Poem of the Day

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A Crocodile Called Burt

(For Karen)

 

He’s a funky crocodile,

a chunky crocodile,

a crocodile called Burt.

 

He’s a fearsome beast,

three metres at least,

he looks sleepy but he is alert.

 

Just don’t be misled

that he’s tired in bed,

by the sound of his rumbling snores.

 

If you get too near

you may well disappear

between his chewmungous jaws.

 

He’s a moving rock,

he’s a common croc,

no pedigree and no frills.

 

But next door you’ll see

reptile royalty,

two crocs called Kate and Wills!

 

 There really are two crocodiles named after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and they both live with Burt at Crocosaurus Cove, a crocodile sanctuary in Darwin, Australia.) From The Monster Sale (Frances Lincoln, 2013)

 

ABOUT OUR GUEST POET

Brian Moses lives in the small Sussex village of Burwash with his wife Anne, and a loopy labrador called Honey. He first worked as a teacher but has now been a professional children’s poet for 26 years. To date he has over 200 books published including volumes of his own poetry such as A Cat Called Elvis and Behind the Staffroom Door  (both Macmillan), anthologies such as The Secret Lives of Teachers  and Aliens Stole My Underpants (both Macmillan) and picture books such as Beetle in the Bathroom  and Trouble at the Dinosaur Cafe (both Puffin). Over one million copies of Brian’s poetry books have now been sold by Macmillan. Brian’s blog address is  brian-moses.blogspot.com

Brian’s latest book is School Report

BrianMosesSchoolReportWIP

 

Poem of the Day

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                            The purple pawed parrot of Northern Peru

 

The purple pawed parrot of Northern Peru

Has got purple paws that aren’t orange or blue.

It isn’t a tiger, a toad or a turtle

But simply a parrot whose paws are all purple.

 

It lives in the Northern Peruvian jungle

In a Tumbletum tree in a nest made of Fungle.

It isn’t a reindeer, a rabbit or rat,

Just a purple pawed parrot – as simple as that.

 

It hasn’t a tail; there’s a bend in its beak.

Its eyesight is poor and it squawks with a squeak.

Now, it isn’t a bat or a bear or a boar.

It is only a parrot of purpley paw.

 

When it’s born it will leap from its nest made from Fungle

In its Tumbletum tree in the North Peru jungle,

But remember – it isn’t a fly, flea or fish.

It is only a parrot pawed purplyish.

 

There’s a pretty good chance that this parrot pawed purple

Will soar high above, but a chance it will hurtle

Straight down to the ground and be swallowed up whole

By a crafty carnivorous cat down below,

 

For this cat won’t fly, won’t eat flea, won’t eat fish

And, for him, bat, bear, boar won’t appeal as a dish,

Nor reindeers, rats, rabbits, toads tigers or turtles.

He’ll only eat parrots whose paws are all purple.

 

© Mike Lucas

Poem of the Day

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I Luv My Speling

 

Last nite I sat doun kwietly

To get my homework dun.

I had to get my wirds rite

So I studdyd evry wun.

 

I thort Sir wood be hapy

and pat me on the hed.

But wen he cheked my ansirs,

his fase tirned brite brite red.

 

“Good heavens Smith,” he yelled at me.

“How could you be so dumb?

I’m going to write a note for you

to take home to your mum.”

 

I tuk the leter home with me

and wacht mum as she red.

She rote a leter bak to sir

and this is wot it sed.

 

Dear teecher thank you verry much

for karing bowt my sun.

I’ll help him lern his wurds tonite;

evry singal wun.

 

syned,

his muthar

 

© Warren Cox

Poem of the Day

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Scarecrow

 

My scarecrow worked a wonder

in our brand new garden patch

but I made a fatal blunder

and must start again from scratch.

 

I’d made sure he was scary

‘cause his mission night and day

was to make the birdlife wary

and keep all the pests away.

 

His hair was wild and woolly

and his eyes were cold and hard.

He looked a fearsome bully

as he stood there in our yard.

 

His face was truly ghastly

With its horrid, evil smirk.

He looked so mean and nasty

as he carried out his work.

 

I’ve reassured my mother

that next time I’ll get it right.

I have to build another

’cause the plants all died of fright!

 

© Jenny Erlanger

 

 

 

Poem of the Day

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Sweet Sorrow

 

I have a sweet and sorry tale,

I promise you it’s true.

It happened a few years ago –

Now would I lie to you?

It started with a parcel,

A present from a friend

Who posted Easter munchies,

A kindly thing to send.

 

She sent rich English toffee,

And luscious marzipan

All dipped in thick dark chocolate,

Packed tightly in a can.

And on the very top we found

All dressed in festive red

The sweetest chocolate duckling

Who bore a note which said:

“I left my country as an egg

But somehow on the way

I got so bored I had to hatch.

Can I come out to play?”

 

We ate the lovely marzipan,

We chewed the English toffee;

We shared the goodies with our friends,

A treat to serve with coffee.

