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, April 30, 2014

Kauai Chicken

Kauai hen scurries
across the busy highway
seven chicks follow.

     Kauai is Hawaii's northern most island.  It has lots of wild chickens.  When Hurricane Iniki blew across the island in 1992  all the chickens were blown away from their coops and cages. It was impossible to tell which chickens went where making it impossible to return any of the chickens to their owners.  Plus everyone was busy with more important things than worrying about chickens after the hurricane. so the chickens have roamed freely around the island since then and Kauaians are quite proud of their free roaming chickens.  It is a distinctive aspect of this island. What is a distinctive characteristic of your school, family, or yourself? Can you write a poem about that today?Have fun writing.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Coconuts growing high
in the palm  tree.
Swaying in the wind,
bending wild and free.

Then all the sudden
an eerie sound
Coconuts hit the ground.

     If you could visit any place in the United States, where would you go?  Can you write a poem about your place?  Have fun writing. 

Monday, April 28, 2014


Clo is a girl who liked to say,
"I don't know what I'll do today."
She said, "I don't know 
how to launch a boat
how to row it 
or what makes it float."

She said, "I don't know 
all the nations on the globe
or how to sew a terry cloth robe.

"I don't know 
how to speak Japanese,
or how to measure the wind 
in this breeze.

"But the more I study
the more I know
and the more I learn
the more I grow."

   Last Thursday when I volunteered at my library helping children write their poems for Poem in Your Pocket Day, I met a Victoria who didn't know what she wanted to write her poem about.  Like Pierre in Maurice Sendak's Really Rosie, who kept repeating I don't care; Victoria kept repeating I don't know and so I suggested she write her poem about that.  Victoria chose to write her poem about a place she loves in Conneticut, but the I don't know phrase stuck in my head and I had to write a poem about it.  So here is your challenge for today, can you write a couplet to go in the middle of my poem about something Clo might know?  Have fun with your writing.

Sunday, April 27, 2014


Paloverde trees
in high winds drop their flowers
hummingbird flutters

The winds have been blowing and the trees look like they are caught in a washing machine with the branches swirling in all directions.  The winds are really strong and the little hummingbird who came to my feeder had the hardest time hovering to get a drink.  But once I wrote that "hummingbird flutters" it made me think of the butterfly effect.  Haiku and poetry can do that--make you think of things differently.
What will you write your poem about today?  Have fun writing.

Saturday, April 26, 2014


Paloverde trees
blooming in yellow flowers
a goldfinch hiding

    I hope you are having a great weekend.  I'm busy trying to get my Saturday chores done.  Today is the annual Haiku Holiday in North Carolina.  Haiku enthusiasts gather at Bolin Brook Farm, take a haiku walk around the farm and write poems to share with their friends.  You can take your own haiku walk today and write a haiku.  Have fun writing.

Friday, April 25, 2014


A bee in Spring
    is drunk with the pleasures of bees.
A bee in Spring,
    euphoric with golden sleeping,
    trapped in his blossom dreaming-sprees,
    pollen stockings rolled to his knees--
A bee in Spring.

     I enjoyed watching the bees in my Prickly Pears this spring.  When the Prickly Pear blossoms were open, the bees flew in the flower and would get caught in all the pollen.  Their movements became sluggish, like they were drunk.  It was interesting to watch the bees and to know they are pollinating the blossoms. The blossoms are gone now, but shortly I will have prickly pear fruit I can make into jelly and syrup.
    The image of the bee drunk inside the flower stuck with me, and I wanted to write a poem about it.  I thought I might try a triolet, but when I worked through that form, I didn't like the repetition of the lines, so I thought I'd try another form with repeating lines.
    The RONDELET is a seven line poem.  Only two rhymes are used, and the repeated line is half as long as the other lines.  The rhyme scheme is AbAabbA.
    Now it is your turn, your poetry challenge is to try writing your own RONDELET. Have fun writing your poem. The Poetry Friday round up is over at Tabatha Yeatts blog, THE OPPOSITE OF INDIFFERENCE.  Thank you, Tabatha for hosting us all.

Thursday, April 24, 2014


I keep a poem in my pocket.
                     Let me share this one with you.

