Welcome

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, May 29, 2015

THE OLD BARN


The old barn remembers
when it knew the comings
and goings of all the farm animals,

the smell of wet hay under the cow's feet
and the mews of the cat
wanting warm milk,

the steam from the horse's soft nostrils
on cold winter mornings
and in summer the laughter
of children moving hay bales
in the mow to make a maze,

in later years, the smell
of diesel and oil mixed with dirt
around the truck and tractor,

the sound the skip-loader made
as it mucked out the pigs' pens,
or the scurrying of mouse feet
racing from the silo with discarded corn.

Abandoned now, the roof sags,
the wood has weathered gray,
dust motes float in the sun rays
slipping through the chinking,
the metal door hinges squeak needing oil.

The barn doesn't know
how much longer he'll be able
to stand it. He's waiting,
once more to hear the soft words
of lovers meeting in the mow.
There is only the echo of memory
to keep him company.
     Today's poem was written for Jane Yolen who shared a poem about a barn this week.  She didn't have hay in her poem and I commented on that.  She responded, it had been a long time since hay was made in her barn.  I suggested she needed to write a poem from the barn's point of view and Jane said that was my poem to write.  So I did.
     Your challenge for today is to take an object and write your poem from the viewpoint of the object.  Have fun writing.

The Poetry Friday Round Up is hosted this week by Margaret Simon on her blog Reflections on the Teche.  Thanks, Margaret for organizing us this week.  



     Writing a children's poem is like dropping a pebble into a pond, you never know how far the ripples will go.
 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Summer Soon

Ho-Ho-Hot
On my bare
Toes.The cement is burning.

  It is over 90 degrees in Tucson and I took my shoes off to go put up the umbrella out by the pool, except I had to stop and put my feet in the water to cool them off.  Then I went inside and got my shoes before I finished with the umbrella.
  Can you write a poem today about being silly?  Have fun writing.

Children's Poetry shines all the colors of the rainbow.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

DESERT ACROSTIC



Down in the gully
East of my house
Snake is watching a little gray mouse.
Eek, squeaked the mouse, Gulp,
Replied the snake, and
That is the end of this tale.

    I've been thinking acrostics lately, so last night I started thinking about this poem.  But, as you can see, as soon as I started writing the poem, my brain wanted a rhyming poem.  And I really wanted to make it a Western Diamondback Rattle snake and a packrat.  There were more details I wanted to include.  This is a sure sign for me that I'm forcing the poem into the form I want it in rather than letting the poem be what it wants to be.  In fact, I even started playing with using "tail" instead of "tale" to end the poem.  That way the packrat would still be alive instead of being dinner.  The point is, this is not a finished poem.  I know that.  The poem has told me so.  I need to listen to my poems.
     Here is your poetry challenge for today.  Write an acrostic poem. Then listen to your poem.  Where does it want to take you?

Children's Poetry can take you to far off lands. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

BIRTHDAY SURPRISE

      Sorry to be slow with my posting for yesterday, but it was my birthday and I was having a grand time. I went to a Friends of the Library book sale and bought lots of great picture and poetry books.  Lots of books at $10 a bag.  And here is a poem about what happened with my birthday dinner.

BIRTHDAY SURPRISE

Eating dinner,
my cards and presents
by my plate.

Unwrapping gifts
my family knows me
I get a new journal.

The cake is chocolate
the ice cream too.
I look up to see
movement out the window.

Surprise!
There in my backyard
is a bobcat.
She slowly walks closer.

She has come to give me
one more present
the gift of her sighting.

     Do I need the last line of this poem? Or, should I switch the last two lines? Can you see how, "There in my backyard/ is a bobcat." is more exciting than There is a bobcat/ in my backyard? The order of the words  helps to build excitement.
     Can you write a free verse poem about what you did today?
     I feel wonderfully blessed to have so many friends sending greetings for my birthday via email and Facebook.  Thank you all.  I'm such a lucky girl.

Editing a poem is like picking fleas from a monkey's back.

May 25,2015



WORD JOCKEY 

At night, I jockey words
Around the paddock.
The trainer keeps time
While I keep running.

I exercise the words each day
Trying for a faster time--
A better run.  Sometimes
The word stretches its legs
Lengthens its stride.

Sometimes the word
Is stubborn and lazy.
It doesn't want to move
Balks at the starting gate.

Sometimes the word
Is scratched,
Scribbled into the dirt.

Some nights the word
Totally throws me
And I am left
To pick myself up and get back on
For another night's ride.
 
   This poem uses an extended metaphor.  It combines writing words with riding horses. I dream in words, they float around in my head at night as I try to put them together into another poem.  If you write, I'm sure you have had the occasion in conversation where someone mis-heard your writing and riding.  I think that may be where this poem came from. 
      My husband is a scientist.  At one time he had over 8,000 mice, of different strains, with different genetic backgrounds that he kept to use for his experiments.  We used to call him a Mouse Farmer.  As a student in school, are you a Desk Jockey?  So here is your poetry challenge for today.  Can you knock the heads of two ideas together and extend the metaphor?  Let's see, as a student, you might also be a Desk Gardener.

On the farm
the sun comes up early
I lift the top of my desk
take out paper and pen.

Stuck in this plot
enriching the soil
each paper tries to grow.
 
At noon,
the plants need watering
so we all march
to the lunch room.

To harvest great ideas
my teacher makes us
write many drafts.
We weed out many errors.

  

   Try this and let me know how it works for you. Have fun playing with words and ideas today.
      
 
Writing poetry for children is an exercise in love.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

THE CAVES

Caves are dark.
Caves are deep.
During the day
it's where bats sleep.

    Yesterday I went to Kartchner Caverns and explored the cave. I put on a helmet and headlamp to see stalactites, stalagmites, soda straws, bacon, drapes and towers, all slowly made by dripping calcite.  I also got to see 45,000 year-old bat guano. It is hard to think of something that old. Can you imagine what life must have been like 45,000 years ago?  In the Discovery Center I saw a picture of a square foot with over 200 bats sleeping in that small space. Can I say my mind was boggled? 
   What do you know about rocks, stones, or caves? What do you know about the insects or mammals that live in caves? Can you write your own poem about one of these topics? Have fun writing.

Poetry is truth in its Sunday clothes.  
Joseph Roux

Saturday, May 23, 2015

TANKA



new moon,      a dark time
searching firefly can't find
an answering flash
a single frog by the stream 
haunts my night with his croaking

     I thought I'd try another tanka for today's poem.  A tanka is a syllabic poem like a haiku.
It starts with the 5-7-5 pattern and adds two more 7 syllable lines.  So it is 5-7-5-7-7.  Unlike haiku that is a nature poem, tankas are poems about love.  They were called pillow poems because in early Japan women would write the poems and leave them on their lover's pillow.Would you like to try writing a tanka today? Have a great Saturday. 


Children's Poetry Can Help You See.