Author Archives: Paula Green

An April-May challenge on Poetry Box: season your poem

 

 

You may also like to try my two challenges hiding in my Gecko Press books post. Please put ‘GECKO’ or ‘Lizard and Snake’ in the subject line so I don’t get in a SPAGHETTI muddle!

 

The April-May challenge:  Writer an AUTUMN poem.

 

A HOT tip for the CHALLENGE:

You have longer to work on these poems because I am going to be off-line until mid May!

I won’t read your poems until then!!!!

Try to hold onto the poem and look at it a week or so later.

Try listening to your poem to see which words you love and which words you might like to change.

I love every season and I love seasoning my poems with seasons.

Play with my suggestions!

 

 

Some ideas:

Collect autumn words and make a pattern in your poem.

Collect the sounds of autumn.

Show autumn out your window or in your back garden.

Use words to take a photo of autumn.

Tell an autumn story in a poem. Listen to how it sounds when you read it.

Show autumn weather. Collect 30 words first. Or 20. Or 10. Or 5.

Write an autumn list poem.

Make an autumn shape poem (a leaf, a bare tree, autumn vegetables and so on) and send a photo.

Write a poem with a friend, alternating lines.

Make the first line the same as the last.

Choose a strong autumn word to repeat through your poem.

Play with how many words go on the line.

Write an autumn poem with NO adjectives. * A book for someone who does this beautifully*

Write an autumn poem with strong verbs.

Try three different endings for me to see.

Try three different first lines for me to see.

Hide a mood in your poem.

Collect your favourite autumn things. Put them in your poem.

 

Deadline: May 5th

I will post:  May 10th or 11th

Send to: paulajoygreen@gmail.com

Include: your name, age, year, school AND put autumn poem in subject line please!

 

h a v e     f u n

 

 

t h i s  n o t  a competition  b u t

a way to challenge yourself as a poet!

 

have extra STUPENDOUS  fun!

 

 

 

Some of my favourite small poems

Wow! What a lot of small poems arrived in my email box from all over New Zealand.  Thank you! I could tell you all loved playing with words for this challenge.

 

Remember  … poetry is all about P L A Y

and there are no set  R U L E S!

 

It was so hard picking a few to post because I loved them all. So inventive, so musical, so imaginative, so thoughtful, so image-strong, so mysterious, so moody, so chewy, so GOOD to read.

I have tried to pick a bundle of poems that are all different!

I will send a book to Olevia and Lily Jean at Richmond Road School and Bhumi at Marshall Laing Primary School. Remember this is a challenge to spark your writing not a competition – and I just share a few books each time because I love sharing books.

 

You might like to look back at my Gecko post and hunt for the two secret challenges.  I have two Gecko books to give away (thank you Gecko Press!). I WON’T BE READING YOUR POEMS UNTIL MAY, so if I were you, I’d wait to send them and read them again. Listen to your poem after a week or so and see what needs changing.

 

Tomorrow I will post the April/May challenge.

 

S o m e      s m a l l      p o e m s:

 

 

The Moon
A single
light shines
in the
pitch black,
night sky

Emily, age 12, Year 8, Selwyn House School

 

Koru
Slowly growing and uncurling,
An artwork in itself

Finn, Ilam Primary School Year 6 Age 10

 

My Snuggly

My snuggly

Has as many

Holes as a minefield

And red strings

Hanging from the corners

Like balloon strings.

William Age: 9 years Year 5, St Andrews College, Christchurch

 

Family Tree

Your
family is
like a tree.
Our branches
grow in
different
directions, our
roots remain
as one.

Lily-Jean  age 10 Samoan unit at Richmond Rd School

 

Fire

As hot as burning ash.
As wild as an erupting volcano.
The smell is like burning rubber.

Silvano  Samoan unit at Richmond Rd School

 

 

The horseshoe

Rusted into darkness

Slowly fading, flaking off piece by piece

metal dying.

Jenna Year 7, St Andrew’s College

 

 

Sunset

One day I

was staring at

a river, then

the Sun shone

into my eyes.

