Reading Level: Grade 5

Poems suitable for reading by 10-11 year olds.

Gordon’s Garden

Gordon’s garden’s started growing
unexpected things,
and though it sounds unusual
they all have beaks and wings.

His garden grew a hummingbird,
a heron, and a hawk,
a pelican, a parakeet,
a pigeon, and an auk.

It grew a cuckoo and a crow,
an ostrich and an owl,
an eagle and an egret
and assorted other fowl.

A mockingbird, an oriole,
a chicken and a duck.
It’s fun to watch his garden grow,
and chirp, and flap, and cluck.

It turns out growing gardens
full of birds is not so hard,
and Gordon got his crop
by planting birdseed in the yard.

Banana Dan

In the middle of the jungle,
in the tallest of the trees,
there’s a monkey named Banana Dan
who’s quaking on his knees.

It’s a sad and sorry story
but it’s one that must be told,
as it used to be Banana Dan
was confident and bold.

He was once the monkey master
of a half a dozen sports.
When he played the game of basketball
he used to rule the courts.

He could not be beat at racquetball
or bowling or lacrosse.
When it came to golf or volleyball
Banana Dan was boss.

And whenever he would win a game
bananas were the prize.
Yes, a hundred ripe bananas,
and you should have seen his eyes.

He would never take his winnings
and he wouldn’t even stay,
but instead Banana Dan would
always scream and run away.

Now he doesn’t drive or dribble,
and he doesn’t shoot and score,
and you’ll never see him playing
in the jungle anymore.

He just sits up in his treetop
where he’ll whimper and he’ll pout,
as he has bananaphobia;
bananas freak him out.

Computer Boot

When I powered my computer on today
it wouldn’t boot,
so I tapped it just a little
but it still would not compute.

So I thumped a little harder
hoping that would make it go.
When it didn’t help, I hit it with
an even bigger blow.

Then I punched it half a dozen times
which wasn’t very smart,
for my knuckles hurt like heck
but my computer didn’t start.

So I whacked it with a hammer
and I knocked it over flat,
and I probably should not have clubbed it
with my baseball bat.

But at least I needn’t fret about
it booting anymore,
since I booted my computer
down the stairs and out the door.

Speedy Sid

Speedy Sid, the racing squid,
has never lost a race.
The way he swims with all those limbs
ensures a lightning pace.

He’s chased a flounder all around,
competed with an eel,
and raced a ray across the bay,
and even beat a seal.

And every place he’s had a race
you’ll see he’s been around,
for Speedy Sid, the racing squid,
leaves squid marks on the ground.

A Kangaroo At London Zoo

A kangaroo at London Zoo
would bound around the grounds
until she’d drop and have to stop
when she ran out of bounds.

From the Ants in Our Petnuia Bed

(to the tune of “The Marine’s Hymn” or “From the Halls of Montezuma”)

From the ants in our petunia bed
to the earthworms in our lawn;
they’ve been practicing karate drills
every morning right at dawn.

All the beetles and the katydids
and the caterpillars, too,
have been learning judo, tae kwon do,
sumo wrestling, and kung fu.

They’ve been mastering the flying kick.
They’ve been breaking bricks and boards.
And I think they may have even learned
how to fight with ninja swords.

They’ve been marching all around the yard
to the sound of beating drums.
I would say they’re nearly ready for
when the pest control guy comes.

My Kiwi Is the Captain

My kiwi is the captain
of a supersonic plane
that doesn’t fly to Switzerland,
or Singapore, or Spain.

It doesn’t fly to Jordan,
or Jamaica, or Japan,
or Serbia, Somalia,
Samoa, or Sudan.

It doesn’t fly to Nicaragua,
Norway, or Nepal.
It’s safe to say it doesn’t fly
to anywhere at all.

But that’s the way it goes
when you’re a kiwi, as you’ve heard.
It’s true that he’s a pilot
but he’s still a flightless bird.

Toby the Snowboarding Doberman

Toby the snowboarding Doberman Pinscher
is king of the freestyling dogs.
Toby can turn and McTwist in the halfpipe,
and ollie off boxes and logs.

No other Doberman’s ever been known
who can slalom and slide on a rail.
Never before has a dog been discovered
to cartwheel and back-flip and flail.

Toby can even leap into the air
and then spin through a 360 flip.
Sadly his talents are never enough
that they’ll win him a championship.

True, he’s the world’s only snowboarding Doberman,
still, I expect you’ll agree,
no one has ever been given a prize
when they’re stopping to sniff every tree.

When Pigs Fly

I’ve heard it said that pigs will fly
and someday soon they’ll rule the sky.
That may sound strange but, if it’s right,
I don’t suppose they’ll fly a kite.
I’ll bet, instead, they’ll have to train
so they can learn to fly a plane,
or join the Navy where they’ll get
to learn to fly a fighter jet.

Or maybe they’ll grow piggy wings,
or put on shoes with giant springs,
or fly in huge hot-air balloons,
or seaplanes with those big pontoons,
or biplanes like a flying ace,
or shuttles into outer space,
or rocket ships for trips to Mars,
or flying saucers to the stars.

However pigs decide to fly,
as long as they are way up high
and busy buzzing all around
instead of grunting on the ground,
I think it’s safe to say I’ll love
to see them soaring up above.
I’m sure I won’t be shocked or shaken.
Still, I’ll prob’ly miss the bacon.

Frog Ball

In summertime, and through the fall,
whenever frogs are playing ball,
it’s normally a boring show,
for frogs do not know how to throw,
or bat, or steal, or slide, or run,
which means their games are never fun.

Instead, they simply sit around
the outfield and the pitcher’s mound
and hope that someone hits the ball
and sends it sailing toward the wall,
for this should come as no surprise:
They’re always good at catching flies.