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, July 31, 2015

The Floor

Suppose the floor had just been born
on a cold and dusky morn.
He finds the dirt you try to hide
perhaps it hurts the young floor's pride.
With many things to learn and do,
would the new floor walk over you?
If then you open up his doors
you'll find out what the floor abhors.

   This is just a bit of silliness.  What do you think the floor would tell you if you had a conversation?  What would your bed say?  The trash can?  The refrigerator?  Take an object and write a poem about it today.
   I know when I was in second grade and I tried to cut my own bangs on the day before school pictures, the silver scissors I held in my left hand were screaming, "Stop, stop!"  That's why my bangs ended up uneven.
   I used a mentor poem to write my poem, written by my birthday poet Theodore Roethke. His is titled The Ceiling.

Children's poems can start you wondering. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015


Whoottle, whoottle.
Tweet, tweet, tweet.
I'm forming a band 
to march in the street.

Two-oodle, two-oodle.
Play hard, play hard.
We can all gather
in my front yard.

Hoot-oodle, hoot-oodle.
Our instruments hand made.
We'll get together.
 We'll make a parade.

Tweet-a-lee, tweet-a-lee.
Come everyone play
and wish all the folks
a sunshiny day.

Have you ever made a shoebox guitar, or a comb harmonica?  Have you marched in a parade?  Did it make you happy?  Your poetry challenge for today is to write a poem about what makes a sunshiny day for you.  Enjoy your writing. Your poem doesn't need to rhyme.  Use any form your choose.

Poets are born, not made.  Proverb

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Do not lie,
or tell fibs.
You know it hurts
when your elbow
jabs my ribs. 

 Have you ever accidentally jabbed someone in the ribs?  Did someone do it to you? What did you do?  What did you say? Can you write a poem about that today?

Ivory, apes and peacocks all love children's poetry.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Do not step on my shoes.
It will hurt my feet.
Plus to step on my toes
is not the way to meet.

For today's challenge, can you write a response poem to this.  Who is doing the stepping?  What would they say? What if the speaker on my poem was an ant?  Have fun playing with this poem.

On the subject of children's poetry, all I can say is I like it.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Restuarant Dining

I put on my favorite dress
and leather shoes upon my feet.
The reason that I'm dressing up
is we're going out to eat.

   Every child needs the experience of going to a nice restaurant to eat out--one with real table cloths and cloth napkins.  Have you done that?  What did you learn from the experience?  Can you write a poem about dining out?

Happiness belongs to the self-sufficient.--Aristotle 

Sunday, July 26, 2015


I love
sugary cotton candy
   spun into a pink cloud,
writing children's poetry
   to be whispered aloud.

watching yellow butterflies
   as they flit flying by
comforting a baby
   when she's starting to cry.

grass on summer mornings
   glistening in dew,
and the feeling I get
   when I think of you. 

This is a list poem.  Can you try writing your own list poem today?  It doesn't have to rhyme.  Just start by writing a list--things you love or hate, books you've read, movies you've seen, places you've visited, foods you like, etc. Then try to shape your list into a poem.  Have fun.  Happy Sunday.

Just like there are all kinds of people, there are all kinds of poems.  Each one is special.

Saturday, July 25, 2015


There's a cricket in my bedroom.
He's rubbing his legs fast and hard.
I'd say he is singing and dancing.
But I think he's a poetry bard.

He is in here reciting his verses.
Shouting them loud and deep.
I wish he would be quiet
so I can get some sleep.

 Have you ever been kept awake at night?  Can you write a poem about it?  Enjoy your writing.
Have you read Archie and Mehitabel, a conversational poem written by Don Marquis?  First published in 1927, you might enjoy this story poem about a cricket who types.

Children's poems can come from anywhere.  Each one is an adventure.

Friday, July 24, 2015


Pirate Bart had an artificial leg
finely crafted of stainless steel
and when he strode upon the ship's wood deck
his leg made a loud sounding peel.

