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, December 23, 2016


Little Rose Tahini
lost her bikini
while swimming ocean waves.

Her surfer brother
brought her another
twas one of his better saves.

Oh no! How am I going to get myself out of this pickle? Have you ever gotten yourself into a fix where you needed someone else's help?  Have you ever forgotten your school lunch and you needed your mom to bring it to school for you, or perhaps a friend shared his lunch with you.  Perhaps you've forgotten a paper you needed at home, or ripped your pants?  Think of a problem you've had and how you solved it.  Did you leave an important book you needed for your homework at school?  What did you do? Now, can you write a poem about your problem and how you solved it?  What happened?  Can you use a poem to tell your story?  Have fun writing.

Because of you, the world is a better place. 

 Today is Friday, time for the Poetry Friday round up.  All our poetry links are being gathered today by Buffy Silverman on her blog here.  Thank you Buffy for pulling us all together to celebrate the Winter Solstice.


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas Paradise

Sitting on the beach,
lazing in the sun.
Children dash in the waves.
 Fun,      fun,      FUN!

   Can you believe it was 77 degrees in Kauai yesterday?  My friends are all sending me pictures of snow and talking about how cold it is.  They write about sweaters, snow shoes and sitting by the fire drinking hot chocolate.  I love those things, but I'd rather read about them than be in the cold.  I'd rather see pictures than live it.  After living on Kauai for a year, now when I put on a coat it seems to weigh my whole body down.
   I can remember visiting my sister in Australia one January.  All the children were on the beach having a water rodeo, with swimming and life saving competitions because it is summer south of the equator.
   What is the holiday season like in your part of the world?  What holiday traditions do you treasure?  Can you write a poem today about what Christmas means to you?  This might make a fun list poem.  Have fun writing.

Saturday, December 3, 2016


Henry, the rooster
sure likes to crow.
He's the sound
of this island
I'm learning to know.

He crows in the morning
i n - c e s s - a n t - l y!
He crows at noon,
at one, two and three.

He crows at night
when I go to bed.
I can't get his crowing
out of my head.

He's forever crowing.
I don't know why.
But, Henry, the rooster,
is part of Kauai.

   Often, when I'm on the telephone with a friend, she'll say,
"I hear Henry."
   Roosters crow a lot on Kauai and since I live up-country near farmland, we have lots of free range chickens roaming round.  I think it is fun to have my phone conversations punctuated with rooster crows.  So much so that I have named the rooster, who crows under my bedroom window early in the morning before the sun is up, Henry. Henry is one noisy guy.
  When I'm on the telephone with my son from Seattle, I can hear the sounds of automobiles.  He lives in on busy street.  With my son in Chapel Hill, NC, I hear ambulance sirens. He works at a hospital.
   What sounds would someone hear if they were talking to you on the phone?  Can you try writing a poem about sounds on your phone?  Have fun listening and writing.

My favorite nest is in your arms.  Your loving hugs have many charms.

Monday, November 28, 2016


Lone myna
perched on the power line
turning his feet
west to look over
the cows and egrets
in the dewy field,
turns east to watch
gray clouds hang 
on the mountains.

The wind chime
and the myna
beats his white tipped wings
to fly north.
Shortly, he returns
to perch again.

Our lives are like the myna,
we watch the good and evil,
try not to judge.
We fly in a different direction
only to return home--
all our patterns
keep repeating.

    What do you dream for yourself and the world?  Can you write your own poem today about one of your dreams?  Have fun writing.

I am reminded, big dreams often start as little ones.

Thursday, November 24, 2016


Gobble, Gobble, screams Mr. Turkey
as he tries to run away.
I don't want to be on your table
on this Happy Thanksgiving Day.

Here's wishing you the best meal ever.  Let's give thanks for all our blessings.  You, I count among my blessings.  Thank you for all your patience and kindness.  

Monday, November 21, 2016


I learned a new 
word today.
A squirrel's nest
is called a drey.

