The overwhelming majority of my poems rhyme. All of the humorous ones do, as well as some that are more serious. I guess the reason for this is that throughout my life, my inspiration for writing poetry has by and large been Shel Silverstein (primarily his books Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic, and Falling Up). Those books contain a plethora of humorous rhyming poems, and if you haven’t read them already, I would strongly recommend checking them out! (As soon as you’re done enjoying my poetry, of course 😉 ).
He came knocking at my door one night
And asked for a place to stay,
But I, being who I was
Refused him right away.
I kicked him out to the streets that night,
Spat after him in disdain,
Yelled in as loud a voice I could muster,
“Don’t you dare come back again!”
But then, as I turned to go inside,
Something nudged my heart a bit.
And I realized that whatever it was,
I kind of wanted it.
So I opened the door a tiny crack,
Thought I’d be nice, maybe lend him my bed,
But alas, my friend, how stupid I was-
For Opportunity had fled.
* * *
The Entrance to My Mind
I was walking home
From school one day,
When my friends asked me,
“Can you come and play?”
“I’m afraid not,”
I said, looking glum.
“My mind feels as sticky
As a mountain of gum!
“I have too much homework;
My day at school stank.
I have to write about a topic,
But my mind is still blank!”
And with that I trudged home,
Feeling that I wanted to stash
The stupid homework assignment
Right into the trash!
When I arrived at my house,
Amidst all my gloom,
I found a huge surprise
Waiting right in my room.
Well, all it was, was a door
With a sign that read, “Enter.”
But when I opened that door,
I found the greatest adventure.
The place was full of amazing things,
Like unicorns and flying cars.
There was a choir of pears and strawberries,
And fish turning into stars.
What is this place? I wondered.
And a voice suddenly said, “How kind
Of you to come and visit
The entrance to your mind.”
“You mean this is my mind?” I asked in amazement.
“Of course,” the voice said with a grin.
“Your mind is filled with wonderful things,
And that’s how it’s always been.”
And suddenly I understood
What went on in my brain.
No more trouble with a topic, I thought
As purple flowers began to rain.
After thanking the voice I went back to my room,
And immediately started to write
About where my adventures had taken me that day,
And about that enchanting, crazy sight.
So listen to me, and take my advice:
You can do it too.
Just be openminded
And see where that will take you.
December 18, 2007
Dancing With the Leaves
Bright fall leaves are all around me,
To my left and to my right.
Showing off their flashy colors,
It is truly a wonderful sight.
Lemon yellow and pumpkin orange,
Crimson red and chocolate brown.
The curtains part on nature’s stage
And they float gracefully to the ground.
I wish that I could dance with them,
And glide gently on the breeze,
The whistling whisper of the wind
Carrying me through the trees.
The crackling of a smoldering fire
Permeates through the air,
And crisp, rough bits of leaves
Are falling in my hair.
Taking in the autumn scents
And smiling with joy and bliss,
I must admit without a doubt
That fall is truly this.
Gliding through the air on silver wings
Soaring past the trees
Above the clouds, below the ground
Underneath the sea.
Walking on a rainbow
Singing with the rain
Whispering to a waterfall
Riding on a crane.
Sailing on my dream ship
To distant lands afar
Encountering elves and wild beasts
Swinging from a star.
Hanging from gossamer threads
So delicate and fine
Dancing with a moonbeam
Ever so divine.
Chatting with a butterfly
Flying high and free
Yes, this is certainly where
My imagination takes me.
May 1, 2008
*I actually won a contest with this poem. It was published in a high school’s magazine while I was still in seventh grade.
* * *
There’s someone who’s always been there for me,
Ever since I was a little girl.
But I didn’t realize how much I relied on him
Until I matured a little and met the world.
When I was young he was with me no matter what;
If I didn’t need him he’d still be there,
Waiting patiently for me to do something with him,
But I treated him with little care.
I woke up late and watched TV sometimes,
For he was there to stay.
I sat on the couch and lazed about
Just because I was bored that day.
But as I grew older I saw less of him;
He must’ve been too busy for me.
When school got tough and I had homework each night,
He was always an absentee.
Then one night I needed him most;
I had a ten-page paper to write.
I still hadn’t started and it was due the next day,
But he was completely out of sight.
He came back to me briefly in the morning,
Just to stop for a quick hello.
