Tag Archives: sound poems

My favourite poems that sound GOOD

Unknown Unknown-1

Congratulations! You sent in a terrific lot of poems that sound good. My ears were buzzing with delight as I read them all. If I didn’t pick your poem to post this time, try the March challenges.


Here are some of my favourites:


Ewen has played around with a number of the sound challenges. She has tried rhymes that almost rhyme, two words on a line with tricky rhyme, made-up words and a catchy, repeating line like Margaret Mahy’s in The Lion in the Meadow. I loved the energy of these poems Ewen so I am sending you a book prize (another one of my favourite picture books, Donkeys (published by Gecko Press) as it has words and illustrations that sing.



Jagged, round

from roads in town.


Precious or plain

never the same.




Far sky

proud sky

dark sky

cloudy sky


sinking sky

hail sky

pink sky

pale sky


rain sky

light sky

plain sky

bright sky


doom sky

late sky

noon sky

fate sky.



Listen to The World For a Minute or Two

Listen to the blinds chimeaclatter

listen to the footsteps stompastamp

listen to the leaves swingarustle

listen to the birds chirpatweet.


Listen to the cars speedapass

listen to the wind whooshagrowl

listen to the airplanes whirafly

listen to the world for a minute or two.



The King of The World (A Margaret Mahy challenge)

The huge, trumpeting, wild elephants

storm across the land.


The huge, trumpeting, wild elephants

want to join the band.


The huge, trumpeting, wild elephants

make footprints in the sand.


The huge, trumpeting, wild elephants

don’t want to be banned.



Ewen W aged 11, Year 7, Cobham Intermediate School, Christchurch



I was over the moon to see a class had written a poem together. I wondered if they tried my challenge to shut their eyes for a few minutes and listen to sounds. I felt like I was right there in the classroom with my eyes shut. What a wonderful job, Room 2.


Duntroon School Sounds Before Playtime

A distant helicopter

Birds tweeting and chirping

Ducks communicating

Cicadas making their music, too

Bushes and leaves rustling


And light footsteps on the grass

Stones crunching

Wind whispering

Bees buzzing

The breeze lightly blowing the leaves

Our river rushing over rocks

The sounds of nature sometimes interrupted by vehicles passing

A car radio playing music, too

My stomach grumbling . . .



By Room 2 (aged 7 to 9)

(Teacher Natalie Aarts  told me Duntroon School is a rural school about 30km inland from Oamaru on State Highway 83. They are learning about the senses so doing a sound poem together was perfect, she said.)



Gemma and Daniel sent me in a bundle of sound poems that were (to borrow Gemma’s word) crackling with energy. They even wrote one together. I loved reading these. Gemma tried a poem with lots of onomatopoeia, Daniel made a very funny rhyme-y poem about a cat. I especially loved the rhyme in this poem, Daniel. Gemma’s lake poem was a symphony of sounds. I am going to send Daniel and Gemma a book to share as I loved their poems. I am sending them another favourite picture book that sings — with good words and cool pictures Bravo (also published by Gecko Press).


Early in the morning

Yawn, yawn crack



creak, click


crackle, crackle


tinkle, tinkle


snap crackle pop


crunch, crunch, crunch


huoff erc, huoff erc, huoff erc


Vroom, vroom



Into the Lake

No ordinary jump

Extraordinary bump









mighty plop



By Gemma, Adventure School, 8 (Happy Birthday!), Year 4



My Cat Flubber

My cat Flubber

Is made of blubber

She wobbles like rubber

But I don’t care

I love her.


Rhyme Time

I try my pie for morning kai


I pack a tic-tac for my snack


I glue blue goo to my shoe


I could fill my quill but it will spill.


By Daniel, Adventure School, 8, Year 4




I was delighted to get a whole bunch of poems from Ohaupo Primary School, Room 5, Year 3-4. Age 7-8. Usually I only pick a few from a class, but the poems all SOUND so good I have posted them all. What scrumptious words on each line. I can tell you used your EARs and went hunting for words that sound good together. These poems are such a treat I am going to send you a copy of my book Flamingo Bendalingo (it is full of animal poems!). Congratulations!


