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.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June 29, 2015


Rain drops.
Rain pounds.
Rain jumps
up from the ground.

Rain falls.
Rain roars.
From house gutters
rain pours.

Rain splashes.
Rain drips.
Rain feels cool
on my lips.

  Yesterday when the rain did finally come, it was in big heavy drops.  The rain pounded into the earth.  It made the water in the swimming pool splash up high.  As I watched the water closely, I could see it bouncing up three feet high from the hard pavement. We get rain so seldom in Tucson that when it does happen, children like to go out and feel the rain.
  What is your favorite kind of weather?  Can you write your own weather poem today?  Have fun with your writing.

In sunny weather or rain, a children's poem can make for a better day.

June 28, 2015


Early afternoon
sun still bright.
Heard a noise
gave me a fright.

Thunder rumbled.
Thunder roared.
It made a clashing BOOM!

Thunder grumbled.
Thunder growled.
It loudly clapped KAH-BOOM!

   Yesterday we had an afternoon storm.  It was different to me because the sky was still bright.  At first all I could tell was the noise.  No rain, and I didn't see lightning in the bright day.  So, I sat and listened to the sound of thunder for some time before I saw rain and clouds overhead.  It was fun to think of all the sounds the thunder made and to try to find words to describe it.  For your challenge today, find something that makes a sound.  It could be your dog, a cat, the refrigerator.  I once read a great poem about the sounds a spray paint can made.  Anyway, sit with the sound for a while and consider all the different words you can use to describe the sound.  If you go swimming, what sounds do you hear around the pool?  Try writing a sound poem today.  Make it fun.
The world of  children's poet is filled with wonderful sounds.

June 27, 2015


This food is 
too hot for me.
I think you used
too much chili.

  One of the fun things about traveling is the opportunity to try eating new foods at new places.  What was the last new food you tried to eat?  I recently was visiting Bar Harbor, Maine.  I got to eat lobster rolls, and crab rolls.  I'd never eaten crab or lobster on a bun before.  It was very good. For my breakfast, I had blueberry jam made with maple syrup on my toast.  That was totally yummy.  Of course it throws my diet totally off.  But, we all must make sacrifices when traveling.  Can you write a poem today about trying a new food?  Have fun writing.

Children's poetry feeds my soul.

Friday, June 26, 2015


The trolley runs on a track.
Clickety-clack, clickety-clack.
Down to the harbor and then turns back.
Clickety-clack, clickety-clack.

    Have you ever ridden on a trolley?  How about a bus? Or a subway?  Can you write a poem about a mode of travel?  Where will you go? 
Your poem can be about something real or imaginary, just have fun with the writing.  

Children's poets live the BEST lives.

Thursday, June 25, 2015


I saw some little ducklings
swimming in the lake.
The mama duck she paddled
with babies in her wake.

Everywhere I looked
I could not see the drake,
just the mama duck with
her ducklings in her wake.

   Did you see an animal today?  Can you write a poem about your sighting?

The best thing about children's poetry, is to see the laughter it brings to a young person.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


The best thing about this tree
is it is a place to read for me.
As the chapters disappear
no one knows I'm hiding here.
   Do you have a special place where you hide so you can read?  When I was young, I used to go into the bathroom, hide in my closet or under my bed so I could read.  My mom always had jobs she wanted me to do, but if I was really quiet, she would forget she was looking for me.  Can you write a poem today about your favorite place to read?  Have fun writing.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The best thing about Maine
is their green-making rain.
The chance to feel chilly
makes me feel silly.

The best thing about North Carolia
is all of their barbecue diners.
Their ice tea is sweet
and I love to eat.

The best thing about Arizona
is the desert near Sedona.
The cactus grows high
in the blue, blue sky.

   Oh, I am having fun this morning.  Can you guess your poetry challenge for today?  Start with the line: The best thing about _________________.  Then fill in the blank with your favorite state or town and tell your reader something about your place.  Have fun writing.  You can fill that blank in with something other than a place too.

In children's poetry, the world is full of amazing places.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Today I found a feather
lying on the rocks.
It had a silky texture
I think is was a hawk's.

   There are lots of birds around my house.  Mostly doves and quail.  There is a family of Coopers Hawks that fly by my kitchen windows each evening at dinner time.  I imagine they are out getting their dinner too.
This week I've seen a family of silver cardinals hanging around too.  Their proper name is Pyrrhuloxia.  I'll let you look that up if you want to know more.  Do you collect bird feather?  What would you do with feathers?  Can you write a feather poem today?  Have fun writing.

A bird's song is a poem to nature.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day, Dad.
You're my hero and I'm glad
when you take me to the park
and push my swing until dark.

I like when we see parades
and listen to the marching band.
I'm glad today is Father's Day.
I think my dad is grand.

