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

School Work

I know where my lunchbox goes
And I can tie my shoe,
But what I really want to know
Is how to talk to you.
I can read the little words
And I can count by two,
But what I really want to learn
Is how to play with you.
It’s not the reading or the math
That’s hard for me to do.
The hardest thing I do at school
Is sit with someone new.

(c) 2012 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved

Last week I was thinking about the first day of school. This week I’ve been thinking about the first week and the things that make school hard. I’ve also been asking myself: What do I really hope my kids will learn this year?

Happy Birthday, Growing Wild!

For more Poetry Friday go to Write. Sketch. Repeat.

Four Animal Couplets

Burrowing Owl by Squeezyboy at flickr


Never disturb a sleeping owl.
Their waking thoughts are always fowl.
Want to pet a porcupine?
You can be the first in line!
If you try to question a horse,
She will answer neigh, of course.
Think you can be a strong as an ant?
Think again. You can’t.

© 2012 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved

My poet-friend Sharon Barry shared a brilliant couplet in our poetry critique group this week. It reminded me of Ogden Nash’s wonderful couplets about cows and mules. I wanted to try, too. I wrote them all week. These are my favorites.

Cinquain and Fibonnaci

Feet go thumping
To the heart’s strong drumming.
I make my own beat when I go



all the time.
I am growing like
a vine. I am climbing to the
space above the house, the ground, the clouds, and even you.

© 2012 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved

Today I have two additional forms that follow specific syllable patterns. Both were invented in the US. I wonder if that makes them more suitable to English somehow. The first is a cinquain which was invented by Adelaide Crapsey in the early 20th century. The syllable pattern is two, four, six, eight, two. Sometimes the first and last lines are the same; sometimes they are not. The second is a Fibonnaci poem which means that the number of syllables in the lines of the poem follow the sequence of Fibonnaci numbers: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, etc. Do you see the pattern? You add two numbers in sequence to get the next one. Fibonnaci numbers describe the spirals in many things from the natural world, like pine cones, flowers, and nautilus shells. I wrote this in response to the Tuesday Poetry Stretch at the blog The Miss Rumphius Effect. There’s also a great video about the Fibonnaci sequence on the blog.


Going Upstairs in the Dark

I’m climbing up the stair.
It’s dark up there. It’s dark up there.
The light switch isn’t down the stair.
It’s way up there. It’s way up there.
I’m climbing up the stair.
Do I dare ask who’s waiting there?
I know that ghosts are very rare,
But still one might be hiding there.
I’m climbing up the stair.
I feel a tingle in my hair.
I think perhaps I feel a stare.
I think perhaps I feel a glare.
I’m climbing up the stair.
It isn’t fair. It isn’t fair.
To send me to the ghosts’ dark lair.
Don’t they care? Don’t they care?
I tiptoe, tiptoe up the stair.
I flip the switch. I’ve made it there.
The light shines here. The light shines there.
I gave that ghost a great big scare!

© 2012 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved