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, October 31, 2013

A walrus wore
an evening suit.
He walked the beach
and he looked cute.

He searched the sands
for perfect shells.
And for stories
he could tell.

He looked for a friend
so they'd be a pair
and his stories
he could share.

    Do you know what an evening suit is?  It is a dinner suit and also called a tuxedo.
So a walrus dressed in a tuxedo, might look very cute. Do you ever wonder what a penguin would look like in an evening suit?  How crazy!  If you were going to dress animals, what would a giraffe wear, or a camel?  How about a pig?

    Linda Baie is the hostess with the mostess for our Friday Poetry Roundup today, you can find her post and links to almost 40 other children poets on her bog TeacherDance today.  Thanks, Linda for throwing the party this week.  It is a dandy good time.  And thank you for your day after Halloween poem.  My sister has been bugging me about writing a poem for what happens to all the Halloween costumes, decorations, etc. on the day after.  Now I can point her in the direction of your excellent poem.  Thank you for writing it.  I enjoyed the reading.


Who is out on Halloween night

riding a broom in the pale moon light?

Who sits behind on the witch's broom

and holds on tight with every ZOOM?

Who purrs a loud kitty keen,

to wish us all


    Now, I'm going to try this poem with an echo.  Let's see if it will work?  This way, it becomes a poem for two voices.  The echo is a repeat by students, and everyone joins in on the last line.
Who is out on Halloween night
                                               on Halloween night

riding a broom in the pale moon light?
                                              in the pale moon light?

Who sits behind on the witch's broom
                                              on the witch's broom

and holds on tight with every ZOOM?
                                              with every ZOOM?

Who purrs a loud kitty keen,
                                             a loud kitty keen

to wish us all


     I hope you have a great Halloween.  Today's poem is a riddle poem.  Can you write your own riddles for some of the things Halloween?  My first thought was a jack-o-lantern.

Do not think
it is hog wash.
Before he changed
he was an orange squash.  

   I had to use my rhyming dictionary for that one.  There aren't a lot a great words to rhyme with squash.  Hey, just have fun.  We're not trying for Shakespearean sonnets here.  Enjoy your holiday and make poetry a part of it.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Witch

Who is that
knocking at my door?
It's Snow White's evil

She carries a basket
of apples red.

is what she said.

Then she let out a 
gravelly cackle.
Her evil voice
raised the cat's hackles.

I think I'll wait
until after you.
I slammed the door
and then yelled,


Happy Halloween.

      Oh, this poem is a mess.  Who ever heard of rhyming door with mother?  And, yes "apples, red," is a reversal.  So I think this poem needs some more work, but we can't all be perfect everyday.  So, this is what you get.  And I didn't even draw a picture to go with today's poem yet.  But just think, tomorrow is Halloween so you only have one more Halloween poem to put up with this year.  Have fun writing your own poem today.  Here is an idea, write a list poem today on all the things Halloween.  Or take one of the things on your list and write an acrostic poem for the word.  Have fun writing.  

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


at my door
I hear a knock.
It's a grandfather clock.

He has a bag.
He wants to be fed.

the clock said

Happy Halloween

     So, only two more Halloween poems to go.  Yahoo.  I mentioned yesterday playing with other words to rhyme with "trick," and I thought "tick" would work nicely.  This poem also works as a reverso.  Try reading it from the bottom up and see what you think?  Can you find the onomatopoeia in this poem?  If you were to perform this poem with your class using multiple voices, how would you break the parts up?  Can you write a Halloween poem today, too?  Have fun.
    What do you think of my grandfather clock? I had a lot of fun sketching that clock costume before I colored it.  I hope you have a fun day too. Happy writing.

Monday, October 28, 2013


Knocking at my door
was a bottle nose dolphin.
He knocked some more.
He didn't look too thin.

He carried a bag,
wanted to be fed.

is what the dolphin said.


     Oh my goodness.  I was all ready to post a lovely haiku today with a photograph.  I was going to be done with all the permutations on my Halloween rhyme, but then on Saturday, I got a Halloween quote and picture of a dog in my email box.  It said "Lick or treat."  It was such a good idea to play with rhyming words for the trick, that I wanted to try my own.  So, I might make this Halloween party last all week.  I only need three more Halloween poems.  I hope you are having a spooky good time.  Can you write a spooky poem today?  Try it.  What frightens you?  How does it feel. What do you do?  Have fun writing.

