Poem of the Day


Rhyming Curse

I think my problem’s getting worse.

My every thought is thought in verse.

This habit’s now become a curse.

It happens all the time.


Each word inside me rattles round.

It plays with pattern, rhythm, sound

and won’t come out until it’s found

a perfect one to rhyme.


I wish I knew the way to mend

this most excruciating trend.

Just when will this affliction end?

What happens if it grows?


It’s shown no signs of stopping yet.

If I go on like this I bet

my brain will very soon forget

the way to think in prose.


© Jenny Erlanger





Poem of the Day

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Toot! Toot!

I’ve lost my two front toofs,
I mean my two front teefs.
I toot toot when I talk talk now,
I whistle when I speak.

Watch out, you’ll get a drenching,
When I say my th’s and sh’es.
‘Round the words I spray and lisp,
As they slip through my soaked lips.

I just adore the way,
My gummy new mouth feels.
All soft and smooth with jagged bits,
Where new teeth poke right through.

I can do lots of tricks,
Like fill my gaps with choppy-sticks,
Or squeeze out custard through the spaces,
Making wacky, no teeth faces.

Will I miss my tooting,
When my big teeth come on down?
Will I have to act grown-up,
And stop clowning around?

While I can I’ll toot my heart out,
Toot tooting my own tune.
I’ll enjoy my toofless yoofulness,
I’ll grow-up all too soon.


© Michelle Lewry

Poem of the Day

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The Echidna

An echidna passed across a track
heading towards a special snack

A naturalist muttered, ‘What a turn!
about this creature, I’ve got to learn.’

He kneeled to take a closer look
the echidna swung with strong right hook.

And it was such a heavy clout
it nearly knocked the watcher out.

The echidna curled into a prickly ball
snarling, ‘I don’t like you at all.’

The naturalist cried and mused upon
what it was that he’d done wrong.

He only wanted to see first hand
the weirdest creature in the land.

The echidna uncurled and stalked away
grumbling at his ruined day.

And idiots too dumb to know
you always let echidnas go –

About their business digging holes
and eating ants from salad bowls.

Or snuffling around a great big mound
Where tasty termites are always found.

To spare echnida watchers pain,
the moral of this tale is plain.

Always remember it’s very rude
to keep echidnas from their food.

© M. Pearce

Funding Application


The design of Australian Children’s Poetry blog site was the work of talented children’s author, Helen Ross. For months I have been trying to find funding from organisations to pay Helen for the considerable assistance she has rendered, including help after the post went up last month. More recently I applied to the National Children’s Book Council of Australia for funding. This is the thrust of their response:

“While we all agreed your project has distinct merit and we congratulate you on your vision and your passion, the Board is not in a financial position to support any external requests for funding. 

“The National CBCA body is currently in a transition phase in developing its own financial security for its operations, this is not a small task I can assure you. Board members are working extremely long hours as volunteers themselves. We can certainly understand your position of wanting to create wonderful far-reaching projects that require funding—we’re in the same position as yourself in this regard.

“I can say the National Board is certainly looking forward to the day when we can offer this type of support; that would mean we have reached a significant point in our own development. 

“We certainly wish you all the very best, as we know you have similar goals to ours.”

Naturally I am disappointed with the CBCA Board’s decision, but Helen  has had to be paid. As a result I have paid her out of my own pocket.

If you would like to help defray my costs, please do so. You can contact me, at dibates@outlook.com and I will give you banking details. Your financial help would be greatly appreciated.

Dianne Bates,

Website convenor








Elderly children’s poet

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Astronomer, television presenter and musician, Sir Patrick Moore is turning his hand to a new metier at the age of 88 with the publication of a book of poetry.

The monocled Moore, who has presented more than 700 episodes of The Sky at Night and written dozens of books on astronomy, publishes Within the Glade: A Collection of Poems Written to Amuse Children (of All Ages) this week. The 23 poems are in the style of Edward Lear, according to their publisher Sandra Saer, and give a range of birds and animals human characteristics.

Moore said that he wrote the first poem long ago, while in his garden in Sussex with two young children. After watching a frog leaping about, the six-year-old girl and five-year-old boy then asked the astronomer to write a poem about it. “I had never written anything of that kind before, but I had a go and, to my surprise, they loved the Froggy poem,” recalled Moore. He went on to write 22 more poems, leaving the collection in a drawer until he recently rediscovered it.

He showed the poems to his old friend Saer, with whom he had worked at the BBC and who now runs the independent publishing company SMH Books. “I thought they were so interesting and so funny. I rang him and I said Patrick, you have to publish these, they can’t just be lying around,” said Saer. “It’s astonishing how someone can put themselves into poems like this – and it’s more astonishing yet that he then put them in a drawer and forgot about them … He’s confined to a wheelchair but his mind is still as wonderful as ever. He’s still got the sense of humour, and all his best attributes are embedded in these poems.”

The poems’ topics range from the Weasel, “gifted with paintbrush and easel”, to the Eel. “I am a very lively Eel. / I love to dance the Highland Reel. / But living on the river’s floor, / my ballroom steps are rather poor,” writes Moore. “A waltz, a foxtrot or a jig – / it really matters not a jot. / My partner’s soon tied in a knot. / And when the music stops, we find / it takes a while to get untwined …”

Saer said that since the poems “are in the Edward Lear nonsense tradition, they are not just for children”. Moore will be making a rare public appearance to launch the book, illustrated by Euan Dunn, at the Bignor Church Weed and Wildflower Festival [http://bigweed.bignorchurch.org/?reloaded=true] on 3 July.


