Reading Level: Grade 3

Poems suitable for reading by 8-9 year olds.

Don’t Think About a Zebra

dont-think-about-a-zebra

Don’t think about a zebra
no matter what you do,
for, if you ever think of one,
then soon you’ll think of two.

And, after that, you’ll think of three.
And then you’ll think of four.
Then five or six or seven zebras.
Maybe even more.

And then you’ll think of zebra herds
stampeding down the street,
and zebras wearing tutus,
disco-dancing to a beat.

You’ll think of flying ninja zebras
practicing kung fu.
And zebra clowns from outer space.
And robot zebras too.

And zebras in pajama bottoms
bouncing on their beds,
and maybe even zebras
wearing diapers on their heads.

You’ll wish you’d never thought of them,
so do it starting now:
Don’t think about a zebra.
Only think about a cow.

My Hat Is Full of Rabbits

my-hat-is-full-of-rabbits

My hat is full of rabbits.
My cape is full of doves.
A playing card is up my sleeve,
and some are in my gloves.

A wand is in my pocket
with handkerchiefs and flowers.
My coat has things like ropes and rings
with mystifying powers.

I have my staff and juggling clubs,
my mirrors, cups, and dice,
my crystal ball, my smoke machine,
and fancy dancing mice.

I’m ready for my magic show.
There’s just one problem here…
My elephant is on my lap
and will not disappear.

Emilio, Emilio

emilio

Emilio, Emilio,
was never one to stealio,
but had no meat
or bread to eat.
Not even an apple peelio.

Emilio, Emilio,
he got his rod and reelio,
to catch some fish
to fill his dish,
but all he caught were eelio.

Emilio, Emilio,
did not like eating eelio.
He sold them to
a merchant who
gave him an awesome dealio.

Emilio, Emilio,
at last I can revealio,
bought lots of meat
and bread to eat,
and a fancy new automobilio.

Josh the Sausage Maker

josh-the-sausage-maker

I’m Josh. I make sausage,
and bacon and ham,
baloney and roast beef,
and turkey and Spam.

I also make meatloaf,
pancetta, pastrami,
prosciutto and hot dogs,
corned beef and salami.

But liverwurst sausage
is what I do best,
and everyone likes it
much more than the rest.

If anyone asks you,
you heard it here first.
I’m Josh. I make sausage.
My best is the wurst.

My Sheep Is Being Sheepish

my-sheep-is-being-sheepish

My sheep is being sheepish.
My cat is acting catty.
My horse, of course, is sort of hoarse.
My bat’s completely batty.

My chicken’s plainly chicken.
My hare is fairly hairy.
My cuckoo’s truly cuckoo.
My mare is mainly merry.

My fish is frankly fishy,
and so my flea is fleeing.
My slug is somewhat sluggish.
My bee is simply being.

I have so many animals
and this is how they’re feeling,
except for one, who’s tons of fun:
My seal is on the ceiling.

Fred’s Head

come-and-meet-fred

Come and meet Fred.
He can stand on his head.
He’s truly the greatest around.
He gives a small cough
and then pops his head off,
and places it down on the ground.

Then he leaps in the air
and alights on his hair,
to balance his feet on his ears.
Then spins with his toes
on the tip of his nose,
and everyone eagerly cheers.

As soon as you see
him I’m sure you’ll agree,
there’s no one as awesome as Fred;
the only man ever
to find such a clever
new method to stand on his head.

I asked him one day
why he did it this way.
He said, “People like it, I think.
And someday I hope
I can purchase some soap
because, man, do my toes ever stink.”

Nate the Creative

nate-the-creative

I’m Nate the Creative
and here’s what I do:
I wake up each day and
create something new.

I might bake a pickle
and skyscraper pie.
I might take a nickel
and teach it to fly.

I might paint a picture
of checkerboard cheese,
or fashion a statue
from typewriter keys.

Or dream up a dance
where you stand very still,
or buy all of France
with a nine-dollar bill.

So look all you want
but you won’t ever see
a person on earth
as creative as me.

Tomorrow, I might make
a hat out of you.
I’m Nate the Creative.
It’s just what I do.

I Fix My Duck with Duct Tape

I fix my duck with duct tape
when she breaks. That’s what I do.
If my gorilla has a crack
I use Gorilla Glue.

My monkey needs a monkey wrench
just every now and then.
And chicken wire is what I use
to mend my broken hen.

For snails, I use nails,
and, for penguins, I use pins.
For fish, I’m fond of fish paste
for fixing fractured fins.

So bring your broken beasts;
I’ll give them tender loving care,
and make them good as new at my
stuffed animal repair.

Carl the Cookie Carrier

carl-the-cookie-carrier

I’m Carl the Cookie Carrier.
I carry cookies well.
I carry ones with chocolate chips
and ones with caramel.

I transport tea cakes tactfully.
With wafers I’m an ace.
My gift for lifting biscuits
is the ultimate in grace.

I’m skilled with Scottish shortbread.
With digestives I’m the best.
With gingersnaps I have no lapse.
It’s obvious I’m blessed.

I’m masterful with macaroons
and snickerdoodles too.
I’ll haul them all regardless
if they’re pink or green or blue.

And when I carry cookies,
I eat only one or two.
So I have just one question…
May I carry yours for you?

My Mother Does My Homework

My mother does my homework.
She thinks it’s loads of fun.
She says that she’s just “helping” me
but, soon enough, it’s done.

We sit down at the dinner table
every single night.
She answers all the questions
and she always gets them right.

And now and then, she’ll tell me
I should go and take my bath.
When I get back, I find she’s done
my science and my math.

You’d think that I’d be overjoyed
to never have to work.
But every time she “helps me out”
I nearly go berserk.

I ask if I can do it, but
she shrugs off my requests.
So all my grades are crummy
since she doesn’t take my tests.