“Feet” by Robyn Youl


Quatrain Poetry celebrates the number four. It is easy and fun to write:

A Quatrain poem is a four-line poem that rhymes.

There are four ways to organise a Quatrain rhyming scheme.

1. a/b/a/b/ rhyming scheme
2. a/a/b/b/ rhyming scheme
3. a/a/b/a/ rhyming scheme
4. a/b/c/b/ rhyming scheme
1. Cat Feet are neat & round. They need less energy to lift during movement. They grip on rough terrain. They are paws for endurance, not short bursts of speed.

Cat Feet: Rhyming scheme: a/b/a/b/ Four lines


Not for speed, not for the race

Not for the swift or fleet

Steady the rhythm, steady the pace

Arched and round cat feet.


2 .Hare Feet require more energy for locomotion, but are designed for speed. The two centre toes are longer than the outside toes and the toes arch less. Designed for running with short, high bursts of speed.

Hare Feet: Rhyming scheme: a/a/b/b/ Four lines


Two centre toes, long and strong

Grip the ground, speed me along

Race with me if you dare

Mine is the fleet foot of the hare


3. Webbed Feet are for swimming to retrieve birds or drag fishing nets ashore. The toes are connected by membrane similar to that of a frog to assist with locomotion in water. 

Webbed Feet: Rhyming Scheme: a/a/b/a/ Four lines.


Bred to swim, bred to achieve

Webbed feet through the water cleave

Downed birds and fishing nets I carry

My goal in life is to retrieve

“2019 Year of the Pig” by Robyn Youl

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A lunar year

Puts the earth in the centre

Measures time

As the moon goes round

Different way of thinking

Chinese New Year


The Fifth Day of February.


Chinese Jade Emperor 

Organised a race

First to reach the Celestial Palace 

Would be first to guard

The Heavenly Gate 


Twelve animals had a river to cross.

Rat said to Ox

You do the swimming

I’ll sit on your ear

Just to be sure the way is clear.


Rat cheated.

Won first place

Generous Ox did not mind at all


Tiger and Rabbit tried hard to win

Tiger beat Rabbit for Third


Dragon was fifth.

Jade Emperor said: Where is your son?

Snake replied: I’m the one.

Snake was sixth


Horse and Goat arrived together

Horse was Seventh.

Goat was Eighth


Monkey came leaping in

To be Ninth

What a racket.

What a din!!!


Rooster was next.

Dog and Pig

Got distracted on the way

A Celestial Race

Was a time to play

Dog was Eleventh

Pig was Last.


Twelve Zodiacs

In a twelve year cycle

Born in 


You will really dig


Another Year of the Pig


Two Christmases

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Grandma D has

A real pine Christmas Tree.

At the very top

A Silver Star of the Nativity.

On her mantelpiece

A Stable where Jesus was born.

Santa sacks hang waiting

For Christmas Morn.


Great Gran’s in a Home

They call it Aged Care

She’s wrinkly and bent,

It’s hard not to stare.

She’s Grandma D’s Mum.

She didn’t stay.

Pa just picked her up

To spend Christmas Day.


It was not the right day.

It was not Christmas Morn.

Wise Men still travelling.

Baby Jesus not born

Father Christmas still

At the Pole with his sleigh.

He leaves Christmas Eve,

To arrive Christmas Day



Great Gran’s 93

That’s awfully old

She really believes

Everything she is told.

She mutters and mumbles

Doesn’t call us by name.

But she buys great presents

… just the same.


With too much to drink

Grandparents talk funny

Making jokes about “Mum”

And spending her money.

If her old brain

Is so addled and queer

How come she could buy

All that food wine and beer?


Great Grandma’s mind

May have gone far away

But she’ll wake up alone

On the real Christmas Day.

Robyn Youl


Feathers Fur or Fins with Teacher Notes

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Feathers Fur or Fins.


Vertebrates are covered

In spikes, feathers and scales

Most mammals wear fur

Skin covers humans and whales


With skeletons covered

In scaled skins.

Fish breathe under water

And glide with their fins.


With skeleton covered

In thick armored plates

Eyes and nose above water

The crocodile waits


With skeleton covered

In skin soft and cool

Tadpoles become frogs

In creek, river and pool.


With hollow skeletons

And fragile feather

Birds swoop and soar

In flocks together


With skeletons covered

In thick fur or fine hair

Bats, seals and elephants

Share earth water and air


Robyn Youl




Teaching Notes:

A basic introduction to Taxonomy – VertebratesAnimals with Backbones.

The five classes of Vertebrates are introduced in this poem.

Verse 1. General introduction about vertebrates who have spines.

Verse 2. Fish

Verse 3. Reptiles

Verse 4. Amphibians

Verse 5. Birds

Verse 6. Mammals



* Writing Acrostic Poetry: The human spine has 33 Bones. Snakes have 200-400! Construct a human spine from card. Each child makes an individual vertebrae. (Google – labeled vertebrae) Names it and writes an acrostic on that vertebrae about a member of ONE of the five classes of vertebrates. String them together for a Class Backbone mobile.

Use a different color card for each of the five classes of vertebrates

Drama:   Dem Bones:

Emphasizes the magic boney structure of our skeleton!!

Creates body awareness.

With this old favorite students can enjoy a complete lower/upper body shakeout work out

Move each section of the body after each line. Example: after line one shake the right foot & shake the left foot

Chorus after Verse 1 Actions:

  • Only the lower body does the skeleton dance.
  • Students move freely to invent their own dance.
  • Moving in slow motion is a real challenge.
  • Students can pair and mirror image

Chorus after Verse 2.

  • Actions as for Verse 1.
  • Only the upper body does the skeleton dance

Final Chorus Repeat: The WHOLE skeleton dance.

Dem Bones is also the basis for Skeleton (Simon) Says. Skeleton says: Shake the foot bone/bend the backbone/shake the knee bone/shake the finger bones/nod the head bone etc



Dem Bones, them bones, dere my bones

Dem bones dem bones dere my bones

Dem bones dem bones dere my bones

Doin’ the skeleton dance

The foot bone connected to the leg bone

The leg bone connected to the knee bone

The knee bone connected to the thigh bone

The thighbone connected to the backbone

The backbone connected to the neck bone

The neck bone connected the head bone

Doin’ the skeleton dance

Chorus: Lower body only

The hand bone connected to the wrist bone

The wrist bone connected to the elbow bone

The elbow bone connected to the shoulder bone

The shoulder bone connected to the neck bone

The neck bone connected to the head bone

Chorus: Upper body only

Chorus Repeat: The WHOLE skeleton dance.

Humanities: Endless possibilities! Slots in well with any current ecology projects!




The Love of Eggs


The Love of Eggs

Mother Emu lays her eggs

Disdainfully walks away

Emu father tends their eggs

Turning each one every day


Echidna mums lay just one egg

In her pouch it hatches

When puggle starts to prickle

It’s evicted ‘cause it scratches


Mother Trapdoor loves her eggs

With silk she lines her nest

She sometimes gobbles up the dad

Mum Spider really does know best


Sea Horse Dads carry eggs in pouches

From eggs tiny foals break free

Sea Dads’ pouches stretch and stretch

Until Dads give birth in the open sea

Robyn Youl

Poem of the Day

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Blossoming Blooming

Balanced Bedazzling Ball-of-Fire

Being Befriended, Beloved By


Robyn Youl


  • Submitted in response to Poetry Prompt #29

Robyn said: Nearly a Diamante! Every child is a diamond. Some need love to polish those prisms so they can shine. Poetry in kids’ prisons would help! What a marvelous thing for kids to do – create positive poems about themselves using this pattern!


Poem of the Day



 I am 72 today,


In Grade Two

The Hobyahs came to stay.

They came through the gloomy gullies

Creep, creep, creeping.

They came through the grey gum-trees

Run, run, running.

They came into my dreams

Skip, skip, skipping.

The Little Old Man

Cut off Little Dog Dingo’s tail

And Little Dog Dingo’s legs

And Little Dog Dingo’s head

To stop Little Dog Dingo barking.

To frighten the Hobyahs away

The Little Old Man

Hid under the bed

When the Hobyahs took

The Little Old Woman away.

The Little Old Man

Was very sorry.

He took Dingo’s tail and his legs and his head

And gave them back to Little Dog Dingo.

Little Dog Dingo saved the Little Old Woman

Little Dog Dingo ate up every one of the Hobyah’s

I am not so sure

There are no Hobyahs now

Even now

Now I am 72.

See for yourself.



Robyn Youl
  • Submitted in response to Poetry Prompt #32