Christmas poems and memories

Hi everyone,

Today happens to be my 1,000th post since starting the blog in 2009. Thanks to one and all for being part of it.

Now it’s my pleasure to feature a Christmas poem by Joy Acey.

Happy Holiday

May this season bring your happiness and plenty of joy
With buckets of love and presents for each girl and boy.

May your cocoa have marshmallows to drink by the fire,
May you have all that you can desire.

May your tree be the tallest with flashing bright lights
And may your world be calm without any fights.

May the birds at your feeder find plenty of seed
And may you have everything that you might need.

May the soldiers working far off in war zones
Get the job done so they can come home.

Let the gas prices drop so you’ll drive your car
Or maybe the bus can take you far.

May scientists searching for a discovery
Find the clue for cancer recovery.

May they cure Alzheimer’s and other diseases,
May hospitals empty before it all freezes.

May children in Africa have the food that they need
And lots of clean water and books they can read.

May your stocks on the market increase in their worth
And may we all find peace on this earth.

May we all have jobs and significant work to do.
This is my Christmas wish for you.

by Joy Acey


My thanks as well to Veda Boyd Jones for her Christmas memory, which I’m reposting here. Others who have added their talents are Jeanne Poland, Sarah Holbrook, Renee LaTulippe, Jane Heitman Healy, Julie Krantz, Cory Corrado, Steven Withrow, and Nancy Gow. For good measure I’ve included Mrs. Stanley’s Christmas, a story that I may have posted last year or the one before.

Whatever your faith or belief, I wish you well. May you be safe, healthy, and happy in the year to come.



Our Talking Place

He was six when we sat close on the stairs together, I on the higher step, he on the lower.
“I don’t think there’s a Santa Claus. You and Dad are Santa.”
His voice didn’t ask a question. It did not accuse. It was a statement.
“You are partly right,” I said. “But you left out yourself.”
His eyebrows peaked, and his mouth raised higher on one side in that way of his.
“I believe in Santa,” I said. “Santa is the spirit of giving. And you are Santa, too.
How do you feel about that cup with Dad painted on the side? You had to get it.”
“He’ll use it every morning,” he said. “He’ll love it.”
“That is the spirit of giving…Santa.”
He smiled that self-satisfied smile of his and nodded wisely.
“But we can’t call each other that around your little brother.”
Again he nodded as if we were high conspirators. “He’s too young to understand.”

by Veda Boyd Jones


There’s a Glut

There’s a glut

Of Xmas stuff!

It struts




Us to bits.

We’re saved by sleep

Quietly wait

To wake

To wonder

Child again.

by Jeanne Poland


December comes.

I non-stop-shop.

To guard against a yuletide flop.

When all the gifts I give — go back.

I sigh.  But, hey —

Who’s keeping track?

What do you give to those who have?

Computers, bikes and skates —

Enough sweaters to warm Cleveland,

VCRs and tapes.

Sneakers, games and books,

magazines and jeans.

What could Christmas bring

That’s well within my means?

What if I give you patience

the next time you get stressed?

What if I say, okay,

I know you did your best.

The next time you fall short,

what if I lend a hand?

Or if things get confused,

I help you make a plan.

The next time you act smart,

what if I try to learn.

If my gift is kindness,

would that be returned?

copyright  1995, 2000   sara holbrook



or, Santy Claws Gnu What Eye Kneaded

Lurching threw the do
on a too-toad Christmas mousse–
His name? I’ve knot a clew.
Eye think aisle call hymn Bruce.

The last thing eye recall,
eye was looking really sheik
and heading four a bawl
down buy Bolder Creak.

Eye slipped and hit my head
wile walking in the missed,
then awl my words fell out my ear
and now eye right like this!

Witch is up?
Witch is down?
Witch which should eye use?
Until eye get my Christmas gift,
Aisle use witch won eye chews!

Eye opened up my ayes
and scrambled two my feat
and what too my sir prize
a voice said, “High, my suite!”

His close whir soft and read.
His presents gave me paws,
fore their upon his sled
was my idle — Santy Claws!

“Get up on this mousse.
Ewe took a nasty spilly.
Now tell me what ewe wont four Christmas
heir it gets two chili.”

Witch is up?
Witch is down?
Witch which should eye use?
Until eye get my Christmas gift,
Aisle use witch won eye chews!
Eye gnu write aweigh
upon witch gift to seas:
“Awl eye wont four Christmas
is a dictionary, pleas!”