Snug his drey
perched in a tree
is where Mr. Squirrel
wants to be.

     I love learning new words, especially if the word is short, simple and one I think I should have learned years ago.  Do you know the word drey?  For a fun challenge today, can you use a dictionary to find a word you don't know.  Then use that word in a poem.  Have fun hunting for your special word.

Let me show gratitude for gifts from the Universe.

Saturday, November 19, 2016


There was a rainbow
above my school today.
I saw it when
I went out to play.
It was shining
as if to say,
I hope you have
a glorious day.

Lift your heart, see the rainbows.

Monday, November 14, 2016


" I know,"
said the frog
as he sat on his pad,
"there must
be a reason
for feeling so sad."

"Oh dear,"

said a fly
as he buzzed by,
"there sits a frog
about to cry."


 said the fly,
"Don't feel so sad."
"Zap," went the frog
and now he's glad.

  Did you hear the joke about the Mother Frog who told her little tadpole not to play with his food? Can you try writing an acrostic poem on the word FROG today?  Have fun.

   Today I will try to be my best self.

Sunday, November 13, 2016


standing in the street
a stunning woman watches 
contemplates traffic

     A senryu is a special kind of haiku.  Instead of dealing with nature and natural subjects, the senryu deals with human conditions and human subjects.  It still is written in the traditional 5-7-5 syllable, three line verse, or 17 syllables all together. Like haiku, the senryu is written in present tense.
    I had fun with word play in writing this poem.

Can you try writing a senryu today?  I give you permission to people watch in order to write your poem, just try to be polite and discrete.

How can one be sad on a sunny day?  I'm grateful for sunshine.

Friday, November 11, 2016


I went to the Tucson Botanical Gardens today to see an exhibit on Frida Kahlo's art, garden and life.  They built a mini-Mayan temple with Mayan artifacts and cacti decorating the many steps.  Butterflies were enjoying all the marigolds.

It was a lovely sunny day and great to see the butterflies both outside in the wild and in the Botanical Garden's Butterfly House.

painted ladies pause
flutter over marigolds
in a garden dance

 Happy Veterans Day.  What did you do today?  Can you try writing your own poem about something you saw or did today?  Have fun writing.

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.  Anne Frank   This quotation was on a garden sculpture paying tribute to the butterflies.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, November 10, 2016


A red tail hawk floats
in a seamless desert sky
looking for dinner

Have a great day writing?  Who do you think Donald Trump will pick to write the occasional poem for his inauguration?

Harm not.  Help all you can.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016


Today is the day citizens of the United States get to vote for the candidate of their choice.  Has your mom or dad already voted?  I'm going to be away from home today, so I voted by absentee ballot several weeks ago.  I hope everyone who can casts their ballot today.

I was away working over the weekend at the Kauai Writers Festival.  When I came into my studio this morning, a book had fallen from my bookcase and was on the floor.  Of course, I couldn't just shove the book back on the shelf.  I had to lovingly hold it and think about how I had acquired the book.  I had to look inside at the poems.  (Some mornings I'll do anything to put off getting to work.)  The book was The Best Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Selected and Introduced by Caroline Kennedy, published by Hyperion.  This collection has many classic poems for reading and memorizing.

I thought the first poem was quite appropriate for today.  As I read the poem a chill came over me.  Was there a reason this book had fallen?  Was there a reason this poem had asked to be read?  Since it is in the Public Domain, I'm going to share it.  Let me know if you get chills too. Try reading the poem aloud, so you can hear every word.


by Katherine Lee Bates

O beautiful for spacious skies,
      For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
     Above the fruited plain!
        America! America!
     God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
     From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
     Whose stern, impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
     Across the wilderness!
        America! America!
     God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
     Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved
     In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved
     And mercy more than life!
        America! America!
     May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
     And every grain divine!

O beautiful for patriot dream
     That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
     Undimmed by human tears!
        America! America!
     God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
     From sea to shining sea.

