Poem of the Day

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Phineas McGonagall

Phineas McGonagall was very strange indeed,

For the manner of his feeding and for where he kept his feed.

Upon his head, he wore a wig of lamington and cheese.

His beard was full of ‘little boys’ that dangled to his knees.

Among his friends I must say there were many most disgusted:

And so would you be if you knew just where he kept his custard.

To critics Phiny simply smiled and said, ‘Now look here sonny!’

Stamped a dusty boot from which erupted blue gum honey.

‘With a narnie in me pocket and some damper in me daks,

I’m never short of tucker as I tred life’s sandy tracks.

From Alice Springs to Zanthus I have never ‘ad the munchies.

-Thanks mostly to me grundies where I keep a stash of crunchies!-

And I betcha when I cark it and am carried out feet first,

The tinnies in me pocket slake the undertaker’s thirst!’

Alys Jackson


  • Alys is a regular contributor to The School Magazine and has just won the 2017 Award for Poetry at the Henry Lawson Festival of Arts. 

Poem of the Day




Moon, I know

you’re rather fickle –

not long ago

you were thin as a sickle


but look at you now –

It’s night’s high noon

and you’re fat and full

as a blown balloon.


Moon, your face

is made of light

and you hang like hope

against the night,


waxing, waning,

sometimes gone,

always changing,

moving on.


©   Kate O’Neil
  • Submitted in response to Poetry Prompt #16

Poetry Prompt #21

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Hi everyone, this week’s writing prompt is a photo I took at Crom Castle in Northern Ireland earlier this year during a writing retreat. This gateway is part of the ruins of the old castle and if I let my imagination roam freely, that open gate is an invitation to explore other times, perhaps even other dimensions. The aged stonework fascinates me – I want to touch it and sense the stories it tells of other lives. How does the image speak to you?

Thanks to everyone who has so enthusiastically embraced these weekly prompts. Your contributions to this site are much appreciated, so please keep them coming. Remember, if you’ve missed a prompt you can catch up later. And if you have other poems for children, feel free to submit them. They can be previously published as long as you retain the rights. Send submissions via email to teenawriter@gmail.com as a Word or Text document attachment, add a line or two about your writing process and make sure you include your name on your poem. It makes my job so much easier if I don’t have to search back in my email folders.

Happy writing!


Poem of the Day


BEWARE! This is a HORRIBLE poem!!

Read at OWN RISK!!!





What’s for dinner, Mum?


First up

slurp up

sliced slug soup

seasoned with slaters.



bite into

baked blowfly burgers

basted with blood.



gobble down

goat gut goulash

garnished with grubs.



munch up

minced mouse mousse

mingled with maggots.



dive into

dragonfly dumplings

drizzled in drool.


And last of all

swill down

seaweed slime smoothies

smothered in snot.


Still hungry?


Glenys Eskdale
  • Submitted in response to Poetry Prompt #20

Glenys said: I heard a discussion on ABC talkback radio about sayings mothers used to have as answers to the question, ‘What’s for dinner, Mum’, so I invented a poem of the most disgusting stuff I could think of.

Poem of the Day

Leave a comment


The crocodile has every right

to fall in love or have a fight.

He likes his home.  He wants to stay

and have a feed and sleep and play.


But better not get in his way

or YOU won’t see another day!


So when you travel our great land

respect this resident so grand

and DON’T go swimming where he hides

among the rivers, banks and tides.


It’s not HIS fault that tourists may

taste just like croccy’s take-away!

Celia Berrell
  • Submitted in response to Poetry Prompt #20





Celia said: My husband is considering working in a remote coastal location in Far North Queensland where it is possible to find crocodiles lurking under the buildings.  To all the people who work up there, PLEASE be careful and keep yourselves off their dinner menu!

Poetry Pointers

  1. Try to write every day. Don’t wait for inspiration to strike.


  1. Play to your strengths. If you prefer to write in rhyme, do so. If not, don’t. It doesn’t matter whether a poem rhymes or not.


  1. Having said that, it is also important to push yourself out of your comfort zone from time to time.


  1. Don’t write to a formula. If your writing interests you, it will probably interest other people. If it bores you, it will probably bore others.


  1. Don’t take rejection personally. Remember, it is only your poem that is being rejected, not you.


  1. Talent is overrated. Persistence is much more important.


  1. Know the markets. Write with the markets in mind.


  1. Having said that, don’t write with the markets in mind all the time. It is important to have fun with your poetry, and take risks. Try not to get too serious about it all.


  1. If you’re stuck for an idea, choose something small and insignificant to start with, and build from there.


  1. Celebrate your mistakes. They are evidence of your productivity. Remember, the most mistakes are made by the most successful people.


Thanks to Stephen Whiteside for these excellent tips on writing poetry. Stephen’s collection of rhyming verse for children, ‘The Billy That Died With Its Boots On’ and Other Australian Verse, was published by Walker Books in 2014. In 2015, the book won a “Golden Gumleaf” award for “Book of the Year” at the Australian Bush Laureate Awards during the Tamworth Country Music Festival. Visit his website for more details.


Poem of the Day


The Feely Bag


What’s inside the feely bag?

Please tell us what you feel.


A slimy, slippery frog perhaps,

That makes you squirm and reel.


A ragged, worn-out kitchen sponge,

That’s squelchy, smelly, wet.


Or Cody’s wriggly garden worms,

The biggest he could get.


Do bristles scrape your fingertips,

When lifting something up?


Is it a nailbrush, Stickle Brick,

Some Velcro in a cup?


It may be soft with rubber wings,

And live inside a cave.


A tingly touch might make you scared

To guess you must be brave.


Lynette Oxley


  • In response to Poetry Prompt #18


Lynette said: I wrote about preschool children who are willing to put their hands in a Feely Bag and guess what the contents might be. This activity promotes language development.