Category Archives: Poetry

What Adults Don’t Know About Kids, Gardens, and Poetry

When Chrissy Irwin’s sister was in second grade, she had to keep a journal.

One day Jillian and her classmates had to write poetry.

This is what Jillian wrote:

It seems incredibly insightful.

Long live logic. And kids who are funny in spite of their teachers.

~

Do you have any writing my kids that you’d like to submit?
If so, please email chasemcfadden@gmail.com or leanneshirtliffe@gmail.com.

Pulling the Rip Cord

You know the ol’ school yard saying: The smeller’s the feller… who was the second person to jump out of the plane.

For more bodily function prose, click here.

Burp Poetry

Every parent hopes to read special words written by their children.

Jennifer hoped too.

She found this poem in her son’s notebook.

Ode to onomatopoeia and repetition.

~

Thanks to Jennifer for sharing this note she found in Max’s backpack via Instagram. Max’s writing has been featured here before: Does Elbow Licking Count As Spending Time Wisely? You can read more about Jennifer’s life with Max and his twin sister at NuckingFutsMama.com. And check her out on Twitter: @nuckingfutsmama.

A Poem for My Sister, circa 1981

When I was ten years old, I decided to write a poem for my sister, Patti, who was six years older than me.

Patti loved playing tennis against the garage door of our giant machine shed and would spend hours doing this instead of playing with her little sister who followed her around when we weren’t doomed to cut acres of grass or pick the evil weed portulaca from our garden for two weeks.

My poem showcases my tennis-loving sister.

It also showcases

  • political incorrectness
  • why I should never be allowed to rhyme
  • my horrific signature.
It does not showcase my adoration of Patti, whose birthday was this past weekend.

Enjoy.

The crossed-out line reads: “Until she thinks of Brad.” I suspect I edited this because I knew Patti would smash a tennis ball at my face if I read it to her.

Happy Birthday, dear sister. Next time, I’ll tell the prostitute/hooker story or the lawn mower joy ride story or how you snuck me into bars when I was 14…and 15…

~

Do you have any funny writing from when you were young?
Please send it to us at StuffKidsWrite(at)gmail(dot).com.

Fighting: An Ageless Poem

Six-year-old E.R. wrote this poem as part of a school project:

Fighting

It’s my turn on the slide.

My sister fights with me.

I get somewhere first.

My sister fights with me.

I climb up the slide.

My sister fights with me.

I climb up the ladder.

My sister fights with me.

The end.

E.R.’s mom Elizabeth, who blogs at Confessions of a Mediocre Mom, submitted this piece along with this commentary:

I am an only child, and everyone tells me this is completely normal sibling stuff. I still can’t help but think that if her only inspiration is the animosity in her home life, perhaps I should put that college fund on hold and start saving for therapy instead.

We say keep the college fund going, Elizabeth, because anyone with a sibling or who has more than one child will agree:

    • Poems such as this are perfectly normal.

    • Poems such as this could have a hundred verses.

    • Poems such as this could fill a thousand volumes.

    • Poems such as this were undoubtedly etched into the walls of caves during prehistoric times.

    • Poems such as this will be written a thousand years from now on whatever people write on at that time.

Siblings. Fighting. Yes.

*****

So, any memorable “fighting” episodes wtih a sibling that you’re willing to share in the comments section below? How about your own kids? What do they fight about? (It may be quicker to discuss what they don’t fight about.)

Ding! Ding! Let’s drop the gloves and talk sibling scraps!

Mean Notes for Daddy

My daughter, Vivian, likes to write.

Last weekend, she and her dad were watching Canada and Germany play soccer in the Women’s World Cup.

Daddy told her not to talk, so she wrote.

At first, Vivian engaged him with trivia.


After a few more pages of questions like “find the nouns in this sentence,” my husband told her he didn’t want to play anymore. He wanted to watch the soccer game.

Vivian answered with notes.

Note 1:

Note 2:

(In case you’re wondering, he’s her biological dad).

Note 3:

Vivian is going into Grade 2, and she’s mastered the art of the note.

In rhyming couplets.

Help me.

How Our Kids Re-Write Us

The writing of Lloyd and his son Cameron has appeared here before. You may remember the hot-sauce experiment. But today, Father’s Day, StuffKidsWrite.com is pleased to bring you something a little different. The world needs more fathers like Lloyd and more sons like Cameron. Read on, and you’ll see why.

***

I was raised in a strict Calvinist household.‬‪ ‬‪

The funny thing about Calvinists — maybe the ONLY funny thing about Calvinists — is that we think everyone is totally depraved.‬‪ ‬‪

And that’s funny because the doctrine of total depravity is supposed to scare you straight (like a Puritan) but it can just as easily make you give in to the dark side (like preacher’s son Alice Cooper).

Now, I’m no Alice Cooper (for one thing, I find guitar strings surprisingly painful) but I dig his approach.  Being good is a hassle. It’s easier to give in.

Left alone, I prefer to be alone.  Left alone I will enjoy scotch far too much.  I will smoke like the butt-end of an Exocet missile.  If sedentary living were an Olympic sport, I would be on top of the podium, asleep and covered in a thin layer of Cheeto dust. ‬‪ ‬‪

The thing is, I’m not alone.‬‪ ‬‪

And I’ll never be alone again.‬‪ ‬

Because 7 years ago, the nurse put a warm, wet, squirming baby boy in my hands.‬‪ ‬‪

My first reaction was to kiss his forehead. ‬‪ ‬

In that moment, I promised to love Cameron forever.‬‪ ‬‪

And I wanted to be worthy of his love.‬‪ To be a GOOD man.

That was the bargain we made.‬‪ ‬

I didn’t say it out loud of course.  A busy, noisy (and unbelievably wet) delivery room is hardly the place.

But I felt it.‬‪ ‬‪

And in the years since, I’ve done my best to live it.‬‪ ‬‪

I think fresh, little humans make you re-experience the wonder that time and experience take from you. ‬‪ ‬‪And they change you.  They re-write you.

In my case, Cameron’s birth made me take stock, and make changes. ‬‪ ‬‪

I quit smoking.  I started running. Because I want to be around for a long time, to see how he turns out.‬‪ ‬‪

Nowadays, when a guy in a BMW cuts me off in traffic, I don’t swear at him like a sailor with Tourette’s.  I call him a “muffinhead.”  ‬‪

I’m trying hard to be good.

‬‪I’m not saying it’s easy.  And every now and again, when I flag, or fatigue, or take my eye off the ball … Cameron gives me another reason to live up to my end of the bargain.‬‪ ‬‪

Just this week, he wrote a poem.

And, once again, he reminded me that I am the father of a wonderful kid, and that God is kind to me beyond deserving.

And so — depravity be damned — I’m going to be the best dad I can. To live my life with all the joy, and kindness I can muster.

And why shouldn’t I? Because God created the sky. The world. And I.      ‬‪



***

To Lloyd and to all dads, we say thank you and Happy Father’s Day. And to men everywhere who would like to be fathers and to all children who have lost their dad, we wish you peace on this difficult day.

To read more about Lloyd’s adventures raising Cameron, follow him on Twitter: @lloydrang

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