     Teachers, you can find a beautifully illustrated copy of this poem and guidelines HERE. All the citizens who vote are part of our country's brotherhood.  
     Can you try writing a poem about our country today?  If you need a prompt, try an acrostic poem using your candidate's name, AMERICA, United States, or VOTE.  Have fun writing.

America, how may I help you?

Thursday, November 3, 2016


Kauai Sunrise

The sun pauses
the mountain peak
Sleeping Giant,
like a cue ball
it hesitates
before slowly rolling
away from its pocket.
Reds, yellows, oranges,
even purple lights
shoot up
streak around the clouds
I feel I am rising
into this glorious morning.
I am a Kauai chicken
my lungs swell
ready to crow. 

This poem uses a simile.  Look for the word "like" to find it. How has the simile been extended in this poem?  There is also a metaphor.  "I am a Kauai chicken." What is your weather like today?  Can you try writing your own poem using similes and metaphors?  What if you wrote a persona poem from the voice of your weather?  Have fun writing, and as always, if you want to share your poem, please include it in the comments below.  I love reading your work.
Remember, according to COPPA rules, you must be over 13 years old in order to leave a comment.  If you are younger than 13, you can have a parent of teacher leave the comment for you.
Have a super day writing.

Poetry Friday Roundups
My schedule shows the Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted by Laura Purdie Salas this week.  Thank you, Laura, for hosting us. You can find more posts about children's poetry on her blog at http://laurasalas.com/poems-for-teachers/

Make all your days glorious in the Paradise of your creation.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016


A feral cat halts
pauses on haunches
watches fluffy feathered chicks
then leaps.

Monday, October 31, 2016


singing off key
a Jerusalem cricket
feels the barbs

I couldn't think what to write about today, so I sat quietly and listened.  Outside my bedroom window I could hear a cricket singing loudly.  I figured I could shape that sound into a poem.  I think this is a good Sunday poem.  I'm already planning how to make a concrete poem out of the word cricket.  I want the c for a head, the k will turn to make legs, and the t will bring up the rear.  What fun.  Can you tell I've read Bob Raczka's new book, WET CEMENT A Mix of Concrete Poems?  This is a whole book of 21 concrete or shape poems that really pushes the boundaries of text.  He does some creative printing for his poems like  takeoff, icicle, eracure (that's not a typo, it is Raczka making a point with his poem title) and the backward printed homer.  I do wonder how he presented his manuscript to his editor.
Can you sit and be quite for a few minutes today?  Can you shape what you hear into a poem? Have fun writing.

The world is full of incredible noises.

Saturday, October 29, 2016


I'm going trick-or-treating
with this BIG candy sack.
I'll have to start out early.
It'll be a while before I'm back.

I'm going to fill it full
with every kind of candy
and then I'll share with you.
This Halloween is dandy.

I haven't bought any Halloween candy yet?  What is your favorite kind of treat?  What do you like to get? Can you try writing a poem about trick-or-treating or Halloween candy?  Have fun writing.

Friday, October 28, 2016


I picked my pumpkin.
It's big.
It's round.
I'll make it
a jack-o-lantern
as soon as I
can lift it
up from
the ground.

Oh, my.  I can't believe Halloween is only a couple of days away.  I've been so busy with other things I have done nothing to get ready. 
What are you doing to get ready for Halloween?  Have you carved a pumpkin?  Do you have a costume?  Can you try writing your own Halloween poem?  Have fun.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Two Sheep

Two wooly sheep
sat under a tree
listening to the buzz
of a bumble bee.

One sheep said,
"That song's full of honey."
"Yes," said the other,
"But I think it's funny."

Both sheep laughed
and had a good day
listening to the bees
buzzing away.

   Happy Poetry Friday.  I hope you are having a great day.  This poem is definitely a draft.  I wrote it to go with the picture I drew which was a lot of fun.
For your poetry challenge for today, can you draw your own picture and write a poem to go with it? Otherwise find a picture you like from a magazine to write about.  Have fun writing.