Witch is up?
Witch is down?
Witch which should eye use?
Until eye get my Christmas gift,
Aisle use witch won eye chews!


(Thank ewe awl sew much–
this tail has run it’s coarse.
I’d sing ewe awl this song and such,

butt I’m a little horse – nay!)

by Renee LaTulippe


Jane shares the first piece of writing she sold some time ago. It has been reprinted a few times elsewhere.


Amid final preparations

The world stops.



Star-quiet wonder

Pierced by a baby’s first cry.

How startlingly Jesus

Enters our hearts.

by Jane Heitman Healy



When snowflakes fall—
so soft,
so white—
I cup my hands
like bowls
of rice
to catch
these lacy
of ice.
But when the sky—
so cold,
so bright—
turns out its
winter light,
I climb
in bed
to dream
all night.

by Julie Krantz


Dear Santa,

It’s me, Eileen Fishburn again. I sent you a note, though I’m not quite sure when. But in it, I asked for a bike and a doll – and a real cooking oven. But that wasn’t all. I also asked, Santa, for skates and a book – a book about dancing. Oh, wait, let me look . . . The book is called Dancing, a Primer for Tots. I really do want it. Inside it are lots of pictures of kids doing tap and ballet. But that’s not the reason I’m writing today.
I need just one favor. I hope you’ll agree. For what I want most beneath my Christmas tree is a cute baby brother – one I can hold. I really do want one, but if it be told, a cute baby sister would also be fine. But hurry up, Santa, there isn’t much time!
So that’s all for now. Merry Christmas to you. I hope you remember I like chocolate, too. So thanks again, Santa. I’ll write you next year. And best Christmas wishes to all your reindeer.

Eileen Fishburn

by Nancy Gow


Each Time

Each time we pause for beauty –

a snowflake, a rainbow, a misty day


Each time we see our spirit in others

recognizing we are all one


Each time we forgive

letting the need-to-be-right go


Each time we treat living things

with respect, kindness, and love


Each time we glimpse the innocent child

beneath the masks we all wear


Each time we bring sunshine and hope

a warm touch, a friendly smile,

or a loving-kind thought


. . . it is truly Christmas-

the Christmas of caring and sharing,

giving and receiving.

© Cory Corrado


Taunton River in December

The geese are eating day-old bread
From the children’s winter-mittened fists.
These ganders, intermittent guests,
If anything, are overfed,

For it’s the ducks we’ve come to stuff
With crusts of dough. In rills of slop
That spill above the river top,
Grass blades touched with feather-fluff

Skitter like mice beneath our boots
Beside the begging waterfowls
Which trail us, intimate as owls,
Nipping the tails of our snowsuits.

Greenhead mallard and his brown
And unrelenting hen advance
Orange feet, a feasting dance
One only meets this far from town.

by Steven Withrow

By David L. Harrison   

It was Christmas Eve and snowing. Mrs. Stanley’s feet hurt but she hummed a Christmas carol as she worked in her kitchen. Little John would be there soon. She hadn’t seen her grandson since last summer. The table set for four looked splendid with her best dishes. She hummed as she set out coffee cups.
She stopped humming when the telephone rang.
“Mama?” It was Joyce.
Mrs. Stanley knew something was wrong.
“We’re snowed in at the airport.”
“Oh no!”

Click here to read the rest of the story

Peace to all,

Sunday Poets

Hi everyone,

We’re back with more Sunday Poets, thanks to Renee LaTulippe, Julie Krantz, and Carol-Ann Hoyte! Read, enjoy, and comment!
We begin with Renee.

Here is a poem from a collection I co-authored called Lizard Lou: a collection of poems old and new. It’s a book for the pre-reading set, and includes 41 of my original poems and 38 classic poems by various poets. And I’m pleased to announce that the book just won the silver medal for poetry in the 2012 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards! I’m doing a giveaway this week, so I invite your readers over to throw their names in the hat (see link below).

By Renée M. LaTulippe

If I had a wheel,
I’d roll it into town,
or maybe I could even
wear it like a crown.
I’d throw it like a Frisbee
or spin it like a hoop,
or use it as a feeder
inside the chicken coop.
I’d fill it up with dirt
and plant some flowers there,
or bend it in the middle
and make a rubber chair.
I could float it down the river
or hang it in a tree,
and swing high in the air
where no one could catch me.

Giveaway of Lizard Lou:
Renée’s Blog:
Lizard Lou book:
Poem first printed in Lizard Lou: a collection of rhymes old and new.
Illustration by Donna Goeddaeus.
© 2012, 2009 All About Learning Press, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Hi David,
Here’s a poem I’d like to submit to SUNDAY POETS this month. It appeared on your blog a while back—probably around the same time of year!

