giraffes racing.

It's plants growing large
in the humidity
and when you find a river
it's the elephants trumpeting
and hippos blowing bubbles.

It's watching out for crocodiles
and alligators and flesh eating fish.
And being very careful NOT
to rock the boat.

     What would make you happy to be in the jungle?  Can you write your own jungle poem today?  Have fun.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


A bee
rumbled, tumbled
and rolled
right in the middle
of a rose,

He liked the odor,
loved the scent.
Bathed in the rose,
round and round
the bee went.

The bee sniffed
and snorted,
dusted his wings,
pollinated his toes,
and got that rose odor
up his nose,

Monday, June 24, 2013


The hawk sat
upon his stump
being quite the grunch.
He was hungry
and looking around
for something
for his lunch.

Crows came acrobatic,
daring the hawk to fly.

I stood there watching
and wondering why
didn't those crows know
teasing that hawk
was simply
asking to die.

No, no, said my friend
the hawk knows
there are too many crows.
In this case the food chain
doesn't apply.

Those crows are keeping
the hawk from their nest--
protecting their wee small fry.
It is simply doing a job,
while they're flying--
a trick we call mobbing.

  I didn't know the term mobbing until my friend Andy Boyles, Science Editor for Highlights for Children, told me what the crows were doing. I thought those crows were crazy taunting the hawk because I knew the hawk was bigger, faster and ate other birds.  (Maybe hawks don't like eating crow, though.)  The crows were trying to protect their young.  Have you ever done something to protect another person?  I bet you have.  Can you write a poem about that today?  Have fun.

Sunday, June 23, 2013


The wind is blowing
a hot dry wind.
The creosote bush
buckles and bends.
Mesquite leaves
flutter fast
as the wind rushes,
bustling past.
The birds are roosting
in the Saguaro
maybe it will be 
cooler tomorrow.

    It is hot, hot, hot!  I hope it is cooler where you are.  Can you write a poem about what the weather looks, feels and even tastes like in your part of the world?  Have fun.

Saturday, June 22, 2013


My new friend
is like a rock,
a plain geode
found in the desert.

As I get to know her
it's like cracking
that geode
to discover
the beautiful

    Oh, I've been having a lovely time writing poems this week.  This poem used two similes.  Can you find them?  What will you write about today?  Have a cool Saturday.  It is only supposed to get to 105 here today.

Friday, June 21, 2013


I look at my face
and what do I see?
I see bright eyes 
looking back at me.

I look in the mirror,
I say, WOWs.
I see my two
arched eye brows.

In my hair 
I'm wearing bows
and I have freckles
on my nose.

My mouth, it is
an amazing thing,
I eat, I giggle,
I even sing.

Perhaps you'll laugh
when I grin,
below it all
is my chin.

And if you stick
around a while
I'll show my teeth
when I smile. 

It's not a mask
made of plastic.
I think my face
is quite fantastic.    

     Do you like your face?  How is your face different from a friend's face?  How are they the same?  Can you write a poem about your friend's face?  Have fun writing.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

I went to the eye doctor,
the doctor said
I need glasses.

I went to the eye doctor
the doctor said
I'd be able to read 
the board better.

I went to the eye doctor
and the eye doctor said
I should sit in the front row.

I was just worried
everyone would call me
"four eyes,"
but nobody did.

I can see better now
and I like sitting 
in the front row.

I'm getting better
and better
at my reading.

And Wanda
who also wears glasses
helps me with reading
and I help her with math.

We're both wondering
how old we need to be
to get contacts
and change the color 
of our eyes.

Wanda says 
she wants to get
the mirror kind
like the character
in her video game.

     Sorry, I'm running really late today.  I had an emergency visit to the ophthalmologist (eye doctor).
Everything is fine, but it did take up a big chunk of my day.  Do you have a favorite eye color?  Can you write a poem about it?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Birds singing make a raucous racket.
The early morning sun wakes them.
They sing, coo and tweet loudly
to greet the springtime dawn.
Outside my window
they will not stop.

    Today's poem is a nonet--a nine line poem of 45 syllables.  there are 9 syllables in the first line, and then one less in each of the following lines until you get to one.    Can you try writing your own nonet today?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Our donkey calls
at the break of day
Hee-Haw, Hee-Haw
in his donkey bray.

I think our donkey
is trying to say,
Will someone come
to feed me?

     I'm having fun playing with my art supplies again.  I'm not sure my donkey's ears are long enough.  If you had a pet donkey, what would you do with it?  Poet and journalist May Sarton had a pet donkey.  She has written a book about him,  The Poet and the Donkey, and many poems.

Monday, June 17, 2013


Monster Dwight,
his head is a light.
Some folks claim
he's not too bright.
When they tease him,
they say he's dim.
He doesn't let 
it bother him,
he just turns up his light.
In a power outage
then you'll see
that his light 
is so handy.