I keep a poem in my pocket.
                     It helps me when I'm blue.

I keep a poem in my pocket.
                     It's stuck in my heart like glue.

I keep a poem in my pocket.
                     I know the words are true.

I keep a poem in my pocket.
                     It gives me ideas I can chew.

I keep a poem in my pocket.
                     I know it by heart, don't need a cue.

I keep a poem in my pocket.
                     And its meaning grew and grew.

I keep a poem in my pocket.
                     Would you like to try it too?

Just keep a poem in your pocket.
                      That's all you need to do.

Share the poem in your pocket.

     It is national Poem In Your Pocket Day where people are encouraged to keep a poem in their pocket and share it with others today.  This is a poem written for two voices.  Your poetry challenge for today is to write another stanza to go in this poem.  You can leave your couplet in the comments.  I'm off today to my local library to help the children write poems and make pockets.  I'll be reciting my poem CAPILLARY ACTION for them from The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science, edited by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong, published by Pomelo Books.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Ladies' Hats

Out in the Sonora desert
where cacti grow fat 

the Saguaros are blooming
like a lady's hat.

    If you look carefully at the white trumpet flowers of the saguaro in my picture, you can see black dots that are bees gathering pollen.  Our flowers are out early this year.  The flowers are usually at their height on Mother's Day, which is why I think of flowered ladies' hats.

   Is there a flower,  plant, bird, or animal that you have noticed this year being early or late?  Your challenge today is to write a poem about being early or late.
Are you a person who is early?  Are you a morning person?  Or are you late, letting your homework go until the last moment?  Do you like staying up late at night?  Have fun writing your poem no matter when you do it.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Hello Earth,
     How do you do?
Today is the day,
     I celebrate you.


Thank you for mountains
      capped with snow.
Thank you for bird songs
      I'm learning to know.

Thanks for flowers blooming
     on the Palosverde tree
Thanks for sharing
     your earth with me.

     What is one thing you are thankful for about our earth?  Can you write a couplet about that and leave it in the comments below?  Have fun writing your own Earth Day poem.  Can you try an acrostic on Earth Day?

Monday, April 21, 2014


peeling an orange
many layers and sections
citrus in my nails.

    Do you like to eat oranges?  Or do you avoid them because they can be hard to peel?  Have you ever had the oil squirt into your eye, or gotten rind under your fingernails?  Some times the things we have to work the hardest to get to taste the sweetest.  For today's challenge can you take one of your old poems and try revising it one more time to make your poem even sweeter.  Have fun writing.

Sunday, April 20, 2014


drinks ocotillo sweetness
up in flames

Old jalopy
stalled on the highway
going nowhere

brain going nowhere
writing haiku

     Happy Easter.  I hope you have a great day.  Go chocolate!  Can you find time to write one haiku today?  Have fun writing.

Saturday, April 19, 2014


feathered head,
waddle, scurry, zipping
one single feather

time of new leaves
blossoms blooming, new growth
we throw ourselves into the joy

     It has been a lovely day.  I saw my first little quailets of the season this morning.  There were about a dozen of them scurrying with a couple of adults.  The little ones are about the size of a walnut.  So when I attended a workshop this afternoon on writing cinquains and haiku, of course I had to write about my morning experience. 

   Can you try writing your own cinquain about something you saw today?  Have fun writing.

Friday, April 18, 2014

A Pantoum


April tosses her hair.
This is how it begins--
green willow branches float the air
to dance in springtime winds.

This is how it begins
day after blowing day
to dance in springtime winds
as April has her way.

Day after blowing day
Spring reaches to delight
as April has her way
blowing clouds black and white.

Spring reaches to delight
giving us all flower fun.
Blowing clouds black and white
until her breath is done.

Giving us all flower fun
Prickly pear blossoms visited by bees.
Until her breath is done,
April collects pollen on her knees.

Prickly pear blossoms visited by bees
to dance in springtime winds.
April collects pollen on her knees

This is how it begins.

