Author: Jim

The Empty Juice Box Blues – Poetry Friday

No, I don’t have a four-year old wunderkind that may, sometimes act up. Especially if there’s too much juice involved. Why do you ask?

The Empty Juice Box Blues

by Jim Hill

I’ve had me some timeouts,
My best friends are fools,
My teacher’s been on me,
For breaking the rules.

Don’t run in the classroom.
Keep your hands in your lap.
Sand’s not for throwing.
I’m caught in a trap!

There’s just no denying,
When something is true.
I’ve got the too-restless-for-nap-time.
Empty juice box blues.

Got pulled out of snack time,
For being a slob.
Had a small problem,
With a red jello blob.

Things didn’t go better,
At craft table time.
I turned my green paint
Into thick-booger-slime.

Now Mommy’s been called in,
Daddy’s coming too.
I’ve got the you’re-gonna-be-grounded
Empty juice box blues.


Elaine over at the Wild Rose Reader is hosting Poetry Friday this week. Pop over there and soak up some serious stanzas, couplets and stuff.

Imminent Growth Spurt – Poetry Friday

I had a different poem on deck for this week’s Poetry Friday, but then my four year old decided to eat everything for dinner. Seriously, everything. I expect he’ll wake up tomorrow and tell us that his legs hurt again. Good thing it’s almost shorts season.

I hope you’ll come back next week for The Empty Juice Box Blues.

Imminent Growth Spurt

by Jim Hill

Rotini and red sauce,
Two meatballs and cheese,
One glass of milk,
May I have more please?

Watermelon slices.
Yogurt that’s drinkable.
Honey graham bar.
This kid is unsinkable.

Still hungry, Daddy.
A cheese stick will do,
And peanut butter toast
When that is gone too.

He ate for an hour,
slept an hour times ten,
And when he woke up
He was bigger again.

It’s a pattern repeating,
We’ve learned to adjust,
He just might keep growing,
Six-foot-seven or bust.

Poem In Your Pocket Day

What has it got in its pocketses?*

If you’re following along with poetry month you know today is “Poem In Your Pocket Day” so you’re packing some serious (or not so serious) verse. In case you’re not, feel free to print out this one and carry it around.

Recess Vigilante

by Jim Hill

King Kong scaled a skyscraper.
Gamara could fly.
Godzilla had atomic breath.
What makes me the bad guy?

Did I do a bad-bad thing?
No, I’m not that kinda kid.
I socked a bully in the nose,
and then that tough guy hid.

When they finally found him
The coward up and lied.
Said I’m the recess monster
And they’re all petrified.

Would you do what I did do,
If you saw what I did see?
That punk made threats to kinderkids,
Then stole their milk money.

Will pass judgement on me soon.
I’m assembling witnesses
That saw me stop that goon.

Recess Vigilante
Says the poster on the wall
Now I’m wanted alive or dead
Inside detention hall.

King Kong had his good side.
Gamara did too.
Godzilla was misunderstood.
Guess that will see me though.

With a month of punishment,
I’ll do my time for doing good,
I won’t back down from bullies
And no one ever should.

*Poor Gollum. Perhaps if he cared more for poetry he could have avoided his fate.

Intentional Schmaltz

This started out as a joke that I decided to see all the way through. 30 Rock did a parody of the Wiggles recently (Meet the Woggels), with incredibly cheesy (yet very funny) songs. I decided to riff on that idea a bit, because of my long repressed dream of being an actual Wiggle.

Viola, schmaltz with unicorns and extra cheese. Because the internet demanded it. Now to write the musical version!


BTW – this week’s Poetry Friday is happening over at Random Noodling. I wonder if they’ll forgive me?

Sing a Song of Unicorns!

by Jim Hill

Just because it’s cloudy
Is no reason to be sad.
Go find the silver lining,
There’s goodness to be had.

When you crack a smile,
Should you dare to break a grin,
The sun shines bright inside your heart,
Your eyes light from within.

Take it one step further,
Start to quake with secret mirth,
Don’t keep it in, that laugh
you hide was made to shake the earth.

Open up your mouth to sing,
Put the kibosh to that pout,
Spread your cheeks with melody
and let a rainbow out.

Once your colors light the sky
You’ll see through the sharp thorns.
And the tunes that you create
Will call forth unicorns.


Poetry Friday Roundup – 1/27/12

Welcome poets! I’m your host for the Poetry Roundup. Please leave your URLs in the comments, and I’ll add links throughout the day.

There’s no cover charge, settle in and and enjoy the show. To get things going here’s one I wrote last year.


What’s That Sound?

by Jim Hill

“Did you hear a bump?
Or was it a crash?”

“Nobody’s crying.
There’s no broken glass.

I bet it was only
A big stack of books.
There are plenty of those.”

“You should go look.”

“Get up out of bed?
No way it’s too chilly,
I’m sure it was books
No need to be silly.”

“I’m trying to listen.
It’s becoming a chore,
When the only thing heard
Is the sound of your snore.”