    I'm still having fun with monster poems.  Now I need to go draw a picture to go with my poem.  Have a great Monday.  What are you doing today?  Is there a summer camp you are going to? 

Sunday, June 16, 2013


My monster Fred
has a clipboard
for his head.

He jots down
makes lists, doodles,
draws figures and rings,
because his brain
is not too good
for remembering things.

     I enjoy writing monster poems.  I have fun mixing things up to make a monster.
Can you make your own monster poem today?  Close your eyes, turn your head.  Now open your eyes.  What is the first thing you see?  Can you make that part of your monster?  Have fun writing a monster poem.

Saturday, June 15, 2013


Mama is a quilter
she works her quilts
late at night.

She pieces fabric
trying to get
the pattern right.

Adds the blacks
and then the whites.
Sews in the flower
pieces happy and bright.

She finishes her quilt
just as the sun
shows morning light.

Mama is a quilter
she works her quilts
late at night.

     I recently visited my friend Willa Brigham, two time Emmy Award winning host for the educational television show Smart Start Kids.  Willa is a quilter, and I always love seeing the quilts she works.  She has a studio with hundreds, maybe thousands of different kinds of materials for her quilts.   Fabric in all shades of color and texture.  The best part of our visits is bouncing ideas off each other.  Each idea we have creates another better idea and that is a LOT of fun.
    I think the way Willa puts quilts together is a lot like the way I put poems together.  I have an idea of a message or thought I want to convey and I start figuring out what the pieces are that make up the message.  Then I have to decide on the order of the pieces and figure out what to take out.  Along the way I need to see if the poem is going to follow a pattern or be free verse.  It is all a lot of fun for me.
    Your poetry challenge for today is to write your own quilt poem.  If you need some inspiration you might enjoy my friend Maureen Wartski's blog.  She makes art quilts and then writes haiga to go with them.  Have fun.

Friday, June 14, 2013


The wind blows.
The metal chain
clanks against
the flag pole
and at the top
the colors unfurl
red, white and blue.
Our flag
stands for one nation,
our states
united in liberty,
freedom, truth,
justice.  The flag
of these United States
has a long history.
Each time I see
our flag waving
I think of
more than our flag.
Thanks to you
for helping
to keep 
our country free.

   What do you think of when you see a flag?  Fireworks, baseball games, parades?  Can you write your own "flag" poem today?

Thursday, June 13, 2013


Sometimes a poem hits me
creeps slowly in my mind.
Other times I go searching
for the words that I may find.

I like those bolts of lightning
that go flashing in my brain.
But then I start to wonder
which poems will remain.

Some have words that sparkle
tug heart cords and are held.
Others cause embarrassment
with words that I've misspelled.

But still I like the playing
and the mixing up the words.
So thank you for the reading
and the voices that you've heard.

  Today's post is # 799.  Tomorrow marks 800.  What should we do to celebrate?  Life is a party and we should plan on something fun.  Ah, I know--we could write a poem.  So, today try writing a party poem.  Have fun and save some punch for me.  Happy Thursday.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


You promised you would feed me
told your folks it was a deal.
So they gave you me--a cocker
but I've missed too many meals.

You said that you would train me,
take us out for runs and walks.
But you slapped me with the leather leash
no wonder now I baulk.

You said that you would brush me
so I'd have bright shiny fur.
But the brushing never happens,
now my coat is full of burrs.

So many broken promises,
oh what's a dog to do?
I wag my tail to see you
because I love you.

       Do you have a pet you are responsible for taking care of?  It is a big responsibility.  What things do you do for your pet?  For today's challenge, can you write a poem to your pet telling the things you do for your pet, or the things your pet does for you?  What things do you do with your pet?  If you don't have a pet, you can always make one up--that is the fun of poetry.  I think I'm going to make up a pet for myself.  I hope my dog Spot won't be jealous. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Blooming flowers
love the showers
making happy fun.
Lots of flowers
making bowers
growing in the sun.

     Yesterday was very rainy.  Today is bright and sunny.  Sometimes our lives are like that, dark and grumbly one day and full of sunshine on the next.  The fun part for me is that tomorrow is a surprise, who knows what it will bring.  If you could make tomorrow your ideal day, what would it be like?  Would it be like the last day of school, or perhaps the first day of school?  Can you write a poem about what is an ideal day for you.  Use your imagination and be as wild as you choose.  Have fun.  I'm thinking I need to write a poem titled, The Day I Met the  _________________.  What word do you think goes in my blank?  Have fun writing your poem.  Have fun.

Monday, June 10, 2013


Green and yellow
fresh and sweet
at the farmers market
healthy foods to eat.