But all too soon he was gone again,
Or maybe I was just too slow.
I came home from school that day,
And I swear he was right there.
But I dozed off for what felt like a moment,
And when I awoke I couldn’t find him anywhere.
It was late at night when I tried to sleep,
Tossing and turning in my bed.
Finally I was in a deep slumber,
Only to wake up and find that he’d fled.
When college began I needed him more;
Why did he keep disappearing?
He was all I needed at that point;
He was the only one I found endearing.
With each passing day I looked worse and worse
Because he was never with me enough.
My eyes in the morning were puffy and red,
And times began to get rough.
Then at some point in our relationship,
He moved out entirely.
Yet I looked for him everywhere;
I hoped he wasn’t cheating on me.
And just like that he was my enemy;
I was working against him now.
Who would win? He or I?
Losing was something I wouldn’t allow.
Oh, I’d humiliate him all right!
I’d show him what I could do.
If he wouldn’t be with me, then so what?
I wouldn’t mope around feeling blue.
I began to do things faster and faster,
Determined that I should win.
Oh, he’d never beat me in this race!
And slowly, I began to grin.
I worked really hard and then one day,
Who should come knocking at my door
But he, himself! And he said humbly,
“If you still want me, then I’m all yours.”
I embraced him tightly right away,
For suddenly I knew it had been my neglect.
How could I ever expect him to stay
If I treated him with disrespect?
I realized at that moment
That he was more precious than a freshwater pearl.
And if I didn’t regard him with what he was worth,
Then I wouldn’t survive in this world.
I buried my face in his shoulder;
I’d never belittle him ever again.
I’d never forget how valuable he was,
For Time was once more my friend.
December 19, 2010
I was working in the garden,
Sweating hard, like crazy!
The sun beat down upon my back,
My vision getting hazy.
My arms were sore from pulling weeds;
I sat down a moment to rest.
And the events that followed after that—
You never would have guessed!
Right about then I said aloud
To nobody specifically,
“These weeds are so ridiculous;
They annoy me so terrifically!
“I wish that they would go away;
I want my garden to be weed-free.
I’m sick of pulling them all day long;
I wish they’d stop annoying me!”
At first nothing happened;
It stayed a perfectly normal day.
I went to bed and that was that;
I had nothing more to say.
But when I walked outside next morning,
Blinking in the bright light,
I simply couldn’t believe my eyes—
Not a weed in sight!
It wasn’t possible; it couldn’t be happening!
But yet it was plain as could be.
There weren’t any weeds at all,
As far as I could see.
I sat down for a moment,
Not quite sure what to do.
Then I walked around the garden
Where not a single weed grew.
I admired the garden from all angles,
Felt giddy from happiness.
I couldn’t believe this lucky turn of events;
No more weeds causing stress!
At first I was filled with naught but joy,
But as I walked around some more,
I began to feel a little strange,
As though I were lacking some sort of chore.
The garden just looked too perfect!
It wasn’t natural, as it should be.
Each flower stayed in its proper place,
And the lack of weeds annoyed me!
The garden was flawless in every possible way;
There was no gardening to do.
My pruners were useless and so was my shovel
In this garden where everything so perfectly grew.
I sat down in the grass at that point
And punched a tree trunk with my fist.
I couldn’t believe what I was thinking,
But it was those darn weeds that I missed!
Then realization dawned upon me,
And I began to see the light.
My face burned in humiliation
Because I understood the truth, all right.
No garden is supposed to be orderly or neat
Because what every garden truly needs
Is an enthusiastic gardener
And lots and lots of weeds!
June 19, 2011
Writing is like opening a hidden door
And unleashing a spark within
Pouring out a message for others to read
About things that you’ve seen or places you’ve been
But writing isn’t just a flurry of ideas
Or soft little flakes of inspiration
You must ruthlessly revise and tear your work apart
And work to perfect your creation
Though it’s sometimes hard work to write something worth reading
Though that spark may have trouble staying lit
I can attest to this one simple fact—
By the end it will have been worth it.
January 30, 2012
It comes mostly at night,
When it knows you are silent and sleeping.
It comes mostly at night,
Crawling, creaking, creeping.
It comes in the form of many things;
It is the report card you struggled to hide.
It is the lies you told and the excuses you made up;
It is the tales you crafted to save your pride.
