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.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Good Bye 2014

It has been
a wonderful year.
You have brought
happiness and cheer.

Thanks for the poems
you've helped me to write.
Thanks for the comments
that give me delight.

So good bye and so long
to 2014.
You're one of the best years
I've ever seen.


   What was the best part of 2014 for you?  Can you write your own poem about that?  I hope you have a fun celebration to ring in the New Year.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

I'm still running to catch up

More rainbows.
More smiles.
More flowers.
More laughter.
More Aloha.

     Can you imagine the picture I wanted to draw to go with this poem?  Think of a brilliant rainbow arcing the blue, blue sky over the ocean.  Then place a breaching whale inside the arc.  Would seeing that make you smile and say, thank you?  When I'm in Kauai, I still take lots of walks.  I even take short hikes.  On my walks I learn lots of things and I often meet interesting people.  Walking over a bridge I saw several strings hanging down over the bridge. I wondered what that was.  A man, standing at the side of the bridge lowered another string.  He was crab fishing.  He had eight lines he fished.  On the end of the string was a mesh basket he'd put bait into.  When the crab climbed into the basket to get the bait, the top would close and catch the crab.  As I was talking to the fisherman trying to learn more, he paused for a moment and then told me the story of how he held the record for catching the second largest crab in Hawaii.  He showed me the spot on the bridge where he caught the crab.  It was on Dec. 23, 2013.  Now he is trying to break the record again  before the New Year.  I think he said his crab was almost 7 pounds.  The current record is at 13 pounds.  That's one HUGE crab.
     Another morning, I was drinking coffee at McDonald's.  A family on vacation sat at the next table and I got to listen to their conversation.  They were talking about all the places they had visited on this trip.  They went to New York.  The boy said his favorite thing there was when they went to Broadway and to the Statue of Liberty.  The went to Washington and the boy liked the Lincoln Memorial.  Every where they went the boy had a good memory of the place.  It got me to thinking about all the places we visit.  Where have you been recently?  It doesn't have to be exotic.  It could be your own home town, your school, the library, the grocery store, even Grandma's counts.  Now can you take one of the locations and write your own poem?  Make this fun.  I'm already thinking about a poem about my drug store.  WOW!  There are a lot of fun things in that store. Have fun writing your poem.

Monday, December 29, 2014

DEC 28, 2014

Yes, I know today is the 29th, but I'm running really, really late and I'm trying to catch up.  I'll post this poem today and then see if I have more energy and delightful insights tomorrow.


Are you making a list
of things you mean
to accomplish
in 2015?

   I'm not sure if you'd call my list New Year's resolutions, but I've been thinking about the things I'd like to do in the new year.  When I break things into smaller pieces and deal with months or weeks, it is amazing what one could achieve in just one year.  Have you started thinking about your goals for the next year?  Have you written any of them down?  If you have a resolution you'd like to share, you're welcome to leave your written goal in the COMMENTS.  I'll be sharing some of mine as the week wears on.
  For now, I'll tell you that I have been in Kauai for the Christmas holiday and I just got home this morning.  I took an over-night flight leaving Hawaii last evening at 11--and that is why I didn't post a poem yesterday.  Internet connections are sometimes difficult when I'm traveling.  I got home about 11 this morning.  I didn't sleep on the plane and I'm dragging.  It really is hard on the system to go from T-shirts and shorts to sweaters and long johns.  We turned the temp down in my house while we were gone and it hasn't gotten back warm yet--but that may be due to my husband who thinks the house should be kept at 65.
  I hope you had a great Christmas holiday. Now I've got to start getting ready for 12th Night.

Saturday, December 27, 2014


copyright 2014, Joy Acey
stops in the grass
his red nose glows brightly

thinking of reindeer and Merry

copyright 2014, Joy Acey

   Today's poem is a form poem--a cinquain.  It's a five line poem with 2 syllables in the first and last lines.  There are four syllables in the second line, six in the third and eight in the fourth line.  Seeing the bright red nose on the mongoose made me think of a re-telling of the Rudolph story set in Africa with eight mongoose instead of reindeer.  Do you think Santa could be a Masai?
   Can you try writing your own cinquain today?  Have fun working on your own poems.

Friday, December 26, 2014


copyright 2014, Joy Acey

and pelicans
standing on a reef
keeping other birds away
giving them grief.