    Have you ever gone to a farmers market?  What kinds of things did you see?  Can you write a poem about fresh food today?  Have fun.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

After the Rain

A wren
carries worms
in her beak
to her hatchlings
tucked into the nest
in the high rise 
parking deck.

     Happy Sunday morning.  It looks like it is going to be a wonderful day--bright and sunny and with time for a little writing.  At the workshop yesterday I wrote two fiction pieces that I immediately started turning the material into poems.  Oh, the problems of being a poet and seeing everything as much better as a poem.  
     I hope you have a great day.  Happy writing.

Friday, June 7, 2013


Two feet
Toes meet
Tap beat
Too sweet!

Jazz band
All stand
Clap hands
Big fans. 

Happy Saturday. I'm going to a writing workshop today, so I'm planning on having a fun day.  I hope your day is fun too.  What will you write today?


Can you see the rain on my window?

Hey, what is all this rain?
Must be on the edge of a hurricane.
It's raining, pouring, falling, sheeting
I'm glad for all this rain I'm meeting.

     I used to not like rain.  The gray, gloomy days would make me feel gray and gloomy too.  Does it do that for you?  Then my friend William H. Hooks told me he loves rainy days because it lets him stay in to write, and I discovered that I really, really love rainy days too. There is nothing better than having a whole day to write away.  Can you write a poem about what you like to do on rainy days?  Do you read, watch movies, or make popcorn?  Have fun writing your poem.

Thursday, June 6, 2013


One cookie         yummy
Two cookies        delish
Three cookies     delush
Four cookies       enough
For all of us

            Opps, I'm at it again, can you find the words I've made up for this poem?  I don't think you'll find "delish" or "delush" in your dictionary.  They are both short forms for delicious.
           This is a poem that can be performed with two voices.  Gosh, I should think if I was learning to count, I'd love counting cookies.  Can you write your own counting poem today?  Have a great day.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

One little packrat
wanting to be cool,
thought he'd go swimming
in my swimming pool.

The sun was shining brightly.
The weather it was hot.
He thought he'd take a little drink
but it isn't what he got.

He leaned over
to get himself a drink,
and oops, the packrat
fell into the brink.

     It is definitely hot here.  It is supposed to be 102 again today.  I guess we won't see weather under 100 until the monsoons come to cool us off.  Can you write a poem today about being hot?  Or how about one that answers the question, how hot is it?  Have fun.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


I have a list
of things to do.
I don't have time to play.
I'm zipping here.
I'm dashing there.
It is a zoomer day.

    How is your day going?  Are you having a busy day?  The suggestion for this poem came from my friend Linda who is busy with end of the school year activities.  I invented a word for today's poem.  Can you find it?  The word is zoomer.  Part  of the reason I like being a poet is that I can make up words.  My friend, storyteller Willa Brigham and I were chatting about how busy we were and we came up with the word zoomer to describe a day when we were running around all day.  
   Do you have end of the school year activities? What are some of the things done at your school?  Can you write a poem about one of the things?  Do you get year books?  Do you write thank you notes to your teacher, the school janitor, the cooks in the lunch room?  Do you have books to take back to the library?  Oh, there is so much to write about.  Have fun making your poem. 


Monday, June 3, 2013


A bluebird flew
to the top
of tall pine trees
and sang
his warbling 
song for me.
He sings 
in the morning.
He sings
at noon.
He makes
me happy
with his bluebird tune.

     I had fun playing with art again yesterday, so I had to write a poem to go with my picture.  A poem that is written in response to another piece of art is called an ekphrastic.  Can you write your own ekphrastic poem today?

Sunday, June 2, 2013


Lately I stay
in the shade a lot.
Yesterday it hit 110
and that's really hot.

I thought I'd go swimming
to try and stay cool
but the thermometer says
it's 93 degrees in the pool.

    Oh boy, this is a lame poem, one most kids wouldn't identify with.  But it is Sunday, and I'm being lazy. With our weather there's not much to do but stay inside in the air conditioning and read a book.  What are you doing today?  Can you write a poem about that?  It is a fair bet that it is cooler where you are.  Enjoy.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Echo

Down in the hallow
where the violets grow
and the bluets dance
a do-si-doe
you might hear the wind
so gently blow
and if you lift your face
to call hello
you'll hear a reply
and think it's an echo.
Some say they can't hear it.
Others doubt as they must.
But I know for a fact
it's caused by
pixie dust.

     I'm happy with my poem and electronic art today.  It has been a long time since I've tried drawing on the computer and I can see I need to do more to get better at it. I think I must have had a little pixie helping me with this picture and it was so much fun to do.  Practice writing your own poem today.  today is the first day of June, so can you try writing a June poem?  Have fun.