Tag Archives: summer poems

Poetry Box has woken up: a March challenge


Charlie, our dear Molly and Agile (they are all in The Letterbox Cat!)


I read a lot of books over summer of all shapes and sizes. I did a lot of dreaming and thinking about what I will write next (big secret of course). I also imagined what we might do on Poetry Box this year! I wrote this summer poem just for you:



Summer postcard

The birds ate my plump red tomatoes

maybe because of the Auckland drought.

It is thirsty weather.


We have big cracks in the lawn

filled with armies of ants

kererū crashing through the tī kōuka

tūī singing like opera divas

stick insects clinging to the door frame

spiders filling our house with webs

the cats going walkabout in the shady bush.


I spent my whole summer at home.

We said goodbye to our old dog Molly.

We covered the tomatoes in bird netting.



The March challenge


I would love to post some summer-postcard poems from you.

  • collect summery words
  • collect summery things
  • think of one experience that really stood out for you
  • listen to every line as you write it
  • find fresh similes
  • your poem can be long or short
  • try not to send the day you write it
  • leave it to simmer for a few days and then read again
  • read it to a friend or family member
  • do an illustration to go with it
  • use any title you like



Send to: paulajoygreen@gmail.com

Deadline: 27th March

Include: your name, age, year, name of school

Don’t forget to write SUMMER POSTCARD POEM in the subject line

I will read your emails and reply to you all at the end of March.

I will post some favourites on March 31st (or thereabouts) and have a least one book to send out.







Poetry Box Summer Poems for the first day of Summer


Today is officially the first day of summer – I look out my window and see little patches of blue sky – I see my vegetable garden growing crazy fast with all the rain – I see our cats rolling on the warm gravel – I see our dog Molly sleeping in the shade.

I love every season.

I am always sad to say goodbye to winter because I love fires and winter food.

I am always happy to say hello to summer because I love swimming at the beach – eating summer fruit and veggies – wearing shorts and Tshirts – doing heaps of things outside.


Thanks for ALL the wonderful summer poems. I filled with a summery mood reading them all.

I have picked JUST a few to post. I am sending a copy of The Letterbox Cat to Ms McNaughton’s class at Methven School as they sent in a terrific bunch of summer poems. Thanks also to all the poem bundles sent by teachers from Adventure School, St Patrick’s School and Huapai School. Wonderful. Great job poetry fans!

I am also sending a copy to Kingston.


t h a n k  y o u    f o r    k i c k i n g    o f f

s u m m e r       w i t h     p o e m s

x    P a u l a






O the wonderful activities of summer

Surfing and swimming,

Playing in the sun.

And O the wonderful foods of summer

Hotdogs and ice-cream,

We’ve barely begun.

Yet, the most wonderful things of summer

Are family and friends

Having lots of fun.

By Andy A, Age 10, Year 6, Methven School


A day in the life of a crab

As the light peeks through my castle

It’s time to re-enter the seaside

The sun greets me

People with hats

Kids splashing

Barbeque’s burning

Pohutakawa swaying

My nippers are ready

For a curious kid

A nosy adult

An intrigued tourist


As the sun fades

The people have gone

I’m alone once more

The waves spill their last

I return to my castle.

By Emily W, Age 10, Year 6, Methven School


Fish ‘n’ chips

Stuck inside paper

A burst of light

A feel of a hand

Touches my crispy batter

Chips surround me

Handful after handful

Blood red sauce smothers

An open cavity

A row of teeth

I go down a black hole

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


Winter’s Escape

I see

the white-caped waves

washing up

my newly made

golden sandcastle

I feel

the heat of the sand

burning my back

By Cooper P, Age 10, Year 5 Methven School




Spring ends
And summer starts
Flowers bloom
Animals play
Babies are born filling the fields’
The sweet scent of summer filled the air
Children swarm out the door
Every one including me
The golden sand tickles my feet
I know that summer is here!