   To find more poetry, buzz over to the Round Up, hosted this week by Irene Latham on her blog Live Your Poem.  Thank you, Irene ,for hosting the party.
Image result for POETRY FRIDAY LOGO

If you believe, you will achieve.

Saturday, October 8, 2016


All morning long
I've listened
to the wind chime ting
as the trade winds blow
and the chickens sing.

The day keeps growing
as the clouds move along
and I listen 
to my world
singing its song.

   What are the sounds of your world?  Is it something that lifts your spirit?
I recently had the thought that in Kauai I don't here crickets.  I think the chickens eat them all.  When I mentioned this to my husband, he noticed he hadn't heard cicadas in Hawaii either.  And I thought about the train whistles I got to hear in Tucson that aren't on island.
   What fun.  Can you write a poem today about the sounds you are thankful for in your community?

The beauty of the earth around me sings.

Friday, October 7, 2016


Joy's Smiley Face
   Every year on the first Friday in October you have the opportunity to celebrate World Smile Day.  Isn't it wonderful that this celebration also falls on a Poetry Friday.  What better way to celebrate smiles than with poetry.  Today honors Harvey Ball, who in 1963 designed the big yellow smiley face. What can you do today to make someone smile?  I'm going to try writing a tetracty.
     I learned about this form from Australian children's poet Kathryn Apel. I also found more about the history of the form here. Tetractys also have a mathematical meaning, find more here.

So I thought I'd try using the tetracty form to write my smile poem.

will smile back.
Lift someone's day
with smiles you'll make new friends along your way.

   This is a syllabric form with five lines. The first four lines have as many syllables as the line number.  One syllable in the first line, two in the second, three in the third and four in the fourth.  In the fifth line are 10 syllables.  So there are 20 syllables in the whole poem, 10 in the first four lines and 10 in the last line.  You can try rhyming lines 4 and 5, but it's not required.  If the poem was written in two lines, you'd have a couplet.  You don't have to rhyme like I did with the day/way, but I think it adds a nice echo and a little music to the verse. 
    This poem has a hat shape and so now I'm thinking of writing another tetractys poem about tipping one's hat in greeting or tribute.  Poetry is like that--one fun idea leads to another.  You never know where your poetry journey will take you.

  Now it's your turn.  Have you ever drawn a smiley face on a card or letter?  Do you include them in your texts?  Does your teacher use smiley faces when grading class work?  Have you ever tried to make someone smile?  Today, in honor of World Smile Day, try writing your own poem about smiling? Have fun.  I hope you have a bright yellow marker to use in writing your poem.  If you'd like to share your poem, please leave it in the comments below.  Remember if you are younger than 13, you'll need a parent or teacher to leave the comment for you.

   Today is Poetry Friday.  You'll find more poetry at the Round Up hosted this week by Violet Nesdoly on her blog here.   Thanks Violet for hosting us this week and for a great post on Poetry Camp at Western Washington University at Bellingham, WA. (If you follow this link, you'll see pictures of me and find out what I was doing last weekend.)

Do an act of kindness--make one person SMILE.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Poetry Camp

I just got back from Poetry Camp at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington.  What fun I had with over 40 children's poets.  There was lots to learn and lots to do.
  On my air flight home I met a young 3 year old.  She gave me a picture she had made.  I asked her name and she told me she was, Salsa.  I thought this was unusual and I looked to her dad for an explanation.  Had I heard right?
  "Just call her Salsa," said Dad.  "She likes to change her name every week or so." 
   How unusual, I thought.  I knew this young person had the heart of a poet, if she was changing around words and selecting the ones she likes. 
   If you could select a name to be called this week, what would it be?  I think I'd be Cookie this week because I've baked a lot of them for a writers meeting.
   Here is the picture Salsa gave me:

Salsa has stickers
of a horse, 
a dog.
a cat.
She draws 
the corral,
the doghouse
and a mat.

