A Postcard Poem – Wish You Were Here

I just discovered a poet named Spike Milligan. Apparently, he’s quite famous although I had not heard of him. He was a British comedian and is ranked the 40th on Poem Hunter’s Top 500 Poets List. If you like Edward Lear, Roald Dahl, and Lewis Carroll, you are sure to enjoy Spike Milligan. His nonsense poems will take you on a vacation in your mind.

On the Ning Nang Nong

On the Ning Nang Nong
Where the Cows go Bong!
and the monkeys all say BOO!
There’s a Nong Nang Ning
Where the trees go Ping!
And the tea pots jibber jabber joo.
On the Nong Ning Nang
All the mice go Clang
And you just can’t catch ‘em when they do!
So its Ning Nang Nong
Cows go Bong!
Nong Nang Ning
Trees go ping
Nong Ning Nang
The mice go Clang
What a noisy place to belong
is the Ning Nang Ning Nang Nong!!

Go North, South, East, and West, Young Man

Drake is going west, lads
So Tom is going East
But tiny Fred
Just lies in bed,
The lazy little beast.

Summer has started for everyone and many of our Little Poets are on vacation. Write a poem about your vacation, real or imaginary, as if you are writing to a friend back home. Find a picture for your postcard and post it on the Little Poets facebook page.

spoon on nose

Day 31 – Spoonerisms – A Fery Punny Voem (a very funny poem)

Have you ever heard of a spoonerism? No, it isn’t when you stick a spoon on your nose and pose for the camera, but it is just as funny.  Spoonerisms are phrases, sentences, or words in language with swapped sounds. Usually this happens by accident, particularly if you’re speaking fast. The name Spoonerism comes from the Reverend William Archibald Spooner who is reputed to have been particularly prone to making this type of verbal slip.

Listen to the story of  The Pee Little Thrigs and you will soon know exactly what I’m talking about.

Shel Silverstein wrote an entire book of spoonerisms called Runny Babbitt. The page that keeps my family most entertained is Runny’s Rittle Leminders. Take a moment to figure them out before you sit down and write your own spoonerism poem. Now if you’ll excuse me, I must go shake a tower. When I’m shout of the hour I’ll write a poem at the lead of spite that will tickle your bunny phone. Eye ball.

Day 30 – A Juicy Word Poem – Now with words so real you can taste them!

Juicy words – adding their aroma, their flavor, their stickiness, their color to poems everywhere. We can’t wait to hear them.

Today we take our cue for a poem from a Little Poet who learned about juicy words at school recently. What is a juicy word? It’s a word that gives us a vivid description.

You want to talk about something that is white? Tell us how white it is. Maybe it’s vanilla, maybe it’s frosty cold white, maybe it’s so white your eyes burn at its sight.

Juicy words paint a picture in our minds. Juicy words give us a deeper meaning.

Pick something to write about. Look up pictures online or in books or get that thing right there in front of you and describe it to us. Tell us what it looks like, how it tastes, what kind of sounds it might make, make us reach out and touch it with your words. We want to smell it! Write your poem and if you can include a picture, a drawing, or a photo, it will be all the better! Make us want to reach out and pick it off the tree and eat it up! No, it doesn’t have to be food, but the point is make us want to feel with all our senses what it is you feel about it.

Day 29 – Acrostic Poem

Today’s writing prompt is the Acrostic. Acrostic poems feature the first letters of each line spelling out a word. The word may be the subject of the poem. Some of you may recall my poem to an inanimate object (Instant coffee). I used the acrostic form to write that one. Our example today is provided by our Little Poet who enthusiastically selected this poem type for you all today!

Drag their tail to you sometimes
Odd? No they’re not
Go outside to play catch.

Click here to write your own acrostic poem!

Day 23 – Write a What If Poem

Have you ever tried to sleep at night, but you get all sorts of ideas running through your head instead? Read this poem by Shel Silverstein and write your own What If Poem.
Whatif by Shel Silverstein
Last night, while I lay thinking here,
some Whatifs crawled inside my ear
and pranced and partied all night long
and sang their same old Whatif song:
Whatif I’m dumb in school?
Whatif they’ve closed the swimming pool?
Whatif I get beat up?
Whatif there’s poison in my cup?
Whatif I start to cry?
Whatif I get sick and die?
Whatif I flunk that test?
Whatif green hair grows on my chest?
Whatif nobody likes me?
Whatif a bolt of lightning strikes me?
Whatif I don’t grow talle?
Whatif my head starts getting smaller?
Whatif the fish won’t bite?
Whatif the wind tears up my kite?
Whatif they start a war?
Whatif my parents get divorced?
Whatif the bus is late?
Whatif my teeth don’t grow in straight?
Whatif I tear my pants?
Whatif I never learn to dance?
Everything seems well, and then
the nighttime Whatifs strike again!

Click here to write your own What If poem.

Day 20 – Your Favorite and Your Best Poem

My favorite section in the library in middle school was the poetry section. I loved to read anthologies of poems and I distinctly remember The Panther by Ogden Nash as being my favorite. Even now, I delight in making, or should I say forcing, a rhyme where there ought not be one. I must give credit to Mr. Nash for this delightful technique being ingrained in my brain. When I read this, I am certain there was a short circuit which rewired my brain for quirky rhymes.