    Today is National Thank You Note Day--a day dedicated to writing notes and letters.  So today I want to thank you for stopping by and reading my humble little poems.  Thank you for all the encouragement you give to me and thanks for the ideas you inspire for more poems.  My blog would not exist without you.  I'm so grateful for you.  Thank you.

Thursday, December 25, 2014


copyright 2014, Joy Acey

a pink feathered cloud
in Lake Nakuru waters
flamingoes standing

 It was exciting to see all the flamingoes on Lake Nakuru.  This is the first time I've ever seen flamingoes in the wild.  Something would startle the birds and they would all take off together, fly in a wide circle and then come back to settle on the lake again where they would dive for food in the muddy shelf where they stood.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014


copyright 2014, Joy Acey
By the time the
light comes
up and

Has a rose-glow
eyes will not see herons
over grass lands, winging to the
next resting spot.

   Have you ever seen the Great Blue Heron?  To watch one take off in flight is amazing.  First, he'll stretch out his long neck, tuck his legs back and flap his wings.  In a flash he is gone.  Are there birds around your house?  This morning I'm watching Australian zebra doves and little rock doves waddling through the grass.  Can you write a poem today about birds, or your favorite bird?  Will you be leaving a Christmas present for the birds?  Have fun writing your poem.  Happy Holidays.

Monday, December 22, 2014


copyright 2014, Joy Acey

copyright, 2014

"What shall we eat for dinner, my dear?'
"What shall we eat?" the vultures moan.
"We can have old gazelle haunch,
or feast upon wart hog bones."

   What will you eat for Christmas dinner?  Will family or friends join you?  Can you write a prose poem today that tells about your Christmas feast?  Have fun writing.

Sunday, December 21, 2014


copyright 2014, Joy Acey

copyright 2014, Joy Acey

running and bucking
black and white zebras grazing
race African plains

   I saw two kinds of zebras in Kenya--the plains zebra and Grevy's.  The plains zebra can have a white belly and white inside their legs.  The Grevy's has narrower stripes and the stripes cover all of the animal.  A zebra is an equid--member of the horse family.  This haiku is about the zebras.  Can you write a haiku about one of the African animals?  Have fun writing.

Saturday, December 20, 2014


copyright 2014, Joy Acey

Some call me
a Waller's gazelle,
or a giraffe antelope
because I have
a long skinny neck.
No matter what
you call me,
my favorite is
to be called
a gerenuk.

copyright 2014, Joy Acey

     Do you have several names or nicknames that people call you?  Do you like some and hate others?  Have you ever been called names?  What is the name you want to be called?  Can you write a poem today about the different names. Have fun writing.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Giant Eland

copyright 2014, Joy Acey
The largest antelope
is quite grand,
an herbivore,
the Giant Eland.

copyright 2014, Joy Acey
"The biggest,"  "the greatest"  those are words often used to describe something that is the best, or at least really good.  For today, can you write a poem about something that is the biggest, the greatest or the absolute best ever?  Have fun writing your poem.

Today is Poetry Friday and Buffy Silverman is hosting the round up at her blog.  You can find links to many more children's poems here.  Children's poets are the very best.  Thanks for hosting us Buffy and Mele Kalikimaka to all.

Thursday, December 18, 2014


copyright 2014, Joy Acey
A topi is an African antelope.
Their numbers are decreasing
but there is hope.
Their coat is distinctive
with purplish gray.
I hope the topi
don't all fade away.

copyright 2014, Joy Acey

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


copyright 2014, Joy Acey

copyright 2014, Joy Acey

Waterbuck, waterbuck,
oh what do you see?
As you graze and
look at me?
Males have horns
females, horn free.
Munching on grass
you're fairly

Sedentary means that the waterbuck likes to stay and graze in one area--they like to have a place they call home.  This is different from the wildebeest I featured yesterday who like to migrate over a vast area.  Are you sedentary, or do you like to migrate?  For today, can you write a poem that uses either the word migrate or sedentary?  Have fun with this difficult challenge.  Or, just write a poem of your choice, but whatever you do today, find some time to write.  Enjoy.

copyright 2014, Joy Acey

TUESDAY Wildebeest

copyright 2014, Joy Acey


Wildebeest, wildebeest
grazing along,
having a movable feast.
You're a part
of a long migration,
belonging to
the wildebeest nation.

