30 April 2012

The End

April is ending and my experiment is over.  I met my challenge of posting a poem a day and I hope you have enjoyed them.  May the rest of your spring season be beautiful.

"The Spring Wind"

The summer wind
is soft and sweet
the winter wind is strong
the autumn wind is mischievous
and sweeps the leaves along.

The wind I love the best
comes gently after rain
smelling of spring and growing things
brushing the world with feathery wings
while everything glistens, and everything sings
in the spring wind
after the rain.

by Charlotte Zolotow (from Read-Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young, pg 56)

29 April 2012

The Best of Days

"That Kind of Day"

It's that kind of day
and that kind of season
when the breeze is sweet
and the cool air calls
"Come out!"
It beckons the folks
who come out of doors
and wander about
pretending at first
to look for chores
although they know
they just want to walk
in the breeze and the pale
it's that kind of day

by Eloise Greenfield (from Under the Sunday Tree, pg 1)

28 April 2012


We are going to MerleFest this weekend and will hear Alison Krauss sing tomorrow.  She sang this song on "Raising Sand" with Robert Plant.  It was written by Doc Watson and his wife, so there is a second MerleFest connection.

It is one of my favorites and makes me think of my grandparents.

"Your Long Journey"  

God's given us years of happiness here
Now we must part
And as the angels come and call for you
The pains of grief tug at my heart

Oh my darling
My darling
My heart breaks as you take your long journey

Oh the days will be empty
The nights so long without you my love
And when god calls for you I'm left alone
But we will meet in heaven above

Oh my darling
My darling
My heart breaks as you take your long journey

Fond memories I'll keep of happy ways
That on earth we trod
And when I come we will walk hand in hand
As one in heaven in the family of god

Oh my darling
My darling
My heart breaks as you take your long journey

by Doc and Rosa Lee Watson

27 April 2012


Book Fair is ending today.  It is a relief for me, but I know the students enjoy it and look forward to it coming back next year.

"Good Books, Good Times!"

Good books
Good times.
Good stories.
Good rhymes.
Good beginnings.
Good ends.
Good people.
Good friends.
Good fiction.
Good facts.
Good adventures.
Good acts.
Good stories.
Good rhymes.
Good books.
Good times.

by Lee Bennett Hopkins (from Good Rhymes, Good Times, pg. 28

26 April 2012

Cleaning Up

It's Poem in your Pocket Day, so here is my favorite childhood poem . . .

"Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout 
Would not Take the Garbage Out!"

Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout 
Would not take the garbage out! 
She'd scour the pots and scrape the pans, 
Candy the yams and spice the hams, 
And though her daddy would scream and shout, 
She simply would not take the garbage out. 
And so it piled up to the ceilings: 
Coffee grounds, potato peelings, 
Brown bananas, rotten peas, 
Chunks of sour cottage cheese. 
It filled the can, it covered the floor, 
It cracked the window and blocked the door 
With bacon rinds and chicken bones, 
Drippy ends of ice cream cones, 
Prune pits, peach pits, orange peel, 
Gloppy glumps of cold oatmeal, 
Pizza crusts and withered greens, 
Soggy beans and tangerines, 
Crusts of black burned buttered toast, 
Gristly bits of beefy roasts. . . 
The garbage rolled on down the hall, 
It raised the roof, it broke the wall. . . 
Greasy napkins, cookie crumbs, 
Globs of gooey bubble gum, 
Cellophane from green baloney, 
Rubbery blubbery macaroni, 
Peanut butter, caked and dry, 
Curdled milk and crusts of pie, 
Moldy melons, dried-up mustard, 
Eggshells mixed with lemon custard, 
Cold french fried and rancid meat, 
Yellow lumps of Cream of Wheat. 
At last the garbage reached so high 
That it finally touched the sky. 
And all the neighbors moved away, 
And none of her friends would come to play. 
And finally Sarah Cynthia Stout said, 
"OK, I'll take the garbage out!" 
But then, of course, it was too late. . . 
The garbage reached across the state, 
From New York to the Golden Gate. 
And there, in the garbage she did hate, 
Poor Sarah met an awful fate, 
That I cannot now relate 
Because the hour is much too late. 
But children, remember Sarah Stout 
And always take the garbage out!

by Shel Silverstein (from Where the Sidewalk Ends, pg. 70)

25 April 2012

Don't Be Late

"I'm Going to the Library"
I’m going to the library,
and moving very slow,
despite the fact that it’s a place
I’ve always liked to go.
But I’m not looking forward now
to being there at all,
and that is why I’m heading there
at practically a crawl.
I’m going to the library,
and I’m a bit afraid.
It’s all because of one mistake
I’ve accidentally made.
I’m filled with trepidation
mixed with downright misery,
convinced that the librarian
is furious with me.
I know that I’m in trouble,
so I’m in a frantic state.
I also know it’s all my fault,
and I deserve my fate.
I’m going to the library,
and shaking through and through—
the book I’m finally bringing back
is four years overdue.
by Jack Prelutsky (from My Dog May Be A Genius, pg 144)

24 April 2012


"There Is No Frigate Like a Book"

There is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away,
Nor any coursers like a page
Of prancing poetry.
This traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of toll;
How frugal is the chariot
That bears a human soul!

by Emily Dickinson

23 April 2012

So true . . .

It's book fair week, so how about a poem each day about books or reading?

"A Classic"

A children's book is a classic
If at six, excitedly
You read to another kid
Who just turned sixty-three.

by J. Patrick Lewis (from Please Bury Me in the Library, pg 14)

22 April 2012

Earth Day by Isaac

Here are Isaac's Earth Day poems.


Recycle  paper,
metal,  plastic,  glass  bottles, 
and  cardboard  boxes.

Lantern Poem:


round,  big
it’s  our  home
take  care  of  it


Every body            
Take  care

21 April 2012

Earth Day by Erwin

This past week we did a One School / One Book project using Here Comes the Garbage Barge by Jonah Winter.  It connected to our school-wide recycling service learning project which is on-going.  We chose this week to implement the project because of Earth Day.

Classes talked about how much trash they produce, buried garbage to see what will decompose and how fast, and read the book which is a fictionalized account of the barge of garbage from Islip, Long Island that floated around the Atlantic in 1987 looking for a place to be dumped.

Each class I worked with throughout the week read an Earth Day related book and wrote poems in different formats.

I have put those poems into Glogs for you to enjoy.

Happy Earth Day!

20 April 2012

Earth Colors

Earth Day is this weekend.  We have been celebrating it at school this week with a book study,a parade, by planting gardens and picking up trash.

So how about a poem celebrating nature? . . .

"Crayons: A Rainbow Poem"

This box contains the wash of blue sky,
spikes of green spring,
a circle of yellow sun,
triangle flames of orange and red.

It has the lime caterpillar
inching on a brown branch,
the shadow black in the center
of a grove of trees.

It holds my pink
and your chocolate
and her burnt sienna
 and his ivory skin.
In it are all the colors of the world.

All the colors of the world.

by Jane Yolen (from Color Me a Rhyme: Nature Poems for Young People, unp)

19 April 2012

Spring Cleaning

Isaac helped me dust yesterday.  It's become our thing since I have been trying to manage my housework load by doing 30-45 minutes a day in different rooms of the house.  He offered to vacuum, too, but couldn't quite manage the vacuum cleaner.

He has come a long way from the little boy who would sit on the stairs and try to yell over the noise of the vacuum begging me to turn it off.

"Me vs. Vacuum"

When the vacuum
starts its roaring,
I start calling
to be heard.

Dad can't hear me;
he keeps pushing.
Vacuum swallows
every word.

I try shouting
even louder.
Now it's rumbling
by my feet.

Vacuum cleaner
sucks my voice up.
Vacuum cleaner's
got me beat.

by Betsy R. Rosenthal (from My house is Singing, unp)

18 April 2012

Outside Time

I had lunch with a student yesterday and we sat at one of the outside picnic tables.  Then we walked on the school track for a little while.

It was nice for a lot of reasons, but especially because it was a beautiful spring day and I enjoyed being outside rather than cooped up in my fresh air-less library.

"What I Love About Spring"

Trees are growing
Streams are flowing
Cool Spring showers
Blooming flowers
Caterpillars creep
Peepers peep
Playing sports
Wearing shorts
April Fools'
Swimming pools
Going places
Relay races
Days are longer
Sun is stronger
Every morning songbirds sing --
I love nearly everything!

by Douglas Florian (from Handsprings, pg 18)

17 April 2012

Are You My Family?

With the debate going on in my state right now, this poem hits the spot.

"What is A Family?"

What is a family?
Who is a family?
One and another makes two is a family!
Baby and father and mother: a family!
Parents and sister and brother: a family!
All kinds of people can make up a family
All kinds of mixtures can make up a family
What is a family?
Who is a family?
The children that lived in a shoe is a family!
A pair like a kanga and roo is a family!
A calf and a cow that go moo is a family!
All kinds of creatures can make up a family
All kinds of numbers can make up a family
What is a family?
Who is a family?
Either a lot or a few is a family;
But whether there's ten or there's two in your family,
All of your family plus you is a family!

by Mary Ann Hoberman (from Grandad's Tree: Poems About Families, pg 8)

16 April 2012

As Good As Carl Kasell's

I am going to have my students write some simple poems this week. Hopefully the process goes better than this. . . though it does sound worthy of "Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me."

"Poetry Assignment"

I'm having a terrible time,
I never will learn how to rhyme,
There must be a gimerick
To writing a limerick,
I can't even think of one line.

by Joan Horton (from I Brought My Rat for Show-and-Tell and Other Funny School Poems, pg. 26)

15 April 2012

A Brighter World

At our church the Sunday after Easter we observe Bright Sunday.  It's a contrast to the season of darkness and deprivation that has passed and a celebration of the joy and light that has come.

People are so small
next to you, God.
You put the stars and the moon
in the sky, and the birds in the air
above the cows and the horses in the fields,
and the fish that swim in the seas.
You created all the beauty
in the world!

Psalm 8 (from Psalms for Young Children)

14 April 2012


Spring Break is almost over.  We have kept busy with trips to the amusement park, hiking at a state park, the zoo, baseball games, the science center, and play-dates.  Today we take one last excursion to the mountains before settling back into our familiar routine.

My house is not as clean as I planned it would be.  I have barely opened my bag of school work.  Isaac is not quite done with his Earth Day project.

It's been a good week.

"Behind the Museum Door"

What's behind the museum door?

     Ancient necklaces,
     African art,
     Armor of knights,
     A peasant cart;

     Pioneer wagons,
     Vintage cars,
     A planetarium


          with stars;

     Priceless old coins,
     A king's golden throne,
     Mummies in linen,


     A dinosaur bone.

by Lee Bennett Hopkins (from Good Rhymes, Good Times, pg. 6)

13 April 2012

Hanging Out

We went to the zoo earlier this week.  There is a statue that Isaac likes to play on every time we go.  This poem made me think of it.

"The Bison Returns"

Midnight and the world so cold.
The sky is holding snow.
On the stone flank of a buried cave
an old fire-smear awakes
and walks out, down the drifted miles,
down the smothered hills.

It steps into the yard to graze
just as snow begins
falling soundless in a dream
upon the shaggy ghost.
What will I say to keep it here?
What song will I sing?

by Tony Johnston (from Heart to Heart: New Poems Inspired by Twentieth-Century American Art, pg 11)

12 April 2012

Fickle Feet

It's April that is teasing us this year.  I have traded the short sleeves and sandals for sweaters, socks and sneakers this week.

"Salena's Sandals"

March teases me
With spring,
Dishing up
A day of sun,
Of warmth and fun:
Summer picnics
At the beach,
In easy reach,
Cruising town
In sandaled feet,
Slurping ice cream
Cool and sweet.
Water fights,
Humid days,
Muggy nights.
Then I recall --
Spring's just a tease.

And cover my toes
Before they freeze.

by Nikki Grimes, (from Shoe Magic, pg 21)

11 April 2012

Blowin' in the Wind

We have had a couple of glorious days hiking in the mountains and going to the zoo with friends.  The weather was perfect, sunny and breezy, and it was wonderful to be outside and able to enjoy it.

"The Wind"

Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you;
But when the leaves hang trembling
The wind is passing through.

Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I;
But when the trees bow down their heads
The wind is passing by.

by Christina Rossetti

10 April 2012


I told myself I wouldn't miss it this year.  I would pay attention each day to mark the changes and wouldn't be surprised by the branches full of leaves one morning when I looked up.

I missed it.  And looked up the other morning wondering where all the leaves had come from and how I hadn't noticed them before that day.


A tiny veteran satchel,
the color of pale cream,
is perched on the tip
of this bare branch.

Snap open the clasp ---
and you will find,
inside this tiny valise,
one rolled and folded
neatly packed


by Kristine O'Connell George
(from Old Elm Speaks: Tree Poems, pg. 7)

09 April 2012

Spring Break

Not a poem you may expect a librarian to champion, but it illustrates how I start to feel at this point in the school year when the weather is perfect for being outside rather than cooped up indoors.  It is Spring Break this week, and I intend to take this poem to heart.


UP! up! my Friend, and quit your books;
Or surely you'll grow double:
Up! up! my Friend, and clear your looks;
Why all this toil and trouble?
The sun, above the mountain's head,
A freshening lustre mellow
Through all the long green fields has spread,
His first sweet evening yellow.

Books! 'tis a dull and endless strife:
Come, hear the woodland linnet,
How sweet his music! on my life,
There's more of wisdom in it.
And hark! how blithe the throstle sings!
He, too, is no mean preacher:
Come forth into the light of things,
Let Nature be your teacher.

She has a world of ready wealth,
Our minds and hearts to bless--
Spontaneous wisdom breathed by health,
Truth breathed by cheerfulness.
One impulse from a vernal wood
May teach you more of man,
Of moral evil and of good,
Than all the sages can.

Sweet is the lore which Nature brings;
Our meddling intellect
Mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things:--
We murder to dissect.
Enough of Science and of Art;
Close up those barren leaves;
Come forth, and bring with you a heart
That watches and receives.

by William Wordsworth, 1798.

08 April 2012

New Life

Music is poetry.  Or some of it is anyway.  
Here is a song for a beautiful Easter morning . . . 
"Morning Has Broken"
Morning has broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for the springing fresh from the word

Sweet the rain's new fall, sunlit from heaven
Like the first dewfall, on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where his feet pass

Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
Born of the one light, Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God's recreation of the new day
lyrics by Eleanor Farjeon, 1931

07 April 2012

Thrill Rides

We rode roller coasters yesterday.  Matt was excited that Isaac is tall enough to ride some of the bigger rides.  Isaac was nervous, but brave.  It was a good day.

"Roller Coaster"

S L O W and steady,
hold on,
get ready,
oh so
slow it climbs,
               turtling up,
you know the drill
of the thrill:
how it creeps,
for a spell ---
an almost-stop
on top ---
     then WHOOOSSSHHH,

    (into) the dip,
back up,
the armored
humpback track;

by Rebecca Kai Dotlich
(from In the Spin of Things: Poetry of Motion, pg. 31)

06 April 2012


Even though it was originally a satirical poem, and it has become a bit trendy after it was used in Four Weddings and a Funeral in 1994, I think this poem fits the mood of the day rather well. 

Not a children's poem, but one of my favorites.

"Funeral Blues"

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone.
Silence the pianos and, with muffled drum,
Bring out the coffin. Let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling in the sky the message: “He is dead!”
Put crepe bows around the white necks of the public doves.
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my north, my south, my east and west,
My working week and Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song.
I thought that love would last forever; I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one.
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun.
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

by W H Auden

05 April 2012

Batter Up!

Baseball season starts for our local minor league team tonight.  So here is a classic for you.  Isaac has the version illustrated by Christopher Bing that we love to read.

"Casey at the Bat"

The Outlook wasn't brilliant for the Mudville nine that day:
The score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play.
And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same,
A sickly silence fell upon the patrons of the game.

A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
They thought, if only Casey could get but a whack at that -
We'd put up even money, now, with Casey at the bat.

But Flynn preceded Casey, as did also Jimmy Blake,
And the former was a lulu and the latter was a cake;
So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat,
For there seemed but little chance of Casey's getting to the bat.

But Flynn let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,
And Blake, the much despis-ed, tore the cover off the ball;
And when the dust had lifted, and the men saw what had occurred,
There was Jimmy safe at second and Flynn a-hugging third.

Then from 5,000 throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
It knocked upon the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,
For Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat.

There was ease in Casey's manner as he stepped into his place;
There was pride in Casey's bearing and a smile on Casey's face.
And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt 'twas Casey at the bat.

Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt;
Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt.
Then while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
Defiance gleamed in Casey's eye, a sneer curled Casey's lip.

And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,
And Casey stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.
Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped-
"That ain't my style," said Casey. "Strike one," the umpire said.

From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar,
Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore.
"Kill him! Kill the umpire!" shouted someone on the stand;
And its likely they'd a-killed him had not Casey raised his hand.

With a smile of Christian charity great Casey's visage shone;
He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;
He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the spheroid flew;
But Casey still ignored it, and the umpire said, "Strike two."

"Fraud!" cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered fraud;
But one scornful look from Casey and the audience was awed.
They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
And they knew that Casey wouldn't let that ball go by again.

The sneer is gone from Casey's lip, his teeth are clenched in hate;
He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate.
And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey's blow.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville - mighty Casey has struck out.

by Ernest Lawrence Thayer, 1888

04 April 2012

Happy School Library Month

I had a difficult time choosing a poem tonight.  I flipped through our Jack Prelutsky books and came across quite a few that could have worked for today.  I finally narrowed it down to two, and couldn't decide between them. So you luck out and get double the poems for the price of one.

It is School Library Month and our local school librarians professional organization did our annual presentation to our school board yesterday.  Schools were recognized for their reading accomplishments, Battle of the Books Teams were honored and the Employee of the Month was a school librarian.  These poems seemed appropriate after an evening focused on literacy . . .

“Look! Look!”

Look! Look!
A book!
A book for me,
a book all filled
with poetry,
a book that I
can read
and read.
A book!
what I need.

Look! Look!
A book
to open wide,
and marvel
at the words inside,
to sit
and savor
Look! Look!
A book!
A book for me.

"Boys are Big Experts"

Boys are big experts
At looking for trouble,
They climb over fences,
They tunnel through rubble.
Boys take their time
When they're called to the table,
Boys have to eat
Like they live in a stable.

Boys love to throw things
And get into tussles,
Make nasty noises,
And show off their muscles,
Lots of stuff leading
To bruises and bleeding,
Why don't they stop for a while...
And start READING?

by Jack Prelutsky (from My Dog May Be A Genius, pg. 43 and 99)

03 April 2012

Growing Dreams

I came across this poem a few years ago.  It is by a local poet whom I have had visit my school a couple of times.  It's makes me think of some of my former students.

"Where I Live"

Where I live
there are no trees
to climb, but I still
reach for the stars.
My dreams take root
in concrete,
and my branches
lift the sky.

by Carole Boston Weatherford
(from Sidewalk Chalk, pg 31)

02 April 2012

I Know, I Know . . .

I promised this would not be a daily homage to Shel Silverstein.  Notice, please, that yesterday's poem was by Ken Nesbitt.  And I know that it is no longer April 1st, but this poem was too fun not to include.  No foolin'.
Oh have you heard it’s time for vaccinations?
I think someone put salt into your tea.
They’re giving us eleven-month vacations.
And Florida has sunk into the sea.
Oh have you heard the President has measles?
The principal has just burned down the school.
Your hair is full of ants and purple weasels—
                APRIL FOOL!

(from Where the Sidewalk Ends, pg 75)

01 April 2012

Fooling Around

Here's one to get us started . . . Thank goodness April 1st falls on a Sunday this year.  


April Fool's Day

Mackenzie put a whoopie cushion
on the teacher's chair.
Makayla told the teacher
that a bug was in her hair.

Alyssa brought an apple
with a purple gummy worm
and gave it to the teacher
just to see if she would squirm.

Elijah left a piece of plastic
dog doo on the floor,
and Vincent put some plastic vomit
in the teacher's drawer.

Amanda put a goldfish
in the teacher's drinking glass.
These April Fool's Day pranks
are ones that you could use in class.

Before you go and try them, though,
there's something I should mention:
The teacher wasn't fooling
when she put us in detention.

--Kenn Nesbitt
(from Revenge of the Lunch Ladies)