Poetry for Children
with Robert Schechter
A Worm’s Tale
Wormington Wormbert McWormy the Third
was tired of dodging each rain-boot and bird.
And worse than those obstacles, what really hurt
was dragging his squishy-soft body through dirt.
The dirt’s packed with rocks that are pointy and jabby.
He ended each day feeling bashed up and scabby.
So Wormington vowed to his friends, “I won’t settle
for anything less than a suit made of metal!”
He went to his workshop and started to weld,
and dreamed of the life that his future self held —
a life without bandages, ointments or creams,
just armor that thwarted the harshest extremes.
He pounded and forged at a lighting-fast pace,
till each bit of metal fit right into place.
When finished, it made all the other worms squeal.
A veritable fortress of rivets and steel!
An excellent shield from each rock, bird and boot.
Nothing could pierce his impervious suit.
“Look, I’m invincible,” Wormington cheered,
but being the only one felt kind of weird.
So Wormington said, “I will build suits for all,
’cause no worm should ever feel helpless and small.”
So now the world’s home to more clanking than squirming —
a new world-wide problem they call global worming.
David McMullin is a picture book author and children’s poet. His poems have been published in Cricket and several anthologies. David is the 2021 Madness Poetry Champion. Find him at http://www.davidmcmullinbooks.com/.
I sold my bike, I sold my bed,
I sold my soggy phone.
I sold the telly, sold the bread,
and sold a battle drone.
I sold the fridge and teddy bears,
I sold an oven mitt.
I sold the couch, I sold the chairs —
there’s nowhere left to sit.
I sold a Chelsea football, signed,
I sold a hiking pack.
I sold the baby, changed my mind,
and bought Elijah back.
I sold the sinks and garden gnomes,
I sold a pirate’s gem.
I tried to sell my funny poems,
but no one wanted them.
I sold a bench and barbeque,
I sold a furry squid.
I sold my sister’s secrets, too,
but only got a quid.
I sold Mom’s shoes and lemon tree,
and sold my Dad’s guitar.
They’re really both upset with me —
I’d also sold their car.
I told them all the money went
to serve a worthy cause.
They hopped and screamed, “It’s all been spent?”
There was an awkward pause . . .
“To save endangered what?” they fumed,
“the giant humpback mouse?”
They tried to send me to my room . . .
but I had sold the house.
William Peery is a father of two and former math and science teacher from Southern California. His poems have appeared in Highlights for Children, Highlights High Five, and various children’s poetry anthologies.
The Elephant in the Room
An elephant’s in my classroom,
But no one seems to care.
I raise my hand, then put it down,
And try hard not to stare.
Ms. Grubb pays no attention.
The elephant struts around,
Plops upon an empty desk,
It flattens to the ground.
The elephant spooks our goldfish,
Splatters himself with paint,
Then munches on some markers,
But still, there’s no complaint.
He plays the new recorders,
Pulls backpacks from their hooks,
Knocks over all our bean plants,
And scatters stacks of books.
He lifts his trunk and trumpets.
For sure, this will draw scorn.
Ms. Grubb says, “Time for music?
I hear a flugelhorn.”
I’ve never, ever tattled,
But something must be done.
Since all the rest are silent,
It looks like I’m the one.
Perplexed, perturbed, and flustered,
I stand up tall and fume.
The elephant in the room!”
At last, my classmates notice,
Look puzzled and cry, “Ooooh!”
Ms. Grubb, who’s quite befuddled,
Says, “Now what should we do?”
I answer, “Ask the elephant.
See what he has to say."
So Ms. Grubb asks, and he replies,
“I hope you’ll let me stay.”
And that is how an elephant
Became our classroom pet.
I’m glad they finally listened,
But our goldfish is upset.
Lill Pluta has sold oodles of poems and stories to children’s magazines and educational publishers. Her hobbies include watching sumo wrestling and learning to play classical guitar.
The Summer Garden
A squirrel’s in the sunflowers,
climbing up their stalks.
A bunny’s in the broccoli,
gnawing their huge leaves.
A chipmunk holds a grape tomato
between two tiny paws.
We’re growing more than we can eat —
our garden’s food is for all.
The Strawberry in the Sky
A giant strawberry floats in a summer sky,
big as a hot air balloon.
Will you let me nibble a door
into your juicy sweetness?
I’ll carve out a chamber inside you
and invite a friend to visit. We’ll travel
high above the world, waving good bye
as our problems grow small as peanuts.
We’ll eat as much as we like
and our clothes will turn as red
as you. Hello, strawberry!
Please toss me a ladder down.
I want to get started.
Peggy Turnbull is a librarian turned poet. Her favorite poets who write for children include Langston Hughes, Cynthia Rylant, and Ted Hughes.
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