Tag Archives: short poems

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           

Small Poem Finalists and Winner

It was very exciting having small poems arrive from all over New Zealand and from all ages (up to Year 8). It was a hard job picking a winner so I am positing eleven finalists. All of these poems will also go to the Children’s Page (this gets lots of visitors so you will have lots of different readers!).

Room 14 at Birkdale Intermediate in Auckland sent in some fabulous haiku (the best I have read in ages –with special mention to Buster. He has two here so I am sending him a runners-up prize) and Room 5 St Joseph’s School in Kaikoura showed poems don’t need to rhyme to be splendid. I also loved the way the Roydvale School entries were all different (I hope I can visit  Room 11 when I am in Christchurch this year!). Congratulations to all classes for some very fine poems. I thought Sylvia‘s poem was surprising and wonderful and want to see more by you! Perhaps other students will comment on what great writing you have produced.

In the best poems, the poets managed to make something happen with a handful of words: a picture grow, great sounding lines, tell  a little story, make you feel something, make you see something differently.

The winner is Emily from Ohaupo School. I loved the sound of the poem (I love eyes and surprise rhyming and the word order on the first line), I loved the little story and I loved how every word is in just the right place. Magnificent job! I will post you a copy of my book Flamingo Bendalingo thanks to Auckland University Press.


Stripes black and white

Zebra slips through the night

Big brown eyes

Giving animals a SURPRISE

Emily (11 — Year 7) Ohaupo School


NZ Falcon

Gliding at speed around

the dry rugged bush;

with eyes like binoculars

beaming down at its prey.

Adam (12, Year 8) St Joseph’s School Kaikoura


The clumsy chicken stalks its prey

like a cop down the street.

He snaps the grass and pulls out

a criminal worm.

Grace (11, Year 7) St Joseph’s School, Kaikoura



A penguin slides

along the ice

like a plane landing,

as he wears his tuxedo.

Annalise (10, Year 6) St Joseph’s School Kaikoura



Running through the forest

The wild behind it

As dark as night

Buster Rm 14 Birkdale Intermediate



A swoop in the sky

spiraling down to earth

claws open to catch

Buster Rm 14 Birkdale Intermediate


Small Birds

Sweet song slips from its beak

Hiding high in the trees

The little sparrow

Stevie-Ray Rm 14 Birkdale Intermediate


The Lion

Razor sharp claws,

dark green eyes,

long shaggy mane,

and a fearful deep growl,

I am a Lion.

Jessica (12, year 8) Maidstone Intermediate


Cheetah and Turtle

Cheetahs are fast

Turtles are slow!


Cheetahs have spots

Turtles do not!


Cheetahs live in the jungle

Turtles live in the ocean.

Isaac aged 6 Roydvale Primary Christchurch


One Little Mouse

Once a little mouse lived in a house

He ran really fast and knocked over a glass!

Kaitlyn aged 7 Roydvale School Christchurch


Silver Ants


The ants crawl

Silver spacesuits

The race for food

In ten minutes

Don’t get burnt



Sylvia (12 Y8) Parnell District School



Poetry Box Challenge #2 Small Poems

WELCOME to the third week of the New Zealand Poetry Box for children. Thanks to everyone who has viewed it (well over two thousand views) and from all over the world (including New Zealand, Australia, USA, Britain, Jamaica, Mexico, India and Germany). Thanks too for the emails, the comments and the poems that are arriving in my physical Post Box for the Fabulous Poetry Competition for Children. If you scroll down the right bar you can follow me to get an email every time I post something. A special thumbs up to Christchurch. I am getting a huge response from you!

This week is Animal week. On Monday I will set you a poetry challenge, on Tuesday I will give you a poetry tip that might help you with the challenge, on Wednesday I will tell you all about my first book for children, Flamingo Bendalingo and post some poems from it, on Thursday I will tell you about a book of poems by the fabulous Joy Cowley and on Friday I will post the winner of Monday’s challenge. (BTW I took these photos at Auckland Zoo in January.)

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Let’s go Poetry!

Poetry Challenge #2 A Short Poem

I love little poems. Some of my favourite poets have written great short poems that are like eating little chocolates or sucking on a sweet strawberry. You bite, you swallow, then the flavour lingers for ages.

When you write a short poem every word has to be just right and every word has to be in the perfect place. Short poems might have two lines but they might have six lines.

I challenge you to write an animal poem using no more than fifteen words (ok you might get away with sixteen but twenty is too many!).

Send your entry to paulajoygreen@gmail.com. Include your name, class, age, name of school, teacher’s name and email address (home schoolers/correspondence students your parent’s name and email adress please). The winner will get a copy of my book Flamingo Bendalingo (thanks to Auckland University Press).

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