Poem of the Day

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The Great Sock Hunter


Some cats like catnip,

some like toys with bells,

but I like socks

and their funny smells.


I catch socks from the laundry,

or from under the bed,

from the neighbour’s sock drawer,

or from the line instead.


I stalk, then pounce –

the shocked sock has a fright

and doesn’t put up

much of a fight.


I carry my prize

back to my lair,

behind the curtain,

there’s a mountain back there.


Then I hear my mistress,
“Have you seen my socks, John?

That’s the fifth pair this week.

Where have they all gone?”


“I don’t know dear.

Socks can’t just disappear.

We’ll have a good look,

they must be ‘round here.”


But I’ve outsmarted them all,

I think you’ll agree,

for I am the Great Sock Hunter.

No sock is safe from me!


© Vanessa Proctor

Poem of the Day


Mighty Marron


In the fresh cool water

of the swimming hole

lived a mighty marron

‘bout ten years old


He’d seen it all

this wily thing

round netted traps

bacon dangled on string


“Come on little yabby”

he’d hear them call

“Come taste this bait-

it’s nice and raw!”


But this smart crayfish

knew better than that

he’d sniff a trick

in two seconds flat


He’d lay down low

on flat dark rocks

waiting sleepily

tick-tock, tick-tock


He’d heard the tales

of cooking pots

of melted butter

and eschalots


Of bisque, étouffée

a sauce from roux

of crawfish boils

all this he knew






So careful he’d be

when things came close

to tempt him out

for lobster roast


‘til one cloudy day

at that swimming hole

when someone sat down

and dangled their toe


It looked so strange

that rounded thing

so pink and plump

no sign of a string


So up he crept

that tricksy marron

with one great claw

he pinched right down on


“Yeow!” it cried

“Something’s bitten my toe!

“There’s a creature in there!

Quick catch it!” So…


That crafty marron

he let go fast

of that plump round toe

that clever cast


Another trap!

this one was new

but there was just no way

he’d be yabby stew!


© Kristina Hoy


Melbourne GP and poet wins “Book of the Year” at Tamworth with book for children

A Melbourne GP and poet, Stephen Whiteside, has won a Golden Gumleaf for “Book of the Year” at the Australian Bush Laureate Awards.

The announcement was made at a special awards ceremony at the Tamworth Town Hall last night. The ceremony takes place during the Tamworth Country Music Festival.

The book, The Billy That Died With Its Boots On and Other Australian Verse, was published by Walker Books Australia in May 2014. It contains 65 poems over 150 pages, and is targeted at children aged 9+. The poems are all in rhyming verse, in the style of ‘Banjo’ Paterson and C. J. Dennis. There are also a number of elegant paper cut out illustrations by first time book illustrator Lauren Merrick.

Whiteside said today he was thrilled to have won the award. “It is particularly pleasing, because the Bush Laureates’ “Book of the Year” is not specifically an award for children’s books. To win against books written for adults is especially gratifying.”

The Billy That Died With Its Boots On had a long gestation. Whiteside commenced writing it in 1990, twenty-five years ago.

It contains the poem “The Sash”, which won a Golden Gumleaf for “Children’s Poem of the Year” in 2013, and tells the true story of how a young Ned Kelly was awarded a bright green sash after saving a younger boy from drowning in a flooded creek.

Further information can be found here:


Poem of the Day




I spend all of the school day

Just waiting for the bell

But still there’s no time for me –

I’ve got homework as well!

I’d rather be out climbing

Or riding on my bike

I’d like to tell the teacher

To go and take a hike:

She could use the exercise

Without a shadow of a doubt,

Sitting at a desk all day

Has made her kind of stout.

If she moved about a bit

She’d have a healthy heart,

Fresh air and some exercise

Would make her very smart.-

I’m sure she’d come to realize

How good outdoors can be

Perhaps then we’d have lessons

Sitting in a tree.


© Debra Tidball

Poem of the Day

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Dog Walk/Talk


When I took Minnie for a walk,

All she wanted to do was talk.