“Whatever it is, it
Can wait until morn
I’m not getting up…”



The Roundup is the early bird today, with a post and poem about WINNING!

Joy Acey’s Poetry for Kids is the other early bird with a fun piece about a golfing giraffe.

Today at A Poem a Day the great Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska explains the joy of writing.

Polly shares a video of her boys doing their ‘party piece’ of ‘Jim- Who Ran Away from Nurse and was eaten by a Lion’ by Hillaire Belloc

Heidi has a poem in two languages by Antonio Machado: “Last Night As I Was Sleeping.”

Mary Lee has a pair of rain poems today. One is Langston Hughes’, the other is my original, inspired by Langston Hughes’

Renee of No Water River has an original poem inspired by an illustration of a sad pig (and an interesting interview with the artist).

Linda shares a new poet this week “because she wrote a poem about a train.”

Robyn Hood Black has a poem and thoughts from Maryland’s (and Poetry Friday’s) talented, generous Linda Shovan.

Laura from AuthorAmok and her daughter had fun with Haikubes. (I need to get some of those.)

Tara is sharing poem-videos from the Favorite Poem Project. Cool!

Liz Steinglass has an original winter rhupunt. I’m going to look up what an rhupunt is when I’m done adding links. 😉

Carol has twitchy fingers and a poem that everyone who is a parent (or has ever had a parent) will appreciate.

Tabatha Yeatts says, “Today I have a mishmash of poetry intersections.”

Laura Salas is in with “Juvenile Court,” a Hansel and Gretel poem by Sara Henderson Hay. And also with 15 Words or Less poems. Everyone’s welcome to come play!

Jama’s Alphabet Soup celebrates National Tea Month today with a nice warm cup of your favorite brew, treats, and two tasty poems.

Mandy Webster shares an original poem titled “Saturday Scratch-Off.”

Katya Czaja says, “The awful weather here in New England reminded me of an Emily Dickinson Poem.”

PaperTigers is in with a post on the Scottish poet Robert Burns.

Joyce Ray says, “Today on Musings I’m sharing my review of Eloise Greenfield’s The Great Migration, Journey to the North.”

Karen Edmisten has a short Anne Porter poem for us this week.

Charles Ghigna is watching icicles in the wind today @ The FATHER GOOSE Blog.

Amy, at The Poem Farm, has a little poem called “…and then we play” – about loss and life too.

Alice@Supratentorial reviews a poetry book for kids, Dear Hot Dog, by Mordicai Gerstein.

Myra from Gathering Books offers a paranormal-inspired book of poems from Bobbi Katz and illustrated by Adam McCauley: “The Monsterologist” – perfect for our Circus, Carnivale and Paranormal twists for January/February.

Barbara says, “Today at The Write Sisters I have The Snowman, by Wallace Stevens.”

Greg is up with an original today, all about whipped cream.

Sylvia from Poetry for Children says, “I’ve posted my annual ‘sneak peek’ list of upcoming 2012 titles of poetry for young people– and there are 50, so far!

Elaine from At Wild Rose Reader has an original poem about Newt Gingrich titled “Newt’s Poem to Poor Kids.”

Today at ThinkKidThink Ed presents his Top 10 Worst Poem Ideas for Kids, complete with poems centered on bad puns, one with an “uckin'” rhyme scheme, and one that would almost certainly offend the good folks at P.E.T.A. (where A stands for “Ants”).

Donna of Mainely Write has original poem about her trip to the beach two days ago – Summer Sun.

David Elzey comes through with nonsensical homage in recipe form.

Charles Van Gorkom offers a poem written during a rain storm in the rain forest yesterday called “An Island Of Our Own.”

Janet Squires says, “My selection is ‘A Kick in the head: an everyday guide to poetic forms’ selected by Paul B. Janeczko with illustrations by Chris Raschka.

Driveway Basketball – Poetry Friday

This week’s Poetry Friday offering is the result of three faculty lectures from my VCFA residency. Mary Quattlebaum’s lecture Creating A Dynamic Setting, Martine Leavitt’s The Novel in Verse and Sharon Darrow’s Poetry: A Messy Business. I’m not sure I’ve done them justice. Perhaps they’ll appreciate the effort just the same.

The Poetry Friday Roundup is on the Wild Rose Reader this week.

Driveway Basketball

by Jim Hill

Jackets off in October sun,
Tossed to the mossy lawn.

Been playing for a while,
We are good and sweaty.

Ball thuds a muted ring
With every dribble.

I make my move,
Shoulder down,
driving hard.

Randy flows with me.
A truck rumbles by.

I plant my foot,
Sliding in sandy-grit,
Rolling into the garage door.
Face first.

Springs flex, hinges

Blood fills my mouth.


Unbecoming a Bear – Poetry Friday

Deep in the heart of my first VCFA residency, so this intro is a bit briefer than my usual. The Poetry Friday Roundup is over here. I’m honestly not sure what I think of this one. Funny? Quirky? Weird? A coming-of-middle-age story? Let me know…

Unbecoming a Bear

by Jim Hill

Wished to be a
Skin-changer – a changeling –
Who could become a bear, like Beorn,
You know, from The Hobbit.