I couldn’t bear to crack the duck

Though Granddad said we should;

I used to stand and gaze at him,

He looked so sweet and good.

 

And so he lived inside the fridge

For weeks, for months or years;

The very thought of breaking him

Would bring me close to tears.

 

But then one day it happened,

His balance being poor

He strayed too close to the shelf’s edge

And shattered on the floor.

 

Alas! No more our luckless duck!

Well, what else could we do?

With only chocolate fragments left

We ate him, wouldn’t you?

 

© Elaine Harris

Some Thoughts on Poetry

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Why do I read it?

  1. For the love of word play, rich language, words used in original and thought-provoking ways, the way poems are structured, the way they read rhythmically (especially when read aloud)
  2. Some poems make me laugh and think and feel
  3. All poems inspire me to be more creative
  4. Poems teach me that everyone has their own voice, even if they all wrote on the same subjects
  5. To see how other poets have shaped their poems, to study the rhythms, the language use, how they begin and develop and end (to help me become a better poet)
  6. The best poems remind me not to be ordinary in my own writing.

 

What do I read?

1, Lyrical poetry by poets such as those by Pablo Neruda, Max Williams, Margaret Atwood, Kate Llwellyn, Rodney Hall, Garth Madsen, Jorie Albinson, Sylvia Plath, Galway Kinnell, Ann Sexton.

Ann Bell & Colleen Burke are two Australian poets who write lyrical poetry suitable for children that I love to read. Overseas poets whose lyrical poetry I love include Walter De La Mare, Valerie Worth, James Stephens and Rachel Field.

2. I read poems for enjoyment, because they make me laugh and often make me see the world in an original way, and because they often express exactly how I feel. Children’s poets whose writing I enjoy include Bill Condon, Elizabeth Honey, Max Fatchen, Doug McLeod, Steven Herrick, Lorraine Marwood (all Australian), Colin McNaughton, Jack Prelutsky, Roger McGough, Michael Rosen, Spike Milligan, Shel Silverstein et al.

3. Anthologies: a. recognise poets whose work I enjoy, themes which interest me, variety of styles and subjects, because of the artwork, because I recognise the compiler and know he/she is skilled (for example John Foster, Pie Corbett, Kenn Nesbitt, Graham Denton).

4. Song lyrics, verse on packages, graffiti,

 

Further Observations:

I hate reading poems which I can’t understand, usually because the poet has tried to be super-smart – and failed!

I have favourite individual poems and collect them, paste them into books and often re-read them (I sometimes accompany the poems with appropriate illustrations, including photos). In a special notebook, I also write poetic words and phrases which touch some part of me.

I love writing poems, especially for particularly people to celebrate events in their lives or to celebrate that those people are in my life, and also because writing poems helps me express my feelings and thoughts

© Dianne (Di) Bates

Di Bates is the compiler of Our Home is Dirt by Sea, a collection of children’s poems by Australian poets, to be published in 2016 by Walker Books Australia.

NOTE: If you would like to share your thoughts and feelings about reading and/or writing poetry, send them to dibates@outlook.com for publication in this blog. Don’t forget to include a biography.

Poem of the Day

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As Like as Two Peas

I wanted a brother,

But was warned by my mother

That we might get the other.

But no! It was twins!

Then Pa comes to stay,

His grandsons he sees.

‘Why bless me!’ he cries,

‘As like as two peas.’

 

Identical boys,

Double the noise,

Duplicate toys.

A pigeon pair!

Two mouths that dribble,

Two heads that nod,

As like as two peas –

Two peas in a pod.

 

Hair that is fair,

Gums that are bare,

Four eyes that stare.

Help! Mirror image!

To tell them apart,

Mum says it’s a breeze,

All but their ears

Are as like as two peas.

 

By Edel Wignell

© The Australian Society of Authors

 

Poem of the Day

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Code-Breaker

 

I strolled down to the park last week

To watch a game of cricket.

They speak a different language there –

Please, what’s a sticky wicket?

 

I stood with rapt attention

But soon became downhearted.

How is something over when

It hasn’t even started?

 

I thought most bowls held soup or fruit

And bats could squeak and fly,

That bowlers were a type of hat

And maidens rather shy.

 

The people sitting on the grass

All loved to clap and shout.

They yelled out things like “Four!” “No, six!”

And “Is he still in or out?”

 

They had a tea-break halfway through,

The sandwiches were good.

I concentrated really hard

But still misunderstood.

 

The next time I go for a walk

And see a cricket match,

I might learn how to spin a bowl

Or not to drop a catch.

 

My girlfriend doesn’t seem convinced.

“You’re all confused”, she said.

“Why fuss with all those words and rules –

Try something else instead.

 

I’ll walk beside you to the park;

Don’t buy that cricket glove.

We’ll sit and watch the tennis where

At least they speak of love.”

 

© Elaine Harris