    Did you write a poem for your dad today?  Did you do something to honor the men in your life?  Try writing a poem about what you did today.  Have fun writing.  Happy Sunday.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Sorry my internet connection was down on Saturday and most of Sunday.  To catch up to my poem-a-day, I'm back dating poems.

Fudgsicle popsicle
I like to eat.
Fudgsicle popsicle
frosty cold treat.
Chocolate drop, fudge pop
chilly on my lip.
Chocolate drop, fudge pop
do not let it drip.

     What is your favorite cold treat for hot weather?  Can you write a poem about that?  Have fun thinking of all that good food.

 A children's poet is committed to the concrete.

Friday, June 19, 2015


I got a summer hair cut
now my hair is short and sweet
and I don't have to worry
after every swimming meet.

  Do you get a summer hair cut?  After you go swimming is fixing your hair a chore?  Do you have to wear a swimming cap to keep your hair dry?    Your poetry challenge for today is to write a poem about hair--your hair, the dog's hair, even the lack of hair.  Have fun writing.

The stars we are given.  The constellations we make.  Rebecca Solnit

Thursday, June 18, 2015


I sit at my desk
on work I'm toiling
Outside it's 111
Would that be boiling?

    How hot is it in your part of the world?  Can you write your own poem today about the heat?
    I talked to my sister yesterday and she was wearing a sweater. Her temperature was half of what mine is.
She is in Australia and it's winter time there.  Have fun working on your poem today.  Answer the question, how hot is it?  Write on!

A good children's poem can keep you warm on a cold night.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


I took them off when I got home.
I left them by the door.
I knew my mom would yell at me
if I muddied up the floor.

Last night I heard the raindrops fall.
The thunder gave a roar.
And now my shoes are wetter
than they've ever been before.

I can not wear my shoes.
They are too squishy wet.
I do not have another pair
I can run and get.

The time is getting late.
I must be off to school.
And if I wear my slippers,
do you think
I'll look
a fool?

    What do you think would happen if you wore your bunny slippers to school?  Have you ever gotten your shoes so wet you couldn't wear them?  What did you do?  This poem, is actually a true story.  When my boys were young, their feet grew so fast that they only had one pair of school shoes at a time.  The dirty shoes got left outside and it rained over night.    Can you write your own poem today about one time someone wore something funny, elegant, or different to school?  Does your school have a backwards day? 
Have fun writing.

Reading children's poetry is one way of understanding our world.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


I can't find my shoes.
I'm looking every where.
Kitchen, car, bathroom,
even the foot of the stair.

I looked under my bed
and in the closet too.
Every where I looked
I couldn't find my shoes.

I looked under the cushions
in our TV room.
I didn't find my shoes,
just a dirty spoon.

I looked inside the washer
in the laundry room.
I MUST find my shoes.
I've got to do it soon.

Then I heard our cat.
She was making mews.
There I saw my baseball mitt,
but I did NOT see my shoes.

The last time that I had them
I was playing by the creek.
My shoes were getting muddy.
They made an awful squeak.

    Have you ever lost something?  What did you do?  Do you know you found it in the last place you looked?   Tomorrow I will finish this hunt for the shoes.  But, for today, can you try writing your own poem about a hunt? Do have fun writing your poem.

    Writing poetry for children at its deepest, is a letter to our younger self.

Monday, June 15, 2015


Will the monsoons ever come?
Will I see lightning?
Will I hear thunder?
Once more?

Yes, the monsoons will come.
But now it is summer.
Doves coo and 
the elf owl hoots a sweet lullaby
to sing you to sleep.

Hush now,
the monsoons have come.
Raindrops splash
against your window.
Cracks of lightning shine
in the sky,
and everything is cool
and green,
once more.

    So, there you have it.  Everyone is waiting for the monsoon season to begin again.  I hope you have enjoyed working your way through a week's worth of waiting for the monsoons.  
       I did want to share the headline from yesterday's newspaper with you.  In Tucson, we really do wait for the monsoons to come.

This poem is inspired by NOW IT IS WINTER, written by Eileen Spinelli.  The ending to her story is very different from mine.  Her's is very elegant.  Please read her book to see how it makes a great mentor poem.  I hope my ending makes sense.  
      Now for your poetry challenge.  Look at poems you like and find what you think is a good end line.  Now make that line the first line for your own poem.  Have fun writing.

Writing Children's Poetry is the best place 
I know to play.

Sunday, June 14, 2015


Will the monsoons ever come?
Will we see the water
rush and gush across the road?
Will the cracks
in the earth disappear?
Once more?

Yes, the monsoons will come
and we will see water
rushing and gushing
and filling the cracks.
But now it is summer,
and the snake and tarantula
sleep underground.
Now you and I shall hike.
Here is your backpack
and your water bottle.
All ready to go?
Walk slow.