By Julie (JG) Krantz

is coming—
I feel it
in the air!
Pumpkins tumbling,
dry leaves
apples everywhere.
Windy days,
frigid nights,
shadows on
the bog—
soon the sky
will tuck the sun
inside a wintry fog.
Stalks of corn
without their cobs—
just rows and rows
of straw.
Pumpkins tumbling
dry leaves
tell me
it is fall!

Thanks for hosting SUNDAY POETS, David!


By Carol-Ann Hoyte

Hear ye, hear ye, royal children and four-footed subjects, too:

He’s a toddler ruler
who’s clean and neat
when he’s placed on the
plastic, padded seat
of the throne of his
taste-test tower.
But after he munches
his tidbit treats
of peas and cheese
and meat and beets,
Queen Mama says he’s quite a mess
and leads him to the shower.

My thanks to our featured poets today for sharing their work for our reading pleasure! I look forward to seeing more poems from more poets for next Sunday. Get busy out there!


Sunday Poets


J. Patrick Lewis is back tomorrow (Monday) with another poetry challenge. I’ve already tried it. It’s addictive! Be here!

Hi everyone,

I’m pleased to feature four poets today, Catherine Johnson, Julie Krantz. Charline Profiri,and Steven Withrow. They were the first to volunteer poems for me to share with you. If you haven’t heard about Poetry Sunday, it’s my day to feature poems by you. Word of the Month Poetry Challenge will continue as always. The only thing that has changed is that I’m easing away from publishing one of my own poems every Sunday to make way to feature the poems of others.

I have no hard rules. I’m sure it goes without saying that this is a family-friendly site that is often visited by young people. Some of them contribute their own work, which is always a special treat. You can write verse or free verse. It can be on the subject of your choice. It seems prudent to suggest a limit of one poem per poet per week. Unless I become swamped with poems, I’ll do my best to post on Sunday all the poems I’ve received through Friday of that same week. If the job becomes too much for me, I’ll cry on your shoulder and moderate accordingly.

Now! Here are our first featured poets!

Catherine’s poem will be published in an anthology called ISLAND WONDERS by The Poetry Institute of Canada in January 2013.

Never Go Picnicking With Elephants Loose
by Catherine Johnson

Mrs. Peabody arrived at the zoo
with a hat and a smile and a picnic for two.
She laid down her blanket, a nice gingham red,
“What a beautiful day for a picnic,” she said.
She picked up a sandwich of lettuce and ham,
while hubby preferred to eat pickles and spam.
They munched on some carrots and sipped cranberry juice.
Little did they know there’s elephants loose.
If only they’d sat just a few feet away
their beautiful picnic might’ve lasted the day.
Mr. Peabody glanced up at the sky,
thinking that thunder was sure to pass by.
Little did he know, that wasn’t the case.
No thunder today just an elephant race.
The warnings went out but neither could hear,
their hearing aids needing a tweak twice a year.
The elephants brrrrd a huge elephant sound,
In shock they dropped all of their food on the ground.
Now up on their knees, arthritic and slow,
a teeny bit faster they needed to go.
Oops they’re too late, here comes the stampede.
Knocked over, surprised, the poor dears weed.
Squish went the sandwiches, spilled went the juice.
Never go picnicking with elephants loose.

Catherine Johnson

Mr. Moon
by Julie Krantz

Mr. Moon
in purple sky,
see your moonlight
riding high.
slipping under
clouds of snow,
feel your magic
in my toes.

can you see
my starry face,
as you glide by
leaf and gate?

did you know
I’m hiding, too,
catching moonbeams
just like you?

Julie Krantz

A review by Robin Redbreast

By Charline Profiri

This café offers roomy nests,
Made especially for their guests.
The food is sure to make you tweet.
It’s now my favorite place to eat.

The menu’s amazing at this café.
These items are offered everyday:

Worm and Berry Oatmeal
(Free refills. What a deal!)

Sandwich on Birdseed Bread
(With your choice of buggy spread.)

Spaghetti ala Worm
(Super fresh. These worms squirm!)

Freeze Dried Ant Canapé
(Sure to please a real gourmet.)

Feathered friends, the food’s divine.
The Birdie’s Café is the place to dine.