Sunday, October 27, 2013


Knocking at my door
was Monster John
face all white,
waxy and wan.

I was scared.
My cheeks turned red.

was what
Monster John said.


     See, I'm still playing with this silly rhyme.  This time I've taken the name of my friend and plugged it into the poem.  Do you have a friend who is going trick-or-treating for Halloween?  What costume will he wear?  Can you write your own poem about your friend?

Knocking at my door
was Princess Joy.
She carried a wand,
a children's toy.

I laughed so hard,
my cheeks turned red.

was what the Princess said.

Happy Halloween.

     All right!  Enough.  But, wouldn't you like to try writing your own Halloween poem and put your name in the poem.  I hope you have a happy Sunday writing poetry.

Saturday, October 26, 2013


Knocking at my door
a furry yeti,
held out his hand
all hairy, sweaty.

I was scared.
Thought I'd be dead.

was what
the yeti said.


     I'm still playing with my Halloween rhyme. Have you tried it yet?  I had two other ideas.
One was to try using fairy tale characters.

Knocking at my door
a princess with her pea.
She held out the legume
to hand it to me.

She was distressed,
found a pea under her bed.

 the princess said.

Happy Halloween.

     Then, the second idea, to try writing the poem as a reverso--a poem that makes sense read from the top or the bottom.  With a tiny bit of tweaking, I made it work for the princess.

Happy Halloween
the princess said

She'd found a pea under her bed.
She was distressed
to hand it to me.

She held out the legume
the princess and the pea--
knocking at my door.

    I was delighted to see this works with this poem.  Now it is your turn.  Don't you want to try?  Pick an animal, or a fairy tale character, or your favorite character from children's literature and give it a go.  Have fun playing.  Please share your creation in the comments.

Friday, October 25, 2013


Knocking at my door
was a crocodile.
He opened his mouth
to a toothy smile.

I was scared.
Thought I'd be dead.

was what
the crocodile said.


     I had so much fun making the illustration for the poem today.  One nice thing about the quiet time of drawing is that it lets my mind work on the poem some more.  Can you see how this poem could be done in two voices?  Or the children could say the "Trick-or-treat" while the adult recites the rest of the poem.
      Now using this pattern with the same opening line "Knocking at my door" you could use other animals.  I tried a bear next.

Knocking at my door
was a grizzly bear.
He had big teeth 
and smelly hair.

And the rest of the poem stays the same.  
Or, a flamingo.

Knocking at my door
was a flamingo.
She had long legs
to go, go, go.

She was so pink,
almost red.

was what 
the flamingo said.

     I think I could go on with many more animals.  I'm going to try.  So, your challenge for today is to write your own poem about what is knocking at your door.  Have fun thinking of the possibilities.  Happy Poetry Friday.
    The Poetry Roundup is over at Live Your Poem.  Thank you Irene Latham for hosting us today.

Thursday, October 24, 2013


A long tailed bush lizard
is resting in the sun.
He's waiting for Halloween,
knows it is fun.

Running in and out 
of your jack-o-lantern.
You might call him
a little rapscallion.

Eating flies and gnats
and pumpkin too.
He wishes a Happy Halloween
to me and you.

    What does your dog or cat think about Halloween?  Will your pet wear a costume?  If you had a pet animal how would you dress her for Halloween?  Can you write a poem about that?

Elizabeth, an elephant
wants to dance
for Halloween.
She needs
the biggest tutu
I've ever seen.

When she trick-or-treats
she carries a big sack.
And if you don't feed her
she'll never come back. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Instead of waving
Bye Bye or Hello

I learned how to
High Five

to Bump Knuckles
so I
Pound It


with a 

      This is a poem about nonverbal communication, or the gestures we use.  All nonverbal language is learned from the community we live in.  Can you think of other gestures you use to convey meaning to another person (or animal, because you use gestures with your dog, I bet?)  I have a niece who is deaf and she is constantly teaching me new words to say with my hands.  Can you write a poem today about a gesture, or better yet, can you say a poem by just using your hands?  Try the Teensy-weensy Spider.  Have a fun day.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


1 Pumpkin, a jack-o-lantern to make.

2 Sugar cookies in the oven to bake.

3 Owls hooting WHO-WHO-WHO.

4 Ghosts prowling to shout BOO!

5 Bats circle with their wings.

6 Cats on the fence posts howling-sing.

7 Costumed children ask for a treat

    and wish Happy Halloween

       to all they meet. 

