Saturday, April 18, 2015

New Baby

My baby sister
before she’s two days old
people start dividing her up.

“She has my olive eyes.”
“Got Grandma’s double-chin.”
“She has her father’s nose.”

Like she’s just a bunch
of borrowed parts
stitched together.

Well, I just got to hold her.
I touched her perfect head
and I’ll tell you this:

My sister is whole.


   from Relatively Speaking: Poems About Family

Friday, April 17, 2015

Taking Things Apart

The movers start
by taking things apart.

Our table lies on the rug,
legless and upside down.

Shelves get disassembled;
beds are left in pieces.

One mover dismantles
my Ping-Pong table, saying:

“Our guys in Ohio will
put everything back together.”

Which makes me wonder
about my ripped-apart life.

Exactly who’s going to put that
together again?


   from Moving Day by Ralph Fletcher

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Lifeguard

Like a god
on Mount Olympus
he sits far above
the common people.

Like an arrogant god
with a perfect body
he tosses down smiles,
crumbs to the girls below.

Like a bronze god
he studies the shore
deciding who will live,
and when to be a hero.


              by Ralph Fletcher

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


Poets like to play with language. In this
poem I'm having fun playing with different
meanings of the word skip. 

Skipping Stones

Dad skips breakfast
Elizabeth skips rope
I skip stones

George skipped fourth grade
Brian skipped out of school
I skip stones

Flat stones sharp stones
Skinny like potato chips

        ing               wrin
Kick                up                 les

        the                 smooooooth
On              glass                        lake

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


This is my book on how to write a poem. Practical advice that will help young poets get a feel for the heart of poetry, and how they can create their own.

I’ve been posting one poem per day in honor of National Poetry Month. Today I’m posting two poems. The first one (Babies) was written for younger students; I’m thinking the second one (This Is Not A Love Poem) may appeal to older kids.

Babies

Faucet leak
       pools cool
springs bubble
       babies drool

Seas sparkle
       lakes glisten
streams gurgle
       babies listen

Rivers rise
       flood and worse
water falls
       babies nurse

Rain drenches
       waves crash
water quenches
       babies splash

Ice pelts
       cold creeks
hail pelts
       babies leak



   This Is Not A Love Poem


This is not a love poem no way
you need big words for that 
like “luminous” and “eternity” 
you need iambic pentameter
or at least some serious rhyme
you neded merciless stars
deserts on moonless nights
foamy surf on gusty beaches
you need to get smashed
into such tiny fragments
you can only use the small i
when you write
i love you

© 2015 Ralph Fletcher. All rights reserved.

Monday, April 13, 2015


Weeds

Weeds in the sunlight,
swaying in the breeze.

Weeds pollinated by
hordes of hungry bees.

Weeds softly whispering,
spilling secret seeds.

Weeds multiplying:
weeds, weeds, weeds.

Dandelion, ragweed,
Queen Anne’s lace.

Weeds in my dreams,
weeds in outer space.

Weeds on vacation
but more staying home.

Sneaky little weedlings
sprouting in this poem!

© 2010 Ralph Fletcher. All rights reserved.