Category Archives: Favorite Poem

Kelsey Taylor: A favorite poem

Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me Too
by Shel Silverstein

I really like this poem because it brings out the kid in me.  I remember having a Shel Silverstein poem book when I was a kid, and I always loved “Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me Too.”

Kelsey Taylor, 18
Santa Clara
Student at Presentation High School

Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me Too

Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too
Went for a ride in a flying shoe.
“What fun!”
“It’s time we flew!”
Said Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too.

Ickle was captain, and Pickle was crew
And Tickle served coffee and mulligan stew
As higher
And higher
And higher they flew,
Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too.

Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too,
Over the sun and beyond the blue.
“Hold on!”
“Stay in!”
“I hope we do!”
Cried Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too.

Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle too
Never returned to the world they knew,
And nobody
Knows what’s
Happened to
Dear Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too.

Shel Silverstein

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Carly Hudson: A favorite poem

by Shel Silverstein

The very first time I ever read this was inside the cover of what was to become one of my favorite books titled Inkheart. The book was a book about books and what a wonderful way to start such a wonderful topic off but to invite the reader inside. This short poem still sits on the tip of my tongue to invite whomever wishes to spin tales with me.

Carly Hudson, 21 years old
Student, San Jose


If you are a dreamer, come in.
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer . . .
If you’re a pretender, come sit by my fire,
For we have some flax golden tales to spin.
Come in!
Come in!

Shel Silverstein

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Patricia Machmiller: A favorite poem

Oh, Autumn Wind
by Shiki
translation by Emiko Miyashita and Lee Gurga

The poignancy of this poem and its simple plea speaks eloquently of what is important in life–that is, living simply and savoring each moment, each day to the fullest. The autumn wind, that harbinger of winter, of death and dying, is being asked to take everything, everything, but that bare minimum needed for life. It is not necessary to know that Shiki died as a young man (32, I think) with tuberculosis, which he suffered from for a decade, to appreciate this poem, but knowing it adds to its depth.

Patricia Machmiller
70, Retired manager
San Jose

Autumn Wind

oh, autumn wind–

blow everything away

but my life


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May it is~

What a busy National Poetry Month for me, and I hope an enjoyable one for you. There were poetry events galore, weren’t there, and a chance to read and admire the full collection of Poetry on the Move Entries as I posted them here. Again, what a privilege it’s been to read them all. Thanks to everyone who participated.

I started May off with a busy day of teaching yesterday, and then a visit today with the Los Gatos Lion’s Club. Speaking to various groups in the county, including community service organizations such as the Lion’s Club and the Key Club, has been another unexpected pleasure of being Poet Laureate. I appreciate their member’s interest and attention to what I have to say about poetry, and I so admire the tireless work such groups perform. In honor of Mother’s Day, May 13, and as a way to illustrate the Favorite Poems Project, I read them Clark Kepler’s submission, The Lanyard, by Billy Collins. You might want to read it to your mom!

Speaking of Favorite Poems, I will resume posting your submissions here. I’ll bet you can’t wait to see who turns up at the ending of the alphabet, both poet and neighbor. It’s a fun job and I’m glad to do it.


Sally Ashton
Santa Clara County Poet Laureate

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Felicia Santiago: A favorite poem

And Tomorrow
by Tupac Shakur

I really like this poem because it reminds me of the kind of poetry I write and the way that I think. I like how it sounds when I read it aloud. I think that it could mean a lot of different things to different people, which is good. Poetry can be very diverse and affect people in different ways. Tupac is a well-known lyricist and anyone who has followed his work would be familiar with his poetry. I had never seen this one in particular but I do love it a lot.