A pantoum is one of the French forms, somewhat similar to the Malaysian pantum, but also attributed to English.  The form weaves lines together.  If you look closely you'll see the rhyming pattern of A1,B1, A2, B2   B1, C1, B2, C2,     C1,D1, C2, D2  etc. until you come to the end stanza where the first and third lines are dictated by the previous stanza, and the second and fourth lines are a repeat from the first stanza (in reverse) of lines A2, A1; or B2, B1--or the poem can simply be concluded with a couplet of A2, A1.  This information comes from THE SHAPE OF OUR SINGING by Robin Skelton, Eastern Washington University Press, 2002.
You might have fun trying this form.  Or, just try writing four couplets about April or spring.  Hey, and if you get that far, you can then try weaving the lines together and see what you come up with.  Have fun playing with poetry.

When I previewed this poem, there was an extra space between the penultimate and the last line.  I considered correcting the formatting error, but as I thought about it, I liked the line, This is how it begins, out there on its own.  And it made me consider that this poem makes an interesting reverso--a poem that reads as well top to bottom as it does bottom to top.  What do you think?

The Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted this week by Robyn Hood Black on her blog Life at the Deckle Edge.  Hop over there for more poetry fun.

Thursday, April 17, 2014


The cats search
for field mice
in the barn.

If one is seen,
cats don't think twice
they leap, and bring harm.

Cats keep an eye
up in the rafters
for a barred owl--
he might be a captor
sleeping in the barn.

Horses in the paddocks
eating the grass,
spring will come,
then quickly pass.

Time soon
for the cows
to be milked.
What do you think?
Cats are hoping 
for a drink. 

     Part of the reason I love  writing poetry is the research you get to do.  I originally wrote the owl was a raptor, but when I looked up information on the owl, I discovered there is some controversy about calling an owl a raptor, so I had to change my line.  This poem is definitely a draft, I need to do a lot more work on it. 
     So your challenge for today is to write a draft poem about an owl.  Have fun writing.  

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


from the feeder
a gila woodpecker
dips his beak and long tongue into

    The gila woodpeckers make it almost impossible for me to keep the hummingbird feeder full with liquid.  They have learned to perch on top of the feeder and tilt it to one side so all the sugar water tilts to one side making it easier for them to drink from a deeper well.  Lately, I've noticed that the finches and thrushes have learned to do the same thing from watching the wood pecker.  Except they tilt the feeder until liquid drips out the side and they can then drink it.   Why must the larger birds steal from smaller birds?  Why is it, it seems to me that the big guys are always trying to take advantage of smaller guys?
  Can you write your own poem about a big taking advantage of a little?  Would this be called bullying among the birds?  Have fun writing.  Oh, did you figure out that the form of this poem is a cinquain?  It is a syllablic form of five lines with two syllables in the first line, four in the second, six in the third, then 8 and finally two syllables in the last line.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


All the children
Pick up Easter baskets,
Reach for colored eggs hidden
In bushes, trees and on the
Lawn, to wish you


      Did you see the lunar eclipse last night?  Can you write a poem about the moon?

Monday, April 14, 2014


Two little bunnies
hopping around the tree,
eating all the green leaves
cute as can be.

Two little bunnies
hopping around the tree,
they run off
when they see me.

    Look what I saw in my backyard today.  These two are Western cottontails.  We also have jack rabbits, but they have longer ears and usually darker tails.  Hey, I'm just glad that they were willing to wait around for me to whip out my camera.  Can you see the white tail on the one bunny hopping away?  Can you write a poem today about something in your backyard, or in your school yard?  Have fun writing.  

Sunday, April 13, 2014


All flowers blooming,
purple pansies looming
right next to daffodils zooming
in the bending wind, then after
leave us with laughter.

     I've been playing with an acrostic poem based on APRIL today.  Can you try creating your own poem on an April theme?  What are some things that APRIL makes you think of?  Since there are five lines, you might want to shape your poem in one of the five line verses, like limerick or cinquain.  Have fun playing with poetry today.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Colonial Folk Rhyme

Kind Sir, let me take 
your keys to Harvard Square.
I will be the bride for you
when you meet me there.
Then we can walk along together,
from here to everywhere.

    It is Saturday, and I'm messing around with old verses.  I thought it might be fun to try writing my own.  Would you like to try?  See if you can find your own old English Folk Song and try writing your own poem in the same meter or using the same end rhymes.  It is a good day for messing around, who knows what you might come up with.  You're welcome to share your creation in the comments below, or leave me a link where I can find where you have posted your poem.  Happy weekend.

