April 12, 2016

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

National Poetry Month Issue 11

It happens every National Poetry Month. I start April 1 so excited about my blog project. Then, life gets in the way.

Let's just have a sense of humor about it. To help us, here is a school-friendly (if gross) poem from one of my heroes -- Maryland poet John Hayes. This poem and writing prompt fall in the wordplay category.

John is 89 years old. He's a photographer (which is the subject of  his poem, "Pixels," in Life in Me Like Grass on Fire), a sculptor, playwright/director/actor and a wonderful poet. He's also diligent about sending work out to literary journals, which means dozens of acceptances a year.

John a twisted sense of humor that often involves werewolves, zombies and other strange beasts. Here is John's poem, "Parasite Lost."

Parasite Lost
By John Hayes

Sarah and me
loved our pet flea.

She taught her to read.
I taught her to plead.

We fed her our blood
let her hop in the mud

but one frosty day
she jumped away

to live on the butt
of a friendly white mutt.

Published with permission of the author.
previously published in Kids Vision, September 2005

Kids' Writing Prompt (Elementary School and Up)

This poetry exercise starts with a title. Pick a well known book, movie or TV show and change one of the words around. Once you have a silly or strange title, write a poem to go with it.

  • iCarly could be "iSnarly" -- a poem about a cranky cat.
  •  Mission Impossible becomes "Mansion Impossible" -- a poem about the unusual rooms in a magician's home.
  •  The Lost Hero of Percy Jackson fame, could be "The Lost Zero" -- a poem about an adventurous number with nothing to lose (get it?!)
Have fun with these! More poems from Maryland poets to come.

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