In celebration of April as National Poetry Month, I've picked five fabulous poets, some with books you can pick up and feel, and others who only can be found on the Internet. Funny poems are best when shared aloud, so grab your loved ones and read them a poem.
CJ Heck is a grandma, columnist, author and poet. Her Barking Spiders website shares a title with her first published poetry book for kids. The site includes poems written from a child's perspective, stories, tongue twisters, printable mazes, tips for budding authors, favorite quotes and fill-in-the-blank poems to complete. There's music on every page (ugh!) but you can always turn your speakers off. "I wish I had a puppy... wish I had a kitten, too But Mommy says our 'partment Is too small to have a zoo."
Poet Gareth Lancaster confides that although so far his poems have only been published online, he's keeping "his fingers crossed." After perusing his work, I'm sure he'll be able to uncross those fingers very, very soon. Each poem is reader rated on a scale of one to five, and includes a simple voting mechanism. Visit The Top Ten to see the most popular of the site's sixty-six poems. "Pardon me, that was so rude, It was not me, it was my food. But then again it could be said, It's the little person in my head. Who sits up there all day long, Burping out a silly song."
I've been a Kenn Nesbitt fan for many years, with three dog-eared Nesbitt books to prove it. Before becoming a full-time poet, Nesbitt was a software developer. Today devotes his technical expertise to his website, which is enormous and my pick of the week. Highlights are his poems (of course), poetry games, poetry lessons, a rhyming dictionary, and audio recordings (you'll need to register for these.) "My sister thinks she's Santa Claus. It's really kind of cute. She likes to shout out 'Ho, Ho, Ho!' and wears a bright red suit."
Shakespeery is another pre-published poet. He began writing eight years ago after being inspired by the Shel Silverstein poem "Sarah Sylvia Cynthia Stout Would Not Take The Garbage Out." In addition to the illustrated poems, Shakespeery has an excellent links section and a guestbook to sign. "Cedric played his radio So loud inside his room, It shook and jarred the neighborhood Just like a sonic boom.'"
Ted Scheu calls himself a "children's writer and teacher" and his site has a terrific teacher's section explaining how (and why) to bring poetry to life in the classroom. Sheu's poem section includes both audio and written works. The red links are for listening, and bthe lue ones are for reading. "The library is where I go to launch myself and fly. I swoop and loop above the earth, a thousand stories high."