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 8, 2017

Happy Poetry Friday
Life on the island is getting chilly.  People have gotten their socks out to keep their feet warm.
It was 49 degrees one night this week.  Our day time temperatures are in the high 60's.

The chicks are still cuddling close to their mothers to keep warm as the island gets ready to the holiday season.

We did have a slight sprinkle last Friday evening but folks didn't let that get in the way of their enjoyment of the Christmas parade on Rice Street.

I did get my final art project done for my class at the junior college.  I'm a little sad that the course is over, but I'm extremely happy with everything I learned.

    Last week I shared with you the sketch for my final project.  Here is what I ended up with for the art.

Dog eating peanut butter driving his trolley through to Platform 9 3/4

Snoop, my dog
starts to sputter
when he eats
his peanut butter.

He's off to Hogwarts.
It's his turn.
There's lots of things
he wants to learn.

For Christmas he knows
what he wants to get,
more peanut butter,
you can bet!

And here's what
he'll give to you,
it's his ability
to drive on through
Platform 9 3/4.
Come to Hogwarts too. 

   Have you ever thought about what it would be like if your favorite picturebook character went to Hogwarts?  Paddington, Winnie, Charlotte, Wilbur, George, Lucy?  What would Amelia Bedilia do there? 

Never pass up the opportunity to make someone else's day a good one.

Our host for Poetry Friday this week is  Lisa.  You can find more poetry at Steps and Staircases.  Thanks for rounding up the poetry this week, Lisa .

Don't forget, we're gathering next week, Dec. 15, at Matt Forrest's place  Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme for a virtual holiday party.  He's already started baking.

Friday, December 1, 2017


   I've been taking a beginning drawing class at the local junior college and the term is almost over.  For our final project the instructor arrived with three lunch bags, labeled--nouns, verbs and settings.  We were to pull a slip from each bag and use those prompts for our final rendering.  I've used this same method for poetry prompts so it was fun to get prompts for drawing. But...
   The nouns were all pop culture icons.  I think the instructor was trying to find something appealing to the young teenage college students.  My noun was Snoop Dogg!  I really didn't want to draw the rapper, so I figured I'd just go with the DOG, a word I find more fun and certainly fits more with children's poetry.
   Being a poet who tries to write with strong lines, I teased my instructor about including gerunds in his verbs.  Sure enough the verb I pulled included a gerund. The slip of paper I ended with was, "eating peanut butter from the jar."
   Finally, my setting slip was "drive thru."  
   How would you draw a dog eating peanut butter at a drive thru?  My mind immediately went to a drive in theater since my father managed several of them and I worked in the drive in all through college. But then Harry Potter slipped in to save me.  Do you remember him driving thru the wall at platform 9 3/4?
   Here is a rough draft sketch of what I'm working on.  My next step is to render the drawing on quality paper and add color.  At that step I'll be able to fine tune the wall, the shading and the dog's features and put a glob of peanut butter on that lolling tongue. What color shall I make the dog? (Hang with me, I'll get to the poetry.)

My silly dog
is a crazy nutter.
He likes to eat
my peanut butter.

 Do you know the word nutter?  It is British slang for someone who is crazy and does nutty things. 
   Do you know why I used "to eat" instead of  the "eating" from the slip to write my poem?  It is all a case of meter and gerunds and infinitives.  Remember gerunds are those "ing" verbs and infinitives are the "to" verbs.  They are extremely useful in poetry.
Most poems are written in an iambic foot.  If you try to scan a poem (notice the accented and unaccented syllables,) always try iambic first because it is the meter most often used.  The iambic foot is unaccented, accented--the accent is on the second syllable.  using an iambic foot means lines will end on a strong accent.  A trochee is the opposite of an iambic foot.  It is accented, unaccented.  Any two syllable verb ending in "ing," a gerund, will be a trochee.  So, when using verbs to write poetry for children if you want iambic, use an infinitive.  If you want a throchee, use a gerund. The exception is when using forced meter.  (Poets love to break the rules!) 
   See, I told you I'd get back to poetry.  That was a bit heavy, let's celebrate your getting through that heavy lesson.  Let's have a party! 
   We're having another virtual party in two weeks on Dec. 15 at Matt Forrest Esenwine's place, Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme.  You are invited to drop in and stay for the whole day (or maybe the night--I virtually slept on the fireplace hearth one year at David's place.)  I'm going to write a small poem about my ugly Christmas sweater.  Matt calls the party a shindig.  It started on David L. Harrison's blog a few years ago. Matt, David and I decided that perhaps it might be fun to move the party around from venue to venue…so this year, it’s moving from David’s place to Matt's little home on the web.  Perhaps we'll have snow.

   Finally, the Poetry Friday Round Up is over at Mary Lee Hahn's blog, A Year of Reading.  Thanks for hosting us, Mary Lee.
You can find more great children's poetry here.

  Oh, for your poetry challenge, pick any noun, verb and a setting and see what you can come up with for a poem.  Have fun writing whatever you do.
Thanks for your patience.

Friday, October 27, 2017

More massage

continued from the previous post...

I think next time
for my pleasure
I'll sign up
For acupressure.

What will you write today?  I hope what ever it is you do,  you have fun writing and being you.  You're very special.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

My Massage

I scheduled myself
for a massage,
I ended up
in a beaver lodge.

They started working
on my back.
The beaver's tail went
Whack, Whack, Whack!

I hope the beaver
will be fine
because I am
a porcupine.

I am in Granada, Spain and I had a massage and lounge in their baths.  The place had seven pools, each one with different temperature water.  I started with the super hot, then the icy cold.  Between moving between the various pool, they served Moroccan tea, a very sugary mint tea.  There was a sign on the wall, "Silencio."  The lights were dim, the only sound was the water.  It all was very relaxing and a new experience for me.

Have you ever had a new experience while traveling? Can ou try writing a poem about that? Have fun writing.

Friday, September 29, 2017


Rooster in Conte by Joy Acey, 2017

Somedays I feel
like I want
to throw back my head,
fill my lungs,
and C R O W.

For you, I wish
to have that
same feeling,
expecting surprises
to rise up
like the morning sun. 

copyright 2017, Joy Acey

 I've been working on drawing roosters with smooth, clean lines.  Using the fewest possible strokes to still have a recognizable chicken.  Here is what I came up with after some practice:
simple rooster, 2017
 How are you feeling today?  Do you feel like your world offers endless possibilities?  Like with work, you can do anything?  I hope so.  That's how I felt when I started to draw my rooster.  I wasn't sure I could do what I wanted.  I wasn't sure I could draw a simple rooster. So I broke the task into small steps.  To achieve what I wanted, I removed lines or pen strokes.
Can you try writing a poem about how you feel today?  If it seems too hard, break the poem down into small steps.  Have fun writing.

Big leaps are just small steps taken one after another.  Keep trying and don't give up.

Monday, September 4, 2017


Butterflies flit.
     Butterflies fly

Light as a whisper
     in the blue sky.

Perched on a daffodil
     drinking the dew.

I wish I was a butterfly.
     How about you?

     On a recent walk through the woods with a friend, we came to a fork in our path.
     "Which way shall we go?" he asked.
      Suddenly there appeared before us a blue swallowtail butterfly.
      "Let's follow the butterfly."  And that is what we did.  All along the path the butterfly would dart ahead and then come back to check on us, just like it was encouraging us to hurry up.  The butterfly made our walk magical.  It was a very good walk.  As soon as we got back to our start point, the butterfly flew up into the sky and disappeared.  Do you ever take walks that become magical?  Can you write a poem today about a walk?  What did you see?
Have fun writing your poem.

Sunday, September 3, 2017


The birds sing.
     Little cat creeps.
The birds perch.
     Little cat leaps.

All the birds have flown away.
Little cat wants to play.

He sits on his haunches,
     flicks the tail at the tip.
He washes his face
     and licks his lip.

     Do you have a cat?  More people in the United States have cats than dogs.  It did used to be that way.  Dogs used to be the more popular pet.  Can you try writing a poem today about your pet?  It doesn't have to be a real pet.  It can be one from your imagination.  It might be a llama, a hippo, or a bear.  Anything is OK for your poem.  Just have fun writing.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Happy Poetry Friday

   Happy Poetry Friday.  I'm participating in the Summer Poetry Exchange Tabatha Yeatts has organized for us again this summer.  Last week my second poem arrived from a surprise partner in the exchange, Jone MacCulloch.

   Can you imagine my excitement when I opened the package and found Jone's beautiful picture and poem?

copyright 2017, Jone Rush MacCulloch
Her picture of the chicory is vividly wonderful!  Her description of a "periwinkle star" is elegant.
I have this picture sitting in my writing space to provide inspiration for how just a few words can paint a beautiful word picture.  In case you can't read the words in her photo, they are:

periwinkle star
roadside weed
magical perseverance
invisible to many

The word "perseverance" caught me in this poem.  It invites me to pause and linger with the thought.  I know that if I want to achieve anything with my writing and my poetry, I must persevere. (Plus, if I do it right, all my work and struggles are "invisible.")

Thank you, Jone, for inspiring me to keep working.

Now, here is your poetry challenge.  Look around you at the simple, everyday objects in your space.  Maybe it is your pen or pencil, maybe a paper towel, a book, or even a blank piece of paper.  Now in a few short words write what that object does for you.  Or, you can make this a persona poem and write in the voice of the object. What message does the object have for you?  Have fun working on your poem--persevere.

You can read more of Jone's poetry on her blog here.  
Poetry Friday is hosted by Katie this week on her blog at The Logonauts.

Consider the smallest seed that blooms and grows.  Be that seed.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

In bed
while you dream,
I'm walking
on moonbeams.

I'm tiptoeing
over stars,
and waltzing
toward Mars.

While dreams
float your way,
I dance along
the Milky Way.

And to my delight
we both
whisper, good night.

Did you see the full moon last night?  I think that is what had me thinking of a moon poem.  Actually, in the back of my mind I'm still crafting a poem from the perspective of the moon.  Have you ever thought of all the things the moon has seen?  It has been up there for a really long time.  This is sort of like the statement that I'm breathing the same air that Socrates and Plato breathed.
Can you try writing your own poem to a planet today?  Have fun.

Friday, July 7, 2017

copyright 2017, Robyn Hood Black

Happy Poetry Friday!

I'm feeling the lazy days of summer.  How about you?
One of the ways I keep myself growing and moving through the summer is to participate in the Summer Poetry Swap.  Last week I received my first poem from Robyn Hood Black.  Robyn is one of the most creative poets I have ever met.  I think one of the reasons I enjoy knowing Robyn is because she loves writing haiku even more than I do.

Her poem:

like moon
ripples of molten silver,
to romancers
of the pen
in words.

(I love the pearl button Robyn used to illustrate the moon.)
Do you like the words Light-givers and romancers?

When I went to Poets Camp at Western Washington University last fall, Robyn presented a workshop for us on erasure poems.  She provided all the materials so we each could make our own poem.
To make an erasure poem, you start with a sheet of text.  It could be a page from an old paperback novel, or a magazine.  

Read the page several times to see if any words jump out to you.  Then carefully see if you can select a few words from the page to make a poem.

Next erase, mark out, blackout, or paint out all the other words. (Robyn had us cut little sticky tabs to cover our chosen words and then we used rubber stamp, or a sponge and ink pad to cover up all the other words.

What you are left with is your erasure poem, because you have erased everything but the words of your poem.

As you can see from Robyn's poem, she adds glitter and embellishments to make a piece of art from her poem.  You can find more of Robyn's art at her Etsy shop here. 

Can you try making an erasure poem today?  You can find out more about erasure or blackout poems here. Have fun playing with words and text.

You can find more poetry at the Poetry Friday Roundup, hosted by Carol Varsalona on her blog Beyond Literacy here

Have a great weekend.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Celebrate! Happy 4th

Let's celebrate
the 4th of July
by shooting off stars
into the sky.

Let's celebrate
and all eat pie,
make mine peach
on the 4th of July.

