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, January 31, 2015


Fire burns, fire flames
adding warmth
to love for you.

Fire erupts
from the volcano,
lava sizzles into the sea.

   I've started working on the fire poems, but it is a busy weekend so this will have to do for today.  I thought I'd really have a hard time finding enough variety for "fire" poems, but once I got stated I surprised myself with all the different kinds of fire I could think of. Now, I'm busy doing the research to make sure I've got the information correct.  I do need to thank my sister for all her help and suggestions for fire poems--thank you Clo Ann Smith.

Friday, January 30, 2015


Each thirsty night
I am sprinkled
with a soft rain
of words I try
to arrange
in to poems.

    What dreams do you have at night?  Can you write a list poem about your dreams today?  Have fun writing your poem.
     Today is the Poetry Friday Round-Up.  You can find more poetry on Paul Hankins' blog These 4 Corners.  Thanks, Paul, for hosting us today.

Thursday, January 29, 2015


Earth keeps
daffodil and jouquil bulbs,
and holds tree roots.

Earth turns
fallen tree leaves
into rich soil.

Earth grows
grass in pastures
for cows, horses, deer and rabbits.

Earth holds
gold and silver
rubies, granite and marble.

Earth trembles
with quakes
shifting tectonic plates.

Earth changes
with rain, fire, wind, and snow
sometimes fast, sometimes slow.

makes our world
to enjoy and protect.

     I'm enjoying working with these three line verses.  They're called tercets.  Can you try writing a three line poem today?  Have fun writing.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Earth turns,
plants itself
in dust to dust.

Earth freezes
from icy snow
in mountains, on plains.

Earth muddies
with falling rain
wraps around pig feet.

Earth holds
puddles and ponds
to the delight of ducks and geese.

Earth is home
for bear, badger
even wiggling worms,
and you and me.

     What are some of the things you have observed about the earth?  Can you try writing your own earth poem today?  Have fun.

Monday, January 26, 2015


What does the toothbrush know?
     The minty taste of the paste's flow.
     To brush up and down, to and fro.
     To slide over each tooth slow.

What does the toothbrush know?
     A missing tooth makes a window.
     To rinse before you go.
     To make each smile all aglow.

         Michelle Barnes and Joyce Sidman have challenged children's poets to try writing a "Deeper Wisdom" poem.  This is a poem based on What Do the Trees Know? by Joyce from her book WINTER BEES & Other Poems of the Cold .  You can find out more about this challenge and suggestions for writing your own poem on Michelle's blog, Today's Little Ditty.

Sunday, January 25, 2015


Today's Deeper Wisdom poem is for my friend David Harrison, who has a collection of poetry titled GOOSE LAKE.

What do geese know?
    To fly south before they smell snow.
    To eat grubs from lakes down below.
    To listen for hunter's guns as they blow.

What do geese know?
    Flying a "V" makes a good show.
    Honking formation as they go.
    To feel the river as it flows.

     I discovered something about this form today.  I wasn't sure how to put the lines together for this poem and I wasn't sure which lines to include and which ones to leave out.  I went back to the basics--I looked at my five senses.  Can you find the 3 S's ( sight, sound, smell) and 2 T's (Touch, taste) in the poem?

     If you'd like to know more about writing a Deeper Wisdom poem,  Michelle Barnes is asking for entries in her contest at her blog Today's Little Ditty.    Michelle Barnes and Joyce Sidman have challenged children's poets to try writing a "Deeper Wisdom" poem.  This is a poem based on What Do the Trees Know? by Joyce Sidman from her book WINTER BEES & Other Poems of the Cold .  You can find out more about this challenge and suggestions for writing your own poem on Michelle's blog, Today's Little Ditty.

Saturday, January 24, 2015


What do fireflies know?
     How to fly high, how to fly low
     Flashing light as they go
     And to hibernate before the snow.

What do fireflies know?
     Even their larvae have a glow.
     Searching for a mate, they put on a show.
     If you catch one, let it go.

