My Poems and Articles

The Kinglet Bird

Photo by Jacob McGinnis

THE KINGLET BIRD

I'm called a Kinglet.
Have you ever seen me?
I make funny sounds,
Tse, tse, tse, tse.

I'm the tiniest bird
that perches in trees.
When winters are frigid,
I try not to freeze.

My gold crest looks flashy
and feels quite regal,
although I'm not famous
like the bald eagle.

I love tasty insects
and forage non-stop.
Wait! A caterpillar!
Yum, yum, hop hop.

At night I tuck my head
in feathers so deep
and huddle with my friends
so I can find sleep.

Sometimes a squirrel
leaves his nest in a tree.
It's empty.  I'm so cold.
Please don't tell on me.

Although I'm tiny,
I feel like a star.
Just follow your dreams
and you'll go far.


THE PAINTED BUNTING - A KALEIDOSCOPE
When God picked up his pallet.
He knew just what to do.
He chose the brightest colors
To make a bird like you.

The blue is so majestic,
A redbreast to amaze,
Your wings chartreuse and purple
Deserve the highest praise.

Kaleidoscope of brilliance,
A wonder to behold,
Wrapped up in one small bunting
Creating joy untold.

O herald of such music,
You trill your song so sweet
You grace earth with your presence
I pray that soon we'll meet.

And if my prayer is granted,
I'm sure that I will say
I saw a bit of heaven
On loan from God this day.
A Painted Bunting
My Painted Bunting





		
My Poems and Articles, My Poems and Articles

TECHNO CRITTERS

Zebra

  Techno Critters appeared in Kids Imagination Train, an online magazine published by Randi Mrvos.

Techno Critters

If a Frog wants to blog,
he can sit on a log
and spend the whole day,
blah-blah- ging away

If a T-Rex sends a text,
who knows what's next.
But if a selfie comes through,
you'd better skiddoo!

If a Spider is bright
and has a website,
he can sell his prey
and have a fine day.

If a Robin tweets,
"Bird sitters, let's meet!"
she can leave her brood
and look for some food.

If a Zebra skypes,
and shows off her stripes,
she'll look quite cute
in her black and white suit.

If Critters are cool
and stay in school,
they'll pass their quizzes
and be techno-whizzes!












My Poems and Articles

A Squirrel’s Lucky Day

Hurrah!  Finally dear readers, a poem I wrote entitled “A Squirrel’s Lucky Day” was submitted to Kids Imagination Train and accepted for publication in their online     children’s magazine.  I am most grateful to Randi Mrvos, Editor of Kids  Imagination Train who worked with me and never gave up hope that this poem would meet the requirements of their excellent children’s magazine. 

           A Squirrel’s Lucky Day

I live in trees
and on the ground.
I hunt for food 
and race around.

We squirrels
enjoy the great outdoors.
We have big nests
and nutty chores.

The park is full
this time of year,
with lots of picnics,
spring is here.

I hope to find
some tasty scraps
like cheesy chicken
sandwich wraps.

A baseball game
has just begun
The kids rush off
to join the fun.

But wait, what's that
beside the tree-
an ice cream cone
left just for me?

Hurry, scurry
down the branches.
Creatures don't get
too many chances.

Grab it, take it
up the tree
Hooray, I made it
Yay, yippee!

This treat is heaven
so cold and sweet,
Even acorns 
cannot compete.

Why  do people stare at me?
stare at me?
Can't a squirrel
have privacy?

So Mother Nature,
won't you please
make ice cream cones
that grow on trees?

		
My Poems and Articles

My Name is Rylai

JoeandRylai2

 

They call me Rylai and I’m a chinchilla. My name rhymes with Hi-Lie! I live with the Faranda family in Croton-on-Hudson, New York.  Josie Faranda makes sure I have enough to eat. My diet consists of fruit,nuts and seeds. We are herbivores and eat mostly plants In the wild I eat grass, roots, leaves and bark.

Guess how old I am?