 I thought it was clever of Salsa to be able to draw the surroundings for her stickers.  Do you have some stickers to play with?  I have stickers of soccer balls I think I'll try drawing a soccer player.  Once you've drawn your picture, can you write a poem to go with it?  Have fun writing and sticking, and drawing.

Enjoy each day and treasure the people you meet.

Saturday, September 24, 2016


four white egrets perch
on top of the mango tree
wait for this sunrise

All morning I've been watching these egrets.  First there were five, then four, now three.
The trade winds are gently blowing and soon we will have a short morning shower.  It is nice to have a little time this morning to sit and observe nature.  Can you find a little time today to observe your surroundings?  Can you try writing your own haiku, or other poem from your observations?  Have a great Saturday.

A joyful heart lightens burdens.

Thursday, September 15, 2016


You can be a minnow
swimming in the sea.
I'll be the shark, so
IT is me.

Swim across the pool
as fast as can be. 
I'll try to get you.
Sharks are too hungry.

Hey, I tagged you.
Your hand was my mark.
Now it's your turn.
You be the shark.

    Have you ever played Sharks and Minnows in a swimming pool?  Have you played Marco Polo?  There are lots of tag games.  Can you name some others?  Can you write your own poem about one of the games you like to play?  Have fun writing your poem.  Do you need to do some research in order to write the poem?

Silence is a secret we hold within us.

Today is Friday, so it is time for the Poetry Friday Round Up.  Michelle Barnes is hosting us this week on her blog, Today's Little Ditty.  Thank you for hosting us, Michelle.

Friday, September 9, 2016


A bag is a bag,
a kind of sack
for holding your lunch
or afternoon snack.

Used for art projects
or wrapping up gifts,
a bag is an instrument
for playing your riffs.

A bag is a kite
or makes scary masks.
A bag is useful
for all sorts of tasks.

Bags in all sizes,
plain or cute,
but a paper bag won't do
for a wet bathing suit.

   Today try writing your poem on a paper bag, then give it to a friend.  Have fun writing.

Today is Poetry Friday and you can find more poetry posts over at the poetry roundup on  Amy Ludwig Vanderwater's blog, The Poem Farm.      Go here for all the posts.  Thank you, Amy, for hosting us this week.

Today I'll be as happy as a mynah bird in a papaya tree.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016


Rain on the window.
Drops on the screen.
The weather is being
extremely mean.

Flood in the garden,
wouldn't you know,
out comes the sunshine
and there's a rainbow.

   Every morning for at least a month we've had rain.  Part of the fun of living on Kauai though, is seeing all the rainbows.  What kind of weather do you like the best?  How was today's weather different from yesterday?  What do you observe? Today can you write a weather poem?  Have fun observing and writing.

Today I'll be happier than a monkey with a bunch of bananas.

   Today I harvested a stalk of bananas from my tree. 


Monday, September 5, 2016

The Fairy Tree

Fairies in the garden
dance around the tree,
feeding us their fairy bread.
Let's all have tea.

  When I was in Melbourne I walked through Fitzroy Gardens which features a fairy tree carved by Ola Cohn.  She wrote fairy stories to help support and protect the tree carving.You can find more here. 

It took Cohn three years to carve the tree.
See the kangaroo and ostrich?

Koala and pixies

Fairies hiding in the crook of the tree.

For a documentary on fairies try here.
For music, here is The Fairy Tree song sung by John McCormick and here by Aine Mulvey. And check out this one of Marley PK. The Fairy Tree, the flute is lovely.

If you'd like to make Fairy Bread try this.

fairy bread | Flickr - Photo Sharing!  

If you are enjoying learning about the fairies, you might want to try your own search for them.  One web site called fairy trees May trees, rag trees or ribbon trees.  So your poetry challenge for today is to write a short quatrain (4 lines of poetry) on a ribbon and tie it to a tree.  The more poems and the more colors of ribbons, the more welcoming your tree will look to the fairies.  And with all our recent storms and damage to the trees, maybe you can encourage someone to carve a fairy tree near you.
  Have fun writing poems today and enjoying the wee folks.