Tilly, age 8, Selwyn House School, Christchurch

 

 

Just Wondering…

I wonder

If on the tundra

You need a bandana

Like on the savannah?

 

I wonder

If a tundra

Is a savannah

In disguise?

Gemma  L Age 11 Year 7, Adventure School

 

 

Moa

A
bird
with
no
wings
that
cannot
fly.
A
bird
with
no
tail
that
stands
so
high.

Jada  Samoan unit at Richmond Rd School

 

 

Moonlight

The moon looks at his river reflection. He frowns.

By Ruby Age: 8 years, Selwyn House School, Christchurch

 

 

Snorkeling Bay

Under the sea
I watch a hoki
polish a paua shell
until it shines like stained glass.

Joshua 12yrs Medbury School, Christchurch

 

 

 

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My Cat Moose

A ragdoll named Moose,
asleep on the couch.
Outside it’s a bright sunny day,
rolling this way then that,
a mixture of white and
grey.

Sofia N, Year 6, Age 10, Westmere School

 

 

The Jumping Door

A door jumped up the hill
It ripped over a rock
That sent it
Into the air.

 Brian H, 6 years, Ilam School

 

Summer

Light
breeze. Palm
trees. Waves roll
in and
out.

Rita P, Year 6, Age 10, LS7 Westmere School

 

The Rain
The rain
pattered loudly
on the
roof all
night. Now
we awake
to the
sun shining
bright.

Emily Cox, Selwyn House School, Age: 12 Year: 8

 

 

The arrival of night

Wave of night
Light so slight
Stars’ bright rays
Not to stay
Day comes again
Night’s at its end

Frank Age: 10  Ilam School

 

 

The Fall

Shoe.
Shoe lace.
Shoe lace race.
Trip, fall,
Chase.

Hugo M, Year 6, Age 10, Westmere School

 

 

Mountain Sunrise

The golden, pink sunrise,
creeps up behind the mountain,
making the snow, gleam pink.

Kate Gourley Age: 11 Year: 8, Selwyn House School

 

 

Winter

Slippers.
Bone-chilling dark.
Snow, skiing, scary.
Casserole, duvet,
sleep.

Stan U, Year 6, age 10, Westmere School

 

 

Light

As the
shining light
creeps through
the leaves,
I wake.

Honor age 9, Selwyn House School

 

 

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Jasmine, Age 10, Gladstone School

 

 

 

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Daniel Age 8, Year 4, Adventure School

 

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By Bhumi, age 9, Year 5, Marshall Laing Primary School

 

 

Whizzing

Whizzing,
over a bump
Soaring,
through the air
Landing,
into
the pond
SPLASH!!!

Paris T, 12, year 8, Carmel College.

 

 

Autumn

Leaves.
Falling leaves.
Gold falling leaves.
Crispy leaves…
Autumn.

Indiko K, Year 6, Age 10, Westmere School

 

 

The Tree

Minty green leaves,
Flutter in the wind,
Falling onto the grass.

Sina, age 9,  Fendalton Open Air

 

 

My Pillow
Fluffy and soft
to sleep
drifting off

By Aimee B Age 9, Year 5, Stanmore Bay School

 

 

Horses
They trot and plot
in vigorous ways
they run and eat
all through the day.

By Maddison W Age 9, Year 5, Stanmore Bay School

 

 

Ballet
twisting and dancing
in some ways they’re prancing.

By Ella K, Age 9, Year 5, Stanmore Bay School

 

 

Shooting Star
Woosh!
flying over the
sparkling sea
Then it was gone.

By Xanthee A Age 9, Year 5, Stanmore Bay School

 

The Shoes

The lace shoes shine bright where they stand

The emerald buttons beautiful as gold

Hopefully they’ll be found.

By Emily, age 8, St Andrews School

 

Tip toe

Howling wind
Dancing light beams
Trembling hands
Tip
Toe
Tip
Toe
Eerie silence disguising the night…

By Michaella, Carmel College

 

 

Sprinting

Sprinting, splashing,
Through the mud,

Slipping, landing,
Through the mud,

Rustling, crunchy,
Crispy leaves,

Drinking water,
From the streams.