The Panther by Ogden Nash

The panther is like a leopard,
Except it hasn’t been peppered.
Should you behold a panther crouch,
Prepare to say Ouch.
Better yet, if called by a panther,
Don’t anther.

Today we shall take a break from writing to read and share some of our favorite poems and poets. I would like you to read and then  memorize your favorite poem and recite it to someone. Do you think they will enjoy it as much as you do? What is it about the poem that you like?

If you need some inspiration I’ve got plenty, starting with something called the Favorite Poem Project which was started by Robert Pinsky who was a poet laureate for the United States. A poet laureate is a poet who is appointed by a government to promote poetry through different events and sometimes writes poetry for special occasions. Robert Pinsky founded the Favorite Poem Project to encourage  people to share their favorite poems. One way to share them was to make a video of them reading the poem with an explanation about why they love that poem. You may enjoy the 5th grader’s reading of Theodore Roethke’s The Sloth or student Lee Samuel’s reading of Casey at the Bat.

Click here to see videos from the Favorite Poem Project

Click here to see videos from the Favorite Poem Project

Here are some other links:







Day 18 – Making A List and Checking It Twice Poem


Tomorrow’s prompt is coming to you early so you can take your time to prepare for it. We are going to write a list poem and I want you to think for more than a minute about what you want to say. First of all, you will need to think about what it is you will write about. My poem is going to be Things That Inspire Me. Pick a topic that you would like to think about for the rest of the day that starts with Things That…

It could be…

Things that Bug Me

Things that I must remember (mine is usually a grocery list)

Things that I wish I had

Things that I wish never happened

Things that go fast

Things that my mom says

Things that my little brother does that make me laugh

Here is a song about a list of things that you may have heard. It is called My Favorite Things and it is from the musical The Sound of Music

For the rest of the day and part of tomorrow, grab a piece of paper and a pencil the size of the ones you get when you play mini-golf and jot down anything that comes to mind for your list of “Things that…” Keep it in your pocket or just keep it handy. When you have a nice long list, sit down and write your poem.

You can write your poem in rhyme. You can write your poem as a list of phrases. You can write your poem as a Top Ten list starting at ten and ending at one with one being the top of your list.  I have written a couple list poems that you can read to get you started. The first one is actually a parody of My Favorite Things but they are my favorite things about Jordan, which is where I live. My second list poem is called Seven Things About Me and is in a poem form.

Day 17 – Unpacking Our Adjectives with Schoolhouse Rock

Yesterday’s poetry prompt was a bit like MadLibs and made everyone think about the different types of words used to make up a poem. It’s the end of the school year, yet my kids were asking “What’s an adjective?” After I told them they are words used to describe things they instantly remembered with an “Oh yeah, I knew that.” Yet when asked to name a few they kept coming up with the same ones: shiny, fluffy, soft, and so on. I found a nice long list of adjectives for us to use and we are going to write a poem with adjectives. Don’t forget that you can also use thesaurus.com to come up with even more specific adjectives. Today’s poem idea comes from Poetry Zone.

Poems With Adjectives

Adjectives are describing words. If I say “Tom is playing with a red ball.” then the word red describes the ball. Write a poem by repeating the first line but each time adding another adjective.

For example. 

On my way to the zoo I saw a bear.
It was a brown bear.
It was an ugly brown bear
It was a wild, ugly, brown bear
It was an angry, wild, ugly, brown bear
It was a hungry, angry, wild, ugly, brown bear
It was an escaped, hungry, angry, wild, ugly, brown bear
And it wanted to eat me!

Now it’s your turn. 

On my way to school I saw a ____________________

It was a _________________

It was a ____________________

It was a _______________________

It was a __________________________

It was a _____________________________

and it ____________________________________

Try to think of a funny last line. Try reading the poem out loud. You can make an even better poem by starting all the adjectives with the same letter! This is called alliteration. (Use a dictionary to help you find words.)
E.g. It was a big, bothersome, bouncy, beautiful, brown bear
and its name was Bartholomew.

Day 16 – The Newstar 3000, Now in Poetry Generator Form

Writing parodies or just thinking about writing parodies has taken a lot out of our Little Poets. Today we shall take a break from form and function by using a poem generator. Loosen up those thinking caps a bit and take our Poetry Generator (from the fine folks at ETTC) for a spin. Play around with it a bit until you come up with something you simply must share.

Click now for your chance to write really awesome and amazing poetry that will have your friends and enemies clamoring for more

Testimonial from the mother of an actual poet who didn’t know it:


My teenage daughter came up with this one, we can’t stop chuckling over it.

Thank you, Newstar 3000.

My Emo Bio-Poem

I wish I had a cup of tea
Like Alex Gasgarth.

And I dream my mom was ungrateful.

I am painting my nails.
I used to not paint my nails
But now I straighten my hair.
I seem to be unaware of my doings

I’m really boring.