Let's all lick ice cream cones.
I'll even buy
when we celebrate
the 4th of July.

The sun is so hot
I think I'll fry.
It's very sunny
on this 4th of July.

Let's swim across the lake.
Just give it a try
as we cool off
on this 4th of July.

We're spitting watermelon seeds.
Watching them fly
as we have a contest
on this 4th of July.

See the fireworks explode!
I sure like
the 4th of July.

    What will you do to celebrate the 4th of July?  I think I'm going to be sitting on my lanai watching the explosions in three directions.  Can you try writing your own celebration poem?  Have fun writing.

Happy Poetry Friday 

Image result for Poetry Friday logo

 Today is POETRY FRIDAY.  Yahoo!  If you'd like to read more poetry fun, jump over to  Random Noodling for the Poetry Friday Round UP.  Thank you, Diane Mayr  for hosting us this week.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Flicker Flash

At just dusk
Fireflies flicker and flash
Waiting for star light

And a deer
Walks across the road.

Tall pines
Reach toward the sun
And back.

I'm traveling and seeing things through fresh eyes.  These three haiku capture some of my sights.  Can you take some time today to look at your world and see it through fresh eyes.  What do your ears notice that they have not taken the time to listen to before?  Watch the trees.  What are they doing?  Can you find things to write a poem today?

Friday, June 2, 2017

Midnight Ramble

Tiger toes
tip-toe through
my dreams
leaving no 
dust prints
only the wish
to grab
a star
and write
it home.

Make a list of 20 nouns each day for the next week.  Then at the end of the week pick one word from each of your lists to write a poem.  Or who knows maybe as you are making your lists a word or two will jump off the page and beg to write a poem for you.  Try this and see what happens.  I've been having fun working with this all week.  My lists have been fairly productive. Have fun writing your poem.
Today is Poetry Friday.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A Poet's Prayer

Let my heart grow
with the wonders
of this world.

Let me hear 
waves crash
turning rocks and shells
into the soft sand
beneath my feet.

May I see
the whale breech,
the albatross
and shearwaters
winging over
the lighthouse.

May I smell 
the sweet spicy scent
of plumeria, orchids
and the pikea.

May I taste
salt air on my tongue,
feel the gentle rain
and the warming sun.

May I see

the bright colors
of a rainbow
arcing over my world
like this poem
I must write.

  Jane Yolen sent a poem today titled Another Writer's Prayer.  I used it as a mentor poem for mine.  Her poem was about all the woodland things she needed to write her stories.  The first time I read her poem, I thought these are all fall things, we need a summer poem for this time of year.  On further reading, I realized it wasn't fall, it was woodland with sycamore trees and gray squirrels.  We don't have squirrels on Kauai.  In fact, as someone pointed out to me recently, there isn't a wide variety of mammals on the Hawaiian islands.  Most of those we do have were imported. 
  So, your poetry challenge for today is to write your own ode, a poem of praise.  Use your five senses and tell what you can see, feel, smell, touch and taste.  Use your locale to share your world with your reader.  Have fun writing your own poem.

  Do you wish to touch the stars?

Friday, May 26, 2017


At the edge of the world
is a deep black hole
where all lost things reside--

Ribbons and keys
baby bottles and binkys
All the lost hair
from dogs with mange
the dimes and nickels
of lost pocket change.

Pens and pencils
teething rings
every sock without a mate
nuts, screws and bolts
that disappear
and lone earrings
the homework, wasn't even late
all sorts of things.

Even my teddy
that I forgot
on the bus
and never
found again.

What sorts of things do you lose?  Did you look for it?  Did you find it?  The older I get, the more things I lose track of--most often it's my cell phone.  Can you write a poem today about something lost?  Have fun writing your poem.

Happy Poetry Friday and Aloha Friday
The round up is over on Margaret Simon's blog  Reflections on the Teche  For more poetry fun, jump over and visit Margaret.  Thanks for hosting us, Margaret.

Saturday, May 20, 2017


Clouds cover
over the moon.
Dawn is coming,
will be here soon.
Rain, rain, rain.

Chickens quiet,
they are still.
Sun is peeking
over the hill.
Rain, rain, rain.

Downspout water
in a rush
welcomes morning.
All is hush, with
Rain, rain, rain.

Friday, May 5, 2017


     Happy Poetry Friday.

Three paper kites
hang from our house
they flutter, flap and sway.
These paper fish are flying
high to celebrate
Tango no sekku
a Happy Boys Day.

On May fifth in communities with a Japanese influence you'll see paper carp
dancing on bamboo poles to honor the men in the household.  There are lots of Japanese-Americans who live on my island so we celebrate boys day and there are lots of paper carp flying today.  This holiday is also known as the Feast of Banners.  You can find out more about this celebration here

   There is a legend about the swimming carp becoming a dragon.  Can you write a poem today about a dragon?  What color would your dragon be?  Have fun writing.

E kÅ«lia i ka nu‘u.
Strive to reach the highest.

--a Hawaiian proverb

  To read more poetry posts, Jama Kim Rattigan is hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup today on 

her blog Jama's Alphabet Soup here.  Thanks Jama, for hosting us this week.

Happy Cinco de Mayo and have a great weekend.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017


Each break, a small miracle
see it
     in the geode
in magic.

Each book
broken open
          new worlds.

Each pomegranite
sends rubys
          goodness into the world.

Each wave
     toward shore
          is a delight
on the beach.

And the birds
tell it all
     each break
          is a small miracle
in their eggs.

     It is probably because I had an appointment to see the Orthopedist for my 4 week check up of my broken pelvic ring yesterday that I got to thinking about all the ways breaking could be a great thing.  I was reading a book about surfing in Tahiti last week and it had beautiful pictures of surfers flying through a barrel wave.  The pictures were stunning of the tube of the wave with a surfer inside.  It got me to thinking how the very act of a wave cresting over on itself defies gravity.  But I've also seen lava tubes that have done the same thing.  What magic it is--a small miracle of nature.  Have you ever considered that our intestines do the same thing?  We have this long tube inside us that runs top to bottom.  That too is a small miracle.
     We are surrounded by wonders of nature.  It is like a magic show and if we take the time to slow and observe, we have a front row seat.
     What is something you have observed today?  Can you write a poem about it?  Have fun observing and writing today.   

Ho'omoe Wai Kahi Ke Kao'o
Let Us Travel Together Like Water

Flowing In One Direction--a Hawaiian


Tuesday, May 2, 2017


I opened my mouth
and tasted the sky.
I opened my heart
and heard birds cry.

Their conversations
were noisy and deep.
In many tongues,
I heard them weep.

The earth is changing.
It's no longer the best.
We birds can't find
a good place to nest.

Temperature is rising.
Can't take the heat.
Like canaries in coal mines
birds die in the street.

Bees leave the hive.
They're in another zone.
Ask how we can do this
to the place we call home.

     A lament is a poem expressing grief or sorrow.  It is a poem of mourning.  I wrote this poem on Earth Day last week.  I'm very concerned about what we are doing to care for our planet, even though I live on a small island in the Pacific Ocean.  I garden and recycle.  What are some things you do to care for our land and oceans?  Can you write a love poem today to the earth?  Have fun brainstorming and then writing your poem.

Me ka mahalo nui.   
With deep gratitude. 

 What can you do to show your 
gratitude to the earth?

Monday, May 1, 2017


Today we went out
to the plumeria tree
to pick some flowers
for mommy and me.

We threaded them all
in a fragrant chain.
We did it once
then again and again.

White and pink,
and rainbow too.
Again and again
until we were through.

We strung the flowers
into a round lei,
to celebrate for
this Lei Day.

 What do you do to celebrate May Day?  Do you give flowers to your friends?  Do you make paper flowers?  Today's challenge is to write a poem about your favorite flower.  I hope you have a happy Lei Day (our 90th) and that you have fun writing poetry.

He lei poina ‘ole ke keiki.
A lei never forgotten is the beloved child. (a Hawaiian proverb)

  Have you ever thought about how dull life would be without flowers?  What would the bees do?  We'd have no honey.  I'm so glad we have flowers and showers to help them grow.