   The wildebeest is a funny looking animal with his hairy beard, long thin legs and horns.  He's an ungulate, an animal who eats grass and is related to antelopes.  You can find out more about wildebeest here .  Or, for more poems about African animals, you might enjoy reading Irene Latham's poetry book, Dear Wandering Wildebeest.

copyright 2014, Joy Acey
The wildebeest is
a curious creature.
His shaggy beard is
his distinguishing feature.
He likes to migrate.
He likes to roam.
All of Southern Africa
is his home.

     If you could wander anywhere in the world, where would you go?  Why would you go there?  Can you write a poem today about your own wanderings?  Have fun writing.

Monday, December 15, 2014


copyright 2014, Joy Acey

I am a Cape Buffalo
munching grass as I go,
sometimes fast, 
but mostly slow.
Lumbering along
the Cape Buffalo.

   The Cape Buffalo usually travel in herds and often are seen with other grazers--animals who eat grass.
    What is your favorite food to eat during the holidays?  Plum pudding, candy canes, popcorn, sugar cookies?  Can you write a list poem today about all the foods you eat for Christmas?  Have fun writing.

copyright 2014

copyright 2014

copyright 2014

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Black-backed Jackals

copyright 2014, Joy Acey
A Jackal sings
with a scream and three yaps,
and if you heard it, you'd ask him
to close his trap.

copyright 2014, Joy Acey
Jackals are efficient hunters of small animals.  They also scavenge the food
from other predators.

copyright 2014, Joy Acey

copyright 2014, Joy Acey

     Have you ever tried to learn to sing?  What is your favorite song?  Can you write a poem today about singing or playing a musical instrument?  Have fun with this poem.  Good luck writing.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

African Wild Dog

copyright 2014, Joy Acey
I'm an African wild dog
and I like to hunt.
I run fast with long legs
that are shorter in front.

I run with a pack
to get our prey.
We hunt at night,
and in the day.

   Have you had to hunt for something this week?  Hunting is how we discover things.  Can you write a poem about hunting today?  How do you organize your hunt?  Have fun writing your poem.

Friday, December 12, 2014


2014 copyright, Joy Acey


 I'm a lizard
 baking in the sun.
 I will rest here
 till I'm done.

 The hotter it is
 the redder I get.
 It feels so good.
 I'm not done yet.

  Can you write your own poem today in the voice of an animal?  Have fun writing.

     I got home last Sunday from a trip to Kenya where I went on safari.
I slept in tents under mosquito netting.  I visited four nature reserves.  I took pictures of lions,

copyright 2014, Joy Acey


copyright 2014, Joy Acey


copyright 2014, Joy Acey

copyright 2014, Joy Acey
hyena, jackals, gazelles,  hippos, crocodile, impala, cape buffalo, waterbuck, African wild dogs, mongoose, hippopotamus, rhino, eland, kudu, oryx, topi, bushbuck, wildebeest, gerenuk, dikdik, zebra, warthog, chimpanzee, baboon, velvet monkey, hare, lizards, tortise, tawny eagle, flamingo, vultures, lilac-breasted roller, crown cranes, cormorants, pelicans, heron, plover, guinea fowl, weaver birds, secretary birds, maribou storks, cows, goats, sheep, pigs, camels and many more birds, animals and insects.  I took thousands of pictures and I'm having the best time writing poems to go with them.  If you've missed my posts over the last week, you might want to scroll back to see some of the pictures and read the poems.  It definitely was the trip of a life time.  I learned so much and have gained respect for the peoples and animals of Kenya.

I believe the Poetry Friday Round Up is being hosted by Paul Hankins today over at his blog These 4 Corners.  

Thursday, December 11, 2014


COPYRIGHT 2014,Joy Acey

Hold up, Mommy.
Don't walk away.
This grass is good.
I want to stay.

I'll grab your tail.
That's what I'll do.
Because I don't
want to lose you.

I'll try as I may
to hold on tight.
Don't want to let you
out of my sight.

   Elephants have six sets of teeth that they wear through at about one set every ten years.  Their teeth are mostly molars with flat surfaces on top.  Elephants are endangered because many are killed each year for their ivory tusks.  Many of the babies fall down wells and then starve and die.  What do you know about our largest land animals?  Do you have a favorite book about elephants?
Can you write your own elephant poem today?

copyright2014, Joy Acey

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


copyright 2014, Joy Acey

Golly Gee!
Look at me.
Can't you see
I'm hungry.
Please, feed me!

