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, February 27, 2015


Happy Poetry Friday.

     First, I have a letter poem up on Michelle Hendrich Barnes' blog today.  She and David Elliot challenged children's poets to write a letter poem during the month of February.  You can find my poem here.
Thanks Michelle for a fun challenge.  I had a hard time distilling  this poem down to the fewest words to still tell the story.  WOW!  This was fun.

     Second, Heidi Mordhorst is hosting the Friday Poetry Roundup today.  She has an exciting list of words ending in "CH" for us to try writing poems for during the month of MarCH.  Thanks, Heidi for a great exercise and for hosting the roundup.  You can find the list and more great poetry on Heidi's blog My Juicy Little Universe.

     Third,  at a recent FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY bag day sale I picked up two interesting books.
The Child as Poet: Myth of Reality? by Myra Cohn Livingston, published by The Horn Book, 1984.  This was signed by the author.  A bit of a tome, but the references are excellent.

The Brownings: Letters and Poetry, selected and with an introduction by Christopher Ricks, Doubleday, 1970.  Oh, this has been a fun read to see the history between these two important poets. 
Does your library have book sales?  I find it is a great way to add to my poetry library (and to keep learning.)  

    OK, fourth a poem for today.

I lose my books,
it's seek and find.
I often think
I've lost my mind.

I search and search,
where can it be?
My book is there
waiting for me.

    I really do try to keep my things organized, but there is always more stuff to add to the clutter.  What do you do to try to keep yourself organized?  Can you write a poem today about something you've lost (maybe your homework) or something you've found or found out?  Have fun writing today.

Thursday, February 26, 2015


Dust off your boots
for the rodeo,
the parade is today
and I'm raring to go.

Cowboys and vaqueros
ride down the street
waving and smiling
to all they meet.

The horses high step
to make horseshoes sing.
The polished silver saddles
make a sweet ring.

Here comes a cowboy
standing on his horse's mat.
He's a trick roper
who jumps through his lariat.

Everyone is watching 
and having good fun.
I'll join the march
at the end when it's done.

Bands play, guitars strum,
floats go past.
The rodeo parade is over
much too fast.

     It is Rodeo Days in Tucson and the parade is today.  The students in our schools have today and tomorrow off so they can participate in the festivities.  The parade is called the longest non-motorized parade in the U.S.  When was the last time you went to see a parade?  Have you ever been in a parade?  Does your school have parades?  Your challenge for today is to write a poem about a parade, or something you saw in a parade.  Or you can use your imagination and add a verse to my poem.  Have fun writing.You can see photos of previous Rodeo Parades here:

and the floatshttp://tucson.com/gallery/sports/rodeo/photos-rodeo-parade-floats/collection_dcf829a7-3a0c-5d41-bb67-226fc96bcc0d.html#6

and of the rodeo http://tucson.com/gallery/sports/rodeo/photos-la-fiesta-de-los-vaqueros/collection_9d0790d2-ba34-11e4-9a10-6f386173e470.html#0

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


I wear my night cap
on my head,
put on pajamas,
I'm ready for bed.

    Do you know why people used to wear night caps?  What are some other clothing items you can think of that people no longer wear?  Can you try writing a poem about another piece of clothing?  Have fun writing.

Sunday, February 22, 2015


I'm being lazy today.  I'm way from home to attend my sister's birthday party and so I've been helping her, and seeing lots of family (instead of writing,) so, today's poem is one I felt compelled to write in response to a poem I read written by Jane Yolen.  Her poem included the phrase winter's breath  and I loved the thought of personifying winter to make it a real person.  And although I have been fortunate NOT to have suffered from the cold chills and ills experienced by friends and relatives in the North East, I still feel for all those folks shoveling snow and trying to stay warm.

Do you feel winter's breath
blowing down your neck
under the scarf
you have wrapped
to muffle your mouth?

Do you feel its heartbeat
rising in chilling pounds
through the soles
of your winter boots,
collecting at ankles and knees?

Do you hear its tingles
racing in icy blocks
up fingers encased, trapped
in winter's woolen mittens?

Do you taste its strength
in the weight pressing
upon your chest,
upon your shoulders,
from its heavy winter coat?

Winter's weight knocking
us down, holding captive
while we wait to be lifted
in the bright yellow shine
of trumpeting daffodils.