Felicia Santiago
San Jose

And Tomorrow

Today is filled with anger
fueled with hidden hate
scared of being outcast
afraid of common fate
Today is built on tragedies
which no one wants 2 face
nightmares 2 humanities
and morally disgraced
Tonight is filled with rage
violence in the air
children bred with ruthlessness
because no one at home cares
Tonight I lay my head down
but the pressure never stops
knawing at my sanity
content when I am dropped
But 2morrow I c change
a chance 2 build a new
Built on spirit intent of Heart
and ideals
based on truth
and tomorrow I wake with second wind
and strong because of pride
2 know I fought with all my heart 2 keep my
dream alive

Tupac Shakur

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Juan Felipe Herrera: California’s New State Poet Laureate

Appointed today, March 21st, by Governor Jerry Brown!
Coincidentally, Juan Felipe Herrera will be reading at the Martin Luther King Jr. Library, April 4th at 7pm, sponsored by the Center for Literary Arts and Reed Magazine.

How lucky we are!

Let Me Tell You What a Poem Brings
by Juan Felipe Herrera

for Charles Fishman

Before you go further,
let me tell you what a poem brings,
first, you must know the secret, there is no poem
to speak of, it is a way to attain a life without boundaries,
yes, it is that easy, a poem, imagine me telling you this,
instead of going day by day against the razors, well,
the judgments, all the tick-tock bronze, a leather jacket
sizing you up, the fashion mall, for example, from
the outside you think you are being entertained,
when you enter, things change, you get caught by surprise,
your mouth goes sour, you get thirsty, your legs grow cold
standing still in the middle of a storm, a poem, of course,
is always open for business too, except, as you can see,
it isn’t exactly business that pulls your spirit into
the alarming waters, there you can bathe, you can play,
you can even join in on the gossip—the mist, that is,
the mist becomes central to your existence.

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Stefan Moeller: A favorite poem

The Song of the Bell
Das Lied von der Glocke
by Friedrich von Schiller (1759–1805)

The “Song of the Bell” (“Das Lied von der Glocke”) by Friedrich Schiller is probably one of Germany’s best-known poems (and I believe longest) and a rich source of everyday German sayings. It inevitably had become part of my life way before I first read it, and only then I discovered the actual source of all the sayings. The section about marriage was read at my wedding by my best friend and has a particularly special meaning to me ever since. I read the poem regularly, always make new discoveries and hopefully one day will learn it by heart.

Stefan Moeller
Physicist, SLAC
San Jose

The Song of the Bell

WALLED in fast within the earth
Stands the form burnt out of clay.
This must be the bell’s great birth!
Fellows, lend a hand to-day.
Sweat must trickle now
From the burning brow,
Till the work its master honour.
Blessing comes from Heaven’s Donor.
While we our serious work are doing,
We ought to speak a serious word,
More easily our work pursuing,
When noble speech the while is heard.
Now let us earnestly be spying
What our weak powers can create;
I scorn the man who is not trying
On his own work to meditate.
This is the fairest of man’s graces:
The power to think and understand—
For in his inmost heart he traces
What he has fashioned with his hand.
    Wood that from the pine-tree came
    Keep right dry with zealous care,
    That the deftly governed flame
    Through the furnace hole may flare.
    Boiling copper’s thick—
    Get the tin now, quick!
    Let the substance, liquid growing,
    In a docile way be flowing.
What with the help of fire’s great power.
In this deep pit our hands have framed,
High on the belfry of the tower
In mighty tones shall be proclaimed.
In ages far beyond the morrow,
A voice for many shall ring out,
And it will mourn with those in sorrow
And join the choir of the devout.
What fate, forever changing, fleeting,
To mortals far below may bring,
Against the crown of metal beating,
As music of the bell will ring.
    Bubbles leaping, white and spry!
    Good! The masses flow at last.
    Mix them with the alkali,
    That they be more quickly cast.
    From all foam quite free
    Shall the mixture be,
    From the metal pure before us,
    Rise a perfect voice sonorous. Continue reading


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Favorite Poems: Final project reading at Palo Alto Books Inc.

Don’t worry. I’ll still be posting your favorite poems here until we run through the alphabet of submissions, but yes Wednesday evening March 7 at 7pm is the final public reading of your Favorite Poems. Join me as I host this last group of county residents at Books Inc. of Palo Alto, 855 El Camino Real #74 in Town and Country Village, Palo Alto.

A full list of readers appears in the header above. I’m expecting a SRO crowd, so come early, grab a seat, then browse the books for something to take home. I’ve requested they carry “Bright Wings,” an illustrated  anthology of bird poems edited by Billy Collins that looks pretty cool, but there are other discoveries to make, too.

In the meantime, I’d like to offer a shout out to Sal Pizarro, San Jose Mercury News’ fantastic “Around Town” columnist. He not only included an announcement for the March 7th reading in today’s column and promoted there both of the earlier Favorite Poems readings, but was himself an original “Local Leaders”  contributor to the blog, as well as a reader in the first Favorite Poems reading in San Jose last fall. He’s a superstar and a generous advocate for the arts in our valley. Give him a shout out yourself here for all he does for our community and especially in support of poetry.

And don’t forget to come tomorrow night!

See you there~

Sally Ashton
Santa Clara County Poet Laureate

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Kelly Cressio-Moeller: A favorite poem

by Carl Sandburg

“Fog” represents important firsts for me. I was in first grade when my teacher read it to our class. It’s my first conscious memory (as I pieced together later) of free verse poetry, metaphor, and imagery. At the time, I loved how its tone made me feel: quiet, peaceful, a bit mysterious. I have vivid memories of looking at nature and weather differently after hearing it. Years later, I appreciate how Sandburg deftly conveys a metaphor for life? death? fear? within 6 short lines, a gentle reminder of how we, too, will move on.

Kelly Cressio-Moeller, 44
Stay-at-home Poet
San Jose


The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

Carl Sandburg

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For his 108th birthday: A favorite poem

Too Many Daves
by Theodor Seuss Geisel
aka Dr. Seuss

I’m taking advantage of my position at the keyboard to take note and salute the work of Dr. Seuss who played an important part in most of our poetry lives, either as parents reading to delighted children, or as children ourselves reveling in the music and invention of his poetry. He delights us with rhythm, rhyme, and a certain essential wildness. “Dum-ditty-dum-ditty-whack! whack! whack!,” from Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb, my once-toddlers’ favorite.

Thank you Dr. Seuss for letting us play. I dedicate my favorite, “Too Many Daves,” to the never-too-many Daves in my life, but especially today to Dave Denny, current Cupertino Poet Laureate, and David Tom, my best “Dave” fan ever. Please read aloud to someone.

Oh, and why not list your favorite Dr. Seuss in the comments below?

Sally Ashton
Santa Clara County Poet Laureate
Los Gatos

Too Many Daves


Did I ever tell you that Mrs. McCave
Had twenty-three sons and she named them all Dave?
Well, she did.   And that wasn’t a smart thing to do.
You see, when she wants one and calls out, “Yoo-Hoo!
Come into the house, Dave!” she doesn’t get one.
All twenty-three Daves of hers come on the run!
This makes things quite difficult at the McCaves’
As you can imagine, with so many Daves.
And often she wishes that, when they were born,
She had named one of them Bodkin Van Horn
And one of them Hoos-Foos.   And one of them Snimm.
And one of them Hot-Shot.   And one Sunny Jim.
And one of them Shadrack.   And one of them Blinkey.
And one of them Stuffy.   And one of them Stinkey.
Another one Putt-Putt.   Another one Moon Face.
Another one Marvin O’Gravel Balloon Face.
And one of them Ziggy.   And one Soggy Muff.
One Buffalo Bill.   And one Biffalo Buff.
And one of them Sneepy.   And one Weepy Weed.
And one Paris Garters.   And one Harris Tweed.
And one of them Sir Michael Carmichael Zutt
And one of them Oliver Boliver Butt
And one of them Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate …
But she didn’t do it.   And now it’s too late.


Theodor Seuss Geisel, Dr. Seuss


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