Tag: Poetry Friday

New Strings for Ukulele – Poetry Friday

New Strings For Ukulele

By Jim Hill

Uncoiled, detangled, threaded over-under-through,
Bridge and saddle, knotted, tied then
Wound and wound and wound and
Stretched and wound.

Na fig dab wees

Keep winding, keep stretching, keep –
Oh that knot that keeps slipping and sliding –
Removed, rethreaded, retied.
Deep breath, stay calm, fat fingers restretch, rewind.

Ba tog gin knees

Check the knots, check the knots, tuner blinks,
Pings ascend as strings are brought to pitch,
Pinched, stressed, tightened, plucked,
Machine heads spinning, spinning, spun.

My dog has fleas


poetry friday buttonIt’s been a while, but as I take a breather between semesters I felt the call. And just maybe the need for new strings.  Amy at the Poem Farm is this week’s host for Poetry Friday. Hop on over for more poetry.

Kid’s POV Haiku – Poetry Friday

This week I’ve been looking to nature and experimenting with haiku. I also picked up Guyku: A Year of Haiku for Boys by Bob Raczka, perfectly illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds. Talk about two great tastes that taste great together! Words and images create a lively look at a year of being a boy.

Although I enjoy haiku, I often think they feel too detached from the natural world. All observation, not enough heart. Raczka’s work is quite the opposite. Completely engaging, colloquial, even conversational, I felt like I was re-living my own boyhood memories. He made me reconsider what it is to write authentically from the point-of-view of a child. And, since this is Poetry Friday, I’ve taken a crack at a few Guyku of my own.

I had the good fortune to live in the perfect kid-friendly neighborhood between the ages of 4 and 7. Among other things, we had the Pollywog Pond at the end of the street. Frogs in the summer, skating in the winter. General year-round tomfoolery any time.

I’m not claiming these are on par with Mr. Raczka, but I enjoyed writing them. They brought back some fun memories. We were afraid of that snapping turtle for months! And I didn’t even mention the snake that tried to bite me, fishing for Kivers, the haunted barn or the train tracks. Hmm, wonder if they’d consider a Guyku anthology?

Pollywog Pond Haiku

by Jim Hill

Summer days prowling
around the pollywog pond
for frogs and turtles.

Barehanding bull frogs.
“Mine can jump farther than yours.”
We bet popsicles.

The snapping turtle
came right out of the water.
Scared the pants off me.

Opening milkweeds
to launch a million fluffy,
white paratroopers.

Skipping stones across
the pond to see who can reach
the other side first.

This week’s Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted by Linda at TeacherDance. Go say hello and read some more poetry.

Bumbly Me – Poetry Friday

This week’s poem comes courtesy of the bumble bee crawling around the red azalea given to my wife on Mother’s Day, the very funny (and so NSFW) “Political Talk with Two Guys from Boston” segment in Dana Gould’s podcast, and my VCFA advisor, Mary Quattlebaum who suggested I try an acrostic and work on assonance. Just thought you might appreciate the synapse synopsis.

I think I can finally forgive that bee I stepped on when I was three.

Bumbly Me

by Jim Hill

Buzzing, bumbling, bumbly me,
Under and over and tumbly,
Merrily, airily, teasing the breeze,
Buzzing, bumbling, bumbly me,
Looking for colorful blossom and bloom,
Errand of hustle and bustle and zoom.

Buzzing, bumbling, bumbly me,
Eternally fumbling, mumbling wonder,
Eyeing the garden for nectar to plunder.



Kathy Czaja is this week’s Poetry Friday host. Take some time over there to discover some great poets and poetry.

photo credit Hayling Images


Monstrous – Poetry Friday


by Jim Hill

Up all night? Can’t sleep a wink?
What’s the trouble guys?
Do you think that squeaky shriek,
Could lead to your demise?

I’m no weirdo just because,
You find things too creepy.
The shadows from a leafless tree,
Only make me sleepy.

Important safety tips you ask?
Come closer don’t be shy.
I’ll help you with some pointers,
That you’re gonna wanna try.

If you really have to use,
The potty late at night,
Take a teddy bear (or two).
Watch out for things that bite.

If there’s creaking on the stairs
Get under covers fast.
Don’t let the creatures see you,
Or this night could be your last!

Thunder? Lightning? Gusty gales!
Storms shouldn’t make you frown,
Unless the power fizzles out,
and blackouts hit your town.

Empty space beneath the bed,
Can cause the blood to freeze.
Keep it dusty, never clean,
To hear the nasties wheeze.

Are my secrets helping you
To make it through the night?
Time to whisper, listen close,
And never take affright.

I know there are no monsters,
But when I close my eyes
I think there really are some
Waiting to surprise.

If your bravery runs away,
When somethings out to get you,
Holler loud for mom and dad,
And they’ll come to your rescue.

Irene is hosting the Poetry Friday Round-Up this week. Take a look. Lots of great poets, poems and poetry info.


While you’re feeling the love for Poetry, take a look at the heartbreakingly funny “The Truth about Poets and Poetry” from Greg Pincus.

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.

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

TeachingAuthors.com 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.