Friday, April 11, 2014


lizard meditates
upon a sunlit flat rock
disturb not his dreams

grasshoppers awash
in the cool golden moonlight
cry into the night

large ring neck lizard
greedily bathes in sunlight
watching flying gnats

my mother's spirit
observing her joy

can I cultivate
words, phrases, will this mountain
of verse disturb you?

     I'm still working on haiku as I work my way through another zen book.  I do enjoy combining my writing with reading.  You challenge for today is to take one of your poetry books and randomly open to a page.  Put you finger down in the middle of the page and look for the closest noun.  Can you write a short poem about that word.  Does the word strike a memory for you?  When was the first time you learned to read this word?  How did you learn the meaning?  Ask a friend what the word means to them.  Can you find a metaphor or simile for the word?  Have fun writing.

    For more poetry fun, Poetry Friday is being hosted today by Michelle Barnes on her blog, Today's Little Ditty .

Thursday, April 10, 2014


clap of hitting limbs
my neighbor trims his bushes
ready for spring growth

Here is another.  On my morning walk I heard sirens and it got me to thinking.

shattering prom glass
life stilled to a long moment
sound of shrill sirens

I don't know why, but every time I hear sirens, my mind leaps to a story to explain them.  The stories are not happy ones, so I like to avoid that sound.  
  Your challenge for today is to spend five minutes outdoors trying to do nothing but observe nature.  Use your five senses and when you are done, make notes about how you felt.  Now, can you use the information to write your own haiku?  I hope your weather is a lovely as ours has been.  My son tells me the dogwoods are blooming in NC, and I saw in the paper the cherry blossoms are blooming in MD. What is going on in your neck of the woods.  

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


swallowing sunlight
chicks in the nest beg crop milk
from their dove father

no dress rehearsal
a baby quail pokes his beak
through the fragile shell

    I've been reading a really good haiku book, SEEDS FROM A BIRCH TREE, Writing Haiku and the Spiritual Journey, written by Clark Strand, copyright 1997, published by Hyperion.  I've really been enjoying the book and think I may need to purchase this book for my permanent library.
   In the book, Strand makes a strong argument for writing haiku in the traditional five, seven, five; three line form.
    Your poetry challenge for today is to find a poetry book you'd like to read and spend ten minutes reading.  It is your choice if you pick an anthology, a collection of poems by one poet, or a text on how to write poetry.  Have fun.  And what ever you choose, will you let me know what you are reading?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Quail Complaint

Out in the desert,
what have quail got?
The soil is too hard.
It's way too hot.
The quail complain
about lack of rain.
Their chicks are too many.
The air is too dry.
They can't find food
as they scuttle by.
When I hear quail
moan and wail,
I think I am glad
I'm not a quail.

     If you could be anyone or anything, what would you like to be?  Can you write a poem about that today?  Happy Poetry Month.

Monday, April 7, 2014

My Dog

My dog is outside.
He's barking again.
He needs me to know
he wants to come in.

So I stand up
and open the door
I don't want to hear
his barking any more.

But the moment he's in
my dog starts to pout.
Now he needs me to know
he wants to go out.

     I have an ageing Welsh Springer Spaniel and every evening when I sit to watch television, he immediately wants me to get up and put him outside.  Then after about a minute, he's barking to come in.  But then as soon as he comes in, and he doesn't even wait for the next commercial break before he wants to go out again.  He's such a silly dog.  Do you have a dog or cat?  Does the pet do anything funny or strange?  I had a dog once who had to push his kibble out of the bowl before he would eat it.  Can you write a poem about your pet?

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Morning Walk

I paused this morning
on my walk
To stand and listen
to the small birds talk.

Perched high up
in the Paloverde tree
they called to each other
too-whit, too-whee.

Their calling song
made me smile
and helped me walk
an extra mile.

   It is Sunday and it is Vida de Loca day in Tucson.  This is like a big community picnic, where lots of local restaurants have booths to sell ethnic foods.  Early this morning there was a farmers market to sell local produce.  And of course there is music and dancing.  Can you write a picnic poem today?  What fun things happen at your picnics?  Have fun writing.

