Poem of the Day


Thought Menu


An hour before breakfast

I thought of omelette piping hot

oozing sun-yellow cheese

With butter-dripping toast

And sweet cumquat marmalade —


Instead, I ate tasteless cereal

Drenched with sourish milk.


An hour before lunch

I thought of a hamburger

Succulent meat patty

And softy spongy bun

with the works —

Sweet beetroot and ripe tomato

Caramelised onion rings and crispy lettuce

Tangy sauce and juices

trickling down my fingers.


Instead I ate crackers and

A tart green apple.


An hour before dinner

I thought of succulent hot chops

Drenched with mint jelly

And French fries

golden-brown and salty.


What I ate was

Tinned spaghetti

On dry toast.


Nothing I tasted all day

Was as delicious

As my thoughts.

Dianne Bates

  • Submitted in response to Poetry Prompt #6

Poetry Prompt 6

Poetry Prompt #16

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Poetry prompt 16


There’s something about this photo that sparks my imagination. Perhaps it’s the branches reaching out like clutching fingers or the moodiness of the cloudy sky. Does it inspire you to start stringing words together? Let’s see what you come up with this week. Send your poems as a Word document attachment to traffa-m(at)bigpond.net.au and add a line or two about your writing process or how you tackled this week’s creative challenge.

Happy writing!


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The day after Yesterday

The play-date is the day before
tomorrow and, the one after that.

The party is two sleeps before the last
Family Day, and five after morning tea last week.

One week is shorter than seven days because it’s one!
I want the day to start in the morning not at sunrise.

But you said next week was after this day.

Wednesday is before Tuesday, not Friday!

I said it’s June, not March, because I want my birthday to be today.

Melanie Hill

Submitted in response to Poetry Prompt #14

Poetry Prompt 14

Melanie says: This poem was inspired by trying to teach time and the sequence of days, weeks and months to my four year old. It’s so tricky

Poem of the Day



by Pat Simmons


This is where we used to walk

On the beach

I collect driftwood

All different shapes and sizes

Jimmy would fetch the small pieces

I smash them against the rock

I pick up some pumice stone

It’s light and scrunchy, like a macaroon

Jimmy was so heavy

Especially when he got wet

I scrunch the pumice stone

It crumbles to dust

I see a rat

It scuttles behind a rock, sinister and sneaky

Jimmy chased rats and barked at them

I touch and tickle the sand with my toes

There are millions of grains – too many to count

Jimmy liked to dig in the sand

I sort some shells

No-one’s living in them now

They’re empty and quiet

Like my place

Coloured glass glitters

Smoothed by the sea water

Mum calls it treasure

She says Jimmy was a treasure

Near the waves seaweed settles

Someone told me you can eat it

Jimmy used to chew it and spit it out

That made me laugh

I discover a dead seagull

Was it old when it died?

I bet Jimmy would roll on it

And come home smelly

A plastic bag floats in front of me

It shouldn’t be here

But I wish Jimmy was

I watch an old man and his dog

Looking out at the blueness

His dog barks at the seagulls

Just like Jimmy

I grin, remembering.

I think I spy sea monsters hiding in the waves

But I am alone.

Or am I?

I’m sure Jimmy’s watching me.


  • Submitted in response to Poetry Prompt #4


Poem of the Day



Ten days in a vase

The dead rose weeps red petals

Onto the white bench

Dianne Bates
  • Submitted in response to Poetry Prompt #9

Poetry Prompt#9

Dianne says: I originally made a list of so many red and white images — blood on a band aid, the Red Cross sign, Japan’s flag and so on, but this morning when I walked into our kitchen, the poem came to me as per this haiku.

Poem of the Day

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Train Lines

by Monty Edwards


If you dearly want to gain

A skill

Allow me to explain

The drill

You really have to train


You can do it again

And again

At will.


  • Submitted in response to Poetry Prompt #13


Author comment: I thought I’d try to work with the keyword as a verb. I seemed to be on the way to some rare (for me) free verse, but the rhyming possibilities took over, resulting in perhaps my shortest ever poem.

News update

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New poetry anthology

Our Home is Dirt by Sea coverAn anthology of children’s poems which had a very long and sometimes tenuous path into being has been released this month. Our Home is Dirt by Sea (published by Walker Books) features poems selected by Dianne Bates.  The book is dedicated to the late David Bateson and Veronika Gervay and includes poems by Anne Bell, Janeen Brian, Robert Adamson, Rodney Hall, Doug
Macleod, Elizabeth Honey and many more. RRP $16.99


Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards

Australia’s largest schools competition for poetry is now open. There are six individual and two schools’ categories plus a Multicultural NSW Award. This year’s optional theme is ‘Waiting’. Judges for 2016 are Sophie Masson and Stephen Whiteside. Entries close on 30 June and the winners will be announced on 2 September at the national Presentation Ceremony in Gunnedah, NSW. Visit www.dorothea.com.au for details.

Poetry pointers

Where do you get ideas? How do you write a poem? Do poems have to rhyme? What makes it a poem if it doesn’t rhyme? Who publishes poetry? How do I become a children’s poet? What is your top tip for writers who want to write poetry for children?

These are among the myriad questions asked by writers who want to write poetry. How would you answer them? If you have a poetry pointer to share, email me at traffa-m@bigpond.net.au

Poems wanted

Please keep submissions of poetry coming in for the Poem of the Day. Your submissions are much appreciated and I’m enjoying them immensely, particularly the responses to the Monday Poetry Prompts. If you’re a poet who is still thinking about whether to submit, please do! Poems are always needed and get posted so long as they are suitable for children (including teenagers). Previously published poems can be submitted provided you still retain copyright. Email traffa-m@bigpond.net.au

Articles, events, information and interviews

ACP is also happy to accept information about children’s poetry activities and events in Australia and overseas, poetry links, competitions, interviews with poets or publishers, poetry book reviews and relevant articles.

Poetry Prompt #15

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Poetry Prompt15We had a welcome storm last night…thunder, lightning and a deluge of rain. There’s no mystery about what prompted this week’s subject! What images does winter conjure for you? I love being indoors, cosy and snug, while the man in my life revels in a walk along the beach path, undeterred by chill winds and icy rain. I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with. I love reading your pooems. If you’ve missed a prompt, you can catch up any time. Send your poems to traffa-m@bigpond.net.au as a Word document attachment and add a personal note about why or how you chose to write this particular poem.

Happy writing!


Poem of the Day


Purple Predicament

It happens one fine morning when I squint into the light;

The image in the mirror is a terrifying sight.

The carrot-coloured hair is gone that caused me so much grief,

Replaced with purple pansies…I feel gobsmacked disbelief!


The freckles that I hated are exchanged for purple dots.

Without exaggerating, there are lots and lots and lots.

Instead of whites, my eyes have mauves, and bristling on my chin,

A prickly purple beard grows out of lilac-tinted skin.


The nails are painted purple on my fingers and my toes

And, when I poke my tongue out, it is tied with purple bows.

The doctor says, ‘It seems that a disease extremely rare

Has turned your body purple from your toes up to your hair:


Acute impurpleitis. There is nothing I can do.

It’s really not my specialty. The cure is up to you.’

I snip the purple pansies and I shave the purple beard.

I dab the dots with crayon they look only slightly weird.


I loosen all the purple bows and cover up my skin,

Then crumple up my homework and consign it to the bin.

I’ve figured out the reason this predicament arose

From now on I intend to KEEP AWAY FROM PURPLE PROSE.

Sharon Hammad