Spring Poetry

Uncle Seth and Bethanny in the April rain (West Virginia)

I Love Rain

the still and gray before of rain,
the comes-a-little-more of rain,
the some-drops-in-my-eye of rain
that are coming from the sky of rain.

I love rain –

the easy come and go of rain,
the changing fast and slow of rain,
the all-around-me-mist of rain,
the quick wind’s lively twist of rain.

I love rain –

the all-things-getting-wet of rain,
the sounds we can’t forget of rain,
the rain that comes again of rain,
the rainy raining rain of rain.

I love rain.


I wrote this poem because I love rain. When it’s a rainy day, I go outside to walk in the rain. Poems often come easier in the rain. Perhaps that is what is behind my poem, “Writer Rain.” (see Summer Poems) Rain is a writer, too!

Wind Dance  Scholastic Canada, 1999

Common Dandelion
Taraxacum officinale
Aster Family

The Dandelion

is opening
a rosette
of leaves in early spring
to show its first teeth,

No commoner here,
but a lion prince
to grow up
King of Flowers,
to rule the land
of wild meadow
and cultured lawn,
to wear a golden crown,
in the dawn.


Tussilago farfara
Aster Family


Its leaves
stepping green
beside the road,
of a new-born colt,
coming too late
to find its flowers
which were spread
and closely knit
in yellow

to be Spring’s
first garland,
a softly-yellow
any colt
could proudly 


The Coltsfoot is one of the very first flowers to bloom in spring. It is commonly found in small patches on sandy roadsides. The yellow blossoms come first; their stems have reddish scales but no leaves. The leaves come later in early summer after the flower heads have dispersed their seeds and died. The shape of the leaves looks like a colt’s foot. This is how the plant got its name. Like the Common Dandelion, the Coltsfoot is introduced from Europe.

Bicycles!  Bicycles! 

This is an Echo Reading poem. One reader reads the regular print. Another reader(s) answers with what is written in bold type.


The setting of this poem is the playground of an elementary school in a small town in Newfoundland. I had been invited to do an author’s visit there – to read from my books and to share my poetry.  It was early spring. As I approached the school, I was met by a playground full of bicycles. Large and small bicycles. Red, purple, pink, brown and orange bicycles.  Yellow, green black and blue bicycles. I had never seen such a colorful display of bicycles. As I was zig-zagging around them on my way to the door, I thought, “What a wonderful group of children awaits me here!”  And it was so.

The kindergarten class was particularly excited to tell me about their bicycles. After many of their stories, one student spoke up, “You were late, Miss. We waited a long time for you.”  I told them that the airplane had been delayed and that I was sorry to be late. “I know what I’ll do,” I said to the class, “When I get back to Maine, I will write you a poem about bicycles. It will be just for you.”  So, when I returned home to Maine, I wrote this poem and off it went to that special little kindergarten class in Newfoundland. 

Riddle Poem

                           Over my head

                           and under my feet

                           my two hands take it

                           down the street.

When I was in elementary school, jump-roping and hopscotch were favorite playground games. Early April when the playground was dry, we could hardly wait for recess. I especially enjoyed jump-roping with my friends – one in the middle jumping and one on each side turning the rope.

I can still say the rhymes. Here are a three of them: 

  1. I had a little teddy bear; his name was Tiny Tim.
    I put him in the bathtub to teach him how to swim;
    He drank up all the water, he ate up all the soap.
    I found him in the morning with a bubble in his throat.
  2. Rich man, poor man, beggarman, thief;
    Doctor, lawyer, Indian chief.
    Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor,
    Rich man poor man, beggarman, thief.

(We chanted this traditional English nursery rhyme until the jumper tripped on the rope. Whatever word she tripped on, this was who she would marry and she was out!)

3. Mabel, Mabel set the table; don’t forget the salt and… pepper!

(When we said “pepper,” we turned the rope as fast as possible. It was so much fun to see how fast and how long the jumper could keep up pepper before she tripped. Then, it was someone else’s turn. This was my favorite.)

Four Ponies by Vertigogen

Four Little Ponies

My little pony brown, cinnamon brown,
      licks sugar with her tongue.

My little pony gray, pussywillow gray,
      likes to stand very still in the sun.

My little pony white, winter-snow white,
      likes to ride with me all day.

But my little pony patch, three-colored patch,
      kicks her heels and runs away.


My granddaughter had a little pony when she was growing up. The pony’s name was Lollipop. I liked to watch her ride Lollipop in the pasture. I also liked to watch Lollipop “stand very still in the sun.” Lollipop was part “cinnamon-brown” and part “snow-white.” Lollipop liked to “lick sugar with her tongue,” but sometimes she would just “kick her heels and run away.” I liked to watch my granddaughter and Lollipop, especially in the springtime, when pussywillows are coming on the willows near the pasture. So, I mixed everything together and wrote this little poem.