Tamsen T, year 4

Razor sharp teeth
Smooth wings with claw like hands
at the end,
Red scaley skin rolling across its dragony body.


Jamie G, year 3
Crocodiles are green with white sharp teeth
one long tail and little lumps on it with wide green eyes


Jonty K, year 4

Dark cheetah running as fast as lightning
With sharp jaws and teeth
Whiskery and roaring and with lots of spots.


Cayden M, year 4

A big rampaging angry bull
With sharp pointy horns
Charges at bright red fences
Ripping up the dry brown grass.


Hazel T, year 3

Big shaggy mane filled with meat
Lying down in hot blazing suns.
Getting up crossing big long grass
Stalking a big brown deer
Creeping low, grabs a leg, bites with razor sharp teeth
And kills straight away.


Big brown soft eyes.
Ears thrashing against the wind.
Small and big grey shapes in the distance,
Slowly plonking along.
The elephant lifts up her trunk
Brrrrrr, the trumpeting sound fills the air,
As they charge towards the water hole.
Splash! They are running in the water,
The little one stumbles,
The mother nudges it back up again.
Then they swarm around me like bees.
Silently they vanish over the horizon
Holly D, year 4

Long stretchy legs, one swaying tail
A flagpole neck
A soaking blue tongue and stomping hooves.
Brown splodges from head to toe.


Kouper K, year 3

Blueberry eyes, fluffy feet
White snow fur and a tammy grey nose


A big fiery Lion
Snarled around the lake
Mud paws leaping on fish
Clawing the grass out of their homes
Ripping trash!


Cullen D, year 4

The amazing duck
The super little greeny brown duck
Was shaking its butt from side to side
As it waddled beside the pond
quacking loudly at the other ducks


Ally S, year 3

Lots of different types and colours
Tabby grey black and white, Siamese
blue sky, green grass and hazelnut brown eyes.
Long bushy, flicky, soft tail and sharp white shiny pointy teeth
That help kill mice and rats.
They can hide in bushes and climb trees
and jump in overgrown hedges.
They hiss, spit, scratch and to calm down they purr


Brady M, year 3

Leopards have fluffy bushy tails with white sharp teeth
and with chocolate sharp claws,
with black dots and circular ears and purple diamond eyes
a sparkling yellow cat


Caitlyn T,year 3

Little tiny ears eating grass and drinking water in the hot sunny desert
People riding the camels looking for food to eat, to live, to survive



Elliw J, year 4

Small ears, bluish eyes, brown skin, tiny teeth
small long puppy
tail running around
with the puppy in my hands
barking small noise

Shannon N, year 4

Clawing claws, sharp white teeth
Tabby fur, small ears, brown eyes


Jack H, year 4

The big bushy tail squirrel, has little beady eyes
soft ginger fur and sharp shiny fangs
A shiny black nose


Kaylee K year 3

There is a dark chocolaty owl sitting in the brown branches
With creepy tawny eyes.
Bright, yellow stars are flickering in the black sky
With a shimmering white moon.


A beautiful white hawk is gliding through the blue shimmering morning sky,
with his wings open wide.


Maeghan T year 3

Long fluffy ears.
Round fluffy tail,
scratchy furry feet, silky soft body,
Breezy high, bouncy jumps.


Bright orange and black like a big bumble bee.
Huge sharp teeth, clawing sharp feet.
Long swishing tail.


Long bushy tail.
White sharp teeth, almost as brown as chocolate.
Brown fluffy ears, eating a heap of nuts in Winter,
Gathering a lot of nuts in Spring.


Big swishing ears.
Short swaying tails.
Grey round feet.
Grey huge body.


Tralee J Year 3

There in the green grass lies a pony.
Fluffy and furred, sliver moonshine eyes,
Big brown marks down its fur.
A chocolate mane and a cocoa tail.


There is an arctic fox.
White clouded furry arctic fox.
Blackberry eyes.





Margaret Mahy’s adjectives SOUND good — so here’s a challenge for you!

9780140506303    9780140506303

The New Zealand Book Council has been on the hunt for New Zealand’s best loved book (a classic book). It will be announced at a special session at the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival in May.