Forty-one million years ago my ancestors were some of the first rodents to appear in South America. You could say we chinchillas are 41 million years old!

Brrr.  It’s chilly here in Chile!

In the wild I live in the Andes Mountains of Chile, South America where the temperature can dip as low as -5 degrees Centigrade (that is 23 degrees Fahrenheit, or below freezing). That’s why I need very thick fur to keep me warm. I have on the average 65 hairs per follicle; that’s a sac or gland holding each hair in place. Humans only have between 2-3 hairs.

Yipes! Is that a Snake?

We like to stick together in herds of between 14 and 100 to warn each other about snakes, birds of prey and other predators.   Yes, we have big ears, but we rely on them to keep us safe. Our strong sense of smell also protects us from skunks.

I’m in Trouble

People love our soft fur and that’s why there are not many of us left in the wild. Only chinchillas should wear chinchilla coats! No one else. We don’t want to become extinct. Do you know any other animals that are endangered?

No Water Baths Please!

If you want me for a pet, I need special care. Chinchillas don’t take water baths. We like to take special dust baths in pumice, a kind of gray volcanic stone used to clean. You have to dry me off right away if I get wet. Otherwise, my fur can develop a fungus or an infection.

I’m a Natural Acrobat!

Chinchillas have tails that  help us balance and we can climb tall mountains and rocks in the wild. I can jump from high places, up to 6 feet! How high can you jump?

The Better to See You!

My eyes look big, but they are not well-developed. Luckily, my whiskers help me move around and feel things. They are almost half as long as my whole body.

If I Get scared

I hope you won’t scare me if you see me. We lose clumps of fur if we are stressed. You can calm us down and soothe us though and we’ll be all right. You can pet me, but I don’t like to be picked up by strangers. I like to be by myself in a cage and hide in my nesting box that’s filled with hay. I like to gnaw on the hay and eat it for roughage like you eat salad.

We love the Night Life!

We sleep a lot during the day and are active at dawn and dusk. We like safe wooden toys to play with and chew on. We need exercise like you do, so we enjoy running around in our cages.

How was your Day?

Josie sometimes asks me, “How was your day Rylai?” I can’t talk, but I love to nuzzle and bury my soft fur in people’s arms when they pick me up. We also like to nibble. That’s how we show our affection. If I nibble too hard, Josie says gently, “No, Rylai!” Then I get a raisin if I behave. I’m lucky to have the Faranda family take care of me. I’m a very happy chinchilla.

 

Bibliography

  1. Interview with Faranda Family: Josie, Brigid and Tom, November 1, 2017
  2. Other books and articles upon request

 

 

 

 

My Poems and Articles

Island Child – L B I – Life Lessons from the Shore

sea bowl

In 2012 author Corinne Ruff and Illustrator Lisa Benjamin put together a collection of contributions from those who have loved and lived on Long Beach Island, New Jersey.  In “Life Lessons” some lucky entries from “island children” of all ages were chosen and showcased for the book.  My paragraph was chosen in the chapter subtitled “Starfish.”  I am most grateful to my friends JoAnn and Don Fannon who have shared their beach house in Ship Bottom on LBI with me.   It continues to feed my soul every time I am there.

     When I walk along the shore of the Island, I never tire of seeing myriad numbers of sea creatures – from the channeled whelk to the sand dollar to the thousands of colored shells deposited on the shoreline.  I stop and look in awe and think of the long journey they took before these sea creatures arrived at the water’s edge.  The lesson I learn is to admire the beauty, the symmetry and the utter uniqueness of each of these small miracles of nature.  On my walk I hope to be inspired to go deep within myself to create something of beauty so that I, too, may leave something behind  in my creative journey – just like the ocean does every minute of every day, 365 days a year.  And I hope my art will inspire others just as the Island continues to inspire me and attract people of all ages to come, look, listen and take in every aspect of its beauty.

Sunset on Long Beach Island
Sunset on Long Beach Island