Posts Tagged ‘poems’

My Pet

November 21, 2009

A seventh-grader named Wayne left a comment on my blog Thursday night. He’s writing a report on me for school and wanted to know how I started writing poems. I’ve gotten a handful of such requests from kids over the years and they always make me smile.

Here I am, just a regular Joe, sitting at my laptop, unshaven, in a T-shirt and sweat pants, pounding out whatever copy I can to pay the bills. But because my name is in Kids Pick the Funniest Poems attached to a handful of goofy poems, to a generation of kids I’m a dapper poet laureate in a smoking jacket, relaxing in an overstuffed leather chair at an exclusive men’s club, lifting a glass of sherry and trading witticisms with the likes of John Keats and Robert Frost. Love it!


I have five poems in this wonderful little book. Do your kids a favor and buy this book for them. They'll love it!

I know that when I was a kid, if an author I admired had responded to a letter from me with a few kind words in a brief note, I would have whooped and hollered and run around the yard in circles until I passed out from joyous exhaustion. So I always enjoy responding to kids right away and helping them with their reports however I can.

In responding to Wayne’s note, I thought back to all the silly song parodies I had written in grade school. I would sit at the counter that separated our kitchen and family room and painstakingly type out my own versions of Snoopy and the Red Baron and Strangers in the Night on an old manual typewriter that would be in the Smithsonian today. I still have the little book of songs I so (more…)

Kids Pick the Funniest Poems

October 31, 2008

kids-pick-the-funniest-poemsIf there’s a kid in your life who likes to laugh, Kids Pick the Funniest Poems will make a wonderful present. I wrote five poems for it (including the one below) but that’s not why I’m recommending it. I don’t get any royalties from sales. I just think it’s an awesome book that every kid should have.

Bruce Lansky of Meadowbrook Press combed through tons of poem books to collect what he thought were the cream of the crop. He then read the finalists to actual grade school classrooms and the kids voted on which poems they liked the most. Those are the ones that made it in the book.

One of the reasons the book turned out so well is that Stephen Carpenter illustrated every poem. He’s a wonderful artist and his work really brings the book alive. Coincidentally, I found out later that Stephen just happened to be the illustrator for a number of greeting cards I had sold earlier to Hallmark. Small world!

I’ve read some of the poems to grade school classes and kids absolutely love it. Lots of teachers keep the book in the classroom because it’s a class favorite. I’ve even received fan letters from kids all over the world, some of whom were doing book reports on me. Ha! It’s fun to respond back to them.

My daughter was twelve when I wrote the five poems that I contributed and we were in full goofball mode, so writing them was easy and fun! I hope you enjoy the book!


kids-pick-the-funniest-poems-im-glad-im-me

Illustration by Stephen Carpenter

I’M GLAD I’M ME

I don’t understand why everyone stares
When I take off my clothes and dance down the stairs.
Or when I stick carrots in both of my ears,
Then dye my hair green and go shopping at Sears.
I just like to dress up and do goofy things.
If I were an angel, I’d tie-dye my wings!

Why can’t folks accept me the way that I am?
So what if I’m different and don’t act like them?
I’m not going to change and be someone I’m not.
I like who I am, and I’m all that I’ve got!





Illustration by Stephen Carpenter

THE MONSTERS IN MY CLOSET

The monsters in my closet
Like to sleep the day away.
So when I get home from school,
I let them out to play.

When Mom calls me for supper,
I give them each a broom.
First they put my toys away,
And then they clean my room.

The Mummy hates to vacuum.
So if he starts to whine,
I kick his rear and tell (more…)

I Was a Poet and Didn’t Know It

October 12, 2008
phil-football-mom-xmas-1968

At eleven years old, I was more interested in sports than church

God wasn’t a big part of my life growing up. My family went to church, but I remember my mom telling my dad that it was more important for me to stay home to watch the Vikings-Rams game one Sunday.

I didn’t take my first tentative step down a spiritual path until I was twenty-nine. I remember feeling like I finally “got it” six months after my thirty-fifth birthday.

Turns out I “got it” long before that. One day at my mom’s house, I happened to notice a little plaque on the wall featuring a poem I had written in sixth grade called The Creation of Life. Reading it again, I recognized the love and yearning for God that I had forgotten was there way back when. I dug through my early writings and found a second poem I wrote just a month later called God’s Wonderful Power.

(more…)