Monthly Archives: September 2014

Visiting the winning school, the Y1 and Y2s made poems pop

I accidentally posted this on Poetry Shelf so will redo it because the children sat in the hall for an hour with unflagging attention and poetry rippled and sang. It was such fun. I was over the moon with the words we collected.

I read my Boat-Shoe poem and then we made up our own skinny shoe poem.

Gladstone Road Shoes

Rubber shoes
Slipper shoes
Velcro shoes
Sore shoes
Sparkly shoes
Monkey shoes
Basketball shoes
Broken shoes
Running shoes
Dinosaur shoes
Blue shoes
Yellow shoes
Lightning shoes
Shoes are cool!


My Russian blue cat
scratches all the time
like a tiger,
sleeps and purrs
frisky cat.

My cat likes
to eat tuna
and cheese,
scrumple scrumple.

My cat likes
to sleep in my bed
on the sofa
on cushions
and the table.

She does a somersault.
She brushes me with her tail.

My Kite

Rainbow kite
Kite flies
Fairy kite
Kite swishes
Disco kite
Kite twirls
Golden kite
Kite glazes
Butterfly cat
Kite races,
I love my kite.

Y5 and Y6 at Gladstone School make up poems in the wild wind with m

The hour just whizzed and whirred by as we made up poems at Gladstone School.

Outside the wind and rain were trying to drown out the poems so we made up a wind poem. We were on the hunt for words that sounded good together as though we were making musical chords.


Grim wind
Strong wind
Blustering wind
Thundering wind
Long wind
Rustly wind
Aching wind
Raging wind
Blustery wind
Thin wind


The kiwi
night time scavenger,
dark starry night
tiny greedy eyes
fluffy cloud,


Fat cat
jumping like a Jack cat
drooling on the mat cat
twisting and turning
wears a tall top hat
standing on his head cat
eating on a welcome mat,
tree cat!

Visiting Gladstone School …. The winner of the Third Fabulous Poetry Competition

Today and tomorrow I am visiting the winning Auckland school.

Year 3 and 4 came up with some great poems with me. We road tested endings which was fun. We were on the hunt for endings that surprised us or made us laugh. It was a wonderful session with zipping imagination and darting words.


Straw hat
Beach hat
Hay hat
Peach hat
Top hat
Big hat
Cop hat
Sun hat
Skinny hat
Fruit hat
Give them all a pat!

The Cheek Pocket

What does the bonnet macaque
store in its cheek pocket?
Microphones and big bones
moons and spoons
snakes and rakes
crocodiles and scaly reptiles
figs and twigs
top hats and fat cats
broken bags and country flags
round heads and wiggly beds
dining tables and horse stables?
But I am sure it’s pigs!


The Komodo snail
is slow and fast.

The Zepanther
is stripy and black.

The whalbird
likes to fly and swing.

The snakemouse
likes to eat cheese.

The allicat
is spiky and sneaky.

The eagledile
shows its toothy smile.

The octosect
likes to crawl.

The cowster
crows in the morning.

I wonder if they’re
friends with the foxasaurus?

dream-bike poems

When I was visiting Russley School in Christchurch I read my bike poem from Macaroni Moon and we brainstormed cool dream bikes. It was such fun I went back and wrote another dream-bike poem of my own and then invited you to. Here are some of my favourites. I am sending Ysabella a copy of my new book, The Letterbox Cat and Other Poems. I loved the marshmallow pillow Ysabella. I also found Amelia’s Christchurch poem very moving. Congratulations everyone I really enjoyed reading these.\

My Dream Bicycle

My dream bicycle made of silver and gold, so strange to the touch and so light to hold.  It takes me to my mind and takes me to my dreams, it takes me to my place where impossible lies ahead.  Green granite, pink granite and purple sand lies inside my place, so do aliens, gods and many many more, but oh no.  Here comes the call of my mother telling me to do the dishes and I find myself just sitting on my chair.

Frank does creative writing at Ilam School – he is 7 and in year 3.


My Dream Bike

A white windshield

Two white wheels

A green brake pedal

A red reservoir level

An electric bell

A multi-coloured shell

Yellow spokes

Silver forks

A golden chain

A high tech brake

All this you will find,

On my dream bike.

Arya, age 10, year 5, Gladstone Primary School


The Bicycle of Friendship

My dream bicycle

has a toy in my basket

that keeps me calm and relaxed.

The bicycle could do cartwheels

on the clouds.

The bicycle has flowers

and a picture

of my special friends

on it.

My bicycle reminds me

of my friends and family.

By Umi Age 8  Year 3  Ilam School (Christchurch)


My Dream Bike

Riding above the clouds

with butterfly wings instead

of wheels. Love heart

control buttons instead of

handles, a fluffy cushion

instead of a seat.

Pictures of fairies, flowers

and NATURE painted all

over it. When I

land, there will always

be a giant marshmallow

for me to rest

on. When I wake

up I could eat

the marshmallow, jump onto

my bike and set

off on my next


By Ysabella Age 7  Year 3 Ilam School  (Christchurch)


Dear  Paula Green

My name is Amelia.  I am 9 years old and I go to Selwyn House School in Christchurch.  I love creative writing and poems. I would like to enter the dream bicycle competition with this poem about Christchurch.

Christchurch Poem

Cones and arrows everywhere.

Town afflicted by the earthquake’s share.

People killed, lives saved.

Buildings toppled, houses fallen.

I watch from my dream bicycle, amazing of all sorts,

as I pedal round the world of ruins.

My favourite short short poems

Thank you for the bundle of short poems you sent me. I couldn’t post them all but I have posted a lot! It is like a little box of chocolates with many different tastes. I love the echo between the bell ringing and the bird tweeting in Ewen’s poem. And Thomas’s poem with teeth! Oh and Corey’s sky. And the way Olivia’s things that go together made me feel warm inside. And Jackson’s c r u c h i e bar!

It was so so hard to choose a young poet to send a book to … but I have picked Lily. I am sending her a copy of Our Big Box, the book Gemma Lovewell wrote and had published when she was five (now she is eight). Thispoem felt like it has been around for ever. It felt just right. Maybe Lily will write her own book! Thanks to the Lovewell famly for donating this.

I sat down to write a short poem,

I ended up on the internet.

‘I try to be productive but for some reason it never works!’ –By Rusheen, age 12, year eight, Brooklyn School


Chirp of a bird;

a school bell ringing.

Ewen aged 12,  Year 7, Cobham Intermediate School, Christchurch

The thing that wasn’t there

the thing that wasn’t there

it might just disappear

so it looks like thin air

Lily Year 4 Age 8 Fendalton School 

Things that go with Things

marshmallow on sticks

fire goes with logs

I go with mum,

I love them

Olivia Wang Year 4 Age 9 Fendalton School, Christchurch



Black teeth

White teeth

Monster teeth

Timmy’s teeth

Dirty teeth

Poems with teeth.

Thomas Year 4 age 8 Fendalton School  


feel the crunch

beneath your teeth

and the lumps

like goose bumps

Jackson Year 4 Age 8 Fendalton School 


machines go




working through the night

Jackson Year 4 Age 8 Fendalton School 

Thomas  Year 4 age 8 Fendalton School  

Tank my dog is really clumsy

sitting in his dinner

weet-bix on his head

By Colin, age 9, Prospect School

Spider Angel

A spider making an eight legged snow angel

coughs and takes his last breath

Emma, Selwyn House School, Christchurch


Ocean blue,

And poppy red.

Sunset orange,

When I’m in bed.

Isis, 11 years old, Selwyn House School

The Goldfinch

Among the grass

Lay a goldfinch

Trying to fly high

Caitlin Age 9, St Andrews College


Yellow spongy man,

Works in Krusty Crab,

Golden spatula flips patties,

Pineapple is home.

By Andrew Year 3 Prospect School

the night sky

the darkness of the night, the stars twinkled

the wind shimmered, the night sky

Cory Mcelwee Forrest Hill School           

I just discovered this moon poem from Fendalton School that is just perfect

I am busy picking all the children to read with me on my Hot Spot Poetry Tour and I have just discovered this gorgeous moon poem by Emily in the Christchurch Our Place folder. I love this poem very much indeed. I like the spark between the mage of the orange and the image of the moon. Every line sounds good and is not overcrowded with words. I am very much hoping Emily will read with me in Christchurch!

I am going to send Emily a really really cool book for her really really cool poem thanks to the Lovewell family. It is called Fancy Nancy: Poet Extraordinaire by Jane O’Connor (I am going to get my own copy!). Nancy thinks poetry is sensational. The book is all about what she loves about poetry! Poems that tell a story or make you laugh. Poems that a very very short. Poems that are lyrical (sound good!). Nancy has a poetry club she calls a Palace of Poetry. I am getting a few more copies of this book for prizes. maybe Poetry Box is like a big Palace of Poetry and you are all members! Thanks the Lovewell Family and congratulations Emily!

Like the Moon

When I walk

into the kitchen

I see a lightish orange

shining into my blue eyes.


I go up

to the fruit bowl

take the orange

and start peeling it.

When I am finished

I quickly cut it up

and push it into my mouth.


There is a half-moon tonight

like my half-eaten orange.

Emily Year 4 Fendalton School Christchurch


Back home after three weeks on the road

Such fun to hit the road (and the skies!) and visit NZ schools. A big thank you to Storylines and The New Zealand Book Council and all the schools that welcomed me into their libraries, halls and classrooms. I met inspired teachers and inspiring students. It was slightly scary but fabulous fun reading poems I have never read out loud before from The Letterbox Cat. Even though I sounded like a sick frog. I still sound like a sick frog! Sadly sick frogs can’t run at the beach with the black sand and the wild waves. But they can write blogs and read books and watch movies in a cosy room.

Now I have a four weeks back home to recharge my batteries, refuel my energy tank and stop sounding like a sick frog before it is time for A Hot Spot Poetry of New Zealand.

This is on my ‘to do’ list!

1. Pick the children reading with me on the tour.

2. Sort out the schools performing poems on the tour.

3. Post my challenge for A Treasury of NZ Poetry for Children.

4. Finish all the Treasury author interviews and chase those I haven’t got yet.

5. Share some new books with you.

6. Post all my favourite poems from the recent challenges.