Phyllis Age:12  Year:8 Carmel College

 

The Campfire

Fire flickered
Children shone with joy
Voices danced
Along with the night
The campfire would forever
Be in their hearts

Alex W Age: 12 Year Level: Year 8, Carmel College

 

Feelings

May sadness be less
and happiness be more,
but nothing but your dreams
sail through your door.

Olevia age 9 Samoan Unit Richmond Road School

 

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A delightful bundle of Gecko Press books with TWO hidden poem challenges for you

Four gorgeous books from Gecko Press to share!

 

The illustrations are

s   c   i   n   t   i   l   l   a   t   i   n  g .

The stories are

m   o   u   t   h   w   a   t   e   r   i   n   g.

Which means I gobbled them UP in a F L A S H.

And then I came back for a   l o n g          s   l   o   w       feast.

 

Thanks Gecko Press!

 

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Bathtime for Little Rabbit by Jörg Mühle is a small board book for very young children about a rabbit that needs a bath so he gets to be SQUEAKY clean.  I love the way Little Rabbit gets dried. This is a FUN read.

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The Lost Kitten is a scrumptious picture book by Lee with illustrations by Komako Sakai. I loved reading this book, because as you know from my children’s poems, we have cats. In fact Charlie arrived at OUR door lost and hungry and wanted to stay with us for EVER and EVER. We seemed to become a magnet for lost and hungry kittens, but now we live in the country we are too far away.

In this story though, a mother cat brings her hungry kitten to Hina’s place because she knows it needs looking after. You will see it is the cutest little ball of fluff that deserves a warm and cosy cat basket.

Just like us, Hina and her mum feed the cat and make it a cat box and take it to the vet.

Just like us, the kitten makes Hina very, very happy.

But NOT like us (and Charlie), the sweetest cutest little ball of kitten fluff goes missing.

I especially loved the illustrations by Komako Saki. She is a famous and much-loved illustrator in Japan where she lives. You feel like you are inside the story when you look at the pictures, because she knows just how to paint how Hina feels.

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Bruno: Some of the more interesting days in my life so far is a splendiferous read by Catharina Valckx. There are six linked stories with very cool illustrations by Nicolas Hubesch that make me want to get my pencils and draw.

Catharina has written over 30 books and is published in over 11 languages and has been nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Awards 4 times.

Nicolas Hubesch lives in PARIS where he also draws comics. I LOVELOVELOVELOVE his drawings. They do have a PARIS feel about them.

The first story starts like this: ‘The peculiar day started out as an ordinary day.’

This is how poems start sometimes and it means you can begin with what you know and end up somewhere rather marvelous. Catharina has a very BOUNCY imagination because Bruno gets followed by a flying fish that is a tincy bit lost and is nowhere near the ocean. In fact this is a story of strange things in an ordinary day, AND to make it especially GOOD – normal things on a normal day.

In ‘A rainy day,’ Poor old Bruno finds his house is just as wet inside as it is outside when it is RAINING RAINING RAINING. All his friends turn up WET WET WET and EAT EAT EAT all his food. Everyone makes a MESS MESS MESS.

We get to read about:

A peculiar day

A rainy day

A day when the power went out

A much less interesting day

An almost perfect day

A stupid day (that ends pretty well)

This is a very INTERESTING book to read!

 

 

a    l i t t l e   c h a l l e n g e   f o  r   y o u        (YO – Y8 in NZ)

 

I LOVE LOVE LOVE these titles so much, I am challenging you to use one as the title for a poem (You can do more than one!). Let your imagination BOUNCE with what you know and what you make up!

 

Send to paulajoygreen@gmail.com by 5th MAY. I will post some favourites on MAY 10th and have a copy of the book for one reader.

Include your name, age, year and name of school.

Put GECKO challenge in the subject line of the email please.

 

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I am a HUGE fan of Joy Cowley and Gavin Bishop and I especially love their Snake and Lizard books.

 

So on a very wet Sunday afternoon I gobbled up the new one: Helper and Helper.

 

Gavin’s illustrations are sheer beauty.

Joy’s stories are warm and wise and witty. Her sentences are like clear shiny streams.

 

Snake and Lizard are full to the brim with life and show us the power of friendship. Being friends is bumps and hills and new days and arguments and listening and kindness and discoveries.

When I read these stories I fill with warmth and good feelings and just want to write poems or even give stories a go.

 

a n o t h e r   c h a l l e n g e

I LOVE LOVE LOVE these stories so much I am challenging you to write a ‘Snake and Lizard’ poem (You can do more than one!). Read the book first to get inspired by the characters. Make up what happens. It can be something very small and curious.

 

Send to paulajoygreen@gmail.com by 5th MAY. I will post some favourites on MAY 10th and have a copy of the book for one reader.

Include your name, age, year and name of school.

Put SNAKE and LIZARD challenge in the subject line of the email please.

 

PS: I won’t answer your emails until May as I will be away!

Welcome back to Poetry Box 2017 – a little letter and a little challenge

 

 

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a blue sky at our place!

 

 

Dear young poetry fans,

I do hope you have all had a lovely summer even if the sun didn’t shine as much as it usually does, the wind was windier and the rain was rainier.

I have been hard at work writing my big book but after I did a stunt-woman routine in my bedroom (BY ACCIDENT!) and flew through the air like a frisbee and crash landed on the wooden frame of the bed – I injured my back! So I have not been able to sit at the computer and do all the things I usually do. Now I can have small bursts.

 

So I am going to start the year off with a small-poem challenge for you.

 

Little poems are like chocolates – they can taste sweet or sour but they do TASTE!

You can play with how many words you use on each line because that will change the SOUND and the LOOK of the poem.

You can HIDE a very tiny thing in the poem: a glorious word, a single rhyme,  an idea, an object.

 

The challenge: Try writing a bunch of small poems. Say no more than 16 words or no more than 10 words or no more than 20 words. YOU CHOOSE!

Give the poem a title. Those words don’t count in the total.

Try leaving the poem for a week before you send it to me and give it a sound check before you do. As a poet I always do this. I wrote a poetry ms last summer and I have left it for a whole YEAR!

 

Deadline: March 28th.

Email: write small poem in subject line

Send to: paulajoygreen@gmail.com

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

I will post some favourites on APRIL 1st

and have a least one book to give away just because.

 

BTW I have finished my collection of children’s poems using the titles you all gave me! I loved doing it so much!

 

Warm regards,

Paula

 

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Molly wants to go for a walk! No swimming lessons for her this summer in the wild west-coast surf.

 

Happy summer days from Poetry Box; with a poem-notebook challenge and some family snapshots

 

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Our dog Molly waiting to go running on the beach!

 

 

Happy Summer Holidays young poets!

 

Thank you so much for all the poetry that whizzed and somersaulted and danced its way into my email box this year. I adored it!

What a treat to read poems from children all over New Zealand.

To get lovely letters from budding poets.

To send books out to hungry poetry readers.

 

 

Poetry Box will be back in poetry action in February (even though I am writing my BIG book!).

 

I will have some new challenges 

 

meanwhile

over summer you might like my  NOTEBOOK POEM CHALLENGE

to keep a poetry

notebook

over summer

 

with little poems big poems

skinny poems fat poems

funny poems sad poems

poems with endings that snap or sparkle

 

you might find inspiration

in the sky or the sea

out the window through the door

down the sand dunes

along the river

down the street

in a box

 

in your imagination

 

what you

see

or feel

or taste

or hear

 

…. NO RULES!         what fun!

 

If you like, you could copy your favourite pages to send me: paulajoygreen@gmail.com

Put NOTEBOOK POEMS in subject line please.

Or post: PO Box 95078, Swanson, Waitakere 0653

I will have some gorgeous new notebooks to give out.

Include your name, age, school. Deadline: February 1st

 

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I am going to spend summer reading and writing and running on the beach (at long last!) and eating fruit and veggies from our garden -and watching movies. And hanging out with my friends and family. A summer to look forward to.

 

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and here’s me when I was little and already a very BIG fan of books!

 

 

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Molly and Aggo are now the best of friends and Aggo thinks she is a dog I am sure. Charlie is inside sleeping on a cushion or my hat or my coat (just like in the poem!). And Molly will need swimming lessons every day this summer just like in my poem.

 

 

Keep safe

Keep happy

Keep poems floating

 

Warm regards

Paula x

Room 4 at St Joseph’s School in Kaikoura have been writing earthquake poems: shaking smashing breaking

I love reading these cinquain poems because the words stand out sharp against the broken land.

I feel sad reading these poems as these children take me right to the heart and threat of the shaking land.

Thank you for sharing.

I am happy to share poems from any schools in the earthquake zone.

 

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November challenge: my very favourite small poems that blew my socks off

Our second November challenge (we had two as it is the last challenge of the year) was to write small poems.

I loved reading these. I loved the way you showed how many different things you can do with  a handful of words.

Small poems can be busy or simple.

Small poems can sound good and look good.

I also loved the poems that told little stories.

 

t h e s e    p o  e m s

b   l   e   w

m y             w  i n t e r       s  o  c  k  s

 

o     f     f       !

 

I have picked just a HANDFUL to post but I LOVED  them all.

I am sending a copy of The Letter Box Cat to Jack and a book of Laura Ranger’s poems she published when she was a child to Erica.

Tomorrow I will post my poetry challenges for the summer holidays.

 

h  a p  p y   p o e m     d a y s    – thanks wonderful young poets!

 

Haiku

Rain drives leaves off trees

Blocking drains and causing floods

Puddles become lakes

Gemma L, Age 10, Year 6, Adventure School

 

Three short poems from Daniel:

 

Small Poem

We need to protect the sea

Or there will be nothing left to see

Do you see my point

 

Haiku (my first time doing Haiku – I used the book you sent us J )

The rain lashes down

The region now an island

In a moat of mud

 

The Big Wet

It rained and rained and rained

And blocked up all the drains

Flooding all around

No one could get to town

But walking in the wet is cool

So I packed my bag and went to school

Daniel, Age 8, Year 3, Adventure School

 

 

 

Summer

Salty chips

Salt sticks

By Jack F, Age 10, Year 5, Methven School

 

The underground

The pebbles on the cracked brown concrete
rattles as the train comes to a screeching halt
beside the yellow line.

Erica B, Selwyn House School 13 Years Year 8

 

Playing in the waves

Splashing

Sprinting

Panting

Breathless

By Ella M, Age 10, Year 5, Methven school

 

The Golden Castle on an Island

A shiny

Golden castle

Stands

On a sandy island

A boy

Makes a rainbow

Like the sun

 

By Lily P, 7 years old, Ilam School

 

 

London House

The tall

London house,

as old as the stone

in it’s fireplace,

with its warm,

pine tree smell.

Isis W, Selwyn House School, Year 8, Age 13

 

Fiji

Fiji,
the clear ocean,
little waves crash on my toes.

Maddie S, Selwyn House, Year 8, 12 Years old

 

Raratonga

The sun illuminates the the roof of the sea
stretching out towards the coral.
The relaxing hum of the waves
lures me into the water.

Emma C, age 11, Year 7, Selwyn House, Christchurch

 

Germany

Excitedly as I bound up the steps and hug my grandparents,

My other relatives come up the steps.

When we come to my grandparents I look through the back fence.

There’s the neighbour’s dog as usual.

Our visit was as special as my birth.

Xenia, age 9, Fendalton School

 

The tree

Stretches its branches into the sky

It plays with children as they grab its branches

It’s so tough with a mighty heart

Surprising a loud Hack!

And it falls

Down

Down

Down. . .

By: Iris H, Fendalton Open Air School

 

 

Patterns

Triangle, square, circle.
Triangle, square, circle.

Patterns, shapes,
In my head, on my paper.
Repeating around,
Echoing around,
Patterns, patterns,
Never disappear.

Ysabella H Year 5 Age: 9 Ilam Primary School

 

Ko Sumi

The island is as yellow as
an autumn tree.
Fish ride waves at night.
They are nippy hunters.

By Josh P Age 12 Medbury School