Here are a pair of fairy wings, sent to me by one of my Summer Poetry Exchange partners, Irene Latham.

You can make your own wings using cardboard or foam board and attaching them with a bullnose clip to your writing chair.  May all our poems be blessed by the fairies.

Today I'll be as happy as a child spying a fairy in my garden.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Alligator Pie and a Poem to Try

  As the saying goes, Life happens when you're busy doing something else.  Today I was doing some research for the presentation I'm doing at Poetry Camp (for grownups)  at Western Washington University in Bellevue on Sept. 30.  If you don't know about this fantastic, wonderful, first ever gathering of the clan you can find out more here.  It isn't too late to register for this fun weekend and you are more than welcome to come join the over 40 childrens poets who will be presenting and probably doing some hooting and hollering too. We'll definitely be doing a lot of laughing. It should be a grand gathering.

  Anyway, in my research, I stumbled across a fun poem called Alligator Pie by Canadian poet Dennis Lee.  You can read the poem here.  The poem starts:

Alligator pie, Alligator pie,
If I don't get some I think I'm gonna die.

I had so much fun feeling the words in my mouth, and acting them out that it got my brain spinning.
Dennis Lee has three verses to his poem , Alligator Pie, Alligator stew and Alligator soup.  So I got to thinking about other animals and other foods.  Here is what I've come up with.  (They do say imitation is the highest form of flattery.)

Orangutan cake, orangutan cake,
If I don't get some it would be a mistake.
You can have my shovel. You can have my rake.
But please don't take my orangutan cake.

Caterpillar hash, caterpillar hash,
If I don't get some, I think I'll crash.
You can take my hair and my mustache.
 But please don't take my caterpillar hash.

Rhinoceros slaw, rhinoceros slaw,
I love to eat it totally raw. 
You can have my sister, you can have my pa.
But please don't take my rhinoceros slaw.

Butterfly milk, butterfly milk,
It goes down my throat just like silk.
Give away my chocolate and things of that ilk.
But please don't drink my butterfly milk. 

Armadillo toast, armadillo toast 
It's the food I love most.
You can have your turkey, you can have your roast.
But please don't take my armadillo toast.

OK, you've got the idea of what I'm doing.  Do you want to try?  For your poetry challenge for today, pick an animal and a food then see if you can come up with three rhyming words to write your own verse.  Have fun with your creation and if you'd like to leave your poem in the comments, I'm sure we'd all love to read it.  Do have fun with this.  Maybe you'll have fun illustrating your poem. (Remember, due to COPPA laws, if you're under 13 years of age, please have an adult leave your comment for you.)

poetry friday button
   Today is Poetry Friday and I hope you're safely indoors reading poems.  Penny Parker Klostermann is hosting the round up this week, so you can hop over to her blog A Penny and her Jots to find more poetry posts.  Thank you Penny, for hosting us this week.

  Today I'll be as happy as a camel chewing dates.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Crazy Mad

I'm mad about monkeys,
crazy for cockatoos.
I love cuddly koalas
and jumping kangaroos.

All of these animals
and my own little Ted
leave me no room
when I go to bed.

Do you have a favorite stuffed animal you sleep with?  What do you think your animal dreams about? Can you write a poem about your stuffed animal's dream today? Have fun writing.

I paid the electric bill to read your poem.

Dirty Billy

My baby brother Billy
has a circle on his nose.
Somehow he missed eating
all of his Cheerios.

He wears yellow mustard

red catsup, and something green
on his shorts and t-shirt
that this morning were clean.

  Did you get new back-to-school clothes?  What did you wear for the first day of school?  What do the new clothes say to each other when they meet at school? Can you write a poem about clothes today?  Have fun writing.

Today I'll be as happy as a new pair of shoes.