I was invited to send in my pick and the first book that popped into my head was the book that stayed in my head for all kinds of reasons. I was OVER the MOON that I had picked a children’s author.

I picked Margaret Mahy‘s The Lion in the Meadow. They will post the reasons why, but I will tell you one thing. She is really good with adjectives in the book.

I love this repeating phrase: ‘a big, roaring, yellow, whiskery lion in the meadow’

Margaret would have PLAYED with these adjectives until she got them SOUNDING just right. How DELICIOUS they are to say out loud!


NOW your TURN!

Try writing a poem where you use a string of adjectives like Margaret has —  but you play with them first to get them sounding good. Maybe you repeat the line in your poem. You can pick a different animal or bird for your adjective line:

The ……….,   ………….,   …………..,  ……………….  cat


The ……….,   ………….,   …………..,  ……………….  owl


The ……….,   ………….,   …………..,  ……………….  elephant


The ……….,   ………….,   …………..,  ……………….  tiger

OR ANY ANIMAL or BIRD you like!

Once you are happy with your line use it in a poem (you can use it more than once)!


You can enter you list poem in the February sound-poem competition.

Deadline: February 27th

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

I am posting my favourites and will have a book prize for one young poet.

Poetry Box Tip: Using your ears

Poetry Box Tip  will be useful when you are writing your poems for the sound competition.

It is really good to LISTEN to your poems. Say them out loud. I always say my poems out loud as I am writing them. Then when I have finished a draft I read the whole thing out loud to the birds and the dogs and the cats. My ears will catch a word that doesn’t sound right, or a line that doesn’t seem to belong.

Listen to the rhythm of each line. Do you stumble on a line when you say it like you have hit a traffic jam?

Listen to the word at the end of the line. Listen out for words that sound really juicy, delicious, surprising.

Listen to someone else read a poem. Which word catches your ear?

I am going to give lots more tips on sound over the next year but for now think of your ears as an important tool when you write poetry.

When I say my poems out loud, I like to listen to the sound of one word when it is next to another word.

Remember there is no one right way to write a poem. Poems are golden opportunities toPLAY.

The poem-that-sounds-good competition is due February 27th.

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

I am posting my favourites and will have a book prize for one young poet.

List poems can SOUND so good — give it a go


February is our month of exploring how poems sound. List poems are great way to make a poem sound good. I think it is the pattern that makes music in your ear. List poems can stick to a pattern and then change in the last line. Or list poems can stay the same all the way through. They might rhyme but they might not rhyme.

Here are some starting points for a list poem:

1. The first word or words might stay the same or the last word might stay the same.

2. Think of a bird. Then pick one word to go with it all the way down the page. then change the last line!  It might start:

Black owl

White owl


3. Think of what the sky looks like at night:

The night sky sparkles like glitter

the night sky hides things that flies


4.  Or you can make a pattern where every line has an action or a thing or a feeling:

Jump went the old grey kangaroo

Hop went the puffy white rabbit



the clock ticks

the phone rings

the dog barks



My feet like squishy green grass

my ears like squeaking summer crickets

my nose likes freshly baked biscuits

6. LISTEN to each line and make sure you like the sound of it

7. Or any other idea for a list you can think of. have fun!


You can enter you list poem in the February sound-poem competition.

Deadline: February 27th

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

I am posting my favourites and will have a book prize for one yourung poet

here’s an idea for a sound poem! You need to use your …..


Try shutting your eyes for two or three minutes

Listen to the sounds of the world

Open your eyes

Write down all the sounds you have heard

Now use those sounds to write a poem

Listen to the way each line sounds

You may need to make up a word or two!

If you like you can enter your poem into the sound-poem competition.

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

Deadline: Thursday February 27th

playing with two words on a line is fun — here’s a challenge for you

I loved playing with sounds in the poems for my new book coming out with Scholastic in August this year (The Letterbox Cat and other poems).

I had such fun writing poems with only two words on a line. The second word would stay the same but I kept changing the first word. I kept playing with the order, the alliteration and the rhymes. Sometimes they rhymed and sometimes they didn’t.

I will save the one in the book for when that comes out!


