Poetry for Children

Up the Clock

If hickory is just some wood,

            and dock’s a thing you sit on

while idling by the water’s edge

            in hopes your line gets bit on,

then dickory must be the one

            that frightened poor dear mousey,

and made him run so hastily,

            and got his fur all frowsy.

 

A dickory’s a fearsome thing:

            his arms and legs are hairy,

his rolling eyes are wild and red,

            his claws and teeth are scary.

And so, my child, you must take heed

            and mind these words I’ve jotted:

the wisest mouse will always run

            when dickory is spotted.

Christine Pennylegion has lived in and around Toronto, Ottawa, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Windsor. She holds a BA (Hons) in English from the University of Toronto, and an MAR from Trinity School for Ministry. Read more at christinepennylegion.com.

Cup of Cocoa

Swirling, twirling,

dancing steam.

Liquid chocolate,

milk and cream.

 

Grasp it tightly.

Drop your chin.

Feel the heat rise.

Breathe it in.

 

Add some sprinkles.

Take a sip.

Whipped cream mustache.

Lick your lip.

 

Drink it slowly.

Empty mug.

Cup of cocoa,

winter’s hug.

Kelly Conroy loves all things magical, whimsical, and numerical, and her goal in life is to make people smile. For more information, please visit her at kellyconroy.com.

Witch’s Wishlist

beetle toe

henbane

first snow

plantain

pig’s feet

toad flax

jacklebeet

beeswax

dragon teeth

fairy wing

winter heath

ginseng

wood ears

cypress oil

Job’s tears

pennyroyal

burdock root

mustard seed

eye of newt

jimson weed

black mallow

stirring crook

goat sallow

spell book

 

First published in Fire Burn, Cauldron Bubble.

B. J. Lee is a children’s author and poet. Her picture book, There Was An Old Gator Who Swallowed A Moth, launched in 2019 (Pelican Publishing). Her poetry is published by Little, Brown, National Geographic, Bloomsbury, Penguin/DK, Eerdmans, Wordsong and Otter-Barry.

pianist-valerie-mariya-unsplash.jpg

Valerie Mariya unsplash

with Robert Schechter

rjs-headshot2.JPG

Righting a Poem

I ponder, I question, I write and rewrite,

The rhythm is wrong and the rhyme isn’t right.

I grimace, I grumble, I whimper and doubt,

I stay up all night with my pencil and pout.

I scribble, I scrabble, I struggle and scratch,

I hide in my den for ideas to hatch.

I fiddle, I fuddle, I labor and reek —

I’ve not had a bath for a month and a week.

I dilly, I dally, I squander a day,

my friends have all left me, my dog ran away.

I polish, I finish, I holler and cheer,

the rhyme at last chimes and the rhythm is clear.

I snuffle, I sniffle, I blubber and bawl —

tomorrow I know I won’t like it at all.

William Peery is a father of two and former math and science teacher from Southern California. His poems have appeared in Highlights for Children, Highlights High Five, and various children’s poetry anthologies.

Virtual Hoops

My friend from school felt far away.

We used to hang out every day.

We felt alone til we got smart

and now we play though we’re apart.

We go outside, both grab a ball,

connect our tablets with a call.

He waves and smiles, we laugh and talk.

We mark Around the World with chalk.

And then we play. He shoots.

A miss. I shoot and miss. He hoots

and then he makes three in a row.

We air high-five. Oops, power's low.

We have to stop but that’s okay —

my friend seems not so far away.

Rebekah Hoeft is a teacher and writer from Michigan. Her poetry has been published in a variety of anthologies and on various websites. You can find more of her work at https://rebekahhoeft.blogspot.com.

My Bed

My bed’s a swamp

where dinos stomp,

a starry place

in outer space,

a ship to ride

the stormy tide,

an ocean deep,

a mountain steep,

a cozy fort where I can sleep.

Best Dressed

In winter, I’m dressed in a soft coat of white,

but I’m spotted with blossoms by spring’s warming light.

In summer, I’m green with a nest for a crown,

and by fall, I turn heads in a fiery gown.

Diana Murray is the author of over a dozen children’s books, including Unicorn Day, Ned the Knitting Pirate, and Goodnight, Veggies. Her poems also appear in magazines and anthologies such as Thanku: Poems of Gratitude. Visit her website at dianamurray.com.

Basant Panchami: The Hindu Festival of Kites

From dawn until dusk within the walls of Old Lahore

in the very heart of Pakistan

high above the domes of the Badshahi Mosque

the sky explodes with flying paper birds,

blues and greens and golds

trailing rainbow-colored tails and yellow ribbons.

 

Men fly kites from rooftop terraces

to the whistling, drums, and songs that echo

from the fruit and flower-filled marketplace below

while women draped in saris the color of mustard fields in bloom

serve fragrant yellow rice with henna-painted hands

as beaded bangles click-click along their arms.

 

Small children dressed in yellow chant prayers

as they read and write their first words

to honor the Goddess Saraswati’s birthday,

then run into the narrow streets

kites dancing in the sky

to celebrate the coming of spring.

 

First published in Cricket.

Helen Kemp Zax is the co-winner of the 2021 YorkMix International Prize for children’s poetry and the 2018 First Prize winner of the middle grade Katherine Paterson Prize. Her poetry appears in Cricket, High Five, and The Caterpillar.