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Poems in High­lights for Children

highlightsI’m proud that the edi­tors at High­lights for Chil­dren pub­lish my poems from time to time, both in their iconic mag­a­zine and on their Poetry Player, an online web­site dis­play­ing poems (and illus­tra­tions) from the mag­a­zine. You can see the Poetry Player ver­sions of three of my poems: My Nose, Col­ors, and Thoughts.

The Thing About Chickens

chicken2When chick­ens squawk­ing in the coop
squat down on their chicken legs
they’re some­times mak­ing chicken poop
and some­times mak­ing chicken eggs.

When this poem first appeared in Anon Two, the edi­tor (Mike Stocks) sug­gested in his intro­duc­tion that these lines could be viewed as a metaphor for what poets pro­duce. Like chick­ens, poets are capa­ble of two very dif­fer­ent kinds of work prod­uct when they go about their business.

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I’m an unlucky fella,
there is no doubt.
I bought an umbrella …
we had a drought.

Some­times it seems that every­thing I buy ends up being use­less. But that gives me an idea!

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I’m Igse­ri­ous

questionmarkDid you ever won­der why cer­tain pre­fixes aren’t more pop­u­lar? Take “ig,” for exam­ple. As this poem points out, “ig” is pretty much restricted to a hand­ful of words such as “igno­ble.” But why not use it all the time? The poem orig­i­nally appeared in Bum­ber­shoot.

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Solar Lunacy

sunWhich is bet­ter, the Sun or the Moon? No one will ever defin­i­tively set­tle this debate, but this poem, though not very log­i­cal, at least takes a stand. The poem was part of a ten-​page assort­ment of my children’s poems pub­lished in Anon Two when I was the issue’s fea­tured children’s poet.

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The Horse Who Said Moo

horsecowJust because you’re a horse, does that mean you have to go around say­ing “neigh” all the time? The horse in this poem didn’t think so. There’s some­thing about moo­ing that’s just so darn hard to resist. Let’s see how it turned out. (The poem orig­i­nally appeared in Bum­ber­shoot).

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owl 5Another poem that orig­i­nally appeared in Anon Two, this one was writ­ten in antic­i­pa­tion of immi­nent father­hood. It asks a series of ques­tions whose answers are obvi­ous. (One of the ques­tions involves an owl, which explains the illus­tra­tion).

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Mis­taken Identity

sunandmoonI know I shouldn’t play favorites, but this might be my favorite of the children’s poems I’ve writ­ten. It was pub­lished online by Greg Pin­cus in his annual 30-​days-​30-​poets children’s poetry event on Got­ta­book. When you read it, you’ll see why I chose a pic­ture of a com­bined Sun and Moon.

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Jokes Talk Back

The chicken who crossed the road, the fire­man with the red sus­penders, and the ele­phant who sat on the fence, finally speak up and tell us how they feel about being the sub­ject of so many jokes. This three-​part poem orig­i­nally appeared in Light Quar­terly.

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Rel­a­tively Speaking

emc2I never quite under­stood the the­ory of rel­a­tiv­ity, but I think it has some­thing to do with what the lit­tle girl in this poem is say­ing.

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The Cho­rus of Doris

chorus2This poem, which was orig­i­nally pub­lished in Bum­ber­shoot, starts with the fol­low­ing ques­tion then goes on to answer it:

If Morris’s cho­rus is bet­ter than Boris’s,

Boris’s cho­rus can out­sing Dolores’s,
Dolores’s cho­rus is bet­ter than Horace’s,
and Horace’s cho­rus is bet­ter than Doris’s,
can Doris’s cho­rus be bet­ter than Morris’s?

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