     Michelle Barnes and Joyce Sidman have challenged children's poets to try writing a "Deeper Wisdom" poem.  This is a poem based on What Do the Trees Know? by Joyce from her book WINTER BEES & Other Poems of the Cold .  You can find out more about this challenge and suggestions for writing your own poem on Michelle's blog, Today's Little Ditty.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Hairy Eyeball

Auntie Dee, copyright 2015

My Auntie Dee
has a bushy brow.
When she looks at me,

I'm up in a tree
where I like to crawl
when Auntie gives me,
the hairy eyeball.

"Get down from there!"
I heard her yell.
It scared me so
that I 

     Do you know what the hairy eyeball is?  It's that look someone gives you to tell you to stop doing what you are doing.  I'll bet your teacher has given the hairy eyeball, or maybe a librarian when people are being too noisy.  Has anyone ever directed the hairy eyeball at you?  Have you ever given someone the hairy eyeball? What caused it?  How did you feel?  Can you write a poem today about that situation?  Have fun writing.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


copyright 2015, Joy Acey  different angles on the same building

Modern skyscrapers
tower into the skyline
I'm a country girl

copyright2015, Joy Acey
    Driving into the hotel from the Shanghai airport there were several miles of skyscrapers.  I looked for the green, except it is January and most of the trees, when I could see any, were missing their leaves.  I saw lots of weeping cherry trees.  I guess I'm going to need to go back to China in the spring so I can see the cities all abloom.  I wonder who washes all those windows on the skyscrapers?
    What are you writing today? 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

January 15,2014

copyright 2015, Joy Acey

Colorful carp swim
in the pond racing, dashing
with no place to go

copyright 2015, Joy Acey
These fish were swimming in the pond at Yu Yuan Garden in Shanghai, China.
They are reminding me that I don't need to rush.  All week I've been giving myself a hard time about not being up to date on the poems for my blog.  For me, I'm adding stress to my life that doesn't need to be there.  I will get caught up, but right now I have an assignment that I need to complete on a deadline.  It involves reading student manuscripts and it is something I enjoy doing.  So, if you will just be patient, everything will eventually get done. 
Thank you for your understanding. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

January 14, 2015

Around the garden
rippling, fire breathing bricks
stands the dragon wall

copyright 2015, Joy Acey

copyright 2015, Joy Acey

The Dragon Wall is located in Yu Yuan Gardens.  The gardens were established in 1559 and took two decades to create.  It is quite small, only 5 acres, but that is a lot of real estate in Shanghai.  Because there are a lot of buildings and twists and turns to the garden, many winding paths, it appears quite large. There are six main scenic areas and 30 pavillions all linked by little bridges and stone causeways.

January 13, 2015

The voices of ghosts
breeze through the air
military everywhere
standing in
Tian'anmen Square

    It was strange to stand in the place where students and citizens had been killed.  And, I don't know if security was heightened because of the shootings in Paris, or if this is a normal way of life for Chinese citizens, but it seemed there were security check points everywhere.  To get onto the subway I had to run my purse through an xray machine, I had to step through a metal detector and then be wanded by a person dressed in military uniform.  To get on to the Square I was screened again.  Leaving the Square our passports were checked.
Before we got on the train to travel from Shanghai to Beijing my purse and luggage were screened and me too.  To get into the museum in Shanghai we were screened, even when we took a boat tour around the harbor in Shanghai we had to be screened before we were allowed on the boat.  That is a lot of screening and a lot of security.  So, I did feel quite safe except for crossing the street.  I walked right behind a policeman at one crosswalk because I figured no car would dream of hitting a policeman.  I got across quite safely that time. But there are a lot of cars and traffic in China, and of course, all those cars make pollution.

copyright 2015, Joy Acey

Thursday, January 15, 2015

January 12, 2015

copyright 2015, Joy Acey
copyright 2015, Joy Acey


Great Wall of China
laid brick, by brick, by brick
so many people

copyright 2015, Joy Acey

January 11, 2015


bells and whistles ring
from the small child's hand-held toy
too, too much noise.

    We rode the train from Shanghai to Beijing.  The train station is adjacent to the airport.  I thought that was really handy.  On our train car we were the only tourists.  I had a great time observing all the locals.  Many of the groups travelling were families. 

January 10, 2015

Drinking real China tea
from little porcelain cups
learning Mandarin

     When I visit foreign countries I like to pick up a few of the words in the language of that country.  When I visited Kenya, I was quite pleased with my ability to pick up Swahili and all the Kenyans were very helpful with supplying new words for me.  Not so in China.  For some reason I had a terrible time getting my tongue around their vowels.  And if I'd try a word in Chinese, the person I would be talking to would immediately respond in English. For some reason I had a much harder time with Chinese.  Maybe it was all those vowel combinations having a different sound, or perhaps the x sounding like an s, or the z sounding like ds.  But the zh sounds like dge as in hedge.  See what I mean?  Next time I go to China, I'm going to invest in a language program before I go.  So all I learned was xiexie for thank you and nihao for hello.  I think Disney needs to do a movie about a Chinese animated character using lots of Chinese words, maybe that way I'd learn more words.  Hey, it worked for my learning African words. Jumbo, akumba metata.

January 9, 2015

I got back from a week's trip to China and I'm way behind in my work.  Did you know that China controls their internet so there isn't Google, Facebook, or Blogspot?  So I couldn't post while I was there.
I did write my poem-a-day, I just couldn't post it.  I'll try to catch up.  Mostly I wrote haiku because like Basho, I found it was easy to work out poems in my head while I was walking visiting the sights and then write the poem down in the evening when I got back to my hotel room.
So here is the haiku for January 9, 2015

Seventeen hours
Over date line and time zones

   I enjoyed the word play on this poem since I was travelling to the Orient.  Now that I'm home, my body still hasn't adjusted to the time change and sitting on an airplane for 14 hours straight is tough. 

Thursday, January 8, 2015


Red pussy willows
bursting from a crystal vase
Chinese fireworks

     I'm having technical problems with my server and so my posting is going to be messed up for a week.  Please be patient and I'll explain it all next Tuesday.
In the meantime, I was in a garden today and my host explained the garden had been designed to include all the natural elements.  Water in the form of ponds and small waterfalls, rocks used to form a dragon wall and walking paths, wood for trees, and sky to let the sunshine in.  Do you have a favorite garden you like to spend time in?  If you could design your own garden,  what would you include?  Can you write a garden poem today?  Oh, I'm thinking about making mine a fairy garden.  do have fun writing a poem today.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


I have a writing space,
my own special place,
my desk, my pen
ready to begin
my own sacred, creative space.

    The word "sacred" in this poem is important to me.  For me, this means-- holy. b : entitled to reverence and respect (taken from Webster's) and it means I should honor my writing process and the space I use to write.
    Do you have a special place?  Somewhere where you like to go to work out problems or get ideas?  For your poetry challenge today, can you write a poem about your space?  What makes this space your own?  What does it look like?  What is special about this space?  Have fun writing.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


If I could raise
my song high in the sky
my song would be for love:

But alas, my song
has too heavy notes
too full of all my woes.

    Do you like to listen to the bird songs?  Can you write a poem today about songs or singing?  Or perhaps you'd like to write about a bird you know.  David Elliott has a lovely picture book filled with poems about birds.  On the Wing is illustrated by Becca Stadtlander, published by Candlewick Press.  There is a video here of several of the poems.

Monday, January 5, 2015


Here are the next seven verses of the poem


(after Pat Mora, Water Rolls, Water Rises)

In storms, wind rages.
In cyclones wind roars
and brings on the rain in a hurricane.

Wind never rests
as the world turns,
spanning the earth, moving weather around.

Sometimes a murmur
moving sand into dunes,
wind sings a song, a slow gentle croon.

Wind fills the windsock
and holds up airplanes
propellers guide wind over wings.

Winding round weather vanes,
making roosters whip and whirl,
wind provides direction.

