The Maple

She couldn’t bear to wear
that same green dress
another day. She was sick
of blending in, of posing
in the same plain uniform
as everyone else in the wood.
So, about a week ago, she showed up
orange. Her leaves sparkled
like the bells on a belly dancer’s belt.
She shimmied like she was on fire.
The whole place was shaking,
until yesterday, when the accordion
sneezed, the lute snapped a string
and all her sequins flopped.
Now there she is
standing naked in the cold.

© Elizabeth Steinglass, 2013, all rights reserved

For more Poetry Friday, visit Diane at Random Noodling.













I saw this pumpkin at the grocery store and I had to have it. It called to me. So I bought it and brought it home and stood it on the stoop. I heard myself think, “But I don’t want to carve it. I like it like this.” Then I heard myself think, “There’s a poem there.”

Here it is:


My Pumpkin

I don’t want to carve my pumpkin.
I don’t want to give it a grin.

I like my pumpkin like it is.
I like its smooth orange skin.

I like that it’s a little tall.
I like its hollow thump.

I like its tiny tree-trunk stem.
I like its warty bump.

Of all the pumpkins in the pile,
this one said “Pick me!”

I don’t want to carve my pumpkin.
I want to let it be.


I’m still thinking about the last line. Do kids say “Let it be?” Do they know what it means?

For more Poetry Friday, visit Amy at The Poem Farm.


(c) 2013, Elizabeth Steinglass, all rights reserved











Lately, I’ve been obsessed with the morning glories growing in my yard. I noticed myself spending more and more time sitting next to them with my computer in my lap, so I gave myself an assignment: Write a poem that explores your feelings for these flowers. Here’s what I wrote:


Morning Glory

There isn’t much left
When someone’s dead
The property sold
A shopping mall built
Where the house once stood
Just these morning glories
Outside my door
Twining through time
As urgently blue
As the ones she grew


I was pretty satisfied with this as a day’s work, but the next day I asked myself: Is this poem short because that’s what’s best or is it short because you were too scared to keep going? That’s when I gave myself a new assignment: Take what you wrote yesterday and use it as a starting point for writing today.


I’m still working on this one. I’m also still working on answering the question: How do you know when a poem is complete?

For more Poetry Friday, visit Laura at Author Amok.

(c) Elizabeth Steinglass, 2013, all rights reserved.











There are tails in the garden
That sway in the air
Like the tips of fine cats
Who expect you to stare.

Gently, I pet them.
Their fur starts to shed.
These cats spread themselves
All over the bed!

(c) Elizabeth Steinglass, 2013, all rights reserved


Just a poem today.

For more Poetry Friday visit Betsy at I Think in Poems.










Summer Scourge

I cut their heads off eagerly
with a snip of the sharpest blade.
I lopped a few of the living too, carelessly
desperate to get the burnt and shriveled corpses
out of sight. I was the knight
finishing the dragon with one last
slice across the neck. And yet,
these daisies meant no harm.


Often my poetry comes from close observation of the natural world. Recently, I’ve realized that I also need to observe myself observing the world.

For more Poetry Friday visit Margaret at Reflections on the Teche.

(c) Elizabeth Steinglass, 2013, all rights reserved












Rising over the garden,
A helium sun on a string.
Parading above the lilies,
A crown fit for a king.

An eye with golden lashes,
A bonnet around a face,
A sprinter sporting a medal
For winning a backyard race.

A paintbrush dipped in lemon,
A splash of juicy light,
A toothless, sunny smile
Without a shadow in sight.

A nodding head grown weary,
A platter of snacks on a string,
A sprinkle of secret promises
To rise again next spring.

(c) Elizabeth Steinglass, 2013, all rights reserved


I wrote this last summer but I was reminded of it when this year’s sunflowers opened their bright, shiny faces.

For more Poetry Friday visit Semicolon.












Garden Party

Weeping willow wears a gown
Of leafy lace that sweeps the ground.
Under her skirt we blow grass horns
And watch the daisies dance a round.

(c) Elizabeth Steinglass, 2013, all rights reserved


Welcome Poetry Friday visitors. Please join the party
by leaving your links in the comments. I’ll come by later
and add them to my post.

Happy Poetry Friday!


Here’s today’s round-up:

Looking for something rhyming and funny? See Jeff at NC Teacher Stuff whose colleague Wayne Leonard made a short video in response to a student challenge.

During National Poetry Month Laura Salas was so busy with her poem starter videos and other commitments, she missed out on other blogs. This Friday she’s heading over to Jama Rattigan’s list of Poetry Month celebrations. She’s also wondering what Poetry Month blogs we particularly enjoyed visiting.

At Random Noodling Diane is taking a breath after National Poetry Month and sharing a favorite cat poem by Denise Levertov.

At Kurious Kitty Diane shares “I Left My Head” by Lilian Moore, a poem which may speak both to the younger and the older crowd, and probably quite a few in the middle.

Diane has an explosive quote by Lilian Moore at at KK’s Kwotes.

Author Amok, Laura Shovan has been working with third graders writing scientific Fibonacci poems. Today she shares a couple of her students’ poems and her lesson plans.

Bridget at Wee Words for Wee Ones has an original foggy day, dog walking poem.

At Crackles of Speech Steven Withrow has an original poem about the lion who guards “The Library Steps.”

Robyn Hood Black has some laugh-out-loud student limericks from the Fair Street School at Life on the Deckle Edge.

In the mood for something odd? Myra has Tim Burton’s Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy at Gathering Books.

Congratulations to Linda who is celebrating her 500th post at TeacherDance! This week she’s taking time to reflect on the important things about blogging. She also shares “The Seven of Pentacles” by Marge Piercy.

Charles Gingha, aka Father Goose, is celebrating May with his original poem “Happy Birthday, May!”

Renee LaTulippe at No Water River has two posts to share this morning:

The first stars Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, who comes out of her enchanted forest to share “Puff,” a poem from her new book Forest Has a Song.

The second is a poetry video and a video interview with the beloved poet and anthologist, Lee Bennett Hopkins.

Matt Forrest Esenwine at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme seems to have a touch of spring fever. This morning he shares an original poem, “Wildflowers, for Jane.” Who’s Jane? Jane Yolen, of course!

Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference shares poems from Poetry Out Loud, the amazing Nation Recitation Contest.

Mary Lee Hahn is also sharing poems about cats and has a link to even more cat poems at A Year of Reading.

Heidi Mordhorst has some really lovely poems by her kindergarten students, the Mighty Minnows, at My Juicy Little Universe.

Margaret at Reflections on the Teche has been reading I Love You the Purplest by Barbara M. Joosse with her students and working with them to write Mother’s Day poems. I know some moms who are going to get really special gifts this year.

Now that National Poetry Month is over, it’s time for Get Caught Reading! Kick off this next celebration At Reading to the Core with Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Picture-books in Winter.”

Before heading to the ocean on the 8th grade retreat, Ruth at There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town posted Jack Spicer’s “Any fool can get into an ocean…”

At Used Books in Class you will find a touching post about the impossibility of repaying mothers and Billy Collins’s poem, “The Lanyard.”

This week Irene Latham shares answers to questions such as “Why is poetry important?” and “Where do poems come from?

Irene has also posted the complete 2013 Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem. It’s quite a ride.

Betsy at Teaching Young Writers shares an original poem, “Winter Memories,” and a link to #chalkabration celebrations from the week. If you have a moment and can visit it was a dusty good time.

At Inside the Dog Steve Peterson shares an original haibun about fly fishing that was inspired by Mary Lee’s April poetry challenge.

Capping off National Poetry Month, Penny Klosterman, a teacher for 26 years, shares an extensive Poetry Resource page for teachers.

Donna at Mainely Write has four different versions of her poem, “Robin’s Proclamation.” Which do you prefer?

Doraine Bennett explores sestinas at DoriReads.

Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong are already thinking about summer. Today at the Poetry Friday Anthology blog they are sharing Debbie Levy’s poem “My Best Friend is Leaving.” And at the Poetry Friday Anthology for Middle School blog they have a poem movie by Phyllis Yarbro, featuring Marilyn Singer’s poem, “Body Art.”

Amy Merrill at Mrs. Merrill’s Book Break pairs poetry and origami (thanks to Kristine O’Connell George!).

Today at The Writer’s Whimsy Tamera Will Wissinger is  celebrating poets and National Poetry Month with a tercet epigram and also recapping her April Poetry activities.

At Wild Rose Reader Elaine has an original poem titled “Puddle Muddle” and announces the winner of “Puddle Wonderful: Poems to Welcome Spring.”

Becky Shillington discusses ekphrastic poetry and shares an original poem “Hope.”

Though it’s still snowing in Minnesota, Jill at Orange Marmalade is thinking spring and shares a hopeful poem about seeds from The Book of The Seasons: An Anthology by Eve Garnett.

At Bildungsroman, Little Willow shares the opening of Eva of the Farm, a verse novel by Dia Calhoun.

Today’s Little Ditty features “Tuesday’s Miracle” a celebration of spring and babies by Michelle H. Barnes.

Ms. Mac has more than 98 reasons to celebrate student work at Check it Out!

Readertotz has a wonderful rhyming board book “Tea Time” by Karen Rostoker-Gruber.

At On Point Lorie Ann Grover has a haiku entitled “Triangle Dresses.” Where have you seen ladies in triangle dresses?

David Elzey is in with his 30th and final Pulitzer Remix post. To celebrate National Poetry Month, he’s been extracting poems from “The Stories of John Cheever.” This week he has a stunning poem from the story “The Enormous Radio.”

Janet Squires at All About the Books shares Dogku by Andrew Clements, illustrated by Tim Bowers.


Scattered sun drops
Dot the earth
Stretching, reaching toward the sky
With their one black eye
Nose cones pointed way up high
Petals burning sun-burst bright
Ready to rocket
Back to the sun
In the far away sky
(c) 2012 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved

For more Poetry Friday go to Paper Tigers.

photo by zimpenfish

Little heads
Without their faces,
Wearing hats,
Going places.

If I don’t write often, I feel rusty. It can be hard to scrape the rust off. I need to read my favorite children’s poets, and I need to go out for a walk. I feel the rhythm of my footsteps, and I look for things to write about. I take my notebook with me and write down ideas and phrases. Yesterday, when I was out walking, I saw acorns all over the sidewalk. This is what they made me think of.

For more Poetry Friday go to Random Noodling.

(c) 2012 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved