After almost two years I'm finally getting around to posting some poems again! Here is one of mine that is included in the forthcoming THE TREE THAT TIME BUILT, an anthology of poems about nature and science, compiled by me and Linda Winston:

 

ANTHROPOIDS

The next time you go to the zoo
The zoo
Slow down for a minute or two
Or two
And consider the apes
All their sizes and shapes
For they all are related to you
To you.

Yes, they all are related to you
To you
And they all are related to me
To me
To our fathers and mothers
Our sisters and brothers
And all of the people we see
We see.

The chimpanzees, gorillas, and all
And all
The orangutans climbing the wall
The wall
These remarkable creatures
Share most of our features
And the difference between us is small
Quite small.

So the next time you go to the zoo
The zoo
Slow down for a minute or two
Or two
And consider the apes
All their sizes and shapes
For they all are related to you
To you

Posted August 31, 2009

From: THE RAUCOUS AUK, ill. by Joseph Low (Viking Press, NY, 1973)

As fall approaches, the squirrels are busy gathering and hiding their winter provisions. How they manage to find them again always has puzzled me.

 

SQUIRREL

Grey squirrel
                  Small beast
Storing up a winter's feast,
Hides a hundred nuts at least.

Nook and cranny stocked with seed
Tucked away for winter's need.
Acorns stuck in hole and crack.
Will he ever get them back?

When the snow is piled up high
And the year is at December,
Can he really still remember
Where he hid them in September?

I have watched him from my window
And he always seems to know
Where the food he hid is waiting
Buried deep beneath the snow.

And I wonder
                  (Do you wonder?)
How he knows where he must go.

Posted August 31, 2009

From: A LITTLE BOOK OF LITTLE BEASTS (Simon & Schuster, 1973)

Two haiku:

 

PYTHONS

The thick black pythons
Are braided tight together.
How do they untwine?

 

FLAMINGO

Sea risen sunbird
O flaming flamingo, spread
Wide your red feathers.

 

Some fun with alliteration and repetition:

 

GAZELLE

O gaze on the graceful gazelle as it grazes
It grazes on green growing leaves and on grasses
On grasses it grazes, go gaze as it passes
It passes so gracefully, gently, O gaze!

Posted September 21, 2007

From: THE RAUCOUS AUK, ill. by Joseph Low (Viking Press, NY, 1973)

 

Here are two very early poems. The first one was made up for my children when they were tiny - three of them under five! Each time it snowed, we chanted it together. Years later I wrote it down and put it in a book. The second is ice-skating the way I experienced it, before indoor rinks and global warming.

snow

Snow

Snow

Lots of snow

Everywhere we look and everywhere we go

Snow on the sandbox

Snow on the slide

Snow on the bicycle

Left outside

Snow on the steps

And snow on my feet

Snow on the sidewalk

Snow on the sidewalk

Snow on the sidewalk

Down the street.

Posted January 29, 2007

From: ALL MY SHOES COME IN TWOS, ill. by Norman Hoberman (Little, Brown & Co., Boston, 1957). Also in THE LLAMA WHO HAD NO PAJAMA, ill. by Betty Fraser (Browndeer Press, Harcourt, 1998).

ice-skating

In winter when the biting breezes

Blow and all the water freeze,

Then it's time, it's time to go

Skating on the ice.

 

Choose a day that's bright and clear,

Bundle up from toe to ear;

It's the time, the time of year

For skating on the ice.

 

I perch upon the snowy rocks

And pull on both my woolen socks;

I lace my skates and tie them fast

And then I'm up and off at last.

 

I cannot make a figure eight

(I still have trouble going straight)

But just the same I love to skate,

To ice-skate on the ice.

 

Posted January 29, 2007

From : ALL MY SHOES COME IN TWO'S, illustrated by Norman Hoberman (Little, Brown & Co., Boston, 1959). Also in THE LLAMA WHO HAD NO PAJAMA/100 FAVORITE POEMS, illustrated by Betty Fraser (Browndeer Press, Harcourt, 1998).

 

To Make a Garden

To make a garden all you need

Is just a single simple seed,

A patch of earth, a sheltered spot

That's not too cold, but not too hot,

A little rain, a lot of sun,

That's all you need;

And when you're done,

In some strange way your seed will know

Just how to sprout and how to grow

Until you see to your surprise

A miracle before your eyes,

A baby leaf still curled up tight

That's pushing upward toward the light.

What will it be? A tree? A weed?

Each one is started from a seed.

posted June, 2005

February

February, funny word,

With my "r" that's hardly heard,

Different in so many ways,

I'm the month with fewest days;

And another thing that's strange is

I'm the only month that changes:

Every leap year - one in four -

I am given one day more,

Twenty-nine from twenty-eight

(Not so easy to keep straight).

Still it's lots of fun to vary -

I like being February!

posted February, 2005

Winter Wonder

In the middle of winter, the midst of a storm,

What a wonderful, wonderful thing to keep warm,

With a bright fire burning, curled up in a chair,

And the snow falling steadily, slowly

Out there!

posted December 14, 2004

You and I

Only one I in the whole wide world

And millions and millions of you,

But every you is an I to itself

And I am a you to you, too!

But if I am a you and you are an I

And the opposite also is true,

It makes us both the same somehow

Yet splits us each in two.

It's more and more mysterious,

The more I think it through:

Every you everywhere in the world is an I;

Every I in the world is a you!

posted September 10, 2002

From: MY SONG IS BEAUTIFUL (Little, Brown and Co., 1994)

A CATCH

I've caught a fish!

Come look!

I've got him on my hook.

He saw my worm down in the pond

And fishes all are very fond

Of worms, so up he swam to mine

And now I've got him on my line.

(He's just the proper size to munch.

I think I'll have him fried for lunch.)

posted August 30, 2002

From: HELLO AND GOOD-BY, illustrated by Norman Hoberman (Little, Brown & Co., Boston, 1959). Also in THE LLAMA WHO HAD NO PAJAMA/100 FAVORITE POEMS, illustrated by Betty Fraser (Browndeer Press, Harcourt, 1998)