    This poem has a lot of gerunds in it--those 'ing' ending words.  That is something I will look at when I revise this poem.  Did you notice the possessive its without an apostrophe?  That is one of the tricky possessives in the English language.  What are some of the things you look for when you revise your work?  How many "senses" can you find in this poem?
   Your poetry challenge for today is to take one of your old poems and revise it.  Try to include more "senses" in your revision.  Have fun working on your poem.

Saturday, February 21, 2015


Little Blue Arrow
long and narrow.
"Look at him fly,"
said a sparrow.
"He's flying over
that wheel barrow."
He is flying
way up high.
Can you see him
as he shoots by?

  Little Arrow is flying off on an adventure.  Where do you think he'll go?  What sights might he see?  Can you write an adventure poem today?  Have fun writing.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Poofy Poodle

The poodle was poofy
and fluffy and white.
She loved being brushed
to her constant delight.

She'd dance and she'd prance
around her home.
She'd race to the cupboard
to bark for her comb.

She raced to the kitchen
in a terrible rush
and only stopped running
when she saw her brush.

    The Westminster Dog Show recently selected a beagle for the Best in Show.  Do you have a favorite dog breed?  Can you you write a poem today about a dog?  Have fun writing.

Thursday, February 19, 2015


Fancy a flamingo
loves fancy dress.
She likes wearing costumes.
Who she is, can you guess?

She might be a cowboy,
a doctor or a nurse,
a ballerina dancer, or the lady 
with the alligator purse.

    Did you know that a fancy dress party in Great Briton is a costume party?
This poem could go for another stanza of more costumes Fancy likes to wear, but you get the idea.  Perhaps you'd like to try writing the next stanza.  This is a list poem, listing a lot of costumes Fancy might wear.  Can you write your own poem today about going to a party?  Have fun thinking about parties.  Enjoy your writing.  Celebrate.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Elegant Elephant

An elegant elephant
sat for tea
and used her napkin
most delicately.

She tried to be dainty,
as you may suppose,
when using her napkin
to cover her nose.

But the napkin was huge
and as long as a hose.
When she unfurled it,
it dropped under her toes.

    This is a poem about manners.  Can you try writing your own poem today about something mannerly?  Who might give you advice as when to say please or thank you?  Do you have a favorite animal you can make the main character of your poem?  Have fun writing.

    I was having so much fun saying elegant elephant that I tried to think of other things that would distinguish an elephant, making her elegant.  Do you think she would wear a hat to a tea party?

    A elegant elephant
wore a flowered hat
it slipped off her head
whenever she sat.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


A sleek black crow
with yellow eyes
stood on the rail
poised with one foot
raised in front of him
stared as if to say
there is music in you
let's write a poem.

   Do you know where your poems come from?  Mine come from a combination of reading and observing nature.  The poems are a gift.  Has anyone, or anything given you a poem today?  What was the music they wanted you to hear?  Write the poem today that needs to be written.  Have fun stringing your words together.

Monday, February 16, 2015


Mama, it's been snowing all day.
Can I stay up a little longer to play?

Daddy, Daddy, what do you say?
Can I please stay up and play?

I know it's almost my bed time
but if you let me, I'll be fine.

Can I have an extra 30 minutes?
That's all I ask,  That's the limit.

A half an hour will do the trick.
Then it's off to bed
and I'll sleep real quick.

    I you were to stay up half an hour past your bed time, what would you do?  Can you try writing a poem about bed time at your house?  Have fun

Sunday, February 15, 2015


A bird symphony
red of cardinal
and gila wood pecker
blue of jay
purple and yellow finch
rosy pink of dove
brown quail and cactus wren
gray of a mocking bird
voices swirl
trill high
sing deep
some tap a beat
the music lifts
pulls my head
higher, higher
makes me feel
like I just might

Saturday, February 14, 2015


If this rock could talk
I think that it would tell me
about the Stone Age

    Happy Saturday.  It is a hurry, hurry, rush-rush day for me.  Lots of chores to get done.  Hope you can find time to write  poem today.  Write something.

Friday, February 13, 2015


Water ripples
in the creek
smoothing stones.

In the night
faeries delight
painting moss on rocks.

Tired muscles
relax at the spa
hot stone massage.

In the morning sun
a small whiptail lizard rests
on warm desert rocks.

Stones wait
on paper
defying the breeze.

Stones are a promise
after this poem.

     Happy Friday the 13th.  My oldest son always said this was a lucky day for him, so I'm wishing luck to you and a great poetry day.  I do feel lucky because the birds have been delightful today.  This morning when I went for my walk a female cardinal was having a singing contest with a cactus wren and it was beautiful music for a walk.  Now as I look out my window there are goldfinch and purple finches vieing for spots at the bird feeder.  It is very entertaining.  Look out your window.  What do you see?  Can you write a quick triplet about that today?  Or choose the form you want to write in and write your own poem for today.

   Happy Poetry Friday.  The round up is hosted by Cathy Mere today.  Head over to her blog Merely Day by Day for more poetry treats. Thank you, Cathy for a great poetry day.

Thursday, February 12, 2015


Little Pebble wanted
when he grew up to be
a Radio City Music Hall Rock-ette.

In my shoe
Little Pebble took a ride
The blister I got hurt my stride.

Oh, gosh!  These are awful.  Real groaners.  some days you just have to let yourself write bad stuff to get to the good stuff. I'm hoping good poems will come.   Can you write a poem about the wind today?  We are having really windy weather. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


Rock faces
a playground
for mountain goats.

Stones at rest
from a roll in the creek
a hidey home for salamander.

Rocks smoothed
by water
skip across our favorite lake.

Some rocks--geodes
hold a surprise
inside hidden starlight.

Stones hurl,
sticks throw,
words won't hurt.

    Your poetry prompt for today is to write a poem about something you saw on the ground today.  Have fun writing.

    I'm celebrating and marking a milestone.  Today is my 1,400th post.  I'm going off to write a stone triplet for mile-stone.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


     For some reason, writing the stone triplets has been difficult.  What do you do when you are having problems with your poems?

Island earth, an atoll
with many stones
rocks tumble, rocks roll.

Stones low
deep in the canyon
water rushing, ebb and flow.

Rocks high
in our mountains
challenge climbers, eagles fly.

Rocks glow sometimes bright
in hidden caves
stalactites, and stalagmites.

Rocks blow
erupt in the sky
when volcanoes go.

   And now for one more FIRE triplet.  I heard a phrase and told myself I hadn't written a fire poem using the phrase--and then all the sudden in three days, I heard the phrase three more times.  Once on the radio, once in the book I was reading and then on TV.  There is a psychological term for suddenly noticing yourself surrounded by something.  Like buying new jeans and then noticing that lots of people have new jeans. Now I'm going to have to do some more research to see if I can find that word.  Oh well, here is the FIRE poem:

Fire fibs
pants on fire
Liar. Liar.

Your poetry challenge for today is to take a chant or nursery rhyme and write it as a triplet.

Large egg
falls from wall
broken Humpty.

Bridge falls down
London aghast
gold and silver for all.

   I hope you have fun with this challenge.  I'm going to.

Monday, February 9, 2015


Building a snow girl
on her head we put a hat
and a mop for hair.

In pink hats and gloves
we're hit with flying snow balls
we bomb the boy's fort.

Good books I can read
I'm set for a school snow day
warm, cuddled inside.

Windows with crystals
sparkling in the morning sun--
diamond tiaras.

Baking with Grandma
we make sweet sugar cookies--
a Christmas present.

For Christmas we sing
all around the neighborhood
finding peace on earth.

   So here are a half a dozen winter haiku, can you write your own winter haiku using a 5-7-5 pattern?  Have fun writing.

Sunday, February 8, 2015


Again school begins.
I do not think I'm ready
for vacation's end.

For the cool weather,
apple cider and donuts--
my favorite treat.

The poplar leaves spin
yellow snowflakes in the wind--
leaves shaped like mittens.

My dad rakes the leaves
I help him make a big pile.
Then we run and jump.

Halloween costume
I will wear for trick-or-treat--
Cat, Princess, Rock Star.

Running very fast
I let out string while I fly
my kite in the air.

   Happy Sunday.  I hope you have a great day. 

Saturday, February 7, 2015


Wading in the creek
we turn rocks over to look
for salamanders.

At sleep-away camp
in my cabin with the girls
we talk through the night.

Dandelion puffs
will grant us a magic wish
when we blow on them.

Dress up with my dolls
we are having a tea party--
cookies without crumbs.

Picnic at the park
peanut butter sandwiches
and too many ants.

At swim team practice
we race minnows and sharks
everyone gets wet.

    Happy Saturday, can you try writing your own haiku today?

Friday, February 6, 2015


   The weather in Tucson has been quite delightful.  Yesterday we were at 80 degrees and it is supposed to be that warm again today.  It is quite spring like here,  so I've written half a dozen spring haiku for today.

