Poetry Place






 Dear Visitors,

        One of my first loves is poetry: reading, reciting, and writing it! Therefore, poetry had to have its own place on my website. I plan to share the joy that I find in the power of a poem. I will send you to other sites on the web for ideas for using poetry in the classroom, provide you with a bibliography of awesome authors, and give you a glimpse of the children's poems and songs that I have written over the years. I have a rather large collection, but my favorites are those about dinosaurs and teddy bears. Watch for the posting of these tongue-tanglers at this site. However, if you plan to use any of the poetry from this page, all I ask is that you put my name on it somewhere. To personalize this page, I have included my motivation to write some of the poems, which provides children with ideas for sources to write their own.







When I first met my husband, he listened willingly to many lyrical lines and one day he presented me with a very special pen:

    You gave to me a golden pen
   To write some poems now and then . . .
   Some poems filled with words of gold
   To share with you as we grow old.


We're definitely growing older and he still listens. He agrees that being a poet is a gift that should be shared with others and we have published and given away several volumes of my poetry. I'm excited about using this website to share with a larger group of people who may enjoy reading poetry as much as I enjoy writing it!









Bearfoot Phrases
(Set of Teddy Bear Poems)

My first teddy bear poem was actually the lyrics for a song from a school musical called "Toyshop Revolt."  Bearfoot Phrases come easily since I've never met a teddy bear I didn't like and Warmhearted Walter is no exception. You'd have to see him to understand that he looks like he has the soul of a poet. My vast collection of "Bearfoot Phrases" was generated by the whimsy of Walter! Hope you enjoy poetry from a teddy's point of view.


Christmas Songs and Poems
Critter Conversations


Dinosaur Songbook


Fanciful Food


Fun With Family and Friends

Patriotic Pride
Songs of the Seasons
Summer Songs


Weather Words





The following song was written in honor of one of childhood's favorite bears, Corduroy. Don Freeman has written a delightful story that captures the imagination of young readers and now they can sing about him, too! Enjoy!

A Song for Corduroy
Cherry Carl
(To the Tune of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star")

Corduroy sings:
    I'm a bear named Corduroy,
    Just a fluffy, funny toy.
    Walking through this great big store,
    Looking all around the floor,
    Lost my button; now it's gone,
    Someone come and sew it on.

Lisa sings:
    I'm a girl who wants to share
    Everyday with such a bear.
    Yes, I know your button's gone.
    I shall sew a new one on.
    If you come and live with me,
    Best of friends we'll always be!







Fancy Feet!

Cherry Carl


Fancy feet, oh, fancy feet,

I hear you running down the street!

But now and then you stop to greet

All the other feet you meet.

Some are big and some are small,

But, fancy feet, we hear them all!


Some come tapping, some tiptoe,

Jumping, leaping high and low!

Others skip and twirl around,

And hardly ever touch the ground!

Some are young and some are new,

But, fancy feet, we hear each shoe!


Kick a ball, climb a wall,

Fancy feet can do it all!

Run the bases, swim with fins,

Play hopscotch and twirl and spin!

Fancy feet, oh, fancy feet,

From heel to toe, you can’t be beat!



Cherry Carl


Corny toes, and ingrown nails

Make a person whine and wail!

Bulbous bunions and wicked warts

Can put a person out of sorts!


Stub that toe!

There you go!

Hop on one foot, to and fro!


Blazing blisters, athletes foot,

Call that person “tenderfoot!”

Mixed up muscles, tender toes,

What a whopping tale of woes!


Stub that toe!

There you go!

Hop on one foot, to and fro!







Puppies are family, too, even though they drive us nuts sometimes! I tried to use visual imagery in this one about our rose eating rottweilers.

The Puppies Are Tearing Up the Garden
Cherry Carl

One by one,
        Those lovely ladies fall prey
                To the frisky frolics of Fritz and Gretchen.