Emma, age 9, Fendalton School




beaches waves so cold,
is an ice cream now it’s sold.
soaring through the sky,
clouds never cry.
are crashing,
the fish are splashing.
Pink, purple,
and green
the colours going together
make summer better.
so nice drinks with ice.
sun so bright,
takes the dark away at night.
pools not too deep,
is my summer to keep.

Madeline, age 9, St Patrick’s School, Masterton



in the sun and I’m ready to have some fun.
the sparkling waves getting out to look at caves.
a refreshing bun out of the sun.
in the sun bringing  joy to everyone.

Mirron, age 11, St Patrick’s School, Masterton

The birds are chirping sweet songs,
butterflies are flying in the clear air,
the grass is green freshly mowed,
chicks grow their sweet soft feathers,
hearing the sounds make me joyful,
strawberries are out yummy,
in the park.

Name Umi Age :10 School: Ilam School


Christmas time has come
Lobster on the table
Trains pass, we wave
Waves crash on the shore,
10 meters from the house.
Spiders lounge in surrounding woods
Blue house
Meg, border collie rushes, chasing air.
Red house, right next door.
Renters stay, we take the precious moments, before we move out.
Paua shells litter the ground.
The smell of a beach, salty, fresh,
The buzzing of stingless bees,
Pick them up,
Play with them,
Observe them.

Lucy J, 13 years old, Selwyn House School. Lucy sent this poem in before the earthquakes.



The Beach
Down on the beach
is a big tall tree.
Waves blowing onto the sand
And people surfing at the beach.
Watery sand
in the big calm sea.
Seagulls flying
across the blue sunny sky.
Dogs chasing
the big green ball.
Spiders at the car
spinning their spider webs.
Sand castles,
blown by the sand
And waves bowling them away.

Down on the beach
people are climbing
the big tall tree.
Waves blowing to the sand
and people surfing in the calm sea.
Seagulls flying
across the big blue sky.
Let’s have a
good time at the beach.
by Jennifer, age 8, Year 3, Huapai School



I can swim in shallow water.
When I touch the bottom of the water,
it feels muddy.
When I smell the muddy sand,
it smells like a pot of rubbish.
When I touch the sand, it feels sticky.
When I put water on my hand,
and I put sand on my hand,
the sand will stick
on my hand.

by Kingston, Year 1, Huapai District School



Horizontal rain pelts against the windows

Wild winds push like bullies

People put on puffer jackets

Yeah… it’s summer in Wellington

Gemma L, Age 10, Year 6, Adventure School




The Stargazing Rock

Around the corner, up behind the house
Where the bending willows grow
Across the glistening stream
On a cool summer evening
The stars all a shine
The grass soft and dewy
The maples in a line
With a skip and a hop
And a wade through the stream
You can get to the stargazing rock

Not in winter
When even the stars shimmer with cold
When the stream is high
And the current strong

Only in summer
When the water is low
And warm to bare toes
The grass is soft
The ferns new
The rock still slightly warm
And the farm is laid out
Below your feet like patchwork
You can feel it’s a magic night

Bring the blanket
And the lemonade
We might want some chocolate
We’ll be caught if we try for the ice cream

Put it in the basket
Check our parents aren’t looking
Off we go

Keep up
Duck the brambles
Almost there
Don’t trip
Here we are

Now at the top
Spread out the blanket
Pass around our stolen treats

When the clock strikes midnight
And the shadows are long
Bare feet patter and twirl
Beneath the heavens
Filled with stars

But morning is upon us
It’s time to sneak home
We don’t want to get caught
So back to bed we go
Sylvie, Sapphira and me

But now Sylvie’s grown too old
For such games
And Sapphira’s moved to Nepal
So now there’s none at all
To go up on a summer night
None except for me

by Sarah-Kate S, age 11, homeschooled






Some poems with pictures from Y1 and 2 at Adventure School:

by Cyrus:

Screen Shot 2016-12-01 at 9.07.36 AM.png


by Luca:

Screen Shot 2016-12-01 at 9.05.13 AM.png




by Shawn:Screen Shot 2016-12-01 at 9.02.40 AM.png


Screen Shot 2016-12-02 at 4.00.41 PM.png

Last of year: Poetry Box November Challenge: something summery and something small (and a Gecko Annual challenge)


This is the last challenge for the year! Thank you so much for reading my posts, following my tips, reading the reviews, trying the challenges and sending me letters and poems.

w o n d e r f u l


It has been an excellent year for poetry. I especially liked all the classes that sent in work. I could see the poetry buzz and the fun you had writing and reading. The poems have been magnificent.


s t u p e  n d o u s


I have agonised on what to set for our last challenge this year. So I am going to offer you two. I will have a book for each challenge. I will do two separate posts. Remember this is NOT a competition – it is all about the joy of writing!

My top tip: Don’t send the poem the day you write it. Leave it for a few days, edit it and then send.


w a i t    w o n  d e r        w a n d e r


l o o k    at my post on the Gecko Press Annual and find  my challenge to review it  (I have a book token for someone!)  Deadline November 10th         !!!!!!!!!!!!       **********


l  i    s   t   e   n


Challenge Number One: a set topic

Try writing a poem about summer.

Before you write hunt for summer things.

Use your senses to find words.

Make a chain of interesting summer words. Pick your favourites to put in the poem.

Link three summer words together. Make a pattern poem with summer words.

Hunt for a summer memory.

Imagine a summer you would love.

Paint a picture of summer with words.

Listen to every line and do a sound check.

Find some sizzling summer similes to use.

Hunt for things you to do in summer or eat.

What about the place you like to go in summer?

What is your favourite summer mood? Write a poem and hide that mood in the poem for me to guess.



Challenge Number Two: small poems

I love writing poems that use only a handful of words.

Every word has to count.

Your poem might paint a little picture.

Does it sound good?

You could try writing a couplet poem: just two lines that might hide or use tricky rhyme or no rhyme.

You could try writing a haiku: 3 lines and can be 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables (doesn’t usually rhyme).

You could try writing a limerick.

You could write a small poem that is surprising.

You could write a small poem that is funny.

You could write a small poem that is thoughtful.

You could write a small poem that makes a pattern with words.



SEND your poem to paulajoygreen@gmail.com

DEADLINE Monday November 28th

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

P l e a s e    p u t   ‘Summer poem’ or ‘Small poem’ in the subject line of your email.

I will pick some favourites to post on the blog and have a book for at least two readers and maybe even a book for a class.

I will do two posts on  Wednesday 3oth November.

Some favourite poems from the Summer Poem Challenge

It was such fun getting the first poems of the year in my mail box.  Summer poems! The nights are still steaming hot and I am still swimming at the beach every morning but I can see the first leaves on some of our fruit trees are starting to turn orange and brown.

Thank you for all the summer poems. Here are some of my favourites.

I like the idea of Gemma’s bucket list when buckets are just what you have fun with at the beach. Daniel was very inventive and with the help of his Mum used pictures to end his lines and tell his poem story. Kim‘s poem has sizzling similes perfect for summer and Pearl, Abby and Ewen‘s have sizzling detail. I love the way Jacob and Zara catch the end of summer in their poems. I love the summer mood in Rewiti‘s poem.


Hard to pick but I am sending Rewiti a copy of my book The Letterbox Cat and Other Poems. Congratulations!



Summer is over

I pack summer away

I pack the rosy red roses away

I pack the green leaves away

I pack away the warm air

I pack away the ice-blocks

I pack away the ice-cream


Jacob Age 7. View Road School, Waiuku



Summer is over

I pack away the hot summer

I pack away the wonderful flowers

I pack away the green leaves

We don’t need the sunblock

Time to pack away the tent

We don’t need iceblocks

No more butterflies

Time to pack away singlets and shorts

Summer is leaving


Zara Age 7, View Road School, Waiuku




I can see the wind blowing

The plants swaying across

We went to the beach

The sun danced off the water

I feel the wind rushing across me

I can feel my bag go up and down

as I run home from school

Rewiti Age 8, View Road School, Waiuku


Summer Sun

The sun is a sparkling diamond
It is a large yellow sunflower in the sky
The sun is a sizzling barbeque
It is a huge morning star

Kim, aged 10, Russley School


Waking to Summer

Waking to the sun shining ever so brightly
like a beacon in the sky.
Waking to vivid green leaves, sticking to a tree,
showing the way of the wind.

Waking to find your jandals
searching for your feet.
Waking to dry, hot weather
where rain is a distant memory.

Waking to orange leaves dropping down
leaving the wind to pick them up.
A sign that summer will not stay
and Autumn is already on its way.

Ewen W aged 12, Year 8, Cobham Intermediate School, Christchurch


Daniel's poem Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 4.39.07 pm

Daniel is Year 2 and aged 6, Adventure School



Bucket List






TV watching


Lots of fish

Interesting experiences

Sharing stories

Time together with wonderful crew


Bucket List!


By Gemma, Age 8, Year 5, Adventure School



It’s summer

Every day’s hot

I love to smell fresh daisies

When I wake up in the morning

I smell honey from the bees

I can hear cicadas clicking

I love listening to the birds chirp

I hear splashing from the pool next door

Running across the burning sand

Splashing in the ocean is refreshing

I feel shells

Rough and smooth

The sun dancing off the ocean

It glimmers

I see fishing boats

Also people swimming

I love summer

It’s the best season ever.


Abby Age 8, View Road School, Waiuku



In my summer there are
Burning suns
Cold lemonade
Ice blocks

In my summer there was
Swimming in the refreshing pool
Running in the emerald grass
Smiles and joy

In my summer there will be
Fresh air
Delighting laughter
Jumping into clean lakes

Pearl, aged nine, Riverhead School

Poetry Box 2015

Welcome back to Poetry Box.

After a very busy year, I had a  lovely summer doing lots of reading (mostly novels!), swimming, walking and gardening. Doing different things gave me lots of energy ready to start the new year.

Three special things turned up in my mail boxes to surprise and delight me!

Daniel and Gemma sent me a hand-painted poetry stone. Thank you!

An Arrowtown poetry fan sent me a handmade decoration to go on my Christmas tree. Send me an email so I can write back! Thank you!

And I found out Poetry Box won the 2014 Poetry category of The Public Blogger Awards which is based in Los Angeles. My blog was selected from a shortlist of 7 blogs from all round the world. I was very touched to be picked. I danced a wee dance in my study! Wow! Thank you!


This year I am going to be busy writing new books but I will still have some time to run this blog and my adult blog, Poetry Shelf.


This year I aim to:

+ Post Poetry Bonanza Mondays: Post something every Monday morning — some tips, a challenge, interviews, book reviews.

+ Post things in between to surprise you now and then.

+ Post Poem Fridays: Post some of my favourite poems from the challenges on Fridays.

+ Plan a Fourth Fabulous Poetry Competition for Term Two and tell you about it then.


I will answer your letters but I will be busy writing every day until lunch time so I won’t be looking at my emails until after that.


A welcome back challenge – Write a summer poem:

I love poems about the seasons. Summer is almost over! I love summer so I want you to write a summer poem.


1. Real detail will make your poem pop!

2. Collect lots of summer words and things before you start. Can you collect more than 30?

(food, places, weather, the sky, things you do, things you wear, things you see and hear, what is in the garden and much much more!)

3. Think about how you will write your poem on the page.

(list poem, shape or picture poem, haiku, couplets, short, long, fat, skinny)


DEADLINE for your Summer-Poem Challenge: Wednesday March 4th

Send to paulajoygreen@gmail.com. Include your name, year, age and name of school. You can include your teacher’s name and email. PLEASE say it’s for the Summer-Poem challenge.

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



Here are some photos from my summer holidays:

photo 4 photo 1 photo 3 photo 2 photo 2 photo 3 photo 1 photo 4 photo 4 photo 2 photo 3 photo 1 photo 3 photo 1 photo 2