Yap, yap, yap,

And chat, chat, chat.

Did you hear about this?

Did you hear about that?

Did you hear about Chris?

Don’t you think Paul’s fat?

And this is this,

And that is that.

Poor old Chris,

And Paul doesn’t like Pat.

And isn’t Mrs Bellows wearing a silly hat?

And what was that rat-a-tat-tat?

Minnie, Minnie, please stop right now,

You could talk the ears of a stone deaf cow.

Come on, Minnie, its silence I crave,

Your chat-chat-chat will put me in my grave.

So I ask you on my bended knees,

“Please, please, please, please, please, please.

Walk, just walk; walk, walk, walk,

And stop that talk talk-talk-talk-talk!”

Walk you say? Swell hey-hey-hey!

Walking’s fine but it’s not my way.

I like to talk, that’s what mouths are for,

I wonder what’s the cricket score?

I wonder if the Moon’s made of cheese?

Listen to that cat snort and sneeze.

Talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk.

Talk and talk and talk; squawk, squawk.



© David Rish

Poem of the Day


A Young Magpie on the Breaking Drought


What is this silver falling from the sky,

that beads slim branches, streaks the garden wall;

that drums my dusty feathers as I fly;

that, never seen before, holds me in thrall?


I see slick foliage shine as if with dew

when touched by this world-washing, magic thing

that brings the snails and worms exploring, too;

that bids me tip my head right back and sing!



© Carolyn Eldridge-Alfonzetti

(First published by The School Magazine – Touchdown, No 2 – March 2008

Acknowledgement requested if published elsewhere)

Poem of the Day

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A mouse in the house


“There’s a mouse in our house,” said old Farmer Fife.

“Well, a cat will fix that,” said his good lady wife.

But the cat clawed and spat at the dog – how fur flew.

Fife yelled “Out!” What a shout, that house trembled, it’s true.

Next a trap it went snap but Mouse, she ran free.

Then a man in a van tried his luck for a fee.

Mouse hid ‘neath a lid till the danger was past.

Hunger gnawed – soon Fife snored – time Mouse broke her long fast.

Out she crept while they slept and feasted her fill

“It’s a pest not our guest!” Fife vowed, “Catch her I will.”

They tried brooms and loud booms, every potion and powder.

But Mouse she stayed, on she played, and her gnawing grew louder.

‘Twas not food but a brood in her round little tum.

They were born in the morn and the one had become

Nine, no less, and oh yes, Wife and Fife were distraught.

Those lodgers, smart dodgers just wouldn’t be caught.

In a trice those fine mice multiplied to three score

until Fife and his wife could not take any more.

Yes, they fled, out they sped, left their house to the mice

who skittered and tittered and sighed, “This is nice.”


© Teena Raffa-Mulligan

Poem of the Day


A dragonfly


rests motionless on my finger

as I gently unravel

the spider’s silk

that is caught

around its wings and thorax.

It seems weightless,

with its dark, slender body,

and six fragile legs on my skin.

I unwrap each strand

until the dragonfly is free,

yet it doesn’t move.

We become a stillness

that dissolves into the morning

until    suddenly    it shimmers away

on brilliant wings

transparent into the blue.


© Vanessa Proctor

‘Dragonfly’ was published in ‘Quadrant’ Vol 57. No 1-2 2013 and has been accepted for publication by ‘The School Magazine’.

Posting a Poem


Thanks to all of you who submit poems for publication on this blog. They are always needed and get posted so long as they are suitable for children (including teenagers). It doesn’t matter if they have previously been published and you still retain copyright. At this very moment I don’t have any poems (except my own) to post tomorrow. (This is a none too subtle hint!)

Thank you, too, to poets who submitted school and animal poems for my poetry anthology. The selection has almost been completed. All those submitting poems will be notified if their poem has been accepted (or, sadly, rejected). There are so many criteria for selection in an anthology and quality is just one (though the most important, of course). Those whose poems are to go into the anthology (to be published next year by Walker Books Australia) will be contacted by the rights’ manager in due course.

Dianne (Di) Bates