Passive Aggressive Poetry Your Roommates and Family Will Love!

This is not a leaky sink
Don’t let it drip all night!
Just, after you have used it, please
Make sure that it is tight.
You don’t need superhuman strength
It will not be a chore!
Just, if you see it dripping, please
Please tighten it some more.

I bought two sandwiches yesterday
But somehow now there’s one
And once I finish my lunch today
I guess I will have none
My work is getting out late tonight
It won’t be any fun
To have to cook an entire meal
When I already paid for one

My daughter is the president
My daughter is a queen
My daughter is a CEO
My daughter lives her dream
She must be doing something huge
And having quite a ball
Or else, I just can’t think why she
Would have no time to call

Hold the stupid handle down
It’s really not that hard to do
Just hold the stupid handle down
Don’t leave the toilet full of poo
Please hold the stupid handle down
There really is no need to rush
So hold the stupid handle down
Until you’re sure it’s fully flushed

Please knock
On the door
That’s what
Knocking’s for
Your mom
Must have taught it
How come
You forgot it?
Please knock
Or I’ll write
Another rhyme


I’ve built a laser on the moon
So here are my demands:
Appoint me king, and let me rule
The world and all its lands
Although, I guess, if that’s too much
I’d settle for a half
Perhaps a third. But less than that?
Ha ha! Don’t make me laugh!
Or hey, if land’s too tricky, then
You could just give me gold
I’d ask a trillion dollars
But I guess that might be bold
So say one billion. Tell me if
That might work out or not?
You know what? Say a million
That still buys an awful lot
Or change that: you must take me out
To dinner every night
Expensive places! Classy!
Where you eat by candlelight
And where the waiters sing to you
Each time it’s your birthday
(But even if it isn’t, we’ll
Still say so anyway)
Or — organize a carnival
Where I win every prize
Or better — throw a great big party
But make it a surprise
Or you could just say cool things about me
And be really nice
You know what? I’ll be honest
Just a big hug would suffice.*


*A real hug, not just one of those “handshake-and-pat-on-the-back” type deals. I do still have a moon laser.

Request #2: Anti-bullying Poetry

Sandi (a 5th grade teaching in Philadelphia) writes:

I would love to see some on bullying and alternatives to lectures about it.

Here are 3 attempts to meet this request. There’s some other really important angles I want to tackle but haven’t figured out a good poem for, so I might try to write more another day (let me know if anybody has specific messages in particular).


Jacob’s the biggest bully in school
I’m sick of him
But I won’t give in
I won’t let him make me look like a fool

In math class, Jacob laughed at me
No one else heard
But I was quite sure
So I yelled back and called him ugly

He tried to take my ball in gym
The ball was mine
But I didn’t whine
I simply threw it — hard — at him

He tried to sit near me at lunch
He always picks fights
So that wouldn’t be right
I said, “If you sit there, you’ll get punched”

Jacob’s the biggest bully by far
I don’t understand
Why he’s so bad
I guess that’s how some people are



Wearing blue?
What’s wrong with you?
That’s such a loser thing to do.

What in the world?
Your hair’s in curls?
It really makes me want to hurl.

What are those?
Holes in your nose?
Good thing mine is nice and closed.

You breathe air?
I don’t, so there.
Why would–



Juan kicked Mark and Mark hit Juan
Until their friends all busted in
“What the heck is going on?”
They asked. Well…where to begin?

“You want to fight?” is what Mark cried
Juan couldn’t just let him go on
So Juan said “Yeah? Let’s see you try!”
Then Juan kicked Mark and Mark hit Juan

“You hit my friend!” Juan yelled at Mark
“I didn’t do it!” Mark replied
“So I’m a liar now?” Juan barked
“You want to fight?” is what Mark cried

Mark hit Juan’s friend and knocked her down
Juan saw it from across the park
He ran across the playing ground
“You hit my friend!” Juan yelled at Mark

“Out of my way!” yelled the tall kid
Mark thought he was playing around
But he shoved Mark and then Mark slid
Mark hit Juan’s friend and knocked her down

Juan reached the park, and he was shocked
His brother, crying, ran and hid
Juan couldn’t help — and felt guilty
“Out of my way,” yelled the tall kid

The tall kid said, “You’re in my way
Best move it or you might get socked”
Juan’s brother cried and ran away
Juan reached the park, and he was shocked

So now, perhaps, we’ve reached the end
That’s why they fought over Juan’s friend
The tall kid caused it all along
Except…maybe that’s also wrong

Because earlier…

Walking Sticks

The campers all were carrying sticks
They said they’d help with walking
But trouble quickly followed when
Two campers started talking

“The counselors don’t have sticks,” said one
“I don’t know what they’re thinking
How bored they’ll be without something
For poking things or swinging”

The other said, “You’re clearly right
They’d probably like sticks too”
A third camper, who overheard,
Said “Only the best sticks will do!”

So the campers sought the heftiest sticks
Nothing short, nothing too slim
They found the counselor nearest by
And chucked the sticks at him

The counselor, caught fully off-guard
Fell down a long ravine
And nevermore that counselor
Was ever to be seen

And though this be a tragedy
A lesson was learned by all
If only he’d had a walking stick
He’d surely have broken his fall

Request #1: Compare and Contrast Poems

A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog post inviting teachers and other readers to make requests. Wyatt, a teacher in northern Virginia writes:

Poems that are good for comparing and contrasting (setting, events, characters). Elementary level. Preferably ones that can be used with ELLs.

Below are 3 attempts to meet this request. I also recommend Mirror Goose Pt. 1 and Mirror Goose 2, which could be compared/contrasted with the original Mother Goose rhymes.

Have a request of your own? Write me any time and I’ll help find you something.

The Graceful Swan

On graceful wings the swan flies on
Until it finds a lovely pond
Then flaps itself quietly down
And sings with soft, musical sounds

But not
Its sister
SPLAT, goes Sally
Water splashing
HONK, she yells
Her swan voice scratching

The graceful swan begins to feed
Dips down her beak to seek a reed
It softly beats its wings, and then
It lifts into the sky again

But not
Its sister
CHOMP, goes Sally
Bites a toad
Then STOMP, walks off
Along the road

The graceful swan’s swan friends fly by
And see her sister from the sky
“Hey look,” they cry, “Who’s that weirdo?”
The graceful swan pretends not to know



Dear Mom: I know we have to move
But you know that we really can’t
Until my brother and I approve…
And we both have a few demands

My bedroom should be big enough
To fill with trees, and mountains too
And caves where I can hide my stuff…
My brother wants his painted blue

My closet must contain a zoo
With tigers, snakes, hippos, and bears
Only the fiercest ones will do…
My brother wants a rocking chair

My window needs a water slide
I won’t leave any other way
I’ll climb a rope to get inside…
My brother wants some space to play

I’ll need a second room, I think
Where all my friends can spend the night
And anyone else they care to bring…
My brother needs a new nightlight

So now you’ve heard our full report
And when you’ve gotten to think it through
You’ll find me waiting on the porch…
My brother will be waiting too


Hat Store

I’m opening a hat store
I’m sure my hats will sell
Because they’re nice
And low in price
And fit just right as well

But there’s another reason
That makes my hats so grand
When someone tries
Them on for size
They’ll quickly understand

For example, take this top hat
A nice, but simple thing
But give it a try
And you will fly
With brand-new grown-on wings

Or try this silver nightcap
It lets your dreams come true
Think dragons and kings
Or stranger things
And they’ll appear by you

Perhaps you’d like this visor
It lets you see at night
And in the day
See miles away
With superhuman sight

Because you’ve listened so well
I’ll give you one to take
Which one is for you?
And what will you do?
What choices will you make?

The “Man, I’ve Got a Hankering for a Soda and Some Beef Jerky” Blues

Ohhhh, I got the blues
I got the blues
I got the blues so bad
You know, I got the blues

Guitar solo

Ooooooh, I still got the blues
That’s right, the blues

Drum solo
Bass solo


Saxophone solo
Guitar solo
Harmonica solo
Tambourine solo

Now I don’t got the blues anymore
Feel a lot better than before
Just took a nice long walk to the store
That’s what having long solos is really for

Come One, Come All!

Tell everybody that you know:
My friends are putting on a show!
Come on and step right up to me
I’ll tell you what you’ll get to see!
First, Mark will bang upon his drum
So loud, he’ll make your feet go numb
And Tanya has a joke that’s fun
Some people might laugh when it’s done
Jane’s magic! She can guess your card
As long as it’s the two of hearts
And later, Juan will sing a song
Which, hopefully, won’t last too long
Big Jeremiah knew a dance
He may recall – give him a chance!
Then Sue will do flips and headstands
Assuming that the first one lands
Joe’s act will take your breath away
Though what it is, he wouldn’t say
Donovan will blink a lot
He thinks it’s impressive, but it’s not
Zoe taught tricks to her mouse
It’s hiding somewhere in her house
Dirk eats mud like it was pudding
But frankly, I wish that he wouldn’t
Then when it’s over, buy a treat!
Whichever ones Michael didn’t eat
So who’d like a ticket? Come and get it!
It’s possible you won’t regret it!

The Tragedy of Gargazoo

Gargazoo from Planet Zonn
Wouldn’t turn his Vurm Shield on
His friends cried, “Gargy, for Blik’s sake
Without it, all your fleem may break!”
But Gargazoo heard not a word
He thought, “These bodos are absurd!
They’ve never seen a Vurm before —
Vurms probably don’t come anymore.”
No matter how his parents pleaded
He’d tell them, “Foosh! It isn’t needed!”
And so he said…until the day
A Quadron of Vurms brundled his way
Each home they passed was near-invected —
Only their shields kept them protected
But Gargy saw them much too late
By then, his fleem had gone aflate
And when his neighbors saw next morning
They cried, “Why didn’t he heed our warning?”

My friends, this story’s sad but true
Don’t be a fool like Gargazoo!
And if you’re ever on Planet Zonn,
NEVER forget to put your Vurm Shield on

Flower Picking

I plucked a flower from the ground
It was the nicest one around
But it let out an angry sound
Cried, “Mister, please, just put me down!”

I jumped and gasped and cried out “Oops!”
I started shaking in my boots
I dropped the flower, but no use
It cried, “I still can’t feel my roots!”

I could not bring myself to wait
I ran, and left it to its fate
That’s why I’m in this awful state
And have no flowers for our date