     Halloween is a fun holiday where we get to dress up and pretend to be someone, something or somebody else.  Will you go trick-or-treating?  Do you have a costume yet?  Have you decided what you will be this year?  Your challenge for today is to try writing your own Halloween poem about your costume.  Have fun.

Monday, October 21, 2013


I woke up this morning
with crud in my eyes,
felt like a boulder
was there in disguise.

The sandman 
came to visit me.
When I blinked my eyes
it felt gritty.

I love my brother.
He's very young.
Sometimes I wish
he'd watch his tongue.

He pointed at me
and to my surprise
He said,
Look, you have

     I'm being naughty this morning.  Normally, I wouldn't present a poem with the word poopy in it, but this was so much fun to say "poopy-eyes," that I couldn't control myself.   Used this way, I think it is a perfectly good word.   Have you ever heard this term to describe the junk you get in the corners of your eyes when you sleep?  
         Do you know what it means when I write, I wish he'd watch his tongue?  It means to think about and be careful about what is said.  Maybe I should have watched my tongue this morning.  What do you think?  During World War II the military used the phrase, Loose lips, sink ships.
        Can you write your own poem today about what it felt like when you got up this morning?  What was the first thing you thought?  Have fun writing.

       Yes, I know I've screwed up the meter on the second stanza.  I've switched the accents on gritty,  if you have a suggestion for fixing this problem, please leave it in the comments below.  I appreciate your help.  

Sunday, October 20, 2013


Leaves are falling
from the trees.
Dancing, drifting
with the breeze.

When the leaves
hit the ground
rake them up
into a mound.

Now a dash
with a little run.
Jump in the pile
for autumn fun.

    Happy Sunday.  Have fun writing about what you are doing today.  
    My friend children's poet David L. Harrison is making a presentation today at the USBBY (the United States Board on Books for Young People)meeting in St. Louis with Sylvia Vardell, editor of the Poetry Friday anthologies with Janet Wong at Pomelo Books.  The theme of their session is “PerformanceJoy”—to go along with the conference theme, “BookJoy,” and their session is entitled, “BookJoy for Middle School: Poetry in Many Voices” Click on the links if you want to know more.  With so much JOY in their break out session, I'm thrilled they will be using one of my poems in their presentation.

Saturday, October 19, 2013


Red tail hawk circles
blue skies overhead,
he flares his tail,
boy, it's red.

Making lazy loops
on this Saturday
is how I feel
as I go on my way.

     Happy Saturday.  I hope you are having a good day.  This poem really needs a better end line.  I'm going to have to work on that, but I did explain I'm feeling loopy-lay today--so that is how I wrote.  So many things to do today.  All the weekend chores are waiting for me.  I hope you can find time to write today.  Can you imagine what the picture for this poem will look like?  Now, go write your own poem and if you want to share it you can place your poem in the comments below.  I'd love to read it.

Friday, October 18, 2013


Here I stand 
at the top of a hill.
My arms stretch out
to get my fill.

As I start
a little spin,
I let the magic
seep on in.

Turning round,
wild and free.
It feels like magic

So stand on a hill,
a stool or chair.
Start to turn
while standing there.

Then let the magic
blow you away.
Pick up your paper
and pen today.

We'll laugh
and have funny times
when you write
some little rhymes.

     So there is your challenge for today, written in verse.  Write a little rhyme today.  Try spinning first and see if that loosens up some great ideas and words for you.  

    Did you know that Rumi, a Persian poet, often recited his poems while spinning?


“We come spinning out of nothingness, scattering stars like dust.”   Rumi

  POETRY FRIDAY ROUNDUP is hosted by Cathy Mere today on her blog here    .http://merelydaybyday.blogspot.com/2013/10/dont-miss-it-poetry-friday-is-here.html?showComment=1382122238099#c9147742472074797996

talented author of BEING FRANK, has Mortimer the rabbit visiting her this week. To see what that rascally rabbit is up to, hop on over to Donna's blog at http://wordwrangleNC.wordpress.com

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, October 17, 2013


Yellow sunflower
smiles at the sun.
Growing bigger,
almost done;
an old black crow
comes flying by
and gives those
sunflower seeds a try.
These seeds are tasty,
such a delight.
The crow ate all day
and into the night.
Now the crow
is round and fat,
while the sunflower
falls to the ground 

     Did you know that the sunflower seeds in the middle of the flower grow around and around in a Fibonacci sequence?  There are lots of plants that do this--pine cones, artichokes, and pineapples.  Are you familiar with the Fib poem?  It is based on the Fibonacci sequence too.  (A Syllabic form of poetry with the following number of syllables in each line.  1,1,2,3,5,8,13,etc. Each line is the combination of the two previous lines added together.)  Let's see if I can do this, the hard part is the beginning when the count is low.

Bright                              (1)
Sun                                  (1)
flower                             (2)
yellow shines,                 (3)
along comes a crow       (5)
and sits on the sunflower's spines,  (8)
then he opines, This is mine, all mine.  It's very fine. (13--I hope I counted that right.)

     OK, so your challenge for today is to write your own FIB.  Have fun writing.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Walking past my neighbor's house
two black pit bulls
send up a raucous greeting.

   Bark, bark, bark.

Then a cactus wren
chatters a reply.  

  Cheep, cheep, cheep.

They keep at it.

   Bark, bark, bark.

  Cheep, cheep, cheep.

The highs and lows of it.

   Bark, bark, bark.

  Cheep, cheep, cheep.

Each trying for the last word.

This is a poem that could be done in three voices as a group poem.   Have you ever had a conversation, or an argument where one person tries to have the last word?  By the time you've reached that point, you have information you want the other person to have, but they aren't listening.  Let me repeat that--They aren't listening.  So if you reach the point where one person is trying to have the last word, you aren't really having a conversation and both parties are wasting their time.  It is like the dogs and the bird, they are only making noise to hear themselves.  
If you reach the point where people won't listen to you, it is time to take yourself off to figure out what that person will listen to.  What is important to that person?  What do they want to talk about?   There just aren't enough good listeners in this world. 
    Can you write a poem about listening, or about sound today?  Have fun writing.

"Discovery consists of looking at the same thing as everyone else and thinking something different."  Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Nobel prize winning physician

Tuesday, October 15, 2013






My rock


with a flick
of my toe.

     This poem has a lot of "r" words.  Have you ever had rock races with a friend?    The one that kicks the hardest, or has the biggest rock, isn't always the winner.  It takes practice to be a good rock kicker.
I like rocks a lot.  I have a growing collection of rocks.  (Did I ever tell you about my friend who collected rocks when he was a kid?  He had such a nice collection that when he grew up he sold his collection and had enough money to put a down payment on his house.) Can you write your own poem about rocks today?  Have fun. 

Monday, October 14, 2013


The wind sings
a happy song
around dancing leaves.

They flutter up
before flittering
to the ground
in a patchwork quilt.

Soon it will be time
for the lull
of winter sleeping.

But for now
there is wood to chop,
pumpkins to harvest,

apples to press,
and honking geese
to fly south.

There is much to do,
just ask the wind.

     In this free verse poem, I wanted the title to be the first line.  I thought about using a lower case letter to start "the," but I thought that would look like a mistake. So the English teacher in me, insisted that the first line of the poem begin with a capital letter.
        Have you ever thought what the world would be like if we didn't have wind? Can you write your own poem about the wind, or fall today?  Have fun writing.

Sunday, October 13, 2013


My neighbor's dogs
all furry puff balls
run and leap
with joy
when they see me.
Their greeting
a quick dance
filled with sunshine.
Who could not
feel love
to be greeted so?
They lift my spirits
to soar
like the hawks
circling above.

   Do you have a dog?  Do your neighbors?  What dogs do you know?  Is there a dog in the book you are reading?  Can you write a poem today about a dog or cat.  This is a free verse poem.  Can you write a poem today about a dog, or even a cat that you have met?  Think about using your five senses to describe the animal.  Have fun writing.

Saturday, October 12, 2013


My bus
is a chariot,
a magical sleigh,
a big yellow banana,
to lift me away.

I'm a goldfinch flying.
It's really too cool.
My imagination soaring
as I land at school.

    I had a great day yesterday, I got to play with my art supplies to draw this silly bus.  It was fun.  This poem uses several metaphors.  Can you find them?  I had a simile in this poem when I began--the second stanza I started "Like a goldfinch flying,"  but in my editing process I changed the line and put another metaphor in the poem.
      How do you get to school?  What do you think about on your way to school?  Can you write a poem about that today?  I hope you don't have to go to school on Saturday and can have time to write.  Have a great weekend.  

