Poem of the Day

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Attack of the Giant Dinosaur  

 

I didn’t really mean,

To do what I have done,

I trod on a dinosaur’s tail

And now I’m on the run.

 

He’s about fourteen metres long

And he’s breathing down my neck,

My heart is purely throbbing

And my nerves are all a wreck.

 

He’s just about on top of me

His teeth about to crunch,

Oh where do you hide from a dinosaur

When you’re about to be his lunch.

 

“Stop playing with that lizard Tommy

And come on in for tea,”

“Ah you’d spoil any game mum

For a little boy like me.”

 

© John Williams

 

 

 

 

Poem of the Day

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Sea Sparkle

(Noctiluca scintillans, Thirroul Beach, August 2014)

 

After the rain a dull red tide

muddied the angry sea,

and the sky hung low and grey.

No swimming today.

 

I moped back up to the house to read

and hours had slipped away

when dad called out to me

that lights were on in the sea.

 

We walked out in the clear-rinsed dark

and down to watch the waves

breaking there in bright

displays of blue-green light.

 

It had to be magic. Water like fire

flaring into the dark!

Was it a sea-change?—

a thing so ghostly and strange.

 

We ran towards the breaking waves

and saw our footprints spark

as if we’d gone to play

along the Milky Way.

 

I cupped my hands and scooped up stars

then let them fall away

and lightning flashed and played

with every move I made.

 

I was in the universe,

with stars around my feet,

a giant hurling light

at random in the night.

 

Galaxies were swirling by

tumbling time and space

to sand-grains in my mind.

I’d left the world behind.

 

© Kate O’Neil

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

email: mpearceau@gmail.com

New Children’s Poetry Site Launched

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I have just launched a new poetry site for children called kidscomedypoetry.com.au

It is a colourful site that will hopefully attract children and get them interested in poetry. I have some 30 individual poems that can be downloaded with colourful illustrations. I will be adding more soon. I also have two books of children’s comedy poetry available that can be ordered through the mail or can be downloaded to E-Book readers.

I have spent some 30 years writing comedy poetry for children. I have also written for other teachers, when they wanted a certain poem to go with a theme they were doing. I have also written specific poems for Poetry Recitals which involved  groups of 50 or so children competing against  other schools in the Hawkesbury area.

The most fun that I had as a teacher was dramatizing poems on stage. The children thus got completely immersed in the characters created for each poem. This is a most fruitful way of teaching poetry. Children never forget one of their stage performances.

In the coming months I will be adding comedy romps in the Outback Australia tradition, both poems and stories.

I hope you all enjoy my new website.

John Williams

kurrajongmountains@gmail.com

Poem of the Day

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My Gran’s Place

 

My Gran’s place is an unchanging one

And I always visit when horridly glum.

She doesn’t go in for changing trends

Of fashion, hairdo’s or marital friends.

 

Everything’s the same, as long as I’ve known

The clock in the hall, the old fashioned phone.

She opens her door with a welcoming smile

And says ‘Hello love, come in for a while.’

 

Mum’s moved to a flat, small but not cosy,

Door to door concrete, and neighbours nosy.

No bike riding, skateboarding or making a noise

Pets not allowed, and they hate little boys.

 

Sometimes I go to stay with Dad

but after a while I start to feel mad.

A fresh new start, my stepmother said

And threw everything out, even my bed.

 

The kitchen’s never messy with cooking,

Everything’s tidy and modern looking.

The back verandah is now a study,

With nowhere to leave anything muddy.

 

Gran’s furniture’s shabby, and I like it a lot,

A smoking wood stove, and soup in the pot.

The broken down stool in my favourite nook

The bookshelf that has my very first book.

 

An expensive video game sits at home,

But it doesn’t compensate for nights alone.

Dad takes me fishing and for drives galore

(He never acted like this before!)

 

My Gran’s world is warm and friendly,

Nothing there is ever trendy.

I love to visit when feeling blue,

And pretend that my world’s unchanging too.

 

A version of this published one use only HOUSE OF SPROUTS 1988 (O.U.P) A version of this used in POSTIVE WORDS May 2008 issue, one use only

© Margaret Pearce

P.O. Box 253,

BELGRAVE, 3160

Australia

email mpearceau@gmail.com

Poem of the Day

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Portrait of a Puddle

 

I can tell you about the weather.

Am I growing or shrinking?

 

I can show you how a paper boat floats

and be a mirror for your smiling face.

 

I can be a drink for a thirsty bird,

or a short slurp for a cat on the prowl.

 

I can annoy new shoes,

but splashing gum boots love me.

 

I can be a short stay hostel

for tadpoles or mozzie larvae.

 

I can be temporary and tempting.

 

I have possibilities and potential.

I am a puddle.