But you could try with cat:

Black cat

white cat

fat cat

striped cat

chatty cat

light cat

tracking cat

flighty cat!


or you could try tree:


Tall tree

bending tree

tiny tree

blossom tree

tough tree

balloon tree

totara tree

bees’ tree



I have fun making patterns with the first word when I do a poem like this. It can be simple or tricky.


Use any second word you like. Try a few then pick your favourite to send me.


Give it a go. You can enter it in the first sound poem competition if you like.


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


Have fun!!!!!!

The sound good poems plus two more

I have decided to repost the poems I picked for the sound good challenge and I have added a couple more. I will have a new competition for you on Monday (I can’t wait to see what you do for this!) but meanwhile you can try out my mini challenges this week or commenting on the posts.


Sam has written a poem that sounds great. I love the way the ‘eek’ sounds run through the poem like the squeaking door. I also like the way the title says one thing (something scary!) and then the poem says another (something ordinary!). I like the way Sam has a few words on each line — it adds to the atmosphere of the poem. Awesome job Sam (BTW everyone Sam told me he is a boy). I look forward to seeing more poems by you. There must be something in the water at your school because Ohaupo School is sending in very cool poems. Sam will get a copy of Margaret Mahy’s The Word Witch thanks to HarperCollins NZ.

Spook in the Night


Eeeeek  eeeeek

is the sound

of our door

in the night



I am in bed

and the creak

gives me

a fright



Mum gets some oil

to fix

the loud




And now

I find

that I can


Sam S  aged 8, Year 4 Ohaupo School


Luke’s poem has lots of different sounds. It sounds great read aloud. There are some words that shine in the lines ( like ‘pop’ and ‘bright blur’). I love the fierce energy and then the way the ending catches you by surprise. It is a poem I want to read more than once. Magnificent job Luke. Luke will get a copy of Margaret Mahy’s The Word Witch thanks to HarperCollins NZ.


The Ferocious Giant


I look out the window

There are trees swaying side to side

Leaves flying towards the sky

Clouds pushing and shoving

Sudenly red eyes pop out and sharp black teeth from inisde a mouth

It opens and gets deadlier

There’s a bright blur behind the ferocious giant

It gets smaller and smaller


Rain drops like a busted water balloon!

Luke W aged 10, Year 6 Manurewa East Primary


Madeleine shows how you can play with the number of words on line, use rhyme here and there, and use a word or two that shines (swooped). Her poem sounds good! I loved ‘silent wings’ and then in the next line ‘swooped.’

I will pop a copy of my poems Macaroni Moon in the mail for you (there are only a few copies left as it is out of print!). Great job Madeleine!


The Haunted House


As I walked into the Haunted House,

I heard a creeping on the floor,

I turned around …

and a scary Ghost flew straight through the door.


I was shaking,

not knowing what to do,

then on silent wings

a Morepork swooped down and whispered “BOO!”


I slowly backed away.

‘This was not my favourite day,’

I say!


Madeleine P aged 12, Year 8 Campion College Gisborne


I also liked the entries from Roydvale School.  I have picked a couple but they all sounded great. The words zing and zip themselves and then you have the sounds the poet has heard by the swimming pool. I discovered lots of great sounds in these poems. I love the way bubbly and hurry are on the same line in Yvonne’s poem and I love the way clonk and click are side by side.  These poems are sound treasure troves … much to discover.  Great job Room 11!

On the way

laughing happy

All of the children

rustling leaves

in the wind


At the pool

running quickly

to get changed

refreshing water

plip, plop the rings go in

I splash KA-BOOM

into the water


Time to get out

I wrap my towel

I am freezing like I am

in the Artic!


Jayden aged about 7


On the way

I am happy

I am bubbly and hurry


At the pool

we are running

I get changed and jump


Time to get out

sad, frozen, wet patches

hair a mess


By Yvonne aged about 7




Excited.  I’m walking, going to the pool

Clonk, click goes the children’s shoes

When the teacher opens the gate

I jump for joy!


At the pool

Splashing! I am having a great time

Splishing and splashing all around the pool

Swimming very fast!


Time to get out

Dripping on the hard ground

The sun shining down on me

Changed, running back to class!


By Ben  aged about 7