Monthly Archives: September 2015

My favourite Spring poems – last challenge of the term!

It feels like Spring, but it has also felt like Winter in September!

I see lambs frisking on the way to beach and daffodils stretching to the sun,

but we are still having fires!



Lots of Spring poems with lots of Spring detail! Hard to choose just a few. I am sending a copy of my book The Letterbox Cat and Other Poems to Zachariah.


Working in the Spring Sun
Golden grass,
baked by the sun,
daisies and flower weeds
springing through cracks,
I watch and take part,
work to be done,
only to rebuild what,
my father broke
in the spring sun

Emily  H  11, Selwyn House School



A Golden Touch

A sprout of green

A golden spray of light

Pink flowers mixing to one

A painting of colour


A lemony scent

Sweet and perfect

Blossoming pollen

A mist of smell


A leathery swipe

A soft touch

A furry leaf

A golden touch


A call a lark

A song welcoming the new

A sweet rain dripping rhythmically


New life begins

Emma C Age 10, Year 6 Selwyn House School


Orange, yellow and white.
The daffodils blow around in the glowing gust of wind.
I love spring.
Spring when the little animal babies are born.
I love the spring breeze.

Megan P 11 years old Year 7 Selwyn House School



Colourful flowers
Lush grass
Colours everywhere

Blossoms flowering
Shoots coming up
Breeze ruffling the trees

Getting warmer
Feeling happy
Dancing everywhere

Zachariah G is 6 years old



Signs of spring

Sun-like daffodils emerge from the cool earth with explosions of colour.

On the cherry tree, buds burst from the branches,

Chased by snow-white blossoms.

The washing flaps in the afternoon breeze,

Tangling itself into sausage rolls.

Beware as young tui swoop above your head,

So close you feel their wing beats rippling in the air.

Hear the relentless mower buzz like a super sized bee

As it chomps the determined grass and pulverizes the never-ending weeds.

The birthday season has arrived.

Taste the sweet chocolate and the promise of picnics.

The garden is alive with the signs of spring.


By Gemma and Daniel L Adventure School


Ode to Spring


How we rejoice when you come

For you light up our land

Make the trees grow tall


You are our prize for making it through winter

You make our crops grow

Our lambs gallop through the grass you bring


You chase away the dark winter skies

Bringing out the sun and warmth


How we will cry when you leave us

Though summer awaits

Oh Spring oh beautiful Spring what would we do without you?

By Lucy  Age 11  Gladstone School


The finished picture poems have just arrived from Y3/4 at Fairburn School – wow! I adore them

As part of my visit, we did picture poems – as you know I love doing these myself.

You need your EARS and your EYES working hard! You could call these shape poems and you could call these concrete poetry but I call them picture poems.


a    p i c t u r e     p o e m    p l a n

First we went hunting for words to match the subject (as many as possible).

Secondly we made word patterns or word strings. We picked three words then made patterns with them to make word strings.

Thirdly we drew a quick outline of our subject.

Fourthly we picked where to put the words. Around the outline or fill the subject up! (You can’t do both).

Lastly we put the words in to make the picture.  You can draw in little details. You can just use pencil or you can add a bit of colour in the details. Let the words make the picture though.


you can      g i v e    i t   a   t i t l e     if you like


Congratulations my Y3/4 writing group. I got goose bumps when these arrived in my email box. They look so good and they would be such fun to read aloud. How you read them is over to you.

As much as these are PICTURE poems they are SOUND poems.


I loved every one of them so it was hard picking a few to put on this post. You all worked so hard on these. A big thank you to the teachers who helped you to finish them.


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On being the Writer in Residence at Fairburn School in South Auckland

For the past six days I have been the Writer in Residence at Fairburn School in South Auckland.

What an extra special experience – there are so many fabulous things I could share but here are fourteen things I loved about working in this school.



The teachers, the librarians and the management team are so supportive. What a warm, friendly, inspiring bunch of people. It makes a big difference when you are a guest.



The children are warm and friendly and are prepared to give things a go. Whenever I walked through the playground, it seemed like hundreds of children came running up, saying ‘Hello Paula Green’ with big smiles. So welcoming.



I love the way the children joined in when we made up poems in the hall. I did three sessions and each time the hall buzzed with poetry.

Here is one poem we made up (inspired by a very foggy Auckland Monday morning – my first drive to the school).


Out of the Fog

Out of the fog the icy grass

Out of the fog the blackbirds squawking

Out of the fog the blue grey mountains

Out of the fog the white dog barking

Out of the fog the moving shadows

Out of the fog the humans walking

Out of the fog the hedgehogs crawling.




I love the way some classes went off and wrote poems after my interactive performances.  Room 19 not only went away and wrote poems but performed at the Family Sharing Day on Friday. Such vivid language. Such ocean pictures growing in my mind as I listened. Every poem was a gem but here are four of them.

photo 1 photo 3 photo

photo 2



I loved the way the New Entrant class left the hall and made up a poem that they performed on the Family Sharing Day. They stood on stage in a long line, in front of the audience, and each child said their line. What courage. And they said their lines so beautifully.


Kids play outside (Isaac)

Kids like to skate (Ernett)

Kids play in  mud (Talita)

Kids can put their boots on (Drae)


Kids have hair (Aisea)

Kids can cook (Ryan)

Kids can hide (Jasmeet)

Kids can learn (Yogyeta)


Kids like to read (Triansha)

Kids can sit (Juelz)

Kids can swim (Neti)

Kids like shopping (Shresti)

Kids love toys (Sueao)


Kids can laugh (Coco)

Kids are big and strong (Izhaan)

Kids are Superheroes (Koni)




I did a wild-card workshop with 16 children from Y2 to Y6 who have stretching imaginations and a love of words. We did picture poems but it was pretty hard going through all stages and finishing the poems in one hour. I like picture poems to look good but also sound good so you play with reading them out loud! This is great way to jam with words.

I loved the way Otile brought back her finished poem to show me! I especially like way she made a windy rain cloud and a heavy rain cloud.




I loved seeing a hen walking to school one morning and getting an idea for a poem. I wondered what class it was going to visit. It remind me of my ‘Peacock is Over the Moon’ poem in my book Flamingo Bendalingo!

photo 1




I loved reading the poems that Y5 and 6 had displayed in the hall and discovering some children had written about the visiting poet (me!). I laughed at the line ‘Mad Hatter actions’ in this poem. Wonderful! So I am like a Mad Hatter! Just the poetry surprise I love.

photo 2



I loved being interviewed by a bunch of budding journalists (Anna, Solomone, John and Orla) with the help of Mr Choong (he had great ideas and such energy!).

When the video is posted on YouTube I will post a link. The group has put a lot of work into the interview. My favourite question was to think up three words to sum up poetry or my poetry career (play, music, joy).



All week I worked with sixteen Year 2 students doing writing. Wow! Such poetry buzzing and steaming in the room. Ears and eyes were working hard. Sad to say goodbye.


The Tree

My tree is a

strawberry tree.

Cats crawl in

my tree.

Owls hoot in

my tree. Birds chirp

in my tree. My tree

is thin.

My tree sways and

makes a lot of noise.



The Sun

Blazing fiery yellow

sun sizzles, Matariki stars

shine bright on us.

Tiger hot blazing

sun, sparkly shining

hot sun.




I worked with twenty Year 3/4 students all week — hunting for words, playing with words on the line, building images, using ears. The room was popping and simmering with poems. Sad to finish!



Birds flying high

flapping and diving


In the night

peeking out windows


Searching for birds

I look for


tui  every time.

Nardia Y3


The Sky

Eclipses star moon

black orangish yellow,

and covered clouds

white sun sinking.


Seagulls, fantails and


taking food

chirping drifting,


diving and flying

pictures of clouds

in slow motion.

Jashvir Y4


My Tree

He has dark green

tree leaves

wsssshh   wsssshhh   wooh   wooh

from the tree,

and the owl sleeping.


I told people

to stop hurting Max.

He grows me plenty of apples

for lunch.

I love Max

and he loves

me his

secret is he’s happy

every time

I’m around.






I worked with twenty Y5/6 students for six days. Words went flying, eyes went searching, imaginations soared, ears listened to the music on the line. Wonderful! It was sad to say goodbye.


Spring Evening

Dim misty moon

big bright blossom

rosy red rose

ripe red apple

green grass growing

rosy red robin

big bonfire

beautiful twilight moon.

Jordan Y5


Spring Bees

Bees harvesting nectar

buzzing bees flying

following orders.

Making honey

dodging spiders

fierce fighters.

Flying in blue skies

watching humans play

flying by.

Allerton Y5



Flowers grow

into sunflower petals

on top

of the dark

brown soil.



The Forever Tree

Tall weak tree, branches

swaying, leaves falling,

skins cracking, crows sitting

on dead branches.

Reminds me

of a tree upside

down that will

never ever talk again.





I was so surprised and delighted when a Junior class performed James K Baxter’s whale poem in the hall (it’s in The Treasury of NZ Poetry for Children and one of my favourite Baxter poems) . The class recited it beautifully and we all gasped when up popped the big black whale with the flicking tail. Genius!

The Family Sharing Day was a spectacular day and I adored all the plays and poems  – the classes had worked so hard to celebrate Oral Language Term! I especially loved the way old stories became new stories. What a great idea this was.



I loved the way the whole school glowed with poetry. I drove home on Monday afternoon (yesterday)  (Day Six) and felt full of delicious poems. Wonderful. More than that though, I glowed with the way this very special school had welcomed me into their whanau.


t h a n k  y o u

x P a u l a




I am so in love with these three colour poems from the youngest children at Golden Sands School

The Junior School at Golden Sands School at Papamoa Beach sent me these

W o N d E r F u L poems.

I really love the sparkling words. Wow, these lines make such a strong picture grow in my head.

I also adore the way the word choices surprise me. So many lines to catch and love.

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My favourite poems that invent a new form and a challenge!

This is such a fun thing to do and I loved the way so many of you took up my challenge to invent a new form for a poem.

I loved your creativity and stretching minds. We might try this again in Term 4.

Here are FIVE of my favourite poems. I really liked it when you explained the rules of your form for me. Thank you.

Some were by older children and a bit tricky and some were by young children and quite easy.


a            c  h  a  l  l  e  n  g  e

try one of the FIVE  forms below and send to me by Thursday!

DEADLINE for your Form-Poem Challenge: Thursday September 24th (not long!)

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

PLEASE say it’s for the Form-Poem challenge. Put in the subject line of the email please.

I will post my favourites on Friday and have a book for a poet (Year 0 to Year 8).


I am sending a book on the haiku form to Aria. Here are the new five forms you can try:


Poetry Form: Sylladec
Rules Of Poem:
10 Lines
5 syllables for the first five lines
3 syllables for the last five lines

Japanese blossom,
petals fall like rain.
Following the path,
a babbling brook.
Storm clouds loom above,
bolts strike trees.
Lively fire,
burns like hell.
A retreat,
turned a threat.

Aria  C  Year 8   12 Years   Selwyn House School Christchurch

Note from Paula: I love this idea. It is a poem in two parts. Full at the start slender at the end. Really vivid language.



The Earthquake

The cat wanders.


Lost in the rubble,

Lost in the world.

The child lies.


Hurt from the quake,

Hurt from the fright.

The doll slumps.


Crushed in the commotion,

Crushed with her sadness.




This poem repeats lines that change a bit. Lots of repetition.

Family Floods

Floods, floods happen with no warning
Nepal is becoming poorer every day
Nepal has no villages any more
Lots of villages are gone now
We all get very very sick
All villagers are gone for ever
The Mud castle is gone now
I lay firm and still now
I lay just beyond the castle
I stay still and listen now
Nepal does not stand anymore now

Trinity P aged 7. St Andrews College Christchurch
Note from Paula: I really like the way the lines repeat and shift. Brilliant!



Extrapolation form

All verses have to relate

Has to tell of an event

3 Verses

4 Lines per verse

Line 1: 3 words – The *noun verb*.

Line 2: 1 word – past-tence verb.

Line 3: 4 words – start with the same word as line 2, determiner/pronoun/preposition x2, noun,

Line 4: 4 words – start with the same word as line 2, determiner/pronoun/preposition x2, noun.

Isis W  12 Year 7  Selwyn House School

Note from Paula: The form is brilliant as it has a stuttery feel like the tremors of an earthquake.



For  my Form-Poem I did numbers:

1. (Decide how many lines you will use) 9 lines
2. (Decide how many words will be on the line) 3 words per line
3. (Decide how many syllables will be on a line. Make a pattern for the poem) First word on each line has syllables 1,2,3,3,2,1,1,2,3
4. (Decide whether your form uses rhyme. Make a pattern using rhyming. Try using words that nearly rhyme) Rhyme is abccbaabc
8. (Give your poem a title) Wake
9. (Give your form a name) 33
It is called 33 because of: the words per line, syllables and rhyme (all three!). It is definitely a tricky tricky tricky poem !

When the sun
rises up high,
innocent birds clasp
well-defined beaks, rasp
chirping floats by.
The day’s begun
for almost everyone,
waking to find,
instantly, night’s passed.

By Ewen W aged 13, Year 8, Cobham Intermediate School, Christchurch
Note from Paula: This is a tricky poem and would be very fun to try. I enjoyed the end result and the rhythm the rules made.



Screen shot 2015-09-21 at 12.06.47 PM

William S Age: 7 years Year: 3 St Andrews College, Christchurch

Note from Paula: I love the idea of a poem that moves like this. It changes the sound. Wonderful!

Poetry Bonanza Monday

I had a wonderful week at Fairburn School as Writer-in-Residence and will pop back tomorrow for my last day there. I love the school so much.

I had to leave so early to get to the school, and no matter what time I left, it was a long drive in rush-hour traffic. I am not used to traffic where I live. But it was a really good time to work on poems in my head as I stopped and started on the motorways.

I was so tired sorry I didn’t get to post the new form poems on Friday. I will do it this morning.

This is the last week of term so no challenge for you today.

On Friday I might post something you can try out in the holidays. I will be hard at work on my new books during the holidays and won’t be checking my computer so much.

On Wednesday I will post ten things I love about Fairburn school.

On Thursday I will post my favourite Spring poems.


have a great week young poets! xx



Poetry Bonanza Monday: fog, South Auckland, a challenge

I spent the weekend at Going West Festival. Talked books, bought books, talked more books, judged Slam Poetry, talked books, met poets, had fun!

This morning I got up really early to drive through the fog to Otahuhu School in South Auckland where I am Resident Writer at Fairbank School this week. 

I was worried I would get lost in the fog. 

I saw:
A serving-platter sun

behind a sheet of white fog that

looked like a serving-platter moon. 
Very excited about my week. 
Here is a challenge for you, the last of the term. 

Write a poem that shows me Spring.  I will be looking for great detail and poems that sound good. 

DEADLINE Wednesday 23 September

Send to

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

Put Spring-Poem Challenge in subject line 

The Lovewells pick their favourite funny poem


The Lovewell family  each had lots of different favourites but this is the poem they picked to get the book they so kindly donated. Here is their letter:


HI Paula,
Thanks for the opportunity to choose a winner for this week’s challenge … we’ve had a lot of fun doing this as a family this afternoon!

Loved the poems – lots of laughs, the children clearly enjoyed being funny in their writing.

We would love for the book to go to Trinity P of St Andrew’s College, for the very funny Talking Banana poem.  We all think this is the kind of silly fun verse Spike Milligan loves to share 🙂

We hope Trinity and family enjoy the Spike Milligan book as much as our family does!

Kind regards,
Robyn, Glen, Gemma and Daniel


The Talking Banana

Once I got a banana that talked
Now I need it to stop!
He looked in the cold bedroom
And then he froze..
I put him next to the fire
But he shrivelled up
Now what can I do with
an old shrivelled up banana?
His friend is Strawberry
And she talks as well
She likes dipping herself
Into pools of chocolate
A strawberry chocolate!
What can I do with that?
Now I can eat her! YUMMM

Trinity P Aged 7 St Andrew’s College  Christchurch




My favourite funny poems

Lots of funny poems arrived over the past ten days.

I was really impressed with poems that were funny without using rhyme! Very hard to do!


Here are some for my favourites:


(Thanks to the Lovewell Family I have a Spike Milligan book to send one child. I am going to get them to pick who to send the book to. I will let you know when they tell me)


Can-Can dogs

I woke up
I could not sleep
I glanced outside
I saw my dogs and more watching a  TV show called do the can can
They copied it faster and faster
They started spinning
I fell asleep watching them
Good night can can dogs

By Anika B  Age 7 Year 3 St Andrews Preparatory School Christchurch



Someone has been

in my kitchen

Eating all the kiwifruit

Eating all the pavlova

I know a little secret

It is actually me!

Harry H 8 years old, Year 3, St Andrews College, Christchurch


Funny Me

I am very funny
I do cartwheels and
rolly pollies.
I do silly faces,
and eat lots of cake,
biscuits and lollies too.
I am very funny
Bibble bobble doo.

Madeline T Age 9  Ilam School


               Wiggle Waggle

Wiggle waggle through the town jumping up and down
Noses wiggle and tails waggle
Spring has sprung with a wiggle and a waggle
My face will wiggle in my frowning gown
Out pops Mr Down Waggle Wiggle Waggle Gown

Lucia N year 3 age 8 Ficino School


The Talking Banana

Once I got a banana that talked
Now I need it to stop!
He looked in the cold bedroom
And then he froze..
I put him next to the fire
But he shrivelled up
Now what can I do with
an old shrivelled up banana?
His friend is Strawberry
And she talks as well
She likes dipping herself
Into pools of chocolate
A strawberry chocolate!
What can I do with that?
Now I can eat her! YUMMM

Trinity P Aged 7 St Andrew’s College  Christchurch



Dylan is my cat
He’s a bit fat
Looks a bit like a big hairy mat
He drinks the toilet water
It is gross
His kisses are scary considering where he’s been
I sometimes wonder where he goes all night and what he’s seen.
Ghosts?  Monsters? Aliens?
Probably not, more likely just rats and mice and maybe the roll of a dice.
Dylan is my cat,
He’s special in many ways
Not all of them good
He always comes back home, I think he knows he should
We look after him, feed him really well
And one day I might boil him up in a pot if I need him for a spell.

Alex K  I am 12 years old in year 7 at St Peters Cambridge



A Funny Little Thing

A funny little rainbow
has a funny little leprechaun
who owns a funny little pot
of gold which got stolen
by a funny little goblin
who lives with a funny
little man who shops at
a funny little market which
is found at a funny little rainbow end.

Vivien Paparoa St School


What is the point of
Writing a poem that’s funny
When you’re not laughing?

Razan A, St Peter’s School Cambridge, Year 7,


The Cat Fight

Scritch! Scratch! MEEEEOOOOWW!

The Tom cat tries for the pounce,

But the Siamese is too speedy, and takes a bounce,

Tom claws in the air, searching for his prey,

Siamese is too clever, and dodges away,

In comes a tiny, lonely field mouse,

Only to find that he’s not in his house,

The two cats stare at the gerbil with glee,

But the mouse just shrugs, and nibbles his cheese,

Tom cat scratches the carpet, in suspense,

But the mouse keeps on eating, not at all tense,

Siamese is preparing stretching her legs,

But the mouse is relaxed, peace and quiet, he begs,

BAM! The cats pounce, the mouse is a goner,

But the mouse jumps up, smiles with honor,

Chop! Slam! Crash! The mouse is very naughty,

Little did the cats know, he’s black belt in karate,

Tom and Siamese, flop on the floor,

While the mouse laughs and heads out the door,

Only to find a Persian cat, unfed,

And snap! The lonely field mouse is DEAD!

Mimi 11 years old and from St Peters School, Cambridge.


The Rabbit and The Hen

My name is Jack.

I live in a garden that is surrounded by a lake,
but next door to me lives a feathered old hen named Gladys
oh for goodness sake !

Every morning I open my door and I proudly bounce out,
that silly old bird Gladys sets fire to her door by screeching about.

Eating my breakfast of oatmeal and rocket
Gladys the hen pecks her way through my pockets.

All day I hunt for food, digging down into the deep earth
Gladys sits in a pile of dirt, bathing in dust with all her mirth.

Now when all is quiet and I go to sleep,
I dream of Gladys caged and shut up in her coop.

Oak age 12 Homeschooled