Charline Profiri
Counting Little Geckos
Guess Who’s In The Desert forthcoming from Rio Chico Books for Children, Spring 2013
Rain, Rain, Stay Today: Southwest Nursery Rhymes forthcoming from Rio Chico Books for Children, Spring 2014

By Steven Withrow

I wish I were a cassowary,
a double-wattled cassowary
roaming lowlands of New Guinea,
and if you ask me why

I’ll tell you that the cassowary,
the spongy-crested cassowary
hiding away from town and city,
did not evolve to fly

but runs top-speed on sure and steady,
sprints full-tilt on strong and steady
legs forever at the ready
to leap two meters high.

Although he’s almost ostrich heavy,
though he’s nearly emu heavy,
and his middle toe is dagger-deadly,
the cassowary’s spry,

so you’ll seldom spy a cassowary,
a deep rainforest cassowary,
eating laurel fruit and myrtle berry
beneath a southern sky.

How I wish I were a cassowary,
a legendary cassowary
who flees through trees because he’s very
shy—and so am I.

My thanks to Catherine, Julie, Charline, and Steven, our first featured Sunday poets! I hope their good example will attract many more poets over the coming weeks and months.


This week at a glance

It has been a good week.

Monday I introduced a new challenge for anyone interested in composing Found Poems using pre-existing prose found in all sorts of publications. We have read several excellent poems so far and they continue to come in. Please don’t forget about this opportunity. Georgia Heard is checking that post to see if she can spot poems she could use in her upcoming book.

Tuesday I summarized our ITCH poems posted so far. Here they are again.


Steven Withrow: The Witch’s Itches
Mary Nida Smith: Bewitched
Gay Fawcett: Itch (written by Laura C., a former student)
Ken Thomas Slesarik: Itchy Dilemma
Amy Ludwig VanDerwater: Why Me?
Jane Heitman Healy: In the Mirror
Jane Heitman Healy: Letting Go
Barbara Turner: Mr. Poe’s Itch
Julie Krantz: Blood Brothers


Taylor McGowan: Little Nuisance

Since then we have received these additional poems.

Gay Fawcett: A Lady’s Fame
Liz Korba: Which Itch?

Wednesday it was my pleasure to feature Wendy Singer’s remarks and poem. Wendy continues to receive many comments from fans old and new. She was my 6th Guest Reader.  These Canadians are doing all right for themselves! Where are my poets from other countries?

Thursday I re-featured the pictures of all six of my Guest Readers so far. That made a great looking page with talented people from New York, Florida, Arkansas, Arizona, and Montreal.

Friday I gave you a link to my three-day poetry workshop next June in Pennsylvania and announced the coming appearances of Nancy Gow (July 21) as my next Guest Reader and Gary Dulabaum as a Featured Friday Guest.

Not a bad week, considering that I’m supposed to be taking time off this summer to write more.

Itchy poems so far this month

Announcement: At Drury University they’re building a page for me on the School of Education and Child Development website. I’ve been working to help establish a job description and to create activities I can do in my role there.  I now have an office — #303 — in Lay Hall on campus. Here’s the link. Let me know if you have ideas or suggestions. Thanks!


So far this month our numbers are off — must be summer, huh? — but the quality of our itching is beyond compare! My thanks to you busy poets who have found time to contribute to July’s great scracth-off. For you slackers who are having too much fun to take up the challenge yet, you still have plenty of time. I won’t cut off this month’s entries until Monday, July 26, at 10:00 p.m. For now, here’s who and what we have to date. If you haven’t read our poets’ efforts yet, click on the Adult W.O.M. Poems and Young Poet W.O.M. Poems boxes above this post.

Here are the adult poems:


Steven Withrow: The Witch’s Itches
Mary Nida Smith: Bewitched
Gay Fawcett: Itch (written by Laura C., a former student)
Ken Thomas Slesarik: Itchy Dilemma
Amy Ludwig VanDerwater: Why Me?
Jane Heitman Healy: In the Mirror
Jane Heitman Healy: Letting Go
Barbara Turner: Mr. Poe’s Itch
Julie Krantz: Blood Brothers

And here is our lone — but lively! — young poet poem so far:

Taylor McGowan: Little Nuisance

Thanks to Ken Slesarik’s Guest Reader appearance last week we were joined by several new visitors from Arizona. I hope you folks in the hot west (where I once lived) will share your own brand of itching.
And thanks to Carol-Ann Hoyte’s recent Guest Reader appearance, we also welcomed a number of readers and writers from Canada. Do folks in your area have itch poems to share? I hope so!


Kansas SCBWI annual conference will be held in Overland Park September 17-18, 2010. For more information, here’s the link: