Category: Podcast

I Got a New Laptop for Christmas – Podcast Episode

I have a couple of cats, and they both love to sit on my lap. Whenever I’m watching TV or playing a video game, one of my cats will jump up on my lap and go to sleep. Sometimes, they both sit on my lap at the same time!

Over the past few months, I have been referring to them as my “laptops” because they are so often on top of my lap. So it occurred to me that perhaps I could write a poem about getting a new “laptop” that was not a computer. I hope you enjoy it.

I Got a New Laptop for Christmas

I got a new “laptop” for Christmas.
It’s awesome and couldn’t be cuter.
It isn’t a regular laptop.
It isn’t some kind of computer.

This laptop’s not battery-powered.
It’s missing a keyboard and screen.
It doesn’t connect to the wi-fi.
It’s not some device or machine.

And, yet, I’m in love with my laptop.
You might even say that I’m smitten.
I asked for a laptop for Christmas,
so Santa Claus brought me a kitten.

—Kenn Nesbitt

Sleeping Santa – Podcast Episode

This Christmas poem is all about an “idiom.” In case you don’t know, an idiom is an expression whose meaning is not predictable from the words used. For example, to “kick the bucket” means to die, and to “let the cat out of the bag” means to reveal a secret. If you were just learning English, you might not be able to decipher the meanings of these expressions and would need to look them up or have someone explain them to you.

Many times, I will take a common idiom and base a poem around the fact that it might have multiple meanings; both the literal meaning of the words and the actual meaning of the expression.

In this poem, the idiom I used is the very last line of the poem, and the humor is in the fact that it has two different meanings, depending on how you look at it.

If you would like to read more poems that use common idioms, have a look at the “Poems by Poetic Technique” page on poetry4kids.com.

Sleeping Santa

I woke this Christmas morning
and, much to my surprise,
a sleeping, snoring Santa Claus
was there before my eyes.

It seems he was exhausted
from staying up all night,
delivering his presents on
a long and tiring flight.

He made it to our fireplace,
before he fell asleep,
but couldn’t take another step
and crumpled in a heap.

And there he slumbered soundly.
He slept the night away,
until I came upon him on
in the hearth on Christmas day.

My puppy started barking.
My sister gave a yell.
But Santa didn’t hear a thing
as far as I could tell.

He didn’t feel me shake him.
He didn’t hear the dog.
So Santa’s at our house this morning,
sleeping like a log.

—Kenn Nesbitt

Funny iPhone poem for kids My iPhone Did My Homework – Podcast Episode

If you’ve ever talked to an assistant on a mobile device, like Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant, you probably know that it doesn’t always understand what you are saying as well as you would like. And, often, when you type on a phone or tablet, the autocorrect feature can make some pretty bizarre mistakes.

I was thinking about this the other day and I wondered what would happen if you tried to get Siri to do your homework problems for you. Would she understand your questions and give you correct answers, or would she occasionally make crazy errors? What if every answer was wrong, and yet you wrote them down anyway?

That was where the idea for this poem came from. Of course, even though this is an exaggeration that would never happen in real life, I recommend you do your own homework rather than relying on your phone to do it for you, just in case.

My iPhone Did My Homework

My iPhone did my homework.
I simply talked to Siri.
I read her all the problems
and she answered every query.

I asked her, “What is five times twelve?”
She answered, “Allentown.”
Her answer seemed suspicious
but I shrugged and wrote it down.

I asked her, “Who’s the President
or leader of Peru?”
She answered, “Forty seven,”
so I wrote that one down too.

I asked her ten more questions,
and she answered every one.
Her answers seemed bizarre
but I was glad to have it done.

It seems that Siri’s not too smart,
or maybe slightly deaf.
I turned my homework in today
and got big, red “F.”

I guess, for homework,
Siri’s not the best to call upon.
I’ll only let Alexa
do my homework from now on.

—Kenn Nesbitt

Thank You, Thanksgiving by Kenn Nesbitt Thank You, Thanksgiving – Podcast Episode

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. As a kid, my family would spend all morning cooking, and then eat ridiculous amounts of dinner and dessert early in the afternoon. The house smelled wonderful from all the cooking, and we got to spend the entire day together as a family.

In fact, Thanksgiving and Christmas are the only days I remember eating so much my stomach would hurt. You see, we didn’t often have dessert in my house, but on Thanksgiving we always had several different kinds of pies; apple, pumpkin, mincemeat, and sometimes cherry and pecan. So, even after a feast of turkey, potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and more, I would still try to make room for at least two pieces of pie.

When I was young, I never thought much about the “being thankful” part of Thanksgiving. As an adult, however, I realize just how much I had to be thankful for then and how much I have to be thankful for now. My family was and is happy and healthy, and we always had enough to eat. Not everyone is so lucky.

I hope, this Thanksgiving, that you have plenty to be thankful for, including a delicious meal and the love of your family, and I hope you enjoy this little poem I wrote to help you celebrate the holiday.

Thank You, Thanksgiving

Thank you, Thanksgiving.
We’re glad that you’re here.
You ring in this season
of holiday cheer.

You give us a day to
express gratitude
with family and friends and
a whole bunch of food;

with turkey and gravy
and green beans and hams
and cranberry sauce
and potatoes and yams.

Regarding desserts
you are second to none.
So, thank you, Thanksgiving!
You’re festive and fun.

But, mostly, Thanksgiving,
you’re totally cool
because you’re a couple
of days off from school.

—Kenn Nesbitt

My Flat Cat - A funny animal/pets poem by Kenn Nesbitt My Flat Cat – Podcast Episode

When I talk to kids, one question they often ask me is if any of my poems are true? That is, they want to know if any of the things I write about actually happened. Of course, I tell them, “No.” My poems are all fiction, meaning I just made them up.

However, many of my poems are based on something real. For example, I wrote this poem because of my cat, Sancho. Sancho is a kitten, just a couple of months old, and when he’s not playing or chasing our other cats around the house, he likes to stretch out for a nap.

My cat Sancho

A few weeks ago, was thinking about a sleeping cat, and about words that rhyme with cat like “flat” and “mat,” when I came up with the beginning of this poem. After that, I wasn’t sure what else should happen, so I set it aside for a few weeks.

When I finally figured out what else should happen to my flat cat, I sat down and wrote the rest of the poem. I hope you enjoy it.

My Flat Cat

I have a cat.
My cat is flat.
He sleeps beneath
the bathroom mat.

He slides around
upon the ground
without the slightest
striding sound.

He only eats
the flattest meats
and thin and wispy
kitty treats.

He once was fat
but now my cat
is totally,
completely flat.

He got so slim,
so flat and trim
the day my Great Dane
sat on him.

I Finished My Homework poem by Kenn Nesbitt I Finished My Homework – Podcast Episode

Do you ever feel like your teacher assigns way too much homework? Do you wish it didn’t take so long, or that there was an easier way to do it?

My book When the Teacher Isn’t Looking contains about 50 poems about all the silly things that happen at school, including Homework, I Love YouMy Dog Does My HomeworkMy Computer Ate My Homework, and this one.

Of course, it’s not likely you have so much homework that you have to stay up all night to do it. So, this poem is a bit of an exaggeration. But, even though you probably never get as much homework as the kid in this poem, it may feel like it sometimes. You may not be able to change how much homework your teacher assigns, but what you can do is laugh at it. I hope this poem helps.

I Finished My Homework

I finished my homework.
It took me all night.
I tried to make sure
I got everything right.

I read every chapter
the teacher assigned.
My eyes grew so bleary
I nearly went blind.

I studied each problem
until my eyes burned.
Researched each detail,
leaving no stone unturned.

I finished my reading
and got out my pen
and pulled up a chair
at my desk in the den.

I answered each question.
I checked every one.
I wrote out my essays.
At last I was done.

By eight in the morning
I’d run out of fuel.
I packed up my backpack
and headed to school.

I handed the teacher
my homework, and then
I noticed, embarrassed,
I’d used the wrong pen.

The teacher looked puzzled.
I felt my heart sink.
I’d used my trick pen
with invisible ink.

— Kenn Nesbitt

My Mother Drives Me Everywhere – Podcast Episode

Do you walk to school? Ride your bike? Take the bus? Or does your mom drive you to school?

Where else does she drive you? Do you play a sport or take lessons after school? If you want to go to the store to buy something, does she drive you there?

When I was a kid, I almost always walked to school or rode my bike. In fact, I think my mom only drove me to school or picked me up from school once or twice the whole time I was growing up.

Now and then she would drive me and my brothers to the movies or something else we wanted to do, but most of the time we would still walk, ride our bikes, or take the bus.

When I grew up and had kids of my own, my wife and I found out just how much time parents spend driving their kids places. We even jokingly called her car “Mom’s Taxi Service” because she was constantly driving the kids somewhere.

I’m not saying you need to walk everywhere instead of asking your mom for a ride to soccer practice or the mall, but I am saying that you probably shouldn’t whine if she says no. And when she does give you a ride, it’s a good idea to remember to say thank you.

My Mother Drives Me Everywhere

My mother drives me everywhere.
She drives me to my school.
She drives me to my football practice
and the swimming pool.

She drives me to piano lessons,
and my English tutor.
She drives me to the mall to get
new games for my computer.

She’d rather that I rode my bike,
or walked, or took the bus.
But if she doesn’t drive me
I just whine and make a fuss.

I’d get around without her but
I’m really much too lazy.
My mother drives me everywhere
and I just drive her crazy.

—Kenn Nesbitt

Chocolate for Breakfast – Podcast Episode

I love chocolate. Don’t you? I mean, doesn’t everybody? When I was a kid, my favorite Halloween treats were always chocolate candy bars like Hershey’s, Snickers, and Three Musketeers. After Halloween night, I always ate those ones first. After a few days, all that was left were the candies I didn’t like.

I’ve heard that chocolate is healthy, but I have no idea if that’s true or not. In any case, I’m pretty sure it’s not healthy to eat nothing but chocolate for a week.

If you like chocolate as much as I do, I hope you enjoy this poem. I also hope you make sure to eat your fruits and veggies and other healthy foods after Halloween.

Chocolate for Breakfast

Chocolate for breakfast.
Chocolate for lunch.
Chocolate for dinner.
Chocolate for brunch.

Chocolate on Saturday,
chocolate on Sunday,
and nothing but chocolate
the whole day on Monday.

On Tuesday and Wednesday
it’s chocolate galore.
On Thursday and Friday
I eat even more.

I know it’s not healthy;
that’s totally clear.
But, still, I go nuts in
November each year.

And there’s not a fruit
or a veggie in sight
at least for a week
after Halloween night.

—Kenn Nesbitt

On Halloween Night – Podcast Episode

There’s a word game I like to play now and then called “Change One Letter.” The object of the game is to change a word, one letter at a time, to make it morph into a completely different word. Each time you change a letter, the result must still be a real word.

For example, if I wanted to change the word NOSE into HAND, I could do it by changing NOSE to NONE, NONE to BONE, BONE to BANE, BANE to BAND, and, finally, BAND to HAND. If you would like to try this with any pair of four-letter words, try this Multi-Word Morph tool on wordplays.com.

I find it interesting how many words in English are just one letter different. While thinking about writing a Halloween poem, I noticed that the words “lemon” and “demon” are spelled the same except for the first letter. So, thinking about demons got me thinking about lemons.

At first, I thought it might be funny if someone dressed up as a lemon, thinking they were dressing as a scary demon, but I couldn’t find a way to make that work as a poem. As I continued thinking about demons and lemons, I was reminded of the old expression, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”

Change a couple of letters and, presto!, you’ve got a whole new saying, perfect for a Halloween poem.

On Halloween Night

A couple of demons,
on Halloween night,
showed up on my doorstep
to give me a fright.

I smiled when I saw them.
I gave them a wink,
and handed them each
a delicious, cold drink.

You might think it’s weird
but I wasn’t afraid.
When life gives me demons
I make demonade.

—Kenn Nesbitt

An Ogre Came Over for Dinner – Podcast Episode

Every October, I love to write a few monster poems and Halloween poems. This one is a fun little story about what would happen if an ogre came to your house for dinner.

When I write, I often like to play with the rhythm of the words and the rhyme scheme of the poem. If you look at each stanza, you’ll see that the rhythm is the same as that of a limerick, and the rhyme scheme is almost the same as a limerick, except that the first line doesn’t rhyme with the second and fifth lines. This is the same rhyme scheme and rhythm I recently used in a poem called “I Washed Our Dad’s Car,” which I describe as “almost a limerick.”

If you are interested in how poems are written, you might also notice several other poetic techniques I used in this poem, such as alliteration and onomatopoeia.

But, mainly, I just hope you enjoy the story and remember to never let an ogre in your house, even if they bring you cake and ice cream.

An Ogre Came Over for Dinner

An ogre came over for dinner.
He showed up with ice cream and cake.
We thought, “It can’t hurt,
since he brought us dessert,”
so we asked him to join us for steak.

He crushed the first chair that he sat on.
He busted the table in two.
He ranted and raved
and was badly behaved,
like a rhino escaped from the zoo.

He smashed every plate in the kitchen.
He shattered each saucer and cup.
He broke every bowl.
He was out of control
as he ran around tearing things up.

He broke all the beds in our bedrooms.
He even demolished a door.
He cracked all the walls
in the stairways and halls,
and he left several holes in the floor.

And when he was done causing damage,
although we all wanted to scream,
he said, “That was fun
but I really must run.
I hope you enjoy the ice cream.”

—Kenn Nesbitt