Powerful paws gut the earth,
        Flinging thorny skirted beauties
                To the ground.







Calling All Aides!

Some people call you "teacher's aide"

And think you work and just get paid;

But we know that such is not the case . . .

You've helped to make our learning place

A friendly, smoothly running school . . .

You're more than just a working tool!

But we're no different from the rest.

We call for work and want the best.

We call you without rhyme or reason,

Expecting more with every season.

"Please straighten shelves and tidy racks!

Make this ditto, Thermafax!

Run this off . . . oh, by the way,

Do you you think you'll have it yesterday?

Use every complicated new machine

And help to keep our office clean.

Watch those kids through lunch recess

(Those rainy days are such a mess!)"

The children call you with their woes . . .

"He hit me, punched me, crunched my toes,

And I don't think that life's so funny!

I've lost my lunch and have no money!"

You're called to rescue every child

Who's weepy, weary, worn or wild;

To counsel, tutor, and supervise

With patience and a wit that's wise.

Yes, you're called by all with many a need

And you're always there to listen and heed

But far better than the hand you lend

Is knowing we can call you "friend."






The Perfect Pet, You Say?!
Cherry Carl

Children bring some rather strange pets for sharing . . .

I know that I said you could bring in your pet,
But this is the strangest one I've ever met!
You say that it's harmless, you're sure that it's tame,
But it chews up your toys, and you get the blame?

It wiggles and jiggles inside of its cage,
It jumps up and down and bellows with rage.
You say that it's time for something to eat?
What will it do if I offer a treat?

Thank goodness your pet doesn't have any claws!
But beware of the danger from those pudgy paws!
You say that it cuddles and coos with charm?
It just bit my finger and scratched up my arm!

Thank you for sharing your perfect pet,
But it's still the strangest one I've ever met!





Cherry Carl

One day, years ago, I asked my third graders to talk about their goals and dreams for the future. This poem/song is the result of listening to their thoughts.

My teacher asked me today,
"What will you be some grown-up day?
Will you sing a brand new song?
Will you repair every wrong?

Will you fly across the land?
Build solid castles in the sand?
And be happy ever more?
Put an end to every war?

And when that someday comes,
Will you still be you?"

"Well, just maybe some day soon,
I'll ride a rocket to the moon,
Build a mansion on the hill,
Find a cure for every ill.

I might write like Dr. Seuss,
Make all the nations sign a truce,
Sail across the ocean blue,
Make your wishes all come true.

Maybe someday when I'm grown,
I'll have a family of my own,
Drive a great big fancy car,
Be a famous movie star.

But until that someday comes,
I'll just be me . . .
And I'm glad I'm me!






By Cherry Carl

How do we honor the very young child?
The eager explorer, so wiggly and wild?
If we look we can see that each one is yearning
For that pat on the back to celebrate learning.
But trust is a must if we're seeking success,
When we ask our students to self-assess.
We must teach them and reach them to show that we care
As they learn to listen, to respect, and to share.
A few fear the risks, the reluctant and shy,
But we've got to give them the freedom to try.
And in the end they can cry out loud,
"I've learned a lot and I am proud!"




Journal Journeys
(Personal Reflections)

Even though I keep a journal for reflecting on special moments, some events are too special to be hidden away in our private memories. After one exceptional family gathering, I was moved to tell my mother so. This poem is one of a collection from a book called "Dear Mama." This book is available in its entirety on the Dear Mama page. Please feel feel to share this particular poem with your loved ones, or copy and print one page from the book for a special occasion. It makes a great gift for Mother's Day or for a baby shower. If you'd like a bound copy of the book printed on lavender parch text with the original cover's artwork, please let me know via e-mail. All I would need is postage.


Dear Mama,

Thanksgiving's passed for one more year . . .

  A day for warmth of food and cheer,

 Of too much turkey, pies and such,

 And lots of time to smile and touch.

  We all sit back, so full and fed

 To reminisce and plan ahead.

