Reading Level: Grade 4

Poems suitable for reading by 9-10 year olds.

To Some It’s Known as Halloween

To some it’s known as “Halloween,”
or else “All Hallows Eve.”
To some it’s simply “Dress Up Day,”
a time for make believe.

And some folks call it “Trick or Treat,”
when ghosts and witches play.
To others it’s the night before
the day called “All Saints Day.”

It’s got so many different names,
but this is what I say:
To me October thirty-first
is called “Free Candy Day.”

The Dragons of Monster Town

The dragons run the fire department
down in Monster Town.
They’re Johnny-on-the-spot
when there’s a building burning down.

They carry ropes and hoses.
They have buckets full of sand,
which, every afternoon, they practice
passing hand to hand.

They’ve got a truck and ladder,
and a siren they can blare.
They’ve even got protective hats
and boots and underwear.

But every time that there’s a fire
they stand around and pout.
Unfortunately, dragons stink
at putting fires OUT.

My Brother’s Not a Werewolf


My brother’s not a werewolf
though it often looks that way.
He has to shave his whiskers
almost every single day.

His feet are getting furry
and his hands are sprouting hair.
His voice is deep and growling
like a grumpy grizzly bear.

He often sleeps throughout the day
and stays up half the night.
And if you saw the way he eats
you’d surely scream in fright.

His clothes are ripped and dirty
like the stuff a werewolf wears.
His socks and shirts are shredded
and his pants have countless tears.

If you should ever meet him
you’ll discover what I mean.
My brother’s not a werewolf;
he’s just turning seventeen.

To Learn to Juggle Prickly Pears

To learn to juggle prickly pears
can take a lot of practice.
It takes a thousand shrieks and swears
to learn to juggle cactus.

Just try to juggle porcupines!
You’re guaranteed to scream.
Anemones with all their spines
are equally extreme.

To stop the painful pokes and stings
you must get metal mittens
or else just juggle fluffy things.
That’s why I juggle kittens.

Mr. Brown the Circus Clown


Mr. Brown, the circus clown
puts his clothes on upside down.
He wears his hat upon his toes
and socks and shoes upon his nose.

He ties his ties around his thighs
and wraps his belt around his eyes.
He hangs his earrings from his hips
and stockings from his fingertips.

He puts his glasses on his feet
and shirt and coat around his seat.
And when he’s dressed, at last he stands
and walks around upon his hands.

My Puppy Plays Piano

My puppy plays piano.
It’s the strangest thing to see.
It seems, while I was practicing,
he learned by watching me.

He started out on chopsticks,
then he learned to play some Bach.
It wasn’t long before he knew
the blues and classic rock.

He also taught my kitten how
so they could play duets,
and then they taught guitar and drums
to all my other pets.

They formed a band and practiced hard
and traveled all around,
and instantly got famous
for their catchy “Pet Rock” sound.

They made a smash hit record
and it wasn’t very long
before my pets were millionaires
because they wrote this song.

Our Family Picnic

My family went out on a picnic.
We lugged all our stuff to the park.
As soon as we’d spread out our blanket
it promptly got rainy and dark.

And while we were watching our napkins
and plates blow away in the breeze,
we all got attacked by mosquitoes
and plagued and tormented by bees.

Our sodas were slurped up by insects.
Our burgers were eaten by ants
which, once they were done with our lunches,
decided to crawl up our pants.

We couldn’t hold out any longer.
We ran screaming madly away
and left all our stuff to the insects
and rain that had ruined our day.

So next time we’ll go to the movies,
or maybe just go to the mall.
That last time we went on a picnic
was really no picnic at all.

The Stockings Were Hung

The stockings were hung
by the chimney with care –
I had worn them all week,
and they needed the air.

My underwear, too,
were in need of a spritz,
but the washer and dryer
were both on the fritz.

On washer! On dryer!
The switches are busted,
congealed, corroded
and totally rusted.

I tried hard to fix them.
I tried, and I failed.
So then up on the mantel
those stockings were nailed.

They hung there all year
and then low and behold –
Santa filled them with riches
much better than gold.

In each of the stockings
that hung in the air
was a check for the
washer and dryer repair.

Too Many Chickens

My chickens all had chicks
and I’ve got more than I can keep.
Perhaps you’d like to purchase one?
They’re cheap, cheap, cheep!

Gilman Glum

Gilman Glum

When Gilman Glum would suck his thumb,
he’d claim, “It’s just the best!
It’s simply incontestable.
I’ve put it to the test.

“I’ve sucked the thumbs of kings and queens,
of presidents and popes.
I’ve sucked the thumbs of geniuses
and even those of dopes.

“The taste is so delectable.
No other thumb compares.
I’ve tried the thumbs of beggared bums
and multi-millionaires.

“I’ve tasted thumbs from far away
and thumbs from right next door;
from San Francisco, Santa Fe,
and even Singapore.

“I tried a few from Kathmandu
and Norway and Nepal.
Yes, when it comes to sucking thumbs
I’m sure I’ve tried them all.

“If ever you could try it too
I’m sure that you’d agree.
But, sadly though you’ll never know;
my thumb is just for me.”