So when the seas would gently roll
he'd shift his weight and tap, tap, tap.
But in the cold, foul weather of high seas
his leg shook to tip-tap, tip-tap, tip-tap.

One night the rains were bucketing down hard,
the waves were over the boat's sides
and lightning struck Pirate Bart's leg of steel
and pitched him out into the tides.

Bart was caught in Neptune's watery grip
as from this world he bravely rode
while sailors stood at the side of his ship
to hear his taps of Morse code.

   An ode is a poem of praise. I guess this could also be called an elegy which is a poem about death, but the elegy is supposed to have a serious tone and that doesn't fit for this humorous poem.  I'm still playing with this poem. I thought about capturing the thought of the leg rusting but I haven't got it yet.  That may be another poem completely.
   Your poetry challenge for today is to write your own ode--a poem in praise of something or someone.

A good children's poem starts with a good story. 

 Today's Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted by Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche.  You can find more poetry by jumping over to her blog.  Thanks, Margaret for hosting us. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015


Look. Look.
What do you see?
It's a cardinal hiding
in the tree.

Listen. Listen.
What do you hear?
It's the cardinal's song
bringing us cheer.

Sniff. Sniff.
What do you smell?
He's in the apple blossoms.
I can tell.

Touch. Touch. 
What does he feel?
He's flown to the bird feeder
for his next meal.

Taste. Taste.
What more does he need?
The bird feeder is full
of sunflower seed. 

   This little poem includes all of your senses.  Can you try writing your own poem today that includes your senses?  Or pick one sense and write a list poem about it.  I hope you have fun trying this exercise.

Children's Poetry is where it all begins. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A young goat herder lived at the top of a hill.
On mornings when the grass sparkled with dew diamonds he'd take the goats out to eat.  While he watched the goats, he'd sit on a rock 
and play his pipe in lonely, haunting tunes.
One morning, he saw someone across the canyon standing, waving an arm 
and the person yelled, "BOY."
The canyon echoed, boy, boy, boy.
The goat herder listened as the words faded out.
The first letter fell off and all he heard 
was the, oy, oy, oy.
So the goat boy yelled back, "Joy, Joy, Joy."
And the canyon echoed, JOY, JOY, JOY.
Joy, Joy, Joy, joy, joy, joy.
All day while the goats ate, the two boys yelled
back and forth across the canyon 
and an echo would reply.
That night the goats gave more milk 
and the goat boy fell asleep feeling great happiness.  And the hill, and the canyon,
and the echo too, rang with great joy. 

   Have you ever thought echoes are happiest when they get to work?  What makes you happy?  Can you write a happy poem today?  Or try writing your own poem about an echo.  Have fun.

Happiness arrives when we are doing work we feel is worthwhile. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


Sometimes I stutter.
I hem and I haw.
My tongue gets stuck.
I can't move my jaw.

My mouth gets mixed up
and I say well and er.
Till my brain catches up
so I can speak clearer. 

   Do you ever have times when you just can't get your mouth to work right?  Can you remember a time when you said the wrong thing?  Or what you said came out all wrong?  Have you seen this happen to someone else?  Can you write a poem about this today?  Have fun thinking about this poem.

Children's poetry is filled with laughter.

Monday, July 20, 2015


Somedays I'm small and wobbly.
Somedays I'm big and grand.
Somedays I know just what I want.
Somedays I do not understand.
But no matter what each day may be,
I still am glad that I am me. 

    What was your day like?  How did you feel on this Monday?  Can you write a poem today about how you are feeling?  Have fun and I hope you enjoy your writing. 

  Yes, you are what you dream.  Dream BIG.

Sunday, July 19, 2015


For the last time
he is dancing with her
into the Universe.

How they waltz
up to the stars.
They look small
in the vast cosmos.

She is light.
He is stardust.
Yes, they sparkle
as they step into the unknown.

They play hide and seek
in their steps, merely ashes releasing
the future for their children
and their children's children.

Suspended in smokey puffs
like rising bubbles
come to the surface of water.
Where are they going?

Where will these dance steps
take them now that they
no longer are held 
to earthly bodies?

They are larger than the earth
that bound them.  Their steps
one and two and three and
encircle and rain grace
upon us all.

   Sorry, I am late with yesterday's poem.  I went hiking in Sedona, AZ this weekend and didn't get home until late and I was dog tired after  the long drive home.  This poem is for older students.  It is a little weird, but then I take the poems that come to me and worry about what to do with them in revision.  Something good will come.  For now, just enjoy the words and the music for the dance. Hope you had a great weekend.

Writing poetry for children is a BIG adventure.  You never know where the path might lead.

Saturday, July 18, 2015


Yack, yack, yack.
You talk, talk, talk
and then sass back.

You'll never learn
when your mouth's on flow.
If you'd stop to listen
then you'd know.

 Can you find some time to sit in silence today?  What can you learn in your moments?  Can you write a poem about what you heard?  What you learned?

Poetry is music written for the human voice.  Maya Angelou

Friday, July 17, 2015


My feet woke up this morning.
They wanted out of bed
And if they hadn't hit the floor
I'd have fallen on my head. 

   You never know where a poem is going to come from. Sometimes you hear a phrase and you just know it has to be a poem.  This came from a tweet posted by John Schu about a book by Laurel Snyder, titled SWAN.  (I think.) All I got was "Her feet woke up." and it hit me as interesting, like saying: 
her mouth watered, 
her skin itched, 
her eyes blinked, 
her stomach growled.
    Now if you separate the phrase from its meaning and take it literally what would cause that action to make a story?  What if you switch around the pieces?  Could your stomach blink, your skin sneeze, your eyes growl?  What would that mean?  So your challenge for today is to take a body part and take a typical phrase about it and turn that phrase on its head.  Can you try writing your own silly poem today?  Have fun playing with this.

  Poetry Friday is hosted by Kimberly Moran this week.  You can find more poetry on her blog at https://plus.google.com/103353747436744986067/posts/1WZ74Qnc34a 
Thanks Kimberley for rounding us all up this week.

Children's poets mine for hidden gold.

Thursday, July 16, 2015


Playing at the beach
with my sand pail
and a wooden boat
that floats with a sail.

Building a castle
all out of sand.
Leaving a hand print
of my little hand.

Watching the sand crabs
run out of reach.
Searching for seashells
all along the beach.

Do you like going to the beach?  What do you do while you are there?  Can you write a poem about that today? 

Come play with me.  Write children's poetry.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015


On the first night of summer camp
I was so lonely, my teddy heard me weep.
On the second night of summer camp
Crickets were so noisy, I couldn't sleep.
On the third night of summer camp
The rain kept me awake.
On the fourth night of summer camp
I fell into the lake.

On the fifth night of summer camp

I went swimming with an inner-tube tire.
On the sixth night of summer camp
I roasted marshmallows around the campfire.
On the seventh night of summer camp 
Mom and Dad came to take me away.
I was having so much fun, I wanted to stay.

   This is another counting poem.  Have you ever gone to summer camp?  What kinds of things did you do at camp?  Did you have an Indian name?  Can you write your own poem about camp today?  Have fun and avoid the poison ivy.

Whimsey is in the heart of every children's poet. 

July 14, 2015


ONE peach handing on the tree.

TWO ripe peaches waiting for me.

THREE peaches, my oh my.

FOUR peaches baked in a pie.

FIVE peaches, I can't wait.
         Eating peaches is really great.

I love that it is peach season.  This is a counting poem.  For today's challenge can you try writing your own counting poem?  Have fun thinking about things to count.

Children's poets love their subject matter.

Monday, July 13, 2015



I am part of the desert,
I feel the heat in my bones.
Sand blowing is a part of me.

Texas Rockets are my skin
shining in purple blossoms.
I hear the cactus wren,

watch the gila woodpecker
and know the Saguaro
is my home—in holes

deep drilled through spines.
Somewhere there is
a cool icing, but for me

lay me down in the sands
and I shall shift
with the winds

flow with monsoons
and change
with each breath we take.

