Poems for Children

The Tripplies

The Tripplies live in Tripplichore, a land beside the sea,
They all have arms and legs and hands, but not like you and me.
For they have three of everything – three arms, three legs, three heads;
They live in triangular houses, and sleep in triangular beds.

The Tripplies are a peaceful race, they rarely disagree;
Two heads are better than one (it’s said), but better yet are three.
When Tripplies drink a toast, they say: “Long life, good cheer, and health;
And if you want an argument, just have it with yourself!”


Why must I do as I am told, by people who are very old?
You must sit up, you must sit down, you mustn’t cry, you mustn’t frown,
You must be nice, you must be quick, you must jump over this candle-stick.

Aunt May is forty-three she said – I think that must be nearly dead.
Now don’t delay, now come along, now stand up here, now sing a song,
Now do behave, don’t make a show; now what’s the matter, don’t you know?

When I am very, very old, I shall not shout, I shall not scold.
Get dirty, muddy, cold and wet; do as you please, I shall not fret,
Dawdle, sulk, get in a stew – I shan’t forget – I once was you.

Marvelous Mister Mixem

Mister Mixem woke one day to find his mind was playing curious tricks,
By mixing letters all around – the sounds and words would not be fixed !
He grabbed his sort sure and his hoses, ran downstairs and dear the mite.
The clock said net, or thereabouts; poor Mixem could not dare a night !

He held one pet his best red fin, but all the sword just came out grown,
The sounds could not be god I screen – he sally wear a “Mixem” own!
I met him just the other day – he said, “I’m tall a ton alone,”
My finder loves a mans rag too, we understand each to her own !

Notes: The italicised words and phrases in the poem are anagrams. Children can be encouraged to see if they can solve the anagrams to reveal the proper story hidden in the nonsense.

The Perils of the Sea

Robert Peter lived the sailor’s life afloat, but
Oops! Up came a wave, and pushed him off the boat!
Bobbing on the tide, his chances looking slim;
Entering his hat, the salty ocean rushed,
Returning through his nose, the nasty water gushed,
The hat was drowned alas! –  but Rob (good job!) could swim.

Notes: 'The Perils of the Sea' is a double acrostic. Not only do the first letters on each line spell out a name, but the same name is revealed by taking the first letter of the first line, the second letter of the second line, the third letter of the third line, and so on. Double acrostics are very tricky to create!

The Klepps

When washing clothes, why it should be,
Four socks go in, and out come three?
What happens to the missing one?
Where on earth could it have gone?

Tear your hair, you’re out of your mind,
You absolutely cannot find
That button, you know, the extra spare,
That must be in the.. ..well, just where?

I’ll tell you…

Beyond the Moon, and into the void,
Past Mars, behind that asteroid,
In a hollow moon near Saturn’s rings,
The Klepps have all your missing things.

The Klepps! – a tiny alien race,
Living up there in outer space,
They dance and sing and jump and squeal,
But most of the time, they simply steal.

They have a thing, a strange device,
Made from diamonds and bits of ice,
Graphite sticks and copper rods,
And lots of other bits and bobs.

It makes a beam of heat and cold,
Which, from a distance, grabs and holds,
And with their magic grasping-ray,
They simply whisk your things away.

That ray can reach right through your walls,
Under your cellars and into your halls,
Past your gates and through your doors,
Down your vest and into your drawers.

Scooping up your odds and ends,
Your rubber bands and ballpoint pens,
The Klepps go through your house and home,
There’s nowhere that they cannot roam.

They love the tiny little things,
Like safety pins, and studs and rings,
But joy of joys! – the best by far,
Is the final sweetie from the jar.

And if a little boy or girl,
Could climb inside their tiny world,
If such a thing could ever be,
What wonders would be there to see!

Buttons from a million blazers,
Mixed with bits of old erasers,
Toffee rivers, marble lakes,
Huge mounds of sickness notes (all fakes),
Missing comics piled in heaps,
Near hills of fading till-receipts,
Gloves and scarves dance tarantellas
Round the forest of lost umbrellas,
Halls of tickets, cotton-reel spires,
Wobbly towers of toy car tyres,
No jigsaws, but (you guessed!) from each,
That solitary missing piece,
Old sandwiches that smell all funny,
Ten thousand pounds in dinner money,
Mountains of keys from various locks,
And an ocean full . .

.. of single socks.