It is the things you stole late that night
When you thought no one was there to see.
It is the tests you cheated on and the homework you copied;
It is everything you shouldn’t be.
It comes mostly at night,
When reality doesn’t seem true.
It comes mostly at night,
The guilt that will forever haunt you.
February 13, 2012
To be perfect is to know you’re not,
To accept your faults and just be strong.
To realize that though you’re not always right,
You’re also not always wrong.
Perfection is a bird with a broken wing;
One that never stops trying and so never fails.
One that longs to feel the cool breeze on its feathers
And will keep trying until it prevails.
Perfection is the person who may not always succeed,
But is constantly doing his best.
Perfection is a way of looking at things;
It’s certainly not a test.
January 13, 2012
When I was in preschool,
Just four years old,
They wanted me to color,
But I wouldn’t do as I was told.
I still remember the picture;
It was a happy dinosaur.
But I just didn’t feel
Like being perfect anymore.
So I took a pack of crayons,
And I scribbled with glee.
They couldn’t keep me in the lines;
I wanted to be free.
Even at the age of four,
I refused to conform.
I guess it’s not always best
To blend in with the norm.
January 9, 2012
Walking along the uneven ground
The grass below and the sky above
As the icy wind lashes my face
There is a lot that I’m thinking of
I see before me a tree, tall and strong
Its leaves gone and its branches bare
While the crisp cool breeze of winter
Runs a playful finger through my hair
I can feel the rough ground beneath me
I like the crunch of stepping on ice
But though I like nature the way it is
A little more snow would be nice.
January 3, 2012
The Green Voice
Mama tucked me into bed;
I lay cozy, warm, and snug
As she kissed me gently on my head
And left after a final hug.
As soon as she turned off the lights
And walked out of my room,
What should appear beside my bed?
A gigantic red mushroom!
At once, my eyes widened in shock
And grew still larger in surprise
When a door emerged from the side of the mushroom
Before my very eyes.
I’m serious! Really!
Believe me; it’s true!
I was stuck there fairly stunned,
Not knowing what to do.
And then, as if things
Couldn’t possibly get stranger,
The door opened up,
And I was in danger.
At least that’s what the elf said—
The one who popped through the door.
He told me to leave immediately
And warned me not to explore.
But I didn’t listen to him,
For the way it seemed to me–
He’d come into my room!
For what reason should I flee?
So I carefully crept out of bed
And tiptoed towards the fungus.
The elf followed behind me, muttering,
“There’ll be trouble among us.”
We emerged into a desert land
That was dry and smelled of smoke.
But before I could complain,
A mysterious voice spoke.
“What curious young soul
Has dared to invade
The land of the forgotten,
The abandoned, and preyed?”
“Um… me, I guess,”
I responded, perplexed.
“Silence!” the voice commanded;
It seemed rather vexed.
“Let me do the talking,
And give you an explanation
Of our land’s distressing history
And why we’re in this situation.
“It all began
When the people arrived.
People like you,
Who only care to survive.
“This place used to be
A forest, you know.
One where plants
Could prosper and grow.
“But you stupid people
Had to cut down all our trees!
For paper, and furniture!
And you didn’t plant any new seeds!
“So that is why
You see today
This rotting old place
Of disgust and decay.”
The voice finished its story,
Nearly in tears,
While I thought of how we’d been
Cutting trees down for years.
“I’m sorry,” I said finally,
As I watched my fellow elf.
He was meandering along steadily
While mumbling to himself.
“Wait!” I called to him,
“I need to go back to where I’m from!
I don’t want to be stuck here
For many years to come!”
“Hold on!” cried the voice,
“I’ll help you go back
If you inform your people of this loss
So no more trees are attacked!”
“Yes, I promise,” I said,
And suddenly, BOOM!
With a rumble and a flash,
I was back in my room.
“Wow…” I murmured,
As I stumbled across the floor.
Although I was bewildered and dazed,
My journey was impossible to ignore.
Lying on my bed,
Wondering if my adventure did exist,
I realized there was probably a lesson
To be learned from all of this.
