Poetry challenge

Anna and I challenged each other to write a poem.

My criteria for her: it has to be about life and it has to rhyme.

Random Words

I was born and I will die.
But everybody loves my pie!

I will come and I will go
But my wishes go a-flow.

My family loves everything.
But to my friends I will sing.

by Anna Shaffner, age 7


Her criteria for me: it has to be about a giraffe who travels the world. At one point he has to get on a hot air balloon. And it has to rhyme.

A Giraffe’s Journey

One giraffe got on the plane
Everyone gasped; it was insane

First stop? Paris, to shop and eat
Up the streets, on his four feet

Giraffe then hopped on the next train
This time for a trip to Spain

Spain was nice; the food was great
The giraffe even went on a date

With a pretty girl in a long red skirt
Giraffe pinned a rose on his ruffled shirt

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But goodbyes had to go unsaid
The giraffe ran out to get ahead

Of schedule. He was heading to
The pretty green hills of old Peru

Peru was warm; the people kind
Up Machu Pichu he did find

A hot air balloon — amazing but true!
He floated off to Timbuktu

Just kidding. That is way too far
The giraffe got off. Hopped in a car

To check out Rio. It’s party time!
Giraffe sipped a drink with gin and lime

Next on the list: up north, he went
Back on a plane to check out Kent

Kent State, I mean, in the state of Ohio
It’s where his dad studied the banjo

Ohio was kind of lame, he thought
So a ticket out West he quickly bought

A train, this time, through plains and more
‘Til finally he could see the shore

California, baby! The palm trees sway
This time giraffe decided to stay

He bought a house on Hollywood hills
He got addicted to fame and pills

A year, two more went quickly by
Suddenly giraffe woke with a cry

I need to go back home, he said
To Kenya, where the dirt is red

So on a boat he made his bed
To home, to home! That’s what he said

The reunion! Oh, how tears were shed
In Kenya he stayed ’til he was dead

by Kate Lao Shaffner, age 33


Author: Kate

I'm middle school English teacher in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Before moving to Asia, I reported statewide news for a Pennsylvania public radio station. I've lived in five countries and traveled to dozens. I really enjoy rearranging my furniture.

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