Saturday, April 5, 2014


Here at the beach,
I'm having fun,
playing my trumpet,
watching crabs run.

Waves crashing,
a gentle sea breeze,
monkeys screeching
from tall palm trees.

You're collecting seashells
in a sandy pail
you stop and listen
to my trumpet wail.

     I couldn't think of what to write today, so I opened a book--HOW TO VOID MAKING ART (or Anything Else You Enjoy) written by Julia Cameron with illustrations by her sister Elizabeth Cameron.  Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, 2005.  The page I randomly opened to had this caption, "Under no circumstances make any art just for fun."  You can guess what the picture looked like from my poem.  What kind of art do you like doing?  Do you ever write poems just for fun?  That is your challenge for today--write a poem just for fun.  Enjoy the journey.

Friday, April 4, 2014

A hawk swoops low
and I want to know
what it is like
to be a hawk.

My heart 
wants to soar high
to see the sky 
with my arms
open wide
flying on a breeze.
To see the world
from the hawk's
point of view.

To lift
and slide.

To  g

      I started counting the birds I saw on my morning walk. Quail, dove, cactus wren, goldfinch, gila wood pecker, hummingbird, phainopepla .  And as I was busy cataloguing the birds I know, overhead soared a hawk. Oh, it looked so graceful.  I think it was out scouting for breakfast.  And then in a heartbeat, I heard the coyotes in the canyon yipping up a racket.  They must have found something to eat for breakfast too.  It was a great morning! 
    If you could be any bird of your choice, what would you be?  Can you write a poem about the bird?  Have fun writing.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

A Friend

To be a friend
is sometimes hard.
You may not know
what to say.

You can share
your toys and dolls
when your friend
comes to play.

But sharing isn't
all it takes.
And it isn't all
play time too.

Being a friend
takes lots of caring
and lots of wondering
what to do.

    Are you a good friend? What are the characteristics you look for in a friend? Can you write a poem about the things you like to do with your friends?  How about a poem titled, What Makes a Friend?  Have fun writing.  Can you share your poem with a friend?

Progressive Poem 2014

Now in its third year, the annual Progressive Poem organized by Irene Latham runs this month.  This is a group poem that travels to a different blog each day, with each writer adding one line. The schedule is below.  Have fun following the development of the poem and see where we go and how the poem grows over Poetry Month.

Progressive Poem Schedule
1 Charles at Poetry Time
2 Joy at Joy Acey
3 Donna at Mainely Write
4 Anastasia at Poet! Poet!
5 Carrie at Story Patch
6 Sheila at Sheila Renfro
7 Pat at Writer on a Horse
8 Matt at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme
9 Diane at Random Noodling
10 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
11 Linda at Write Time
12 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
13 Janet at Live Your Poem
14 Deborah at Show–Not Tell
15 Tamera at The Writer’s Whimsy
16 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge
17 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
18 Irene at Live Your Poem
19 Julie at The Drift Record
20 Buffy at Buffy Silverman
21 Renee at No Water River
22 Laura at Author Amok
23 Amy at The Poem Farm
24 Linda at TeacherDance
25 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty
26 Lisa at Lisa Schroeder Books
27 Kate at Live Your Poem
28 Caroline at Caroline Starr Rose
29 Ruth at There is No Such Thing as a Godforsaken Town
30 Tara at A Teaching Life

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A Fairy in the Garden

There is a faerie in the garden
I can here her sweet voice sing
as she dines on tea and honey cakes
and juggles small gold rings.

     Today is the birthday of Hans Christian Andersen and so I wanted to write about faeries today.  If you had a faerie in your garden, what would she do?  Can you write your own faerie poem today?  Have fun writing.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Happy April Fools Day

The bus was late for school today
I wondered when it would come.
And then I was late getting off
my pants were stuck with gum.
I could not get up from my seat
I thought I was stuck there tight.
I guess I'll sit here through the day
then ride on home tonight.

    This has to be a draft. The rhyme is there but the rhythm is very, very rough, so I need to go back and work on this some more. 
    I'm so glad it is April.  Can you write your own April Fools poem today?  What tricks did you play, or were played on you?  Have fun writing.