This poem is a rhyming five line poem--a quintrain.  (It was a quatrain until I added that extra fifth line.) Can you see the three horns on this Rothschild giraffe? See the eyebrows and eye lashes?  This giraffe has a very soft mouth.  Can you try writing your own quatrain today?

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


copyright 2014, Joy Acey

in Kenya
on the bush lands
never is boring.

   This poem is an acrostic.  I had fun putting one more syllable in each line. Can you see the scar cross the lion's middle?  How do you think that happened?  Do you have any scars?  Do you know someone who has scars?  How did they get them?  Scars are stories.  Can you write a poem today about a scar?  Have fun writing.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Lantern Poem

copyright 2014, Joy Acey
wart hogs
trot around
the water hole

    The form of this poem is a lantern or lanterne.  I like to think of it as a half cinquain.  It has five lines like a cinquain, but each line has half as many syllables.  So there is one syllable in the first line, then 2,3,4, and 1 syllable in each of the next lines.  This form is difficult because word choice is heavily favored for one syllable words.  Thus the scope of the poem is very limited.  The lantern has fewer words than a haiku.  Plus starting and ending with just one word lines is difficult.  How do you think I did in writing this one?  Now it is your turn to try.
   My friend David Harrison has a poem challenge this month using the word evergreen.  You can find poems using this word on his blog at www.davidlharrison.wordpress.com

So let's see if I can do this, writing a lantern using evergreen.  Since evergreen is a three syllable word, I'll need to split it into two words.  An evergreen is a tree, so I'll use that for my first word.  Now all I need to do is fill in the middle.

stretching tall
standing ever

This is my first draft.  But looking at this, I think if I change this to a pine tree, I can do more.

stretching ever

    Have fun trying to write your own lantern poem.

Sunday, December 7, 2014


In the Kenyan bush
sun shines on acacia trees--
stretch of giraffe's tongue

copyright 2014, Joy Acey

Saturday, December 6, 2014


copyright 2014, Joy Acey

A monkey sat
and stared at me.
I wondered what he
thought he'd see.

He chattered, chirped.
I heard him cry.
This monkey was
one noisy guy.

Did he want my peanuts
to take away?
Or was he just asking
me to come play?

   My drawing is of a velvet monkey, which is very common in Kenya.  They may gather in groups of 30 or more and are equally adapt in trees or on the ground.  I saw one of these monkeys just outside my tent.  He stole my little package of M&Ms, the rascal and then came to the tent flap and stared at me like he was begging for more.  The velvet monkey has a black face and black hands and feet.
If the monkey could write a poem in his voice, what do you think he'd say to me?  Have fun writing your poem today.

Friday, December 5, 2014


copyright 2014, Joy Acey

stand together
to graze and slowly herd
kicking, bucking, running in grass
feel free.

     Today's poem is a cinquain--a five line poem.  A syllabic form, there are two syllables in the first line.  Four syllables in the second, six, eight, and then two in the last line.  Can you try writing your own cinquain today?  I hope you have fun writing poems.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


copyright 2014,Joy Acey

A lion sleeps
most of the day,
unless you're a lion cub
who likes to play.

     I learned that lions can sleep 16 - 18 hours a day.  But a giraffe only sleeps about 2-6 hours a day.  Which would you rather be, the lion or the giraffe?  Can you write a poem today about being your favorite animal?  Have fun doing your research.

Monday, December 1, 2014


In Africa

where the sun shines hot

and dust blows

across the plains.

Masai warriors

herd their cows

hoping for

summer rains.

     In the countries south of the equator it is summertime.  The Christmas preparations in these countries are very different from countries in the northern hemisphere.  What things do you do to get ready for Christmas?  Have fun writing a poem today about anything.  

copyright 2014, Joy Acey


copyright 2014, Joy Acey

Baboons sit upon a log

watching the river

flow below.

Baboons play

and chase the young

marking territory

before they go.

copyright 2014, Joy Acey

     The monkeys--chimps, baboons, gorillas--have large family groups.  Young baboons learn how to behave in their family from older members.  Do you have older family members who help you learn, too?  What is something you were taught?  Can you write a poem about the things you are learning?  Have fun writing your poem today.