Huffing and puffing,
wind makes chimes sing
into the soft breeze of night.

All over the world,
wind blows, wind breezes
on the water, in the sky.

    To learn more about Pat Mora's book, WATER ROLLS, WATER RISES search here.

January 4, 2015

     I recently had the pleasure of reading a beautiful picture book written by poet Pat MoraWater Rolls, Water Rises, is written in both English and Spanish.  Illustrations by Meilo So. Published by Children's Book Press, Lee and Low.  Each double spread has a three line verse (haiku-like?) presented first in English and then the translation into Spanish.  Adriana Dominguez helped with the translation.
   Reading the book made me think the format would work well for many subjects, so I tried it with wind.
Here is my very rough draft of the first seven verses.


(after Pat Mora, Water Rolls, Water Rises)

Wind blows
round the earth
on the water, in the sky.

Wind breezes 
in gentle wafts
over the prairie, ruffles a donkey.

Wind blows water
high in the air
cresting waves, making clouds dance.

The wind rushes
into whistles and whirls
silently rising kites and birds.

Over green pastures,
wind spins and frolics
dipping buttercups and each blade of grass.

Rushing in gorges,
wind etches canyon walls
carving out niches for us to explore.

Whispering through forests,
wind helps shed the leaves
whirling and swirling and twisting through trees.

     The challenge with writing these verses is in coming up with words for all the different ways wind can move.  Maybe it is because I live in the desert, but rarely does a day go by that I don't see some evidence of the wind.  So here is your challenge for today.  Take a basic element like earth, wind, fire, sand, water, rain, ocean, mountain, trees --and write your own short poem about how that element moves.  Have fun writing.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

January 3, 2015


Spicy tamale
with masa wrapped in corn husks
a little present

   One of the fun things about living in Tucson is the availability of good tamales.  Once they are wrapped up, they are like a present the eater gets to unwrap.  Many families in our area get together at Christmas to make tamales--lots of them.  Enough to give as presents and some to freeze.  Do you like to cook?  Can you write a poem about cooking today?  Have fun.

Friday, January 2, 2015


Powdered sugar in sifter
to shake, shake, shake
falling snow flakes
on cookies and cakes.

Drifting on the gingerbread,
falling with joy
on my head.
Shake, shake, shake.

   I'm calling this an action rhyme.  Can you figure out the actions?  We had a little snow yesterday.  Quite unusual for Tucson.  Perhaps this is why I was thinking about powered sugar.  What is your favorite flavoring or spice?  Can you write a poem about that today?   I must be hungry to be thinking about food poems.  Have fun writing your poem.  Do you know what the phrase "salt of the earth" means?  Happy Friday.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

HAPPY 2015

It is 2015
and I'm so happy.
I was up really late.
I need a nappy.

    Oops, I'm not so sure this poem works because in Great Britain a baby's diaper is called a nappy.  But, I mean a little nap
    On my walk this mornig I had the local radio station on listening to music.  As often happens a line of music will stick in my head.  The line was something like--put your sexy on.  As that rolled around in my head, I got to thinking what putting your happy on would look like.  Using all five senses, sight, sound, smell, touch and taste; what is happy?

I'm Happy

I'm happy as the mud on a hog.
I'm happy as the fleas on a dog.

Happy as bubbles in your bath.
Happy as a popsicle split in half.

Happy as a pumpkin on the vine.
Happy as a cowgirl dancing in line.

Happy as a preacher saying grace.
Happy as the smile upon your face.

Happy as the grass covered in dew.
I'm so happy I know you.

Happy to write poems and bring cheer
Happy to start a new year.

I'm so happy with friends like you.
In 2015 what makes you happy too?

   This poem is written in rhyming couplets.  Can you practice writing a few couplets?  What makes you happy?  What are happy smells or tastes for you?  If you'd like, you can leave your couplets in the comments below.  If HAPPY doesn't work for you, try this same format on other words like grateful, excited, smart, pretty, or a word of your choice.  Have fun writing your poem.