Monthly Archives: September 2013

Holiday Poem Camp: a poem-title challenge for you

Try writing a poem using ones of these titles as a starting point for your poem:


The Bouncing Rabbit

Apples and Jellybeans


We Are Going on a Hunt      [you will have to decide what kind of hunt! Use your imagination]

Outer Space


Icy fingers, Icy toes

Ice Cream

Cats and Dogs

The Smiley Day

The Shy Tiger


You can change the title and write a poem however you like!  Have fun!

Send to Include your name, age, year and name of school. You may include your teacher’s name and email address.

Holiday Poetry Camp: a last line is sleeping in the sun

For my first holiday challenge I gave some lines to kick start a poem. Ewen has used the last line in this lovely poem.


Hi Paula,


I wrote this poem for the challenge to write a poem that ends with the line sleeping in the sun.


Left with the sun


A liitle daisy

sits on the grass

sun shining upon it.


It was picked

but left with nothing

except the sun.


Slowly it waves at me

in the direction

of the wind.


Limp it is

but still fighting

in hope and desperation.


Suddenly it stopped waving

and lay there

sleeping in the sun.



Ewen W  aged 11, Year 6, Fendalton Open Air Primary School, Christchurch


Holiday Poem Camp: Cinderella takes part in a Revolting Rhyme

Here is the first delicious poem for our Poem Holiday Camp. Linda also wrote me a cool letter. I have read Roald Dahl and his Revolting Rhymes. I really love Danny the Champion of the World and Fantastic Mr Fox. And what a coincidence, I know Maungakaramea, because that is where my father lived. I grew up in Whangarei and went to all my schools there (apart from first one, Petone Central). It sounds like you have had a wonderful year so far. I love the idea of the Treasure topic and will borrow it for a competition next term.  So best wishes to Linda for her holidays.  Her poem follows her letter.

I like the zany rhyme and the ‘races’ that pop up on the kitchen floor. Maybe this poem could have different endings — maybe Cinderella could show that she is good at other things too.  I started trying to imagine all these other wacky things that Cinderella might be good at. Like balancing on one foot or doing handstands or juggling balls the longest. How else could this poem end? I often try out several endings for a poem. Let me know!


Hi, Paula Green!

How’s it going? Thank you for informing me about posting my poem. It was quite long, so I didn’t think that you were going to post it beause it’s more of a story than a poem. Have you searched up or read Roald Dahl’s funny book Revolting Rhymes? It’s what we had to base it on, the funny rhyming parody of different fairytales. Just some info on what school I go to:
I go to Parnell District School in Auckland. I am in in room 27 with Mrs.Brett. She has the same first name as me, Linda! This year we are studying Treasures. In term one the year 5/6 syndicate did treasuring our family and our class chose to write a booklet on three treasures: A family/friend, an object, and a place. In term two we did treasuring our planet and wrote a sort of an essay about it with Mr.Edgerly (a reliever teacher). Then in term three we studied birds, and did lots of things on them, this included studies, bird projects, paintings, bird watching, and much more. I learned so much from it, and it was so much fun. It made me think of doing ornithology for a hobby. I am always searching for interesting birds all the time, watching them, and taking photos. We have tons of native birds at our farm, and I have taken lots of photos. We go to our farm every weekend and at the end of next year we will probably move theere. It is located in Maungakaramea, there is a turn to Whangarei, one to auckland, and one to Maungakaramea. We go down the Maungakaramea one. We also have lots of native birds at our forest all the way up north in Manganui. Including kiwis. We have a shed in there where we place our tents and we sleep in there. We hear the kiwis screeching and squalking at night sometimes. They probably live near the creek or pond. We have lots of native plants near there and all arond the farm. We will construct it into a house and will no longer have to sleep in the tents. Any way, I definetely got WAAAAY off track, so I’ll have to say good bye here. See’ya!

Have a happy holiday!





Cinderella was a poor girl who slept in a room all alone.

It was filled with straw, and just a plank of wood for a phone.


She stayed by the fire and got covered in cinders and ash,

and all she had for a meal was mouldy sausages and mash!


“Sweep the room!” her stepmother would yell, “And tidy the floor!”

“Dust the furniture!” “And fix up that door!”


Sadly she had to live this horrible life,

for she wasn’t allowed to run away or slit her throat with a knife.


But one day hope came in a small, enclosed letter,

said ‘every maiden was invited to a ball, but it gets better!


You’d get to introduce yourself, and then get a chance to marry the prince,

and then you’d live in a splendid castle where you could eat pork chops and mince!


Hearing this, the stepsisters rushed to pamper their head,

but the stepmother cruelly handed Cinderella a list of chores to do instead!


Cinderella swept and cooked and stopped for a rest,

not knowing that this would soon put her to the test.


She swept and swept till she could sweep no more,

and suddenly, house-chore races popped up all over the floor!


She was so astonished, she didn’t know what to do,

as it was held by the prince, and one of the races was cleaning the loo!


This was her moment, this was her chance!