June 15, 2009
* * *
As I stepped into a painted world
The colors all around me swirled
And I could see as if in a dream
An eternally flowing, twisting stream
I called to it, without truly knowing
The power of that water flowing
It rose up as if in anger or fear
But did not retreat; instead it came near
I whispered to it my troubles and worries
That whirled around my mind in fury
It listened ever so patiently
Full of compassion and sympathy
“Tell me what to do,” I said
But it refused to; instead
In a gravelly voice full of care
It whispered, “Your heart is always there.”
As I tried to make sense of these strange words
All around me that stream whirled
And I realized it with a sudden jolt
Like a swift, shocking lightning bolt
The power to decide lies with me
No one else can speak for the way I see
I have to learn to form opinions on my own
And slowly, I realized how I have grown
Before I was young; an innocent child
Now I’m a young woman, no longer mild
I cannot rely on hiding behind another
Can no longer depend solely on my mother
The stream swirled around me still
And I knew that I couldn’t relax until
My worries and problems were solved; it’s true
But the flame of hope had been kindled anew
So I stepped out of that painted world
For a brand new path had been unfurled
A freedom of choice had settled in my heart
And was seen not as a burden, but as a fresh start.
November 19, 2010
* * *
I was about to turn on the TV one day,
When suddenly I thought
About all those wonderful books
That I’d gone to the store and bought.
Should I let them lie in a corner all day?
With dust from cover to cover?
Or should I go over and read them?
Well, I never was a book lover.
Eh, I’ll give it a try, I thought.
And I turned around to look.
Then I ran over to the sofa
And opened the nearest book.
I experienced a whoosh of imagination,
Something I had never felt before.
It definitely wasn’t a bad feeling,
And all of a sudden I wanted more.
“Time for dinner!” my mom called.
But I didn’t even look up or glance.
I just couldn’t stop reading!
It was like some sort of trance.
Well, I learned a lesson:
Reading beats TV anytime.
But I’m thinking of becoming a poet.
After all, I can rhyme.
February 1, 2006
*I entered this poem in a contest hosted by Scholastic when I was in elementary school. Though I didn’t win, I received a letter saying my poem was one of the top poems they’d received and that they had considered it strongly when deciding on the winner.
All In a Night
The night was dark and silent; I pulled my blankets up to my face.
In my bed, I lay quite still, unaware of what was to take place.
Suddenly, with a wild whoosh, my window opened wide.
The frosty air lashed my face, and I hurried to look outside.
Just beyond my window, perched on a maple tree,
Was an eagle the size of a dragon, her head turned towards me.
She bade me to jump on her back, and I did so without further ado.
In a moment, she was in the air, soaring gracefully and true.
The wind licked my cheeks with its icy tongue, and blew me a bitter kiss,
As she swooped down towards a national park, and said, “Take a look at this.”
The grandeur was clear despite the dark, and as I inhaled the fresh, clean air,
I could not help but notice things to which nothing could compare.
The trees under which one could read a book, on a gorgeous summer day,
The wide expanse of soft green grass where children laugh and play.
As I began to take in the beauty, the eagle said quietly to me,
“Have you really seen America? Do you know your own country?”
She took me over rolling hills, deep valleys and vast plains.
Then she flew me over a city, with cars and buses and trains.
I was mesmerized by the dazzling lights, but the eagle pointed out to me,
“Do you see that college over there? And that university?
“Do you realize what sort of land America is? It is a land of opportunity.
It’s a land where each person is free to follow his dream, a land where you can be what you want to be.”
Then we glided over a house where a party was taking place.
In the lawn, bright lights were strung, and each guest was of a different race.
“America is a land of diversity,” the eagle said softly.
“We accept people of all different cultures; we treat them equally.”
With that, she beat her powerful wings and soared high into the sky.
She showed me the majestic America, while my heart swelled with pride.
All through the night we traveled, and when the sun began to rise,
She said, “There’s one more thing to see before we say good-bye.”
She dove down without warning, so I closed my eyes quite tight.
But then she whispered, “Open them.” So I did– and smiled at the sight.
Before me, the star spangled banner billowed gently in the breeze.
So bold and brave and beautiful, representing the country of shining seas.
“I understand it now,” I murmured, “I see what you wanted me to see.
There’s nothing like America, and I am proud of my country.”
*You can probably guess I wrote this poem for a contest with a specific theme: “There’s nothing like America.” While the America presented in the poem is a bit of an idealized version, I think love for one’s country is really important, and though it’s not perfect, I do feel proud to be living in America.