 

© Pat Simmons

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

mpearceau@gmail.com

 

Student Poetry Project

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Silvia Tolisano (@langwitches) reveals a poetry project with a visual and audio layer that hopes to also connect students globally. It’s a matter of joining the wiki, reading the support material, creating poems, publishing them and giving feedback to others. http://langwitches.org/blog/2014/08/31/global-project-visualize-poetry-around-the-world/ (My feeling is this is aimed at high school students, but the prompt is a scaffolded form of “Where I’m From” poem which I have used with primary kids = achievable!)

This post was sent to the site by supporter, Jackie Hawkes. If you have any poetry-related articles, links, etc. please feel free to email them to dibates@outlook.com

Here’s a poetry writing (and illustrating) competition opened to young writers, if you’d like to pass it on. http://www.childwrites.com.au/Free-Stuff-Competition.html

This post was supplied by a generous supporter of this site, Dianne Cook.

Poem of the Day

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Walk!

 

Perhaps you’ve tried a jaunty stride,

A country romp, a city stomp.

Do your legs swing and your arms fling?

Do you ramble and roam all the way home?

Do you step pigeon-toed when crossing the road?

Is your waddle so humble, it’s almost a stumble?

 

Hilaire Belloc, known for humour and rhyme,

Had something to say (no rhyme this time):

‘The walk is a series of potential falls

Countered by placing one foot forward.’

Now you’ve heard (quick sketch, last word):

Stroll or race or fall flat on your face!

 

Walking helps your lungs and heart

And keeps your brain alert and smart,

Enough words, enough talk,

   Get out there! Walk, walk!

 

Edel Wignell

© The Australian Society of Authors

In Verse: Why and How I Write Verse Novels

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I fell in love with verse novels when I discovered those written by Margaret Wild (Jinxed and One Night). I decided then that I wanted to write in the form one day, and my love of verse novels continued to grow when I discovered works by Steven Herrick, Catherine Bateson, Lorraine Marwood and more. It took a while to find the right story for a verse novel, but when a girl called Pearl started telling me her tale, I wrote my first verse novel, Pearl Verses the World. Later, I met (in my imagination) a boy named John who similarly wanted his tale told that way, in Toppling.

Roses are Blue is my third verse novel, and took a little longer than the others to get from early draft to publication, because it took a lot of work to find the right balance between the sad, difficult subject matter, and some hope and happiness for Amber, the main character.

When I write a verse novel, I start with a character and a situation. In this novel, I had a little girl, Amber, in the horrible situation of confronting just how different her mother is – from other mothers, and from the mum she used to be.

I write the story from beginning to end, trying not to revise or edit until I have a first draft complete. Because I’m writing in poetry, I do consider things like line length and poetic technique, but try not to overthink these at the draft stage. I want to get the story down. So I wrote Amber’s story, of struggling with the changes in her life, and of wondering how her friends will react to Mum when she comes to school for a Mother’s Day function.

Once the draft is complete the hard work begins. Just as with a prose story I need to look at the story arc, the plot and any subplots, character development, setting and so on, but I also need to consider whether it works as poetry. Are there layers of meaning? Have I used line length to the best possible advantage? And what about poetic devices such as rhythm, repetition, alliteration, assonance, imagery, even rhyme? I consider how these can be used to enhance the story.

With Roses are Blue, I found the poetry part flowed quite naturally, but the  plot needed quite a bit of work, as I searched for more hope for Amber and for the reader. The character of Leroy became

quite important too. Although he was present in early drafts his role grew in subsequent drafts.

Of course, I also have to convince my publisher that the verse novel works. Walker Books had published my first two verse novels, and I was lucky enough to have their support in getting Roses are Blue to publication standard. This meant that once I thought the book was as good as I could get it, I had lots of editorial input from Sue and Jess at Walker until it was ready to be illustrated (by brilliant illustrator Gabriel Evans) and then, eventually, published.

Then, of course, there’s the fun part: holding my book baby in my hands, and getting to share it with the rest of the world.

© Sally Murphy

Sally Murphy is a children’s author, poet and reviewer, who lives in Western Australia. When she’s not writing verse novels, poems, picture books and more, she’s busy with her family – she has six gorgeous children, an adorable grandson and a loveable husband, as well as two dogs. Sally loves to share her poetry with the world through school visits, festival bookings, author talks and the like.

Roses are Blue (illustrated by Gabriel Evans is published by Walker Books Australia (ISBN 9781922244376) and is available from good bookstores, and from online stores including Booktopia, for a RRP of $16.95

Sally can be visited online at her website: www.sallymurphy.com.au

Or her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sally-Murphy/125397660050

Roses are Blue

Here’s a writing challenge which might interest all you poets! Thanks to Sally Odgers for sending it.

http://lizbrownleepoet.com/2014/09/18/think-of-a-poem-for-national-poetry-day/