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I am a scary smelly skeleton pirate: Halloween poems

September 25, 2008

I am a scary smelly skeleton pirate!
I wonder where the treasure is

I hear black rusty shooting fire cannonballs
and swords slapping

I see other English ships to get their treasure
I want treasure, a golden compass, and a gold ring

I am a scary smelly skeleton pirate!
I pretend to play swords with you

I  feel my bones cracking
I touch the shark’s teeth

I worry about my pirate ship
and how it will disappear one day

I cry when my boat tips upside down
I am a scary smelly skeleton pirate!

I understand that I know that you can be killed
I say aye aye matey, I believe in ghosts

I never dream about black treasure
I try not to kill my pet octopus

I hope to be free
I am a scary smelly skeleton pirate

(NOTE: The small boy and I  made a video of this poem and it’s up on youtube now!)

This morning I had a blast brainstorming four Halloween themed “I am” poems in small groups with my son’s K-1 class.

If you decide to share this or the poem which follows, please leave us a note telling us with whom and where!

The poem above was composed by four boys: my son, another kindergartner, and two first graders; five girls composed the one which follows. Each girl illustrated a different part:

I am a wicked evil gruesome witch
with lots of spiders and pumpkins in my hair!

I wonder about warty spiderwebby muddy leafy potions
which make you turn into a bat and gruesome stuff like a slime monster

I hear zombies, my friend witches, and gruesomey bats
spitting in a dark cave

I see a certain kind of green swamp water
with gruesomey pirate zombies

I want gruesome pirate soup now!

I am a wicked evil gruesome witch
with lots of spiders and pumpkins in my hair!

I pretend to be really nice to people
then I put potions on them that are really bad gruesomey

I feel bad because I think I’m nice
but I’m really mean and gruesome

I touch a flower and want to pick it
but when I was 16, I picked a flower
and became an evil witch

I worry about nothing
because I am too brave

I cry when I’m angry
and because it’s never sunny
in my land in the dark cave

I am a wicked evil gruesome witch
with lots of spiders and pumpkins in my hair

I understand I’m mean
but I never listen to nice people

I say do you want some potions
to make you nice?

I dream about scariness
like dark caves

I try
I hope

I am a wicked evil gruesome witch
with lots of spiders and pumpkins in my hair!

Try this exercise yourself by simply choosing a statement to follow each I+ verb statement. Obviously, it can be adapted a variety of ways.

NOTE Sunday 9/28/08: The small boy and I  made a video of this poem and it’s up on youtube now!

If you decide to share these poems, please leave us a note telling us with whom and where!

11 Comments leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    September 25, 2008 10:53 pm

    The story of pirates is the topic of today’s news!

    I love the “I”dentity of these pieces.

    I’m going to attempt to attack the “I” that I generally refuse to address.

    It is the link between the I observer, the I frequenter, and the I culprit,
    that I seek to align.

  2. Jason permalink
    September 25, 2008 10:59 pm

    sorry, that was “i” posting above.

    I think I’ll try this with Spacecat.
    In bed tonight.

    I think the benefit of another person contributes to the actual response.
    I’m going to try it solo first though.

    There seems to be an underlying rule – to attempt to make the “I” vision as illustrious, though succinct, as possible.

  3. September 25, 2008 11:28 pm

    typically this exercise is done in the “real” first person–ie,

    i am an old time burner who likes to dance wild and play with fire
    i wonder if i will go next year
    i hear my friends talk about going
    i see pictures & it makes me nostalgic
    i want to wear little and dream big
    i am an old time burner who likes to dance and play with fire

    i pretend i will be able to run as wild and free as i want
    i feel the tug of my child on my apron strings
    i touch my dusty clothes and yearn to wear them
    i worry that i’m too old, fat, and tedious
    i cry when i am in the temple
    i am an oldtime burner who likes to dance and play with fire

    i understand that it is different every year
    i say that it’s all good
    i dream of riding my bike all night in cowboy boots, el wire & sparkly panties
    i try not to miss that life too much
    i hope to always be that burner
    i am an oldtime burner who likes to dance and play with fire

    but it was really fun to brainstorm Halloween creatures and then choose one together and then throw out various lines–the kids were so cool and imaginative, it was hard to keep up!

    so have fun and tell me how it goes!

  4. Jason permalink
    September 26, 2008 12:23 am

    “the task is probably much easier than I suspect”
    “I hesitate when asked to indulge the I”

    thanks Gwen!

  5. September 26, 2008 12:30 am

    aye aye, captain. cool poems from kids. kids are usually better poets than grownups in every way except control over the language, in every other way they are brilliant.

  6. September 26, 2008 7:42 am

    indulge away jason–you can always cut them out! remember it’s an exercise, an exploration, a rethink, and a timely one at that, eh?

    yes, i admit i did help direct their energy and encourage certain directions. and thereby “edit” and shape their creation–but these are their worrds and their choices 100%…give me a few more weeks and i’ll have them whipped into shape capn squires!

  7. September 26, 2008 3:11 pm

    You are one bad pirate..err..a good one!


  8. September 27, 2008 10:55 am

    I love this poem. It acctually ends up being quite unexpectedly profound and genuinely moving, don’t you think?

  9. September 27, 2008 3:35 pm

    thanks, guatami–i bet you’d make a good pirate too!

    you know, peter, i totally agree! that’s a big reason why i wanted to put it up.

    they naturally tend toward alliteration an returning to certain themes, ideas, images. i really like how the poem (and the kid pirates) move from an obsession with treasure/materiality to more depth and reflection. the negatives in the second to the last paragraph that they wanted give it a nice dimension as well.

  10. September 28, 2008 3:18 pm

    Great! This must have been so much fun. (I like your theme too.)


  1. Happy Halloween: no GMO pumpkins please! « art predator

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