I feel like time is running out.  Time is running out in my son’s youth to transmit all my motherly knowledge into his little brain before he flaps his wings and takes flight.

Now that he is in junior high school, he stays at school much longer than he used to.  After school, he has computer club, so he gets home around six p.m.  In some ways it’s kind of nice because I get “Me” time.  But it’s also bittersweet.  Not as much storytime, booktime, English time.

At night, I no longer do books with him.  I’ve turned to poetry.  When he goes to sleep, I (sometimes) say a poem to him as a “good night.”  And if he sleeps past his alarm, I might sneak into his room and wake him with a poem.   Not all the time, of course, just sometimes.

I looked for poetry books on my kindle and finally decided on Ambleside’s poetry for children.  It’s really cheap because it’s all public domain.  I know that kind of stuff is available in a multitude of sources, but I think the folks at Ambleside have compiled child friendly poetry in a rather nice way.

Plus, we have these books.


I like the book of modern poetry for two reasons.  1.) It’s not generally public domain so I can’t just get these poems online and 2.) modern poetry is more my style (and more child accessible, IMO.)

The book of American poetry is nice because, well, we are American.  So it’s our culture.


Also, we have these books.  I’ve had the Llama book for years, but just received the Japanese nursery rhymes books.  Okay, I admit I fell victim to its Cutey cute illustrations.  I took it to Japanese class, and my teachers liked it.  However, they did not read it closely at all.  I was curious if there were any errors.

(It was written by non-Japanese and published by non-Japanese, so yeah, I admit it.  I worry about errors in the Japanese.  I know that materials  here in Japan that are in English–but published by Japanese publishers–can have errors in them.)

But I am pleased with it.  I’m glad I bought it.



I think it sort of nice to have a few short meaningful  poems memorized so that you can just say them to your child.  Without looking in a book or anything.

I never saw a purple cow

I hope I never see one.

But I can tell you anyhow.

I ‘d rather see than be one.


I never saw a moor,
I never saw the sea;
Yet know I how the heather looks,
And what a wave must be.

I never spoke with God,
Nor visited in heaven;
Yet certain am I of the spot
As if the chart were given.

-Emily Dickinson

Children imitating cormorants
are even more wonderful
than cormorants.

-Kobayashi Issa

Aunt Sue has a head full of stories.
Aunt Sue has a whole heart full of stories.
Summer nights on the front porch
Aunt Sue cuddles a brown-faced child to her bosom
And tells him stories.

-Snippet of “Aunt Sue’s Stories” by Langston Hughes

No one can tell me,
Nobody knows,
Where the wind comes from,
Where the wind goes.

-Snippet of “Where the Wind Goes” by A.A.Milne