Friday, October 11, 2013


The Mortimer Minute badge

Morty, Morty,
have you got a minute?
You hopped for JOY
and now I'm in it.

A children's poetry blog
I'll add my 2 cents
so your tour doesn't stop.

    I was tagged by Heidi Mordhorst last week to feed and house Morty for the week.  (Notice how we've become such good friends that I have a pet name for Mortimer?  You're allowed to groan that was a very bad pun.  He does look a little like my Dutch Uncle.) I've got to tell you, having him for a guest is like having fish visit.  At first he is all cute and cuddly, but then he becomes a BIG responsibility.  Just keeping him entertained has been interesting.  He's eaten all my carrots, chewed holes in my new shoes.  He wants to eat my poetry.  Oh what's a girl to do?
Answer the interview questions quickly and send him on his way.

Morty:   What does it take to be a children's poet?

JOY:      You don't have to be royalty, but it helps.  All it takes is to write poems and small rhymes for children--early and often.

Morty:    Hey, why are you the Princess of Poetry?

JOY:      I get to be royal because everyday I try to do my best, and each day I get a little better. (I sure hope so. You can be royalty too.)

Morty:    What poem do you wish you'd written?

JOY:      Oh, Morty, there are so many really great children's poems written.  But, I don't WISH I'd written poems.  I do it.  It is called BIC(bum in chair) time and I write a lot of poems.  Every poem, if you look closely at it, has merit, even if it is only that you get to eat it.  So now can I send you on, please?

These are the rules for Mortimer's blog tour, (thanks Renee, I copied from you.)

Here’s how to hoppity hop “Mortimer Minute” style!
  • Answer 3 questions. Pick one question from the previous Hopper. Add two of your own. Keep it short, please! This is a Blog Hop, not a Blog Long Jump. This is The Mortimer Minute—not The Mortimer Millennium!
  • Invite friends. Invite 1-2 bloggers who love children’s poetry to follow you. They can be writers, teachers, librarians, or just plain old poetry lovers.
  • Say thank you. In your own post, link to The Previous Hopper. Then keep The Mortimer Minute going — let us know who your Hoppers are and when they plan to post their own Mortimer Minute.
- See more at: http://www.nowaterriver.com/poetry-friday-the-mortimer-minute-childrens-poetry-blog-hop/#sthash.vx5llQuS.dpuf

    Hey Morty, I'm sending you to Donna Earnhardt at WordWrangleNC  for a short visit.  She's the author of a very funny picture book, BEING FRANK

Now Morty, please don't eat any more shoes.

  And Jeanne Poland at the Vibrant Channel Creator, said she'd take this rascal off my hands too.  So look for Morty over at Jeanne's place next Friday.

    Thank you Heidi Mordhorst for sending Mortimer to me.

different hosting each week - Wonderful sharing of all things poetry! Today's Poetry Friday Roundup is being hosted by Laura Purdie Salas over at Writing the world for kids.
Thank you Laura for hosting the party.

Thursday, October 10, 2013


My old blue jeans
are a little tight.
It's hard to close the snap.
Their color is turning to white.
Holes at the knees
leave a gap.
To get new blue jeans
wouldn't be so terrible.
But this pair I'm wearing
has just gotten comfortable.

     I've started on some new poems today and I arrived at clothes.  Have you ever had a piece of clothing that you didn't want to part with?  I always had a hard time getting my boys to give up their shoes, even after they were too small.  It used to drive me crazy.  Maybe that is because I'm female and women love shoes.
     This is definitely a draft poem.  The meter on those last four lines is terribly off and I need to take this apart to put it back together.  I'll keep working. In the meantime, can you write your own poem about your favorite piece of clothing?  How does it make you feel?  What color is it?  How did you get it?  Have fun writing.

     And since I was having so much fun with the manners poems, it seemed to work well for my friend Joan Edwards who is celebrating four years of blogging at her site NEVER GIVE UP.

Joan, Joan
How can I moan 
when your blog
is celebrating four years?

so I'll throw my hands up
and shout for you

   As a present to her readers, she shared my blogs site.  How cool is that?  You can find Joan and her blog here.  I like the idea that my blog is a present.