She rushed to the races without a single glance.


She worked well against the racers, oh, yes she worked hard!

She swept, cooked and cleaned until she was scarred!


With happiness and pride she won all the races,

No matter how many plasters she wasted on bruises and grazes,


The prince then chose her not because of how she looked,

But her kind actions, and how well she cooked.


The very next day the prince asked for her hand in marriage,

Saying “Yes!” they then happily went home in a horse-drawn carriage.

Holiday Poem Camp: First holiday challenges on Poetry Box

Today is the last day of Term 3 so thought I would give you all a head start with some mini challenges. I do hope to get poems from Year 1 to Year 8 and from all parts of the country.


1. Write a poem that starts with this line which I borrowed from one of my poems:

In Mrs Maggee’s hat she keeps


2.  Write a poem that ends with this line

sleeping in the sun.


3. Write a poem with this line in the middle:

jump hop jump


4. Write a poem with these words in it (anywhere you like)

cat                   chair


Send to Include your name, age, year and name of school. You can include your teacher’s name and email address.

The winner and finalists for the Bird-Poem Competition

9781869798383  9781869798383  9781869798383

Congratulations! Here are the finalists for the bird-poem competition. It was very hard picking these as there were some outstanding entries. Some poets thought about the fact that the way we live on the planet is putting our precious birds at risk. There were poems with excellent detail (making the birds come alive on the screen). There were poems with excellent rhythm. Some of the very best poems were simple poems that made a picture grow. I thought Paramata School came up with some terrific bird poems, with outstanding language and images.

All these poems deserve a prize, but I only have the one book to give away for this. It is Joy Cowley’s picture book, Manukura: The White Kiwi, illustrated by Bruce Potter and published by Random House (2012). Thank you Random House for the prize book!


The winning poem is by Stephanie. I loved the way she took an issue (a hazard for birds) and used good detail to show us an example of it. Her poem is simple but very moving. I like the slender lines with their shiny words and the fresh similies. Congratulations!


White Heron Trapped in an Oil Slick

She is a thin branch

nearly snapping.

Her spiky feathers

pierce the moonlight.


Her beak a needle

hanging looose from a quilt.


Her eyes the sky

turns black


as her memory

is forgotten.

Stephanie L Year 8 aged 12, Kirkwood Intermediate School, Christchurch



The Heron’s Catch

Bright eyes, an open beak

Swimming fish, a trickling creak

Wild mind, ready to snatch

Splashing water, the heron’s catch

Holly B Year 6 Paramata School



Pied Stilt

On long, red legs,

the Pied Stilt sways;

a cat jumps out

and ends her days.


On long, red legs

the Pied Stilt sways,

although his mate

has been dead for days.


Small brown eggs

their parent snatched,

pooor brown eggs

will not be hatched.

Benjamin C Year 6 Paramata School



Nature of Porirua

Eels splash in the pure streams

Nibbling at the soggy algae

A swallow

Returning to his humble nest

Presenting his mate with a gift

On a Judgeford bridge


Rushes sway

Around the glassy film of the Pauatahanui inlet

In which the shags dive

Oyster Catchers

Hammers of the seashore

Bring this place alive


Two azure wings

Feathers of retreating waves

Hill separated by stretching farmland

Swans settle on the surface

Curving their elegant necks

On the Porirua harbour


Waddling shelducks

A strong love bond

Mallards provide company

Pukeko sway

In time with the raupo

On Porirua harbour


Shore Plovers

Rarities of Mana Island

Make a trek to Plimmerton

As the terns

Gracefully flitting

Plunge into the water


This is the nature of my city Porirua

Ben C Year 6 Paramata School



Beyond My Control

At Caswell Sound 1946

I watch from the balcony

the olive-brown ground.


The South Island piopio

threatened, endangered,

suffering, dying.


Cats and rats killing

for fun

with no remorse.


Their kinds’ population

decreases by

the day.


But I didn’t do anything

It was beyond

my control.


At Caswell Sound 1947

I watch the last piopio die

their kind is now extinct


And I didn’t help them,

it was beyond

my control.

Ewen aged 11, Year 6, Fendalton Open Air Primary School, Christchurch




My wings beat heavily like a drum

I spy a rat scuttling under a bush

I pounce like a hungry cat

but miss, a delicious meal

will be mine.

Mary S aged 10, Year 6 Fendalton Open-Air School



Bird Poem

Like a love song, the magpie sings from high up in her macrocarpa tree. The tree sways gently in the calm breeze. Her vivid white feathers flash against the harsh glare of the sun. Eyes like black beads, beak like pliers. Talons reaching out to grab her prey, so close, so close. Blood drumming in her ears. The field mouse freezes as the great bird swoops over her like a silent, deathly shadow.


The magpie.

Ella S Year 8, aged 12, Ohaupo School



Bird Poem

The best part of spring

is when birds come out to sing.

Black or white,

dark or light,

birds come out to sing.

Small or big,

they peck and dig,

when birds come out to sing.

To girls and boys

they cause such joy,

the birds that come to sing.


