Poem of the Day

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The Bike Ride

by N. McMullin

 

On my bike,

I pedal fast.

Building speed,

My heart swells,

The wind whirls,

Tugging at my clothes,

Whipping, snapping,

Ticking spokes,

Quicken down the hill.

I’m racing,

I’m in front.

Wibble, wobble,

I straighten in time.

Wiggle, squiggle,

I keep my line.

Low on the handle-bars.

Hang on,

Hunker down!

Jiggle, joggle,

I’m in the gravel!

Swish swoosh,

Look how fast I travel.

I’m flying,

I’m flying in the sky.

Up on my toes,

Pushing, pulling,

Puffing panting,

Legs burning,

Lungs bursting,

I see it,

I’m so close,

At last, my destination –

The ice-cream shop.

Poem of the Day

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Prima Donna Chooses a Pet

by Kate O’Neil

 

Someone said Celebrity News

wants to know what pet I’ll choose.

And since my choice will start a trend

around the world, my choice of friend

will take some very careful thought.

“A pet’s for life” is what we’re taught.

 

I’ve never liked domestic cats.

They have a guilty look – and that’s

because they slink too much. They move

too shiftily. Which goes to prove

they’re up to something. On the prowl.

And then at night… You’ve heard them howl!

They even make a yowling noise

when they want food or milk or toys.

And after these appalling rages

they eat, then slump, and sleep for ages.

 

Where’s the fun in that? I ask.

So now I’ve set myself the task

of looking for a better pet.

And, first things first, I’d like to get

a handsome one with stylish air

(to complement my fashion flair).

 

And then of course I think it should

be most adoring, loyal and good.

I’d like it to have attitude

but not too much – which would exclude

that other pest, the talking bird.

You won’t believe the things I’ve heard

some parrots say. They’ve got a cheek.

I tell them straight, “Go wash your beak

out. Use the soap, and don’t you ever

say such words again. No never.”

 

I simply wouldn’t take that risk.

I do like baby things that frisk,

like puppies, lambs and foals and such,

But when they’re older, not so much-

not when they lose that joyful spring.

And yes –there is another thing –

I like a pet that’s always clean,

So… maybe goldfish? I have seen

some gorgeous frilly ones. But no,

I’d like a pet who’ll join my show

and share the limelight. If it’s mine

it must be dazzling. It should shine

and be a star as bright as me.

Do you know what my pet should be?

Pardon? What would you suggest?

Do tell me what you think is best.

 

You think the wisest choice for me

is a large pet rock! Well, mission done

IF I can choose a diamond one.

How right you are. And for my part

I’ll love that rock with all my heart.

I’ll take it everywhere with me

and show it off for all to see.

How good of you to recommend

the perfect pet, a girl’s best friend.

Poem of the Day

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Do Not!

by Dianne Bates

 

Do not pat a cranky cat!

Do not jig with a pig!

Do not steal a seal!

Do not lick a chick!

Do not wear a llama’s ‘jamas!

Do not dine with swine!

Do not stare at a bear!

Do not smile at a crocodile!

Do not force a horse!

Do not pull a bull!

Do not twirl a girl!

Do not annoy a boy!

 

 

 

Poem of the Day

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Super Sam

by Ron Barton

Silly Sammy couldn’t sleep,

try though he might.

He thought that there were monsters lurking

in the dark of night.

 

His dad had tried ‘most everything

to alleviate Sam’s fear;

he’d sprayed the place with monster spray

and checked the room was clear

 

but Sammy would still cry out

every now and then

and force his dad to search and spray

and check his room again.

 

There were no monsters, that’s for sure,

but Sammy couldn’t see

that things you look at in the dark

aren’t what they appear to be.

 

Shadows cast upon the wall

can make simple things look bad

and, so, it’s understandable

Sam sometimes calls for dad.

 

Plus, houses make a lot of noise

in the cooling night-time air

so it’s easy to imagine things

that aren’t actually there.

 

This brings us back to Sammy

who was still restless in his bed,

scared of monsters in his room

that were really in his head.

 

Then Sammy’s dad had an idea,

he knew just what to do.

Sammy loves his superheroes

– what if he could be one too?

 

He bought Sammy a special costume

for him to wear to bed;

no longer Silly Sammy

he was Super Sam instead.

 

There was no need to be afraid

of things like monsters now.

If Sammy ever caught one

he’d unleash a big KAPOW!

Poem of the Day

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Night invader

By Jenny Erlanger

 

I’m woken by a presence

in the middle of the night.

I’d scream to get attention

but I’m paralysed with fright.

 

There’s something like a zombie

shuffling slowly round my bed.

Its eyes are staring wildly

from a vacant-looking head.

 

The figure edges closer.

and I’m just about to pray

then I recognise its features

and the terror drains away.

 

I’m glad it’s not a monster,

not some evil-minded creep

but I wish my little sister

wouldn’t wander in her sleep!

 

 

Interview with Sally Murphy

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Sally Small

“It is really hard to get poetry published in Australia – there are few markets for individual poems as well as collections. The best way to fix this is by sharing poetry with children in positive ways as often as possible. Books and magazines are published when there is demand for them. When was the last time you bought a poetry book? Was it published in Australia?” -Sally Murphy

When did your interest in poetry begin and what were the circumstances?

I don’t remember a time when I didn’t love poetry. As a child, my mum read me poetry including the rhymes of Dr Seuss books, and I remember AA Milne and Robert Louis Stevenson especially. I loved the sounds, the silliness, the strangeness of poetry. We had a set of Childcraft Books and I remember adoring the poetry one especially – with rhymes such as the very famous one about a Purple Cow.

What was your experience with poetry as a child at school? 

All positive, especially in primary school where I remember poetry being something I loved to learn and recite, as well as to experiment with writing my own. In high school I discovered the wonders of free verse poetry, which fascinated me. My only struggle with poetry in high school was when I studied Literature in year 11 and 12 and started to panic that I didn’t know the right answers.

Did you write poetry as a child?

Yes. I wrote everything as a child! Writing was my favourite thing to do in class – and out of it.

When was your first poem published?

As a child, in school magazines, which used to be printed on the old purple-inked gestetners. Also in the local paper, the Collie Mail, where there were sometimes writing competitions. As an adult, my first published poem was for adults in the Australian Multicultural Review, but since then all of my published poetry has been for children, because that is who I write for.

Who are some poets whose writing you love?

How long have you got? Contemporary poets I love include Steven Herrick, Lorraine Marwood, Anne Bell (all Australian) as well as Joyce Sidman, Jane Yolen, Valerie Worth. I adore the work of William Carlos Williams, Emily Dickinson, TS Elliot, William Blake. Shall I go on?

Have you had any poetry writing mentors?

Not really. I do read a lot of poetry and try to figure out what makes it great – but those poets don’t know they are mentoring me by example, lol

What inspires you to write poetry?

All sorts of things! I guess chiefly I remember though how I felt about poetry as a child, and how it still makes me feel, and I want to spread that joy.

When you are writing a poem, what comes first — a subject, a line, a word?

That varies. Often it’s thinking about something I’ve seen or heard or felt, and wanting to capture my response in words. Other times though it’s a word or phrase that comes to me that I want to play with.

Do you workshop your poems with anyone?

Not nearly enough. It’s something I’d like to do more, but I find it hard to find the opportunity to sit down with other poets and share work.

How do you know a poem you write is finished?

I don’t! sometimes when a poem is published I look at it and think – oh – I wonder why I didn’t say this or that? But mostly, after lots of drafts and tweaking, I let a poem rest for as long as I can and then, if I get it back out and it reads well and I can find no more tweaks needed, then I submit it.   Often, though, as I said, later I’ll realise a way I could have changed it.

How do you know a poem is ‘good’?

That’s a hard one. I’m very critical of my own work and so not necessarily the best judge of if it’s any good. But if a poem makes me feel when I pick it back up – feel sad, or happy, or tingly –then that’s a sign that I might be on the right track.

 

 

Poem of the Day

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Not Out

by N. McMullin

 

Facing.

The Bowler,

Streaks in.

Long limbed,

Powerful.

With intent, he glares at me.

 

Sweating.

Under my helmet.

I tap my bat.

Raised.

Ready.

Fixated on the Bowler’s hand.

 

An Umpire,

Yawns behind,

Darkened sunglasses.

Bored. Daydreaming.

A seagull cries

From the boundary.

 

The red ball,

Careers down.

An inside edge.

Caught by the Keeper.

They call for it.

HOWZAT!

 

The Umpire.

Stands motionless.

I feign innocence.

He hasn’t heard it.

No finger is raised.

And I silently thank the seagull.

 

Poem of the Day

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The Magic Circus

by Sophie Masson

 

Hippogriff, hippogriff, where do you go?

I go to the city to put on a show.

Hippogriff, hippogriff, what will you do?

I’ll be the ringmaster, and here is my crew:

A dragon in top hat,

A werewolf acrobat,

A strongman, Mr Troll,

An elf who vaults the pole;

A phoenix on trapeze,

A goblin who rides fleas,

A witch to play the clown:

The circus comes to town!