    Today is day six of my poems based on NOW IT IS WINTER written by Eileen Spinelli.
Only two days left to this tale. 
     Here is your poetry challenge for today.  Can you make a list of things you would say "Shhhh," to?  Can you write a poem about that?  Write a list poem, or pick one item and tell us about it.  How do you feel hen someone tells you to shhhh?  Have fun with writing your poem.

Children's Poetry is the owl that calls to me each night.

Saturday, June 13, 2015


Will the monsoons ever come?
Will water rise in the wash?
Will we be able to fish 
like Dad and I did last year?
Once more?

Yes, the monsoons will bring
the river back and water 
will rush through the wash.
But now it is summer
and the bats fly at night
swoop in circles catching bugs
and sunsets come 
in reds, purple, orange.
How pretty.

  This poem is inspired by NOW IT IS WINTER, written by Eileen Spinelli,  Her picture book was illustrated by Mary Newell DePalma, published by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, copyright 2004.  And, as you can see this is the fifth day I've been adding verses to this poem.  Our monsoons haven't started yet, but they should be arriving soon, in the meantime we fight the heat.  It does explain why our kids get out of school in May.  One wonders what people did before air conditioning.  Oh, I do remember--swamp coolers.And I remember driving over desert roads with a canvas bag hanging from the radiator for extra water to keep the radiator cool.
    What things do you do to stay cool in the summer?  This is your challenge for today, write a poem about things to do to stay cool.  When I was young I'd go to the matinee at the movie theater, or to the library to stay cool on hot summer days.  Have fun writing your poem.

A children's poem presents unlimited possibilities.

Friday, June 12, 2015


Will the monsoons come?
Will I help Grandpa
gather Saguaro fruit
and desert marigolds?
Will we look for horned toads
and gila monsters
near the arroyo?
Once more.

Yes, monsoons will come
to you and Grandpa
and to the horned toads
and gila monsters.
All will be there.

But now it is summer.
Now we lick
prickly pear popsicles.
So cool, so delicious.
Taste it.

     I'm still using NOW IT IS WINTER, written by Eileen Spinelli for my mentor text.  What is your favorite food to eat in summertime?  Can you write a poem about summer foods today?  Have fun writing.

   It is Friday again and time for the Poetry Friday Round Up.  A chance for you to read more poetry by children's poets.  The Round Up is hosted by Jama Rattigan today at her blog Jama's Alphabet Soup.  Hop over to the party and enjoy the poetry.  Thanks, Jama for being the hostess with the mostess for us.

Reading children's poetry is a great way to build vocabulary.

Thursday, June 11, 2015


Will the monsoons come?
Will I race outside laughing
with my mouth open
to catch rain drops
on my tongue
once more?

Yes, monsoons will come
and raindrops
will fall on your tongue
and laughter too.

But now it is summer.
Now you can stand in the shade
to feel a few degrees cooler
playing shadow games.
What fun!

    It is three days now that I have been using Eileen Spinelli's NOW IT IS WINTER as my mentor text.
What games do you like to play in summertime?  Can you write a poem about your favorite game?  Have fun writing.

Children's poetry must be written with enthusiasm.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


Will the monsoons come?
Will creosote bushes blossom
scenting the air
with tiny yellow stars
ever come?

Yes, there will be
creosote bushes and monsoon rain.
But now it is summer.
Now there is sunshine
and we wear sun block
and dark sun glasses.
So hot!
Feel it.

    So I've broken my verses into several posts.  This poem is inspired by Eileen Spinelli from her picture book NOW IT IS WINTER.  What is your favorite thing about the mountains, the plains, the city, the beach?  Try writing a list poem about all the things you love about your place.  Have fun writing.

Children's Poetry is written for the child in each of us.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015


Will monsoons ever come?
Will clouds umbrella over the sun
to make shade?
Will they drift into my dreams
like cool dew drops over my pillow?
Will the rains come?

Yes, the monsoons will come.
But now it is summer.
Now the sunlight blazes.
Heat ripples off the pavement.

The morning sun glares
when I pull my covers
over my head.
The birds hide in holes
in ancient Saguaros.
They lift their wings
to say hello.

     This poem is inspired by NOW IT IS WINTER, written by Eileen Spinelli,  Her picture book was illustrated by Mary Newell DePalma, published by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, copyright 2004. 
    What things do you like to do in summer?  Can you pick one of your favorites and write a poem about it?  Why is that your favorite summer thing to do?  Have fun writing.

If more people read children's poetry the world would be a better place.

Monday, June 8, 2015



    This is a list poem built on the word stone.  Can you take a single word and build your own poem?  You might want to use a thesaurus for this one.  Have fun following your words to see where they might take you.

Children's poetry starts with a small idea and grows.

Sunday, June 7, 2015


In the cooling shade
we are eating from food trucks.
It's too hot for us.

     Do you eat food from food trucks?  What is your favorite food to eat?  This morning I ate a peach cobbler crepe from a food truck at the farmers market.  There is a food competition going on in Tucson to find the best food truck food.  So far an Indian food truck is winning.  Can you try writing a poem about food trucks today?  Have fun writing.

   Feed yourself on children's poetry.

Saturday, June 6, 2015


Maddening dove calls
Squab for dinner.

Fill your paper with the breathing of your heart.  William Wadsworth

Friday, June 5, 2015


into the morning
skies gray,
clouds cover,
a bluesy day.

Put feet
on the floor,
brush teeth,
plaster a smile.
Walk into this morning
make something beautiful.

   This is another poem that reads well, line by line, in either direction.  This is always a good sign for me that I've got only the essential words I need to convey the meaning of the poem.  I pulled a lot of words out of my draft.  I had considered using the title for the last line of the poem, but in revision I decided I didn't need that line.  I also had a simile--rain falls like tears-- but I thought that was a cliche, I'd heard that before.  So I got rid of the simile, and it left me with the question of What can rain do but fall? So it becomes redundant to say rain falls. I got rid of falls, too.  Now it is your turn.  Can you write a poem about the weather in your part of the country?  Then, after you have a draft, can you go back and get rid of every extra, redundant, cliche word you can find?  My critique group used to tease that they bring their poems and go home with haiku after we took out everything extra, all the words that didn't contribute to the meaning of the poem.  And, if you think that is bad, try critiquing haiku.  It is a fun challenge because absolutely every word has to count--exactly what writers of picture books are told when they write 100 word stories.

  The Poetry Friday Round Up is hosted by Buffy Silverman  this week.  You can find other poems by children's poets at her blog, Buffy's Blog 
  Thank you Buffy for hosting us this week.
   Just curious, are you like me?  Every time Friday rolls around, I feel like my poem for the day isn't good enough.  I look at poems I've posted earlier in the week and think I should have waited and posted that poem for Friday.

   Children's Poetry can make sunny days.

Thursday, June 4, 2015


A kangaroo
alone and blue
didn't know
what to do.
So she hopped
to Timbuktu
where she met
a cockatoo
who said
his name
was Stu.

Your challenge for today is to pick an animal.  Name it, and write a poem about the animal's friend.  What makes a friend?  What do you like best about your friends?  Have you ever lost a friend?  How did that feel?  Have fun writing your poem. 

     There are many reasons to write a children's poem.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015


Let's all try
some of this pizza pie.

"I can't,"  said the ant.
"It's not too big," said the pig.
"Oh yes," said the lioness.

"I'm in," said the pigeon.
"I will," said the hornbill.
"I also will," said the gerbil.

"I shall," said the serval.
"I can," said the toucan.
"I might," said the bobwhite.

"I'll try," said the fly.
"I may," said the stingray.
"I must," said the cow, "eat the crust."

"May I have anchovy?" asked the muscovy.
"We'll see," said the bee.
"I'll eat half," said the giraffe.

"You would, of course," said the horse.
Then it was the hen who said,
"Let's dig in."

   This was a fun poem to execute once I had the idea.  I took all the ways I could think of to try to say, "YES!" and then tried to find animals that would rhyme with my yes-words.  Can you think of other ways to say "YES!" Please let me know.  I did have some left-over animals like bruin, duckbill, spoonbill, blue gill, Parmesan (oops, that's not an animal,) termite, snake, and nene(the Hawaiian State Bird). Did you know a serval is an African cat and a muscovy is a kind of duck named after Moscow?
   Just for fun try writing your own poem to say NO.

Writing poetry for children is better than eating pizza.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015


"Moo," said Cow,
"this tastes like, WOW!"
"Oink, oink," said Pig,
"this pie I dig."
Tomato said, "Squish."
"Pizza is our favorite dish."

     What is your favorite food?  Can you write a poem about the foods you like to eat today?  This refrain started out as a quatrain, with lines 2 and 4 missing.  but as I worked on the poem, I was having fun, so I switched it to couplets.  I called it a refrain because I'm thinking this poem is going to work its way into a rhyming picture book.  Can you figure out why a cow, a pig, and a tomato are the main characters of this poem?

A children's poem makes you tap your toes and snap your fingers.

Monday, June 1, 2015


The sprinklers are on.
I'm running through,
trying to stay cool.
How about you?

    I was out earlier today, driving past a bank with a time/temperature display.  It showed the temperature at 115!  At first I thought that might be the time but it switched to the time display of 2:20.  On the radio news this morning was story about the snow that is still piled high in some parts of Boston.  It is a crazy world we live in.  Is there anything crazy, or something that doesn't make sense that you have noticed?  Try making the experience into a poem.  Have fun writing.

The world can be yours in a children's poem.