An ode is a praise poem.  What is something you might praise?  Can you try writing your own ode today?  Have fun writing.

There are lots of things in life to praise.  I praise children's poetry.

Sunday, July 12, 2015


floats across
my tongue
a blessing
a prayer
of gratitude
in appreciation
of you.

Mahalo means thank you in Hawaiian.  I'm grateful you read my blog and let me share my poetry with you.  What are you thankful for?  Can you write a poem about that today?

Writing children's poetry can make you happy. 

Saturday, July 11, 2015


Today, I count butterflies
in my backyard.
First, I see the sulphers
flutter by to pause
on the trumpet vine
uncoil the long  proboscis
drink a sweet drop of nectar
before flittering off
in a yellow dance, like music
like rain drops on leaves and petals.

Then I see an orange and black.
It could be a Viceroy or a Monarch.
I must count the bars on forewings
to be certain.

Not like their orange and brown cousin
the Painted Lady who flies through my yard
stopping here and there to spread wings.

And the Swallowtails come
with red dots on their hindwings
It makes me think of tuxedos,
this marvelous creature of flight.

I wonder what it must be like
to start life as a lowly caterpillar
crawling on leaves, munching,
munching, until it hides
in a cocoon.  Then to evolve
into something beautiful,
lighter than light, so butterflies
can take flight.

And I know, I too
soon must change.
My time is near.

    Today's poem is a free verse poem.  Can you write your own free verse poem about what you see in your room, or backyard?  Have fun.  

All nature sings in children's poetry. 

Friday, July 10, 2015


Pedal, pedal, pedal your bike
down the dusty road.
Try to miss the speeding cars
and do not hit that toad.

Fly, fly, fly your kite
higher in the sky.
Let it out, or reel it in.
Tug the string and try.

Blow, blow, blow it out,
bubbles in the pool.
Swimming on a summer day
is how we all stay cool.

    When I was a young girl, my elementary school was all enclosed with a central hallway going off in two directions from the large main entry.  Every Friday afternoon, we would gather in the hall and sit on the floor.  The lucky students got to use the wall for a backrest.  One of the teachers would wheel and push her piano out into the hall and we would have a hall sing.  Because I wore dresses to school, the tiles in the hall felt cool on my bare legs on hot days.  I grew up in the desert so this cool was a welcome treat.  I learned to sing lots of songs during hall sing.  My favorites were the rounds, when teachers would divide us into groups and we'd each start the song at a different time.  The three poems I've written for today are Rounds, based on Row, Row, Row Your Boat.  For your poetry challenge today, can you try writing your own round? What words can you substitute for other songs?  

    The Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted by The Logonauts.  Follow their links for more things poetic.  

Writing children's poetry can change how you see the world.  Share your vision.  

Thursday, July 9, 2015


A rabbit jumped
through my yard.
He beat his feet 
like a drum.
He stopped
to look me 
in the eye.
As if to say, 
please come.

I could not go
down his rabbit hole
for I surely am
not Alice.
I watched him jump
through my fence posts
off to his rabbit palace. 

   Two days ago I asked my husband if he had seen any rabbits recently.  I had missed seeing them on our morning walks.  He agreed, he hadn't seen any either.  Then this morning I saw to on our walk and when I got home, there was another in the back yard.  I guess the hawk hasn't found all the rabbits.
     For your poetry challenge for today, can you write a haiku about a rabbit?

A children's poem needs a little bit of silly.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


Thanks for the happy.
It's been a good day.
You came to visit
and we got to play.

 It has been another hot, summer day. But somewhere along my day I stumbled upon the line "Thanks for the happy."  It is a little bit different and I wanted to put it into a poem.  I call this using "fresh" language--saying things in a way you wouldn't normally hear.  Can you think of another way to say It has been a good day?  Try writing your own poem today using fresh language.
 In writing children's poetry, one needs to allow the meaning to emerge at it's own pace.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015


Ben Franklin's pen,
hawk's flight,
a boa collar,
feather delight.

