Reading Level: Grade 6

Poems suitable for reading by 11-12 year olds.

While Strolling Down the Beach Today

While strolling down the beach today
I came upon a lamp.
It was dusty, it was dirty,
it was dingy, it was damp.

It appeared that all it needed
to restore it was a scrub,
so I dug it from the salty sand
and gave a little rub.

In a moment it was glistening.
Then, right before my eyes
there appeared a purple genie
of incalculable size.

He was massive and magnificent
and glorious and grand,
and he bowed and said dramatically,
“Your wish is my command.”

It was then I did the stupid thing
I now regret I did,
for I know I’ll never be again
an ordinary kid.

I considered just a moment,
then I looked him in the eye
and I asked that giant genie,
“Would you please make me a pie?”

Fernando the Fearless

We’re truly in awe of
Fernando the Fearless
who needed no net
for the flying trapeze.

Alas, what a shame
it’s surpisingly difficult
catching a bar
in the midst of a sneeze.

Traditional Christmas

We have a traditional family,
so Christmas is always the same;
we hang up spaghetti and doughnuts
and break out the Slip-N-Slide game.

We stand in the tub in our costumes
of pickles and papier-mache.
We sing “Old MacDonald” til noontime
then practice our indoor croquet.

We gather in front of the toaster
to bask in its radiant glow
while dining on frozen carnations
and filling our pockets with snow.

The highlight is juggling toothpicks
till Grandma gets poked in the eye.
While waiting to hear from the doctor,
we bake a banana cream pie.

Then lastly we put on our helmets
and posture in silly positions.
It’s fun to be part of a family
with so many Christmas traditions.

What to Do With a Dinosaur

This morning a dinosaur tromped into school,
ferocious, atrocious, and dripping with drool.
He had to be practically twenty feet tall,
and banged around looking something to maul.

He stomped and he snorted, he bellowed and roared.
His head hit the ceiling and busted a board.
That beast was undoubtedly ready for lunch.
He snatched up a chair in his teeth with a crunch,

Then stopped for a moment and thoughtfully chewed;
it seems he had smelled cafeteria food.
He spit out the splinters and plowed down the hall,
his tail swinging wildly and smashing the wall.

He burst through the doors of the lunchroom to see
the lunch ladies clutching their hair nets to flee.
He found the lasagna and gobbled it up,
then lapped up the lemonade, cup after cup.

He ransacked the salad bar, plundered dessert,
then stiffened and yelped as if suddenly hurt.
He let out a howl as he clutched at his side,
then gave out a gasp and fell over and died.

So next time a dinosaur comes to your school,
I think you’d do well to remember this rule:
Get out of the way of his bad attitude
and make sure he eats cafeteria food.

I’m Arranging All My Pencils

I’m arranging all my pencils
in a pattern on the table
and I’m putting all my papers
in a pattern on the floor,
so I’m certain that my teacher
thinks I’m mentally unstable
and I’m hoping that she won’t
assign me homework anymore.

But my teacher doesn’t notice
and assigns me lots of reading,
so instead I’ve started coloring
my fingers and my face.
Now my plan to make her see me
is undoubtedly succeeding
and she probably believes
that I belong in outer space.

Yet again she hasn’t seen me
acting dingy as a doorbell
as I’m coloring my elbows
and my ankles and my knees,
so I’m dancing like a dodo
as I whistle and I warble
and she has to think I’m bonkers
or my brain is made of cheese.

Still she doesn’t bat an eyelash
as she gives me lots of writing
and she doesn’t even giggle
when she’s handing out the math.
So although my little plan was
undeniably exciting,
now I have to get my papers
and go home and take a bath.

Poor Mrs. Cusick

Poor Mrs. Cusick, our music instructor,
is holding her head in her hand,
for no one plays banjo, piano, viola,
trombone, or bassoon in the band.

Poor Mrs. Cusick, our music instructor,
is wishing her students played flutes.
She’d love to hear violins, cellos, or mandolins,
clarinets, trumpets, or lutes.

Poor Mrs. Cusick, our music instructor,
just sits by the window and hums.
It seems that we’ve driven her over the edge;
we only play bagpipes and drums.

Ogden Myers Spun His Tires

Ogden Myers spun his tires,
he loved to squeal and skid them.
He liked to make black tire marks,
though traffic laws forbid them.
The screeching noise, the pouring smoke,
he thought it quite a sport,
until police arrested him
and dragged him off to court.
Before the judge he cried and cried,
all teary-eyed and blubbery,
but though he wailed, he still got jailed —
the charge was “highway rubbery.”

My Mouse is Rather Fond of Cheese

My mouse is rather fond of cheese
from hereabouts or overseas
like cheddars, parmesans and bries
in brick or wheel or ball.

He’ll eat ricotta, feta too,
plus gorgonzola, gouda, blue,
in sandwiches or cheese fondue,
my mouse will eat them all.

He’ll have havarti for a snack,
a slice or two, and then a stack
of mozarella, Swiss and jack,
he thinks they’re oh so nice.

But though my mouse and I agree
we both enjoy a tasty brie,
I’ll miss my mouse because, you see,
my cat is fond of mice.

I’m a Wizard, I’m a Warlock

I’m a wizard, I’m a warlock,
I’m a wonder of the age.
I’m a sorcerer, magician,
prestidigitator, mage.

I can change into a chicken,
or perhaps a purple pig.
I can wave my wand and, presto,
I’m a waffle with a wig.

With the power in my pinky
I can burst like a balloon
or transform into a tiger
with the head of a baboon.

If I wiggle on my earlobe
or I knock upon my knee
I become a dancing doughnut
or a turtle in a tree.

Just a simple incantation
and I deftly disappear,
which I never should have done
because I’ve been this way all year.

And despite my mighty magic
I’m impossible to see,
for I never learned the spells I need
to turn back into me.


I went to sea,
and caught myself
an octopus,
an octopus,
an octopus,
an octopus caught I.

And though it seems
a bit unjust
I put him in
a pastry crust,
a pastry crust,
a pastry crust,
and baked an octo-pie.