Weekly Updates


Here are this week’s updates.



In May this year, Walker Books is publishing a collection of Stephen Whiteside’s poetry for children, The Billy That Died With Its Boots On and Other Australian Verse.

Dr Stephen Whiteside shares his journey – The Fulfillment of a Lifetime Quest: Writing the Billy That Died With Its Boots On and Other Australian Verse.

Link here:




Don’t forget to check our  Competitions‘ page for end of April submission deadlines.


Writers sought

As per my recent blog post, if you are interested in assisting as a  researcher and writer for the Australian Children’s Poetry blog site, more information can be found here:



That’s it for this week.


Di  Bates

Writers Sought


Just lately I have been advertising for researchers and writers for the Australian Children’s Poetry blog site. As usual, I am keen to receive articles about anything related to children’s poetry (such as teaching poetry writing, compiling a collection, poetry book reviews and so on). But what I am particularly keen on are people who would like to research and write biographies about deceased Australian children’s poets to add to the A to Z of poets.

So, if you are interested, you might like to choose one (or more) of the following poets and get to work. The biographies would include the dates of birth and death and an overview of their life as poets as well as including three of their poems for children (citing publication details). If you can find any pictures (of the poet and/or their books), please send as jpgs.

Here is a list of the poets. Some of them, such as Michael Dugan, wrote exclusively for children; other poets, such as Kevin Gilbert, wrote mostly poems for adults but also wrote poems published in anthologies for children

Clive Sansom
Kath Walker
Ronald Strahan
Colin Thiele
DH Souter
Spike Milligan
Kevin Gilbert
Roland Robinson
Irene Gough
William Hart-Smith
Robert Gray
Mary Gilmore
Eric Rolls
Lilith Norman
Patricia Wrightson
Isobel Kendall Bowden
Ruth Sansom
Geoffrey Dutton
Elizabeth Riddell
Cathy Warry
CJ Dennis
Andrew ‘Banjo’ Patterson
Henry Kendall
Henry Lawson
Barbara Giles
Jenny Boult (also known as MM Bliss)
Daisy Utemorrah
Flexmore Hudson
Michael Dugan

Thanks and hope to hear from you soon!
Di Bates


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Today I have sent the following email to numerous children’s poets and poetry lovers:

‘Through the new blog site, Australian Children’s Poetry (which now has over 8,500 hits), I am trying to revitalise poetry in Australia, starting with poetry in schools. You might have read https://australianchildrenspoetry.com.au/articles/why-are-booksellers-afraid-of-childrens-poetry/ and the responses from poet Stephen Whiteside and myself, Di Bates.

Here’s a thought: if all of us with a love of and connection to Australian children’s poetry united, we might just put poetry and Australian children, teachers, publishers and booksellers on the same page. United, we can be a powerful force! We can bring poetry into schools and into bookshops. We can exert pressure on organisations such as the CBCA to fund prizes, competitions and/or otherwise promote poetry.

So, what I’m asking you today is for you to consider approaching school/s to offer to present a poetry reading. Have you done this before? Why not now? Then, send an article to me at dibates@outlook.com about your experience and the responses from children and teachers.

Your articles will be posted on the Australian Children’s Poetry blog site and then the CBCA and Australian children’s publishers will be notified that there is the beginning of a groundswell…

Am I being too optimistic? What do you think? Do you want to be part of the Poetry Revolution?’

Subsequent to sending this email, I’ve had an undertaking from our Children’s Laureate Jackie French that she would blog it on her website www.childrenslaureate.org.au and post it in her newsletter. (Thanks, wonderful Jackie!)

Poet and verse novelist Sherryl Clark wrote that she is undertaking a May Gibbs residency in Brisbane in May, part of which is presenting workshops in schools. Initially, when Sherryl suggested poetry workshops, the State Library thought that maybe there wouldn’t be enough interest and that she should offer story writing as well. Sherryl recently received a draft schedule and four of the five schools requested poetry!

You don’t have to be a poet to present a poetry reading! If you are keen to promote poetry in schools, find a half hours’ worth of poems (preferably Australian) that you think children would love to hear recited, and then contact your local school and offer to do a reading.

Become a part of the Australian children’s poetry revolution!

Poetry Camp

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Poetry Harvest

9 May – 11 May

Poets Nicola Bowery and Harry Laing will lead Poetry Harvest, a fully residential weekend workshop at Geebung, their 115 acre property bordering Monga National Park near Braidwood. The workshop will focus on how to bring a poem to fruition. The whole experience of the weekend is designed to recharge and excite both writers and readers of poetry. Cost is $300 ($270 concession).   For details contact harrylaing@bigpond.com or phone (02) 4846 1075.

Poem of the Day


Naked Nonsense: Guundie’s Ridiculous Rhymes


  The Edible Swarm


By my door are massive trees,

swinging in a storm,

dropping lots of peas

a gigantic swarm.

It comes in – the peas have keys –

and I squash them just like fleas,

get them on the stove to warm,

put them on a plate,

and eat dinner, thanks to fate!


Guundie Kuchling, born in Salzburg, gained her Master of Fine Arts in Vienna and arrived in Australia in 1987 with her husband Gerald, a world turtle expert.

Guundie has published 11 picture books and exhibits widely: oil paintings, water colours, lino prints, and sculptures. Her interests include throat singing, native wildlife, ear rings, growing vegetables, dry felting, labyrinths, and encouraging others to live creatively.