At Thanksgiving,
Eyeing the
Hair on my arm,
A nephew asks,
“Are you a werewolf?”

During story-time,
As Max commands
the Wild Things,
My son pets the
Hair on my hands.

Now in the bathroom,
Middle-age-me squints at small tufts,
Undoing that wish.
Unbecoming a bear.

By the Seat of My Pants

I have a slight obsession with flying. When I read through my journal and thumb through my sketchbook the theme that soars (sorry…) out is flight. Over and over my poems and sketches revolve around flying, hovering, gliding. I wonder what that says? Am I looking to escape? To get above it all for a better perspective? Do I just want to see all of you as bugs? I’ll leave that for my therapist.

For this week’s Poetry Friday I’m letting two flight themed poems take wing. Rest assured, there will likely be many more.


by Jim Hill

I think I smell a bumble bee.
I’m sure I hear a flower.
The color red tastes so sweet.
Is this my super-power?

I thought I’d be invisible,
Or maybe super-strong,
I thought I’d fight the evil folk,
And right the very wrong.

Now with senses so mixed up,
I can’t tell buzz from brown,
If I fly up, up away
I might come crashing down.

Seeing songs is cool, I guess,
And rainbows are so soft,
but deep inside my heart of hearts
I wish to stay aloft.

Little Bird

by Jim Hill

Little bird
Flying waist high,
Then knee high,
Waist high,
Then knee high.

Is it hard to fly?
Staying aloft?
Defying the earth?

Do you love
Daring gravity’s kiss?
The feel of falling?
The teasing moment
Between flight and fail?

Your little wings
Beat the air
Pushing you
Up, up and away.

Muscle and reflex
In perfect time.
A darting rhythm,
Tension, release,
Tension, release.



Final Poetry Friday of 2011

It’s the final Poetry Friday of 2011. This week’s host is Julie Larios, please visit her site to read all of the fascinating Poetry Friday posts. You’ll find new poems, essays and reviews of all things poetical in the links. Good stuff!

This week’s poem was influenced by a late night with sleepless preschooler, Jack Prelutsky and JonArno Lawson. I wanted to start every word with the letter W. Why W? I don’t know. It was late. Very late. I added the opening stanza after the fact, breaking the W rule, as the idea morphed into something bigger. More on that next week. Don’t you love a teaser?


by Jim Hill

Late at night,
In long hand,
In a secret journal,
Willa wrote and wondered.

Wicked Willoughby Woodward wandered with wanton Wanda,
Wicked Willoughby Woodward whispered with wanton Wendy,
Wicked Willoughby Woodward whistled with wanton Whitney.

Willfully, wanton women.
Wicked Willoughby Woodward.
Why? Why? Why?



Want to jump-start your 2012 poetry output? Check out Kathryn Apel’s Month of Poetry challenge – a poem a day for the month of January.

Thanks for stopping by, and Happy New Year!

photo credit JoelMontes

Clapper and the Christmas Bats

Clapper and the Christmas Bats

by Jim Hill

‘Twas the night before Christmas
And all was not great.
Santa’s crew was befogged
And Christmas was late.

Rudolph tried, yes he did,
To glow, oh so bright,
But a murk filled the sky,
An unlightable blight.

On nights such as this
Even Rudolph gets lost,
But the toys they must go
Whatever the cost.

Nine nervous reindeer shook
Their bells all a-jingle.
“Gadzooks! That’s the answer!”
Hoot-n-hollered Kris Kringle.

“Dash away to the cavern
of North Polarous Wonder;
Find the crusty old gnome
Residing down under!”

In a wink, Blitzen’s back
‘Midst a flap and a flutter,
With an odd little chap,
The pale color of butter.

An elf, at a guess,
Half-a-Kringle in size,
And he came with a team
Of most welcome surprise.

Squeaks, chitters and tweets,
Beats of multiple wings,
Filled the air all around,
Such marvelous things!

White, whispery wingspans,
As small as your fists,
Had come to the rescue
Of childrens’ wish lists!

Old, elf Clapper begrudged,
“My bats steer without sight,
So Happy Christmas to all,
And to all a good-night!

Susanna Leonard Hill (no relation) is running another holiday themed writing contest (see my Thanksgiving entry here). This one is a riff on ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas.” Here are the rules, straight from the source:

The First Annual Holiday Contest is officially open!  Post your own version of Clement C. Moore’s traditional poem ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas.  Your entry must be at least 12 lines/3 stanzas, not to exceed 40 lines/10 stanzas.  Entries may refer to any winter holiday you celebrate (Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, etc.) or to any combination of winter holidays, or no holiday – just a good winter-time story if you’re not comfortable with a holiday.

I had fun with this. A side note: this idea came out of PiBoIdMo and is one of the first that I’ve had the chance to expand on. I’d do more with this for a picture book. I was limited to 10 stanzas (see rules, above), and at 183 words I have room for a few more as needed.