  When Grandma's pictures pass around,

 And oohs and aahs of joy abound.

  There's time to play "remember when."

   (We're all the victim now and then

  Of stories shared from yesteryear)

  With giggles, laughs and wistful tears. 

  Then dirty dishes beckon hands

  As feast and fun for all disbands.

  We pack the kids, the food, the men.

  Thanksgiving's blessed us once again!





Faded Photograph

              I study your picture in my kitchen every day,

             Mourning your aging appearance,

                  So weathered and gray.


       Your sagging frame leans into the prairie wind

             As you stand there alone,

                  Like some long forgotten friend.


        You’re like a window to my childhood,

              With its secrets and sorrows

                   Framed in wood.


         What is it about you that draws me to the farm?

              You’re just a building,

                   But you’re filled with charm.


Will you still be standing there to greet me when I come home?


Note from Cherry: My husband grew up on a working farm in North Dakota, ten miles from the closest town. He and his brother spent countless hours playing and working together in and around their enormous barn. We have a framed picture of it in our kitchen in southern California. This was written during the summer of 1996 after many evenings spent together in the kitchen. I was taking a three week writers workshop at the university and looking for writing material, not realizing what a wonderful storyteller I had in my own kitchen!  Here's another that I wrote after he related a story about the spring thaw when he was about 4 years old. His parents loaded a picnic into the fence wagon that was pulled by Pete and Dinah, the family's chore horses and headed for a picnic by the frozen creek. He says that it was the first time he felt real fear . . . the creek water was trying to escape its winter coat of ice and the ice began to break. They escaped, but learned the next day that the bridge over the creek had been washed away once again.


The Birth of Spring


Peaceful picnic,

A cathedral of pines,

Last of the rhubarb in a pie.

Prairie whispers sing a song . . .

"Spring is comin', won't be long."


Pete and Dinah,

Nibbling nubs of green,

Promising pictures in the snow.

Message of the melting ice,

Winter's watery foe.








The Flight of the Bumblebee

Won't you come along with me,
To follow the flight of the bumblebee?
She'd been asleep through winter's snow, 
But then she wakes when flowers grow.

It's time to find a brand new spot
To build a nest for honey pots.
A hole in the ground will surely do
To build a home so snug and new.

She'll be a busy bee today.
She'll work and work the day away,
As she forms her nest with lots of fuzz,
So soft and warm it makes her buzz.

And then she's off to gather food,
To feed her ever growing brood.
She'll carry the pollen for her eggs
In tiny pockets on her legs.

Now, if you look, you'll surely see
A very busy Mama Bee.
Her baby bees are all around,
In her happy home beneath the ground.







Summer Sizzlers
(Vacation poems)



We’ll Be Camping With Our Family
(Sung to: She’ll Be coming Around the Mountain)

We’ll be camping with our family at the lake, at the lake!
We’ll be camping with our family at the lake, at the lake!
We’ll be camping with our family,
We’ll be camping with our family,
We’ll be camping with our family at the lake, at the lake!

We will have to make a list of what to bring, what to bring!
We will have to make a list of what to bring, what to bring!
We will have to make a list,
We will have to make a list,
We will have to make a list of what to bring

We will take our fishing poles and some bait, and some bait!
We will take our fishing poles and some bait, and some bait!
We will take our fishing poles,
We will take our fishing poles,
We will take our fishing poles and some bait, and some bait!

We will catch a stinky fish from the dock, from the dock!
We will catch a stinky fish from the dock, from the dock!
We will catch a stinky fish,
We will catch a stinky fish,
We will catch a stinky fish from the dock, from the dock!






Fine Catch! 

Some fine morning in spring,
When the newness of the day still glistens
On the damp seats of the motorboat,
We'll watch and listen.

My worm, reaching out to the depths of the lake,
Comes back with a prize.
"What a catch!"




