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.

Friday, January 31, 2014


Morning rises
tries on a purple gown
adds an orange scarf.

It isn't right,
she changes 
for a pink gown.

Still not right,
she dons a pastel blue gown
adds white lace clouds
for a shash.

She's all dressed
to greet
a new day.

     I really wanted to rite a poem about the Chinese New Year which is today, but I didn't get it done.  Today starts the year of the horse.  So let me send you virtual oranges, money and a fortune cookie to wish you the very best year
where we can all throw our manes back into the wind and race off to bright poetry futures.  I can see a poem happening for you, even now.  Have a great Friday.

   Can you write your own horse poem today?

Tricia at Miss Rumpius Effect is hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup.  Thanks Tricia.  She has poems about numbers.  You can go here to read more poems by children's poets this week.


Thursday, January 30, 2014

The moon is getting smaller.
His face is growing grim.
The bowl is getting less and less.
The light is growing dim.

Tomorrow is the new moon
when there is barely moon at all.
Then we'll see it wax again
into a big round ball.

    I don't know when I learned the words waxing and waning, but I do remember that  I thought those were the coolest words when I learned them.  Now when I look at the moon I try to figure out if the moon is getting bigger (waxing) or smaller (waning.)  Like water that ebbs (pulls away from shore) and flows (rushes toward shore) words that come in pairs are lots of fun.  Can you think of other words that are for movement and mean the opposite of each other?  Can you write a poem today about movement?  Have fun writing.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Little squirrel racing by,
with your tail flying high,
when you dash into your burrow
will I see you run tomorrow?

   I saw a little squirrel race around a creosote bush this morning.  It always surprises me when I see one.  Squirrels in the dessert are ground rodents.  There aren't a lot of trees to climb here.  Our squirrels are about the size of a chipmunk and they burrow in the ground.  
Originally I wrote this poem about the squirrel racing with an acorn in his mouth, but as I read it, I knew that wasn't right.  There aren't any oak trees around here for the squirrels to steal acorns from so I had to re-write the ending to my poem.  And, I've never had a squirrel stealing bird seed from my bird feeder in Tucson because they can't get to the feeder.  There aren't trees to leap from to get to the feeder.  So, what kind of squirrels are there where you live?  Can you write your own squirrel poem today?  Do you know what it means when someone is described as a little squirrely?  Have fun working on your poem today.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


I'd like to ride 
upon a moonbeam
Or slide upon
the starlight's glow.

I'd like to glide
upon a sun mote
Or slip upon
a bright rainbow.

So many ways to travel,
it isn't what it seems.
So I'll say Good Night to you
and ride them in my dreams.

    If you could travel anywhere, where would you go.  Use your imaginations and write a poem about traveling.  Have fun.

Monday, January 27, 2014


distant horizon
east all a chilly desert
golden sun peeks

golden sun peeks
over a chilly desert
distant horizons

I've been playing with haiku again this morning.  It was still dark when I got up today and by the time I was ready for my morning walk, the sun was just starting to peek over the horizon in the east.  Which haiku do you like better, the first or the second?  Can you take one of your own haiku today and play with rearranging the lines. Or totally rewrite the first or last line.  Have fun moving the lines around.

Sunday, January 26, 2014


Birds sing a symphony,
some high,
some low--
as I go
walking along the road.


I had a conversation
with a hummingbird,
who stopped at my feeder
for a drink.
I tried to tell him
all my thoughts
and he told me
what I should think.

Can you write your own poem about a bird today?

Saturday, January 25, 2014


Goldfinch at the feeder
finding all they need.
Fluffing out their feathers
cracking open seeds.

Perching on a dowel,
huddling from the wind
they fly to my citrus tree
making branches bend.

Along comes a purple finch,
the feeder has run out.
No more seed for the birds,
they flutter all about.

    I'm thinking of dropping that last stanza.  What do you think?   Happy Saturday.  Today is a great day for staying inside and watching the birds outside.  What birds are in your part of the world?  Can you write a short poem about a bird you see?  Have fun observing.

Friday, January 24, 2014


First calls from the wash
wibble-wobble of small quails
coyote pups yip

     This haiku needs some explanation.  The wash is the sandy dry river bed that runs through the bottom of the canyon. As I took my morning walk I heard a funny sound coming from that direction.  That wibble-wobble at first sounded like a large covey of baby quail being herded by adult Gambel's Quail.  It sounded   like the flexing of metal sheets, like a saw might make if you were going to play a saw. It is a little early in the season, but in another month we'll be able to start counting those large groups of quail herding the golf ball sized chicks across the road and around the cacti.  You've got to be able to count fast.  I've seen as many as 32 in a group.  Often the chicks are out of sight before I'm done counting.  So this is what I thought I heard until I had the opportunity to listen a little longer in the quiet air.  It was the sound of young coyote pups yipping in excited little yaps.  So now you know where the quaillets go for breakfast.

   Your challenge for today is to write about the first thing you saw this morning.  Have fun using all your senses.  Happy Friday.  Happy poetry.

  The Poetry Friday Roundup is being hosted by Tara at her new blog site A Teaching Life today.  Thanks Tara for a great poetry party.

Thursday, January 23, 2014


ancient Coopers hawk
rests atop the chain-link fence--
a rosy sunset

     The number of hawks in my neighborhood has been increasing.  There is one that comes often to visit and I do enjoy watching him pivot his head to scan the skyline.  Your challenge for today is to try writing your own haiku.  Have fun observing nature.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I'm discovering
in my life
the best things
aren't really things.
I am finding
what I like best
is the happiness
that you bring.

For when I'm sad
and gloomy,
you always bring
a smile.
And when I'm down
and feeling sad
you come
and stay awhile.

you feed me 
you read a book.
And when 
I really need a friend
I don't have far
to look.

    Today's poem was written especially for you. I was thinking about you and all the fun things you do for me when I wrote this poem. Thank you for being a friend.  Thank you for making my days sunny.
     For a fun exercise, can you figure out how to read this poem with two or more voices?
   Is there someone you are grateful for?  Can you write a poem for them today?  Have fun writing.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Some days are bright and sunny.
Some days are dark and gray.
But, it always is a fun day
when you come to play.

     Today's challenge should be a fun one.  Put on your thinking cap.  Can you write a poem about having someone come spend the day with you?  Use your imagination.  It could be your best friend, but it could also be someone from a book, someone from history, even something from the future.  Have fun imagining and then write a poem that tells me who it is and what you did together.  Oh, my goodness!  My mind is now racing.  What if I had a unicorn to play with?  What if a President came to play?  Oh, wait, I once wrote a whole story about having a star come to play with me.  I wonder what I did with it?  Happy Tuesday, there are so many possibilities.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Monday Morning

Morning sun
cuts over the skyline.
At the top
of the tallest juniper
perches a hawk
scanning the sky,
eyeing a telephone wire
with four noisy starlings.

   Some days the poems just come out in free verse.  I tried to work this information into a haiku, I certainly felt an "ah-ha" moment when I looked up to see a hawk in the tall juniper, and then I realized why he was turning his head to scan his surroundings.  BUT, I had too much information to boil it down to a haiku.  I thought about a fib, but that wouldn't work either.  I'm just going to have to put more time into this poem if it is going to end up as something other than free verse.  I think free verse is a good place to start to shape poems.  So, your challenge for today is to spend a few moments just watching and listening.  Then quickly write down the information in short items.  Can you shape these into a poem so the reader can feel like they are in the same spot you are?  Have fun.

Sunday, January 19, 2014


The bully taunted,
come on, even the score,
as he stomped his foot
upon the floor.
He was yelling
fairly loud
as he started 
to draw a crowd.
I told him I didn't
want to play,
and then just turned
and walked away.

     Have you ever been taunted and teased?  What did you do?  How did you handle the situation?  Can you write a poem today about being teased?  

Saturday, January 18, 2014


Gila Woodpecker
screams from the Saguaro
new motel rises

    I was sitting outside writing, bemoaning the fact that there is construction going on across the canyon making lots of construction noise.  Trucks backing up and ding, ding, dinging.  Hammers pounding, cranes with diesel engines running and voices of men yelling directions at each other.  
   I was working on haiku, so I was trying to figure out a five syllable line for the construction noise and not having much luck when all of the sudden the Gila Woodpecker started screaming and I put the whole thing together.  I love how the last line works for the construction, but also for the living arrangements in the Saguaro.  Sometimes haiku works like that.  The poet is given a gift and it is our job to write the words down.
   Can you write your own haiku today?  Have fun and I hope you are gifted too.

Friday, January 17, 2014

My Dog, the Comedian

There once was a dog, a Welsh Springer.
With rude comments he landed his zingers.
He wasn't a hit.
That's how he got bit.
His jokes were Welsh Springer humdingers.

    OK, so there you have a limerick.  The rhyming pattern for this five line poem is A,A, B, B, A.  The limerick is meant to be a humorous verse form.  Your challenge for today is to re-write the last line.  What can you come up with?  Or, write your own limerick about a pet animal.  Have fun playing with poetry.  

      Keri is hosting the Friday Poetry Roundup on her blog here.  Thanks for hosting us, Keri.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Crocodile

A young man from Montreal,
liked to play with his basketball.
He'd dribbled along the banks of the Nile
and lost himself in a crocodile.
Now the only thing to see
is that ball 
wedged in a tree
and a smile
on the crocodile.

  Oh my, it has been a crazy day.  My sister just telephoned and said, "Do you know you haven't posted a poem for today?"
   I didn't know, until she reminded me.  So then I sat down to write, and of course, I came up blank.  I opened my rhyming dictionary and started to write a limerick, but this ended up as a rhyming couplets instead.  I apologize, this is what you get for today.  
  I've included two geographical locations in my poem.  Can you write a poem that includes the name of your home town?  Have fun writing.  See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


I  like chocolate
chocolate pudding,
chocolate cake,
chocolate cookies,
I like to bake.

Steaming hot chocolate,
chocolate pie,
and chocolate ├ęclairs,
I like to try.

Chocolate frosting,
chocolate candy,
chocolate cupcakes,
are just dandy.

When I'm hungry
and want a treat,
chocolate is what
I like to eat.

     Today's poem is a list poem.  All it does is list all the chocolate foods I could think of and start with a statement.  The poem fits Abraham Lincoln's guidelines for writing a speech--Tell 'em what you're gonna tell 'em.  Tell 'em.  Tell 'em what you told them.  Can you write your own list poem today?
    This poem was inspired by Susanna Hill.  She always gives the readers of her blog something chocolatey delicious to eat.  Or at least that is what she did today.  I'm featured on her blog in her "Would You Read It Wednesday" post.  You can hop over there to check it out by clicking here.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Three little goldfinch
feeling fine
sat upon
a telephone line.

Singing a song,
chirping in fun
they flew away
when out came the sun.

     This morning on my walk I saw a tiny little goldfinch sitting on the phone line next to a turtledove.  One was very big and the other was small.  But, the goldfinch had the bigger voice.  Can you write your own poem today about big, or little?  Have fun writing.

Monday, January 13, 2014


A lion
and a tiger
are fighting
over food.
I think
their behavior
is terribly

I'm running away
from them,
quick as
can be
'cause the food
that they're fighting

     One of my favorite riddles is: How many penguins can a polar bear eat?  The answer is zero because polar bears live in the North Pole and penguins are in the South Pole.  What interesting and unusual facts do you know about animals?  Can you write a poem today that includes one strange fact?  Have fun writing.

Sunday, January 12, 2014


Chilled in down parkas,
huddled in sleeping bags
campers play a game
calling to the geese

flying in formation,
honking overhead--
Blue footed, Red breasted, 
Snow, Canadian, 
Nene, Wawa.

They shout the bird names
in Indian chant
Oh wha ta goo sei am.

     If you don't get the joke of this poem, try reading the last line very quickly five times.

Saturday, January 11, 2014


Katie Ann Louie
smells a bit pooey,
standing up in her highchair
blowing Cheerios in the air,
tossing kisses with her O's
landing one on Rover's nose.
Like spitting seeds
from a watermelon,
launching O's on everyone.
Going for the gold, it looks like fun!
Katie Ann, will you give me some?

     Happy Saturday.  I hope you have fun writing today.

Friday, January 10, 2014


Rebecca has plenty of Beanie Babies®
Her whole collection is something crazy--
      A gorilla,
           An elephant,
                A cockatoo,

     A moose,
          A bunny,
               Or is it two?

She even has a pig
     in a hat of daisies.
And her Dalmatian
     has a tag for rabies.

Altogether Rebecca has 21

     or 19, maybe.

Do you have a collection?   Of rocks, books, baseball cards, or nail polish?  My friend children's poet Amy Ludwig VanDerwater has a collection of buttons she is adding to. You might enjoy visiting her blog by clicking on her name in the line above.  Can you write a poem about collecting things today?  Have fun writing.

Donna over at Mainelywrite is hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup today.  Thanks Donna.  You'll find lots of links to some great children's poems here.

Thursday, January 9, 2014


Drink with me
a mug of moonlight,
gumdrop stars
across the sky.
We can eat 
the constellations
baked into
a dream pie.

      Can you write your own dream poem today?  Have fun writing.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


I saw a little hummingbird
in the Paloverde tree.
He was soaking up the sun,
just like me.

He drank from the feeder.
He made a whirring sound.
But when I turned to look again
the bird could not be found.

     Here is a quick exercise--make a list of all the birds you can name in a minute.  Pick one of the birds and write your own poem.  Have fun thinking about all the bright colors birds come in and the LBJ's (little brown jobs.)  In ancient times Hawaiians used the colorful feathers for decorative clothing.  Do you know of any birds that are on the endangered species list?  Have fun learning about birds and their habitats.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


I found a penny
walking to school.
I felt so lucky.
I felt so cool.

There's just one problem,
don't know what to do.
Does this penny
belong to you?

     I did find a penny on my morning walk and started composing this poem.  I had fun with the idea of the phrase "walking to school" modifying the penny and not the "I."  If those two phrases are reversed in order it makes more sense.  Pardon my pun.
Always, when I find money, I think of the person who lost the money.  Was the money needed?  Will it be missed? 
    Did you ever lose money?  What is something else you lost or misplaced?  Can you write a poem about that today?  Or would you like to write a poem about something you found?  Have fun writing.

Monday, January 6, 2014


I am a
little gray mouse
living in my
little bread house.
I scurry round 
on little feet
looking for
some cheese 
to eat.

      What do you know about mice?  Does your classroom or science lab have a pet mouse?  At the San Diego Zoo they used to have mice in their children's area that lived in a loaf of bread.  Each week they'd put a new loaf in with the mice and it was always fun to watch the mice make the bread their home.
      There are lots of different kinds of mice.  You can find out more about them here .
The Sand Diego Zoo has information about Pacific Pocket mice, an endangered species they are trying to save.  And you might enjoy watching this video of mice

    If you were a little mouse, what would you do?  Where would you hide? 
    If you had a mouse for a pet, what would the two of you do together?
Can you write a poem about mice today?  Have fun being mouschievious.  That is a word I made up from mouse and mischievous.  What do you think the word means?

Sunday, January 5, 2014

I'm Hiding

I'm hiding here
under my bed
pretending I'm
the cat
waiting to be fed.
Won't you please
pet the head
of the cat 
who is hiding
under the bed.

     Where is your favorite place to hide?  Can you write a poem about hiding or about something you'd like to hide.  Have fun writing.

Saturday, January 4, 2014


Today it is dark
and gray.
It doesn't look
like fun.
Perhaps today 
it will rain.
The clouds have cloaked
the sun.

    What would the sky look like if the sun wore an overcoat? That is what I see when I look out my window.  Everything looks gray.  Even the jack rabbit I saw this morning had a dark gray hue as he rushed away.  What does your day look like?  Is it tidy and organized today, or is it like mine going in lots of directions all at the same time.  Can you write a poem about how you feel today?  Have fun writing.

     Happy 12th Night.  We are having friends in for dinner this evening to celebrate the end of the Advent.  Do you do anything to celebrate the end of Christmas?  

     If you'd like to learn more about the special days in January, my friend Linda Andersen lists many fun days on her blog at A Writer's Playground


Friday, January 3, 2014


Open the door.
Come on in.
The fun is about
to begin.

On the other side
is opportunity.
You get to decide
what that will be.

     Now is a great time to think about what you want on the other side of that door.  What doors would you like to work at opening this year? The choices are all up to you.  Have fun thinking about what you'd like to see, and then try writing your own poem about the opportunities that are waiting for you.  Enjoy!

Thursday, January 2, 2014


I'm still not back in gear.  I've been trying to get my desk cleared today so I can get down to some serious work.So while I was cleaning I saw a note about the SHADORMA, a six line poems, that may have originated in Spain.  This is a syllabic form with three syllables in the first line
                                                                       five in the second, then three, three, seven syllables in the fifth line, and ending with five syllables in the last line.

Or, 1= XXX
      2= XXXXX
      3= XXX
      4= XXX
      5= XXXXXXX
      6= XXXXX

Our New Year
for 2-0-1-4
with peace and blessings to you.
May this be your year.

     Your challenge for today is to try writing your own Shadorma.  Have fun writing.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year

Happy 2-0-1-4
may this be the year
you have time
to write more.

May your poems
be delightful
and full of fun.
May the words
seem to roll
right off of your tongue.

May you fill
the world with happiness
in all that you do.
May this be 
a prosperous year
for me and for you.

     I hope you are having a great beginning to the new year.  Are you writing resolutions?  I've been thinking about a few but I haven't gotten around to writing them down.  Your challenge for today is to write one resolution of something you'd like to do this year.  Have a thinking day.  Enjoy.