We had another stellar month of poetry. Who knew that so many poets were just itching to write a poem inspired by a single word! You’ll find the voting box below so have fun rereading all the poems and voting for your choice. To read or reread all the poems, scroll down below the ballot box. I posted them all there.
On a special note, Taylor McGowan was our only young poet who posted this month so we can’t have a vote. On the other hand, there is no law against telling Taylor if you appreciate her poem and her dedication to writing during her summer vacation!
Tomorrow I have a special treat. My Guest Reader goes by Souldose. You are going to love her.
JULY 2010 ADULT POEMS
1 THE WITCH’S ITCHES
An itchy witch, she never scratches,
Never scratches, never scratches,
The gnashiest of witchy rashes,
Witchy rashes, witchy rashes,
She pitches, twitches on her broom,
Upon her broom, up on her broom,
And howls unhitched her yowls of gloom,
Growls of doom to eldritch moon,
She’d gladly ditch her earthly riches,
Earthly riches, earthly riches,
Or switch her fate with sniveling snitches,
Sniveling snitches in stitchy britches,
To still that itch she never scratches,
Never scratches, never scratches,
That itch which glitches witch’s niches,
And de-mo-LISH-es witch’s wishes!
– Steven Withrow
Stop your itching
I can’t stop
with a twitch.
There is a bug
living on my head
but, never in my bed.
I keep telling Mom
the itch witch
came in the night
put a curse
on my head.
Is it the
or the itchy
bitsy red spider?
I plan to ditch
the itch when I
soak my head
in be-gone soap,
removing the curse
of the itch witch.
— ©By Mary Nida Smith
A SAD TALE
Nothing frightened Bryon Biggers,
Not even lions, not even tiggers,
He spent his life exploring this land,
Knew these hills like the back of his hand.
Striding down the path he came
Always looking for bigger game
But in the end he met his match
In a lowly Ozarks chigger patch.
Byron laughed, “Ha ha!” cried he,
“No bug could be the death of me!”
But halfway through that patch of chiggers
And it was over for Byron Biggers.
He clawed those bites till his dying breath,
Sighing, “I’ve scratched myself to death.
Someday they’ll find me here alone
With chiggers gnawing on my bones.”
He died the way he lived – brave,
And few have seen poor Byron’s grave.
He’s buried high on a lonely hill
Where to this day he itches still.
Here lie the bones of Byron Biggers,
Eaten alive by hungry chiggers,
So if you see poor Byron twitch,
Scratch his bones ‘cause they still itch.
— David L. Harrison
This month’s word invites laughter! OK. I just can’t resist this. The poem below was actually written by a student of mine, in all the innocence of a first grader–years, years, years ago. It was so funny I still remember it. Maybe I’ll have an itch poem of my own to share soon.
Kids are nice,
Kids are grand,
Marching in bands.
I am nice
I am grand.
I once had lice,
Don’t hold my hand!
by Laura C.
3 ITCHY DILEMMA
Our dilemma was daunting
resembling a haunting
with twitching and itching —
We were itching our itches
on our backs and our britches,
shedding clothes (every stitch)
yet continued to itch.
So we’d run in mad dashes,
scratching patches of rashes,
all the while we were cloaked
in poisonous oak!
— Ken Slesarik
4 WHY ME?
My tasty blood attracts mosquitoes
bestowing bumpy bites in batches.
A buzzing fleet of small torpedoes
brings on a dance of sudden scratches.
They sew my skin with blotchy stitches
of polka dot embroidery.
This spotted Little Dipper itches.
Why are mosquitoes sweet on me?
— © Amy Ludwig VanDerwater
This month, I’m responding with 2–one fun, one serious. Yes, you can write a serious poem about “itch”!
IN THE MIRROR
I’m covered with spots!
They’re big red dots
On my legs and my arms.
Sound the alarms!
My face and chest
And all of the rest
Of me’s pocked
Pass the Calamine lotion!
It’s like magic potion
To stop the itches
From head to britches.
5 LETTING GO
Sorting the stuff
Of fifty-five years
Of family life into
What to keep?
What to give?
What to sell?
Item after item
Old note cards,
Unopened Old Spice,
In the coat closet, hangs
The sweater Dad always wore.
Does it have his smell?
I hold it close and sniff.
Smells like wool,
Makes me itch.
— Jane Heitman Healy
6 MR. POE’S ITCH
It started with a tickle,
An itty-bitty prickle,
No bigger than a nickel
In the center of my spine.
I reached behind to scratch it,
But my fingers couldn’t catch it.
Like an egg about to hatch, it
crackled through that bony line.
It spread faster than a rumor.
It grew bigger than a tumor.
The Itch of Darkest Doomer
Expanded its attack.
Nipping, pinging, biting,
The itching burned like lightning.
I felt my body tightening
And decided to fight back.
With ragged bitten nails,
I raked my back in wails
Of agony because I failed
To ease the fiendish itch.
I poked with fork and finger,
But still that itch it lingered.
A pin cushion of bee stingers
Zinged the itch to fever pitch.
Filled with mad frustration,
I took on self flagellation
And began the degradation
Of that aggravating germ.
I destroyed its tickling bite,
Smashed its pinch in mad delight,
And with a swing of fiercest might,
I crushed it like a worm.
Now I sit in Bedlam’s halls,
And I stare at four white walls,
As a sterile bandage falls
upon my back so raw and red.
But I don’t mind a bit.
It was worth a raging fit,
Because that vile, disgusting itch
Is at last among the dead.
— Barbara Turner
7 BLOOD BROTHERS
Under the shade
of an old pine tree,
a squishy hill of pine straw
I stared for a while
at the milk-blue sky,
studied all the wild things
a peek-a-boo hare
and a horny toad
a big gray owl
and a two-note bird.
But one little thing
I did not see
was the half-pint
skeeter watching me.
I think he waited
till I closed
then he zigzagged in
and bit my hide.
I screamed like the devil
when he sucked my blood,
but none of my screamin’
did any good—
’cause all he did
was lick his chops,
and dive back in
for a few more drops.
I swatted here,
I swatted there,
but all I hit was the
Still, I think he knew
I was on his trail,
’cause that l’il skeeter
quick turned tail.
When he left
I felt my knee,
a giant skin-welt
waited on me.
It itched and burned
but that’s not worst—
worst was when
the darn thing burst.
It hissed and spat
and spurted out blood,
then it itched some more,
so I rubbed, rubbed, rubbed.
That’s what happened
when I walked in the woods—
I got pinched and poked
and gave up blood–
to a hungry little skeeter
and a horny toad—
who ate that bug
when he ditched my bones.
— Julie Krantz
8 A LADY’S FAME
The lady suffered a terrible itch,
Found no relief, it was a bitch.
Clothes made it worse, she was such a witch,
So she roamed the house without a stitch.
She cleaned and cooked while in the buff,
With no one around it wasn’t tough.
She could reach all itches easy enough
With calamine lotion and other stuff.
One fateful day the postman came,
Carrying a letter for the dame.
“Buck naked,” he would later claim.
That’s how Lady Godiva gained her fame.
— Gay Fawcett
9 WHICH ITCH?
They had an itch –
The fish, the worm
Swish, swish – went fish
And worm – squirm, squirm
Swish, swish, squirm, squirm
All night, all day –
They couldn’t scratch.
They wouldn’t stay.
Some folks who itch
Behave this way.
— Liz Korba
10 BUNKHOUSE BEDBUGS
Big Bart was a fearsome trail rider;
A rogue, a cad, and a fighter.
He swaggered and spit–
When crossed, threw a fit
And thrived on stogies and cider.
He ruled the bunkhouse with might and maim.
No one dared his manners to tame.
He hassled the crew,
Threw dirt in their stew
Then laughed as if playing a game.
One night around the campfire, talking,
The cowboys all began balking.
“This cruelty should cease.
We must restore peace
And send Big Bart on his way, walking.”
Now bunkhouse bedbugs are plentiful;
Always found by the bucketful.
They bite and they itch–
Invade every niche–
Make life on the ranch quite miserable.
The cowboys gathered bedbugs galore
From bedrolls and long-john’s they wore;
From corners and cracks–
Their search was not lax–
They intended to settle a score.
The men were pleased with their bedbug booty.
Eight to midnight, Bart had guard duty.
They’d fill his bedroll,
Discomfort their goal.
The plan was divine; quite a beauty.
The bedbugs feasted quite royally.
The trail hands laughed most heartily.
Big Bart had itches
In his shirt and britches
And groaned through the night most noisily.
Next sunrise, Bart looked like one big welt
Under his shirt, his hat, his belt.
He picked up his gear,
Beat a path from there–
Away from the revenge he’d been dealt.
— V. L. Gregory
11 I SENSE SOMETHING
I’m sitting very still,
trying to ignore it.
Telling myself to just
pretend it’s not there.
I can’t see it.
I can’t smell it.
I can’t taste it.
I can’t hear it.
But without a doubt
I can feel it.
— Beth Carter
Scratch, scratch, scratch
Scratch, scratch, Scratch
Scratch, Scratch, SCRATCH
— Nancy Dailey
13 SOUL ITCH
I have an itch
A soul itch
A create-and-make-life-better itch.
At the threshold of a new way of being,
the door closes to thirty-five years.
The past I leave behind, thankful for it all.
Lightly I travel; lessons learned-
the luggage I carry.
I itch to serve in an inspiring new way;
I yearn to do something that makes Life smile.
Carefully, I listen, for direction, for guidance.
Nature blooms and bears fruit in its time,
when all the conditions are propitious.
I trust that with every step I take I am being led;
directed to where and what I need to be and do.
I venture into the unknown, knowing
in my heart, that I am on track.
The inner flame burns brightly-
a soothing balm to my soul’s yearning.
— Cory Corrado
14 ITCH IN MY SWEATER
There’s an itch in my sweater, dear granny.
It’s climbing up my arm, dear granny.
There it is moving up my back,
Help me granny, it is spreading all over.
How can I help you now, dear grandson,
When I have an itch up my own sweater, dear grandson,
There it is tickling my back,
Making me jump around and round.
It must be those ants you’re standing on, dear Peter.
Move over to my side, dear Judy.
My side does not cause an itch,
But for now, jump around and get those ants off your backs.
JULY 2010 YOUNG POET POEM
He buzzes loudly in my ear,
All too easy for me to hear.
He hovers right in front of my face,
It’s his annoying smirk I’d like to erase.
He flashes around, left and right,
Up and down, then out of my sight.
Suddenly I feel a sting, pain courses through my arm,
I hate that little mosquito! He’s done me so much harm.
He flies away without a sound,
then lands silently on the ground.
With one final buzz, he disappears,
Where no one can see, I shed a few tears.
His little bite begins to hurt,
The pain is intense, I drop to the dirt.
But the soil enters the tiny little cut,
It begins to throb and sting… now what?
Here it comes… that dreadful feeling,
the aftermath of the mosquito’s blood stealing!
My hand comes up and scratches hard,
then flattens out and protects, like a guard.
But the sensation is too much to bear,
I want to slap that mosquito… but would I dare?
I continue to scratch, rolling over in pain,
Moving towards the gully, which was wet with rain.
I accidentally roll into the ditch,
all because of that dreadful ITCH!
— Taylor McGowan