Going Camping
Cherry Carl

I am going camping with my mom and my dad.
We are going to the forest and that makes me glad.
I am taking my tent and my sleeping bag
And my puppy whose tail goes wiggle, wag, wag.

We will make a campfire with some twigs and a log
For some toasted marshmallows and a yummy hot dog. 
Oh, I love camping in the trees, in the wood.
The campfire made my dinner taste so good.

I’m headed for bed with my new flashlight.
So I guess I’m ready to just say, "Good-night!"



I've Been Workin’ In My Classroom

  (Sung to: I’ve Been Workin’ on the Railroad)

I’ve been workin’ in my classroom, 
All this first grade year. 
(or whatever grade they're in)
I’ve been workin’ in my classroom,
But now the summer’s here.

Can’t you hear the beaches calling
"Come and swim all day."
Can’t you smell the briny ocean,
Taste that salty spray?

Don’t you want to swim?
Don’t you want to play?
Don’t you want to surf all day-ay-ay?
Don’t you want to swim?
Don’t you want to play?
Don’t you want to surf all day?

Come on to the beaches with shovels.
Come on to the beaches with suntan lotion.
Come on to the beaches with surfboards.
Come on to the beaches to play.




Mother Nature

Journey to the Sea
Cherry Carl

Our journey to the sea begins on mountains high,
Away above the hilltops where the forest meets the sky.
It's when the snow has melted and flows into a stream,
That the swiftly moving water becomes a river's dream.

And all around are watching the creation of the source
Of the many streams and rivers that are part of nature's force.
The rabbit and the eagle are joined in harmony
As they watch their melting mountain start its journey to the sea.

The trickle of the stream will wander and explore
As it quenches thirst for many from its ever growing shore.
It never stops to listen as it gurgles on its way
To its predetermined meeting with a far and distant bay.

The rolling of this river seems to whisper of a rush,
While those who are its neighbors are surrounded by a hush.
This place in time is sacred, this setting so serene,
But the tumbling of the current takes it to the next ravine.

The quiet little river now becomes a waterfall,
Roaring with the thunder of a crashing, rumbling wall,
Churning up the waters of the now forgotten stream,
The slowly melting snow seems to be a distant dream.

The willows bend and wave as they reach to say good-bye
To the waters that have passed with a shadow of a sigh.
The rainbow overhead seems to beckon it to stay
With the promise of serenity upon a lovely day.

It's left behind the mountain top and those who call it home,
While rushing past the waterfall, with all its froth and foam.
But now it's been discovered by those who can enjoy
A day upon the waters, a father and his boy.

Children laugh and play as they splish and splash before
Their now contented mother who is watching from the shore.
The waters move more slowly as the river grows and grows,
On its ever flowing journey that began with winter snows.

Yes, our journey to the sea began so long ago,
Through waterfall and forest we have watched the river flow.
But now the trip is over and our dream of long ago
Is just the passing memory of a bit of melting snow.

My husband grew up in the middle of the North Dakota prairie. I've listened and watched and I've heard the prairie song while standing in the middle of a field of sunflowers eight feet tall. Perhaps you have heard it, too.


Prairie Song 

Tall bathing beauties,
Arms stretched out to soak up rays,
Flowers in the sun.

Seas of blowing grass,
Swaying stands of peaceful pines,
Whispers in the wind.






Magical Math




"Shape Song"
(Tune: Solomon Levi*)

I know what is a rectangle. I'll tell you in a song.
Two of its sides are short and two of them are long.
Now I'll tell about a square; it has four sides the same.
Turn it anyway you wish. That doesn't change its name!

A tri-an-gle has three sharp points. The sides are straight, all three.
Tri means three and so you see, that's what it has to be!
A diamond is a straight line shape, the four sides are the same.
The corners, though, are different; the rhombus is its name.