Sophie P, Year 7, aged 11 St Kentigern Girl’s School


Moa (A poem for Massey Wildlife Centre)

The Moa, unlike most others, was not exceedingly bright,

The Moa, unlike most others, gave up the advantage of flight.


The Moa, unlike most others, took on a tremendous height,

The Moa, unlike most others, was a five on the scale of might.


The Moa, unlike most others, was hunted and soon extinct,

The Moa, unlike most others, was stuffed and made distinct.


The Moa, I like above others, I think they should celebrate,

The Moa, I like above all others, because Moa are absolutely great.

Helena M, aged 11, Year 7, Palmerston North Intermediate School


celebrate my 300th post on Poetry Box with me ….


IMG_3925 IMG_3918

Bethells Beach this morning looked full of storm poems!

Back in February, I started NZ Poetry Box and this is my 300th post which I think deserves a little celebration.

All year I have been posting your poems, my poems, challenges, tips and interviews with other writers. Often I have posted little ‘diaries‘ about something that has been happening in my life in the form of a poem. Most of you will be able to guess instantly that one of my favourite places to go is Bethells Beach. It is where I go for my early morning walks.

To celebrate my 300th post I am going to make up a surprise poetry pack for a young poet who sends me a poem about a place he or she likes to go to. Imagine you are taking a photo of the place for me with words.

Send to Include your name, age, year and name of school. You can include your teacher’s name and email address if you like.

For an adult reader who comments on this post I have a copy of the book I co-wrote with Harry Ricketts, 99 Ways into NZ Poetry, to give away (Random House).

Get your words kicking and dancing or picnicking by the lake on Poetry Box.

Almost time for the holiday-poetry programme on Poetry Box.

Get your words kicking and dancing or picnicking by the lake.

Every day I will post a mini challenge and every day I want to post poems by children so it is a real poetry feast … a poetry fiesta … a poetry party .. a poetry extravaganza.

Teachers, please pass the message on!

Send poems to Include your name, age, year and name of school. You can include your teacher’s name and email address if you like.

2nd fabulous poetry competition reminder

Entry details     (full details here)

1. The competition is open to New Zealand Primary and Intermediate Schools.

2. You have two terms! The deadline is 30th September 2013 (a few days grace after the end of Term 3).

3. Please send to my postal box as I will not accept email entries.

Paula Green PO Box 95078 Swanson Waitakere 0653

4. Please make sure each poem has the child’s first name, age, year and name of school        written on it (on the back is fine).

5.  Poems can be on any topic, in any form, but no more than 20 lines.

6. Poems can also be hand written and illustrated. I will scan these to post on the blog. I would rather not have students lift images from the internet to use as illustrations as I don’t want to face copyright issues.

7. I am keen to see a school entry that includes a range of ages.

7. Any questions to or post your question on the blog for all to see the answers.

Aunt Concertina & her niece Evalina 13

Naomi has a favourite popstar

I don’t usually post poems in term time unless they are for the challenges and competitions. But Naomi can’t take her braille notebook home in the holidays. I worked with Naomi in a workshop this year and I discovered she is a big fan of a certain popstar. So here you go Naomi … your poem! I do hope you try writing more poems about all kinds of things in all kinds of ways because it’s fun. Warm regards from Paula

Here is my acrostic poem about a special popst

demi lovato

Diamonds In the sky
Eager young girl
My little popst
Imaginative creative girl
lovely sweet 21 year old
aobedient and adoreable
vivacious and bright like the brightest shining light in the sky
awesome laid back and relaxed
totally amazing and natural
outstanding and original.

Naomi year 8 aged 13 from homai blennz school for the blind

Toucan Can: It is big book, a gorgeous book, that will get you wanting to make up some rhymes about a fabulous bird

 Toucan Can by Juliet MacIver, illustrated by Sarah Davis, published by Gecko Press, 2013

9781877467530   9781877467530

Gecko Press is a small New Zealand publisher with a glowing reputation because they consistently publish children’s books that matter. They go on the hunt for story treasure around the world and transform that treasure into books that gleam. The stories they choose are often very simple but always take you on magnificent story travels. You might laugh, you might cry, but you will always put the book down feeling better for having read it. The books always have gorgeous illustrations.

Sometimes Gecko Press goes on the hunt for story treasure in New Zealand. This new book is a perfect example of that. Toucan Can is a zany rhyme story full of bounce and zip and zest. Toucan is a bird that can do lots of things that not many others can (then there are things Toucan can’t do!). Juliette MacIver wrote the zippy nippy rhymes and Sarah Davis did the tasty illustrations. It is big book, a gorgeous book, that will get you wanting to make up some rhymes about a fabulous bird whether you are five or fifty.

Here is delicious little bit from the story:

Now Toucan

has a NEW plan.

With the frying pan

and a stew can,

he can juggle

one-hand, two-hand

while he cancans

on a fruit-can!


Gecko Press here

Juliet MacIver’s Storyline’s page here

Sarah Davis here