Searching for good luck
my friends and I try to find
a four leaf clover.

A red lady bug
wiggles and tickles my arm
she's climbing higher.

Spring rains bring puddles.
I wear my new rubber boots,
will they get dirty?

Time to go shopping.
We are looking at the mall
for Easter dresses.

With our roller skates
we cruise the old neighborhood
while watching for cracks.

A happy May Day
I wear ribbons in my hair
to dance the May Pole.

   I have been reading picture books written in haiku lately and several use the American traditional haiku of 5-7-5.  Five syllables in the first line, seven in the second, and five syllables in the last line.  This is all fine, but I've also noticed some awkward line breaks in some of the haiku to keep to the syllabics.  Ending a line on an article, a preposition or a conjunction makes for a VERY weak line. 
   So here is your poetry challenge for today, try writing your own haiku about what the weather is like where you are.  Try to keep to the 5-7-5 syllable scheme and DO NOT end a line with an article, a preposition or a conjunction.  If you'd like to share your haiku, please leave it in the comments.  Due to COPPA laws, if you are under 13 years of age, please have a teacher or parent leave your comment.
   The Poetry Friday Round Up is being hosted by  Elizabeth Steinglass today.  You'll find more poetry at her blog here.   Thanks for a great party. 

Thursday, February 5, 2015


Gosh, and I thought I was done with the fire poems, but then these came in the night and wouldn't let me sleep.  So here are a few more. 

Fire is the wish
on your
birthday cake.

Fire marches
up hills, on picnics
in a little red ant.

Fire ablaze
in the trees
during autumn.

Fire is a prayer
said over
lit candles.

Fire is a secret
held inside
of a match.

    I'm not sure I like the "Fire is" format because that "is" is a dead verb--it doesn't show any action.  But I do like the idea of fire being a wish or a secret.  Now, can you understand how this FIRE kept me awake playing with words?  It is your turn.  Can you write a simple three line poem (a triplet) about a noun you like?  Have fun writing and you can leave your poem in the comments below if you want to share.

  A variation of two of these verses can be seen over at my friend David Harrison's blog.  He has a feature called Word of the Month poems (for adult and youth poets).  He provides a word and challenges poets to write a poem using his word.  The word for this month is CANDLE

Wednesday, February 4, 2015


Fire glows
in the stone
of an opal.

Fire flames--
now you're cooking
with gas.

Fire flashes
as lightning
charges to earth.

Fire releases
the seeds
of jack pines and manzanita.

Fire flares
in the campfire
roasting marshmallows.

Fire warms
the sands and seas
and you and me.

  OK, so that's it for my fire poems.  I have a couple more but I don't want to bore you.  I certainly have enough for a collection of non-fiction poems.  Now all I have to do is re-write and edit.  I have some polishing to do on these, but it has all been fun.  Now, it is your turn.  Can you write a poem about the sea today?  Have fun writing. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


Fire dances
as a ballet bird
for Igor Stravinsky.

Fire rings
at the station.
The engine rolls.

Fire dog
sits in the front
of the fire engine.

Fire reflects
in the pond. CROAK
cries the fire bellied toad.

Fire blazes
a trail
across the Grand Canyon.

  There are still more fire poems to come.  I hope you are having as much fun with these as I am.  Did you know February is National Fire Safety Month?  When was the last time someone checked the smoke detector in your home?  Can you write a poem today about fire safety?  Have fun writing.

Monday, February 2, 2015


Fire works
bursting in air
are a spark of inspiration.

Fire grows
day lilies, aloe, roses
fire pokers, and burning bush.

Fire blows
flame throwers sculpt
a transparent glass lamp.

Fire streaks
across the sunset--
sailors delight.

Fire flies
in the blink
of a lightning bug.

   And to think I thought I'd have a problem coming up with enough fire poems.  I have some more for tomorrow too.  Can you imagine the illustrations for these short poems?  I can.  Can you write a poem today about the sun rise?  Have fun writing.

Sunday, February 1, 2015


Fire warms
melts snow and ice
into streams and rushing rivers.

Fire crows
at dawn

Fire breathes
from the open mouth
of a dragon.

Fire counts
backwards, 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1.

Fire darts
in tropical waters
the firefish swims.

   I'm still having fun playing with fire.  Once I get all of these gathered together, I'll have to figure a logic for ordering them.  Can you write a poem today about the sun?  Have fun.