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At times when I feel weighted down by things that seem unfair,

I dream of life in outer space, of floating light as air.

I wake up oh-so-weightless, fly with friends to school at eight.

I hover during homeroom, soar in art as I create.

I chase my lunch as it strays off and catch a bite mid-flight.

I coast in chem and sail through essays when it's time to write;

Then heading home, I freewheel on my astronautic bike.

My St. Bernard becomes a kite out on our stellar hike.

At night as I spin off to sleep, I find my mind is clear.

My heavy thoughts have drifted off into the atmosphere.

Without the pull of gravity, I float through cosmic hush,

past constellations, shooting stars, and sparkling astral dust.

I bring the feeling of free-floating back to Earth with me.

I'm ready to let worries go—I'm weightless and care free.

© 2021 Helen Kemp Zax

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  WANTED:   By a dashing prince

  a maiden who's not wont to wince

  at warty skin and bulging eyes

  and slimy lips and breath of flies

  One quick kiss will break the spell.

  Inquire at palace by the well.

© 2021 Helen Kemp Zax

Read by Helen Kemp Zax for YorkMix

Poems for Children Competition 2021

   International Prize Co-winner

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© 2021 Helen Kemp Zax

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© 2021 Helen Kemp Zax

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Witchy Rainbow Brew Moe Phillips reads Helen Zax poem
00:00 / 01:27

Read by Moe Phillips

The Feisty Beast

Toil and Trouble: A Witch's Incantation

red pepper, red mud, red apple, red blood,

red heart, red berry, RED! flame, crimson, cherry

orange pumpkin, orange peel, orange monarch, orange eel

orange poppy, orange leech, ORANGE! salmon, carrot, peach

yellow egg yolk, yellow hair, yellow-jacket, yellow pear,

yellow sulfur, yellow mold, YELLOW! lemon, ochre, gold

green apple, green frog, green pickle, green bog,

green algae, green Polly, GREEN! olive, emerald, holly

blue scorpion, blue eyes, blue peacock, blue flies

blue dragon, blue mice, BLUE! azure, navy, ice

purple sea slug, purple prune, purple starfish, purple moon,

purple coral, purple corn, purple INDIGO! VIOLET! thorn.

Bubble, bubble in my vat! I'll swirl the rainbow, this way, that—

I'll cast a spell! Mwah-hah! Cast two!

                     And now my lovely . . . drink my brew.

© 2022 Helen Kemp Zax

Recess Rules

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Rip the skin off both knees when you slide into first.

Exercise in the sun till you're dying of thirst.

Clown around till your teacher warns, "Stop now. Too much."

Earn a bruise on your butt when you jump Double Dutch.

Spin wild circles so crazy your stomach goes woozy.

Shout, "You gotta pick me!" when team captains get choosy.

Rescue your friend from The Bully. Then hide.

Upset the whole team when your goal shot goes wide.

Lose the match when your Four-Square ball bounces away.

End up out of the game when you're aching to play.

Still—100%—recess rules every day!

©  2021 Helen Kemp Zax 

Lament of the Dog Ball

He chews me and chomps me.

I've no eyes to glower.

He slicks me with slobber.

I don't get to shower.

His teeth pound my skin till

my squeak drives me nutty.

His gnawing is dogged—

it turns me to putty.

He drops me in mud

when we're out for a jog.

In my next life . . . guess what?

               It's my turn as the dog.

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© 2021 Helen Kemp Zax 

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A bilingual Akita

      understands "senorita"!

© 2022 Helen Kemp Zax

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A hairless terrier

     could stand to be furrier.

© 2022 Helen Kemp Zax

A Basset hound

     tracks by smell not sound.

© 2022 Helen Kemp Zax

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Belly Butterflies

When I get so worried my belly whirls,

I've discovered it helps to think

that the flittering flapping flutters 

are butterflies, gold and pink,

on a springtime spree inside of me

as they fly from bloom to bloom

Barely pausing for nectar in the sun

off they zig and zag and zoom.

If you get so stressed your belly flips,

here's something you might try:

Why not picture each jitter inside you

as a bright-winged butterfly?

© 2021 Helen Kemp Zax

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