Barbies on Titanic

July 6, 2010

I left Barbies at Communion
(autographed by Mr. Goodyear himself)
on the counter by the bathroom sink.

(I only have time to read in the bathroom.
Sometimes I lock myself in.)

I won it, you know,
the book, not the bathroom sink,
and I was just about halfway through.

(these things take time when your daughter
likes to eat dog food while you’re in the bathroom.)

And then, in a moment of destiny,
two boys reenacting the sinking of Titanic
also drenched Barbies,
who had never even once thought of
buying a ticket on that ill-fated
bottle-turned-ship.

(I guess I should be glad it was sink-water
rather than other bathroom alternatives.)

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Excavation

April 22, 2010

Excavation
by Erin Kilmer

he is making a
secret cave
or a basement for a
skyscraper
or a swimming pool
or a pit for
his cars to pile in

yesterday it was
a hideout for
little green army men

today it is
an ocean for
a boat to cross

tomorrow it will be
the beginnings of
a tunnel to China

it could be anything at all
except
just
a

hole

********

written for the April prompt at Cunning Poets Society: dig.

Cupcake Poetry

April 20, 2010

Yesterday at work I involved my darling little cupcakes in writing some poetry, without their knowledge. It is, after all, National Poetry Month. And I knew that if I told them I wanted them to write poems, they would have all freaked out and gotten overwhelmed, because people generally think poetry is something much more complicated than it is.

My plan is to show them these sometime this week and then get them to write their own. We’ll see how it goes.

(For those of you who do not know everything there is to know about me, I work with elementary school children in an after-school program)

We did these out on the playground. I walked around and asked several kids their favorite thing about spring, and used their responses as the titles of the poems. Then I walked around again and just asked random kids to “tell me about _____” or “what do you think about ______?” or “tell me what pops into your head when I say _______.”

I just put each child’s response on a line and viola! Some of them are pretty ridiculous, but there are a couple that I thought were fun. Anyway, I’m just going to share them all because it is a fascinating insight into the minds of children.

Flowers
they are really pretty
happy
beautiful
they grow
how bright they are
roses

It’s Hot
I need water
summer
I don’t know
but I should wear shorts
the sun’s out
it feels good outside

Nothing
I don’t know
plain and blank and white
shrug
just play
pretty boring!

Baseball
you have to hit a ball
it’s a fun game
(can I go to the bathroom now?)
there’s a bat
I like baseball
the best part is you get a jacket

My Birthday
it is awesome
best day ever
I get to go skating
I get cake
and ice cream!
vanilla cake and strawberry

Not Wearing a Coat
when it’s hot out
it’s awesome
–and I got another one–
it’s hot
in the summertime.
Yay!

Aren’t they fun? A little silly but I think they’re cool and I hope to do something similar with my own boys sometime soon. Maybe they will help show the kids that poetry doesn’t have to be arduous.

This next is a set of haiku I produced by walking around and just staring at the kids until they responded. The only thing I edited out was several what?s, because that’s what they pretty much all said to me at first. This makes me giggle, but it might just be me. I’m going to share it anyway.

WHAT?

anymore questions?
sigh. what? please stop following
me Erin. What? Why are

you staring at me?
Your phone’s ringing. Yes? We’re just
picking flowers. Whoa.

She’s looking at me.
Hey Miss Erin. I have a
joke for you. Okay?

April showers bring
May flowers. What do may flow’rs
bring? Pilgrims! How’s that?

Get it? Mayflower?
Oh duh. Okay. I can’t watch
her right now. Erin!

I’m gonna jump off!
Oh. Hello. Whatcha doin’?
Whatcha lookin’ at?

What? What? What? What? What?
Hey Miss Erin. I’m smiling.
I’m climbing a pole.

I am strong. Why are
you just doing that? What are
you doing? tee hee–

We have woodchips. It’s
a letter One. Ha-ha. A
number One. My foot

is out the window.
I’ll be stuck forever. Aaaaah!
What are you looking

At? You’re bored or some-
thing? What are you doing? Ha
ha ha ha ha. What?