A circle is the shape that's next, with no straight sides at all.
It just goes round and round and round, and looks just like a ball.
An ellipse is an oval shape. The ends of it are round.
It might have been a circle once that got itself squashed down!

I look around me everywhere and I see shapes galore.
Cylinders and spheres and cubes, and oh so many more!

Oh, aren't you proud of me? Tra, la, la, la, la, la!
I've learned a lot, you see. Tra, la, la, la, la, la!

(*You may recognize the "Solomon Levi" tune as "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall!") 

Notes from Cherry: I have no idea who wrote the lyrics to this delightful song! I found this in my kindergarten files from the late sixties or early seventies (I know, some of you weren't even born then! Let's not go there!). I'm sorry to omit credit where credit is due. Hopefully, the author of this ditty will forgive me for sharing it here.

If you make a song chart or poster out of this song, add colorful shapes next to the appropriate lines or replace the shape words with actual shapes. You may also want to use actual numerals instead of number words in the song.







Round goes the circle, round goes the bear.
Round and around with colors everywhere.

Four sides to a square, four sides to a door.
Open it up and look for some more!

Three sided triangle, three sided slide.
Down go the bears for a slippery ride!

Here's a sparkly diamond, shiny and bright.
It twinkles like the stars that shine through the night.

Is this an Easter Egg for two little bears?
No, it's just an oval, but it's fun to share!

Two sides short, and two sides long.
This rectangle looks so tall and strong.

Can you find a tiny bear to play with you?
He's right behind the hexagon, Peek-a-Boo!

An octagon has eight sides in all.
Watch out little bear, now don't you fall!

Pull the tab and there will be
A cylinder for you to see.

A cube is like your wooden blocks,
And sometimes like a paper box.






A Little Bitty Inch

(Tune: There’s A Little White Duck)

Cherry Carl

I use a little bitty inch when I want to measure,

A little bitty inch to measure tiny treasure.

I take that ruler in my hand,

And count every inch ‘cuz I understand

That a little bitty inch is a special measure

For small things!



Note to teacher:

Add hand motions. Hold out your thumb and finger for the first, second and fifth lines to indicate an inch. Act like you’re counting inches on a ruler for line four and then tap your temple to show understanding. Talk about what kinds of things would fit the “small” category.






Three Feet in Every Yard

(Tune: Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes)

There are three feet in every yard, every yard!

There are three feet in every yard, every yard!

When we measure big things,

We always use a yard.

We can do it!

It’s not hard . . . with a yard!


To measure the playground, use a yard, use a yard!

To measure your classroom, use a yard, use a yard!

When we measure big things,

We use the old yardstick!

We can do it,

And we’re quick . . . with the stick! 






Bring on a Thingamajig!

(Tune: Camptown Races)


Thirty-six inches to a yard,

We’ll measure your treasure!

Thirty-six inches to a yard,

So, what do you say!?


We’re goin’ to measure small!

We’re goin’ to measure big!

Our class is ready for short or tall,

So bring on a thingamajig!


Twelve inches to a foot,

We’ll measure with pleasure!

Twelve inches to a foot,

So, what do you say!?


We’re goin’ to measure small!

We’re goin’ to measure big!

Our class is ready for short or tall,

So bring on a thingamajig!










Measurement’s Not My Foe!

(Tune: I’ve Been Working on the Railroad)


I’ve been learning how to measure

With my ruler in hand.

I’ve been learning how to measure

And I think it’s really grand.


I have seen the teacher showing

How to measure with an inch,

I have heard the teacher saying,

“Inches are a cinch!”


Measure with an inch.

Measure with a foot.

I can measure all day long.

Measure with an inch.

Measure with a foot.

I can even measure this song!


I know how to use my ruler.

I know how to use my yardstick.

I know how to measure anything!

‘Cause measurement’s not a trick!


Me, my, middle-e-i-o.

Me, my, middle-e-i-o-o-o-o.

Me, my, middle-e-i-o.

Measurement’s not my foe!




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