No matter what feather
catches the gleam,
may you soar
fulfilling your dreams.

   Summer is a great time for dreaming.  It is a time to think of the things you'd like to do and who you want to be.  Can you make a list of your dreams?  Can you turn the list into a poem?  Do have fun playing with this prompt.

   Do not be afraid.  Writing children's poetry can not hurt you. 

Monday, July 6, 2015


I've wasted another day
looking out my window
watching the hawk
slowly spiral in circles
his wings stretched wide.
He's been out in the heat
working, drifting, floating.
I like to think he's searching
for that snake I almost 
stepped on this morning.

    Here the day is almost gone and I still have lots of work to do.  What was on your TO-DO list today?  Can you write a poem about one of the things on your list?  Have fun writing.

With Children's Poetry you can create the life you've always dreamed of.

Sunday, July 5, 2015


Slow Sunday
heavy with purple clouds
mountain tops covered in mist.

Reading a book
on how I can cook
a poem clutched in my fist.

Not moving fast
today I go slow
I'm writing a poem 
about this day I know.

   Writing books advise to write what you know.  I say write what you don't know, so you can discover something new about yourself.


in the night
like colorful
fireworks bursting

   This syllabic poem has a 1,2,3,4,5,1 pattern.  Can you try writing your own poem with that pattern?  Have fun writing about the Fourth of July.

One can live joyfully reading children's poetry.

Friday, July 3, 2015


One of the greatest adventures
in our nation,
is to step inside
a fire station.

You never know
just what you'll find.
The workers there
are brave, gentle and kind.

   This poem is written for Vince, a new friend I met at CalTech in Pasadena.  He asked for a poem about fire engines.  This isn't quite that, but it is what came to mind as I was thinking fire engines.  When I was a young girl, my teacher used firemen to teach me how to print the number five.
  The fireman slides down his pole, 
then he circles around town 
to get to the fire.  
When he gets to the bottom, 
he realizes he forgot
to put his hat on so 
he goes back to the station
to put his hat on top.

  Did you learn how to write the number five with two strokes this way?
  Have you ever visited a fire station?  Do you know why fire engines are red?  Do you know what trait dalmatians have that makes them an excellent fire house dog?
  Last week I was in Alexandria, Virginia and I saw pink fire engines racing through the streets.  I'd never seen pink fire engines before.  I liked that.
  Now it is your turn.  Can you write a poem today about fire, fire engines, fire fighters, or fire stations?  May your words be aflame to write this poem.  Have fun.

A children's poem is like a piece of chocolate, you never know what you'll find inside.

Thursday, July 2, 2015


Oh, yes! I want to scream.

I saw a panda

eating ice cream.

The bamboo flavor,

he gave it a lick.

The panda loved it;

he ate it up quick.

    What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?  Do you know that zoos often make nutritious popsicles for the animals to cool off during the summer heat?  Does the zoo near you do this?  What is your favorite zoo animal?  Can you write a poem today about what the summer is like for that animal?  If it went on a vacation, where would the animal go?  Have fun writing your poem.

Ice cream, like children's poems, comes in

 all sorts of flavors.

June 30, 2015 Monsoons

The rain that we wanted

finally is here.

It finally is raining.

Isn't it great?

The monsoons are here.

Let's all celebrate.

    I thought you'd like to know that the monsoons are here in Tucson.  One report I read said they had come 15 days early this year.  This is a great relief after the predictions were that the rains would be late.  Maybe that means the season will be long this year.  
       My tomato plants are enjoying the rain and I'm enjoying eating lots of tomatoes in salads and on pasta.  The small cherry tomatoes make a great snack all by themselves.  
      OK,  tomatoes are usually thought of as being red, so for your poetry challenge can you write a poem about red today?  Or just try writing a three line poem today.  (Did you follow my logic on that challenge?)  What ever you do today, celebrate your writing.

    Poetry for children is a celebration.