Thursday, June 25, 2015

June DMC Wrap-Up + Giveaway

Photo: Miranda Barnes

At the beginning of this month, Corey Rosen Schwartz challenged us to write a stanza or two about building a treehouse, using unpredictable rhymes of more than one syllable.

"Treehouse of Awesome" by S. Shepard
Let me tell you, this was not easy. Ask any one of the diehard treehouse poets out there who grabbed their rhyming toolboxes and went at it.

Nope. Not easy.

But was it fun? You betcha!  So much so, that one or two stanzas was rarely enough.

Or maybe you're just gluttons for punishment.

"Treehouse" by John Wright

In any case, for me the best part was seeing where your imaginations took us.

Thank you to those who participated in this month's challenge, and especially to Corey Rosen Schwartz, who inspired us to reach new heights.


All poems are copyright 2015, and published with permission of the authors, who control all rights.

From Katie Gast:

Chicken tried to hammer nails
Instead, she hit her feathered tail
“Ouch!” she squawked. “This hammer’s weighty!
I can’t do it and you can’t make me!”

“Instead, I’ll sand the tree house floor.”
And she scritch-scratched across each board.
“That’s not sanding,” the old dog barked,
“Your chicken feet have left it marked!”

“I learned this trick from my old ladies -
the swanky ones with the Mercedes.
You’re dog-gone wrong with your critique,
our tree house floor now looks antique.”

                                                  From Janie Lazo:

                                                  Duck waddled through town posting flyers and billing
                                                  that Woodpecker helped hang with his skillful beak drilling.
                                                  Goosander was sawing, Ms. Beaver was gnawing,
                                                  and Bear hoisted boards with his heaving and pawing.
                                                  But Moose wanted more for this leafy retreat-
                                                  an excellent tree house he meant to complete!
                                                  So he watched like a hawk and did frequent inspections,
                                                  and he pointed out flaws and minute imperfections.
                                                  His voice roared like thunder through his orange megaphone,
                                                  "Level!" He shouted "LEVEL" in a harsh, hurtful tone.
                                                  "This wall is not plumb and it must be precise!"
                                                  "You must read my blueprint! It's very concise!"
                                                  From the sting of his words Moose's friends felt defeated.
                                                  So they packed up their tools and through the woods they retreated.

Planning Your Treehouse
          by Michelle Heidenrich Barnes

When building a treehouse you need to be clever,
so making a plan is a useful endeavor:

  • The walls should be strong like a tough armadillo.
  • The floor should be soft, like your favorite pillow.
  • No need for a roof, since the rain won’t affect you.
    (Your leafy umbrella will always protect you.)
  • Now this is important– the last thing you’ll need
    is a shelf full of books so there’s plenty to read.

                         The Tiny Wish
                                   by Linda Baie

                         It would be nice, yet need advice
                         to fabricate a treehouse.
                         My mother says I am not fit
                         ‘cause I’m a tiny house mouse.
                         The leafy green would be my scene
                         inside a little tree.
                         Please why can’t I be living there?
                         With Mom, I disagree.

                         I would create a minimum
                         of fuss in my construction,
                         only desire a tool or two
                         plus labor for production.

                         I found a perfect cheese box
                         that smells of camembert,
                         to formulate this upstairs home -
                         favored fragrance in the air.

                         I’m looking for a willow tree
                         Constructing there is best.
                         The tree will offer privacy.
                         I’ll love my little nest.

                         I will appreciate the help
                         to lessen Mom’s concern.
                         Send notes to Hattie Housemouse
                         via Postman Michael Tern.

                                                                 My Treeless Tree House
                                                                           by Michelle Kogan

                                                                 My treeless tree house whirr is under construction.
                                                                 Watch out dear critters for flying sawdust fluxion.

                                                                 The fence will fill in fine for my tree substitute.
                                                                 It anchors my house while climbing great altitude...

                                                                 Nails, screws, and elbow grease hold all joints together.
                                                                 When finished I’ll invite my friend with a feather.

                                                                 Tada! My house is done its rustic and breezy,
                                                                 Climb up, take in the vista, and take it eeeasy...

With a Hat Like a Bishop's, What Else Would You Expect?
          by Diane Mayr

Two woodpeckers poked, and pecked,
made one heck-of-a
mess of sawdust and splintery wood.

The one with sideburns
had a moment of concern,
but the other said, "You've misunderstood!

We'll wiggle our hips
and smooth down those chips.
We're nesting! It's our parenthood!"

Then she lifted both legs.
Popped out six dozen eggs.
And was nominated for avian sainthood.

                                                                      From Christine Rodenbour:

                                                                      I made my first treehouse
                                                                      With blankets and vision,
                                                                      But each time I sat
                                                                      There’d be a collision.

                                                                      This time I was smarter.
                                                                      The treehouse I’ve built
                                                                      Should be quite sturdy.
                                                                      I’ve used my mom’s quilt.

Moldysocks and the Three Treehouses
          by Donna JT Smith

One day when a girl named Miss Moldysocks
Was traipsing through woods and on river rocks,
She spied a big tree
With a house hanging free
With doors, except one, having paddylocks.

She climbed up the tree where she shouldn’t go;
She climbed it so quickly that don’t you know,
She couldn’t resist
And wouldn’t desist
Until she had left the ground far below!

The things in the house were just way to big;
The cupboards were stuffed for a hungry pig;
She slipped back outside
And slid down with pride
Without even breaking a single twig.

She skipped on her trip through the piney groves,
Then sat down to snack on some moldy loaves;
She looked up and saw
A house for MawMaw
With windows, and curtains and cooking stove.

She tiptoed some more till she spotted him:
A bear cub aloft on a pine tree limb;
He’d been sent away
To build his chalet,
However, his treehouse looked pretty grim.

Moldy called up to him, “What has happened here?
I see by your treehouse your plans aren’t clear.
To build it with flair
You must take more care.
I’ll help you this time!” Then bear gave a cheer!

With hammer, some nails and a tape measure
Construction began on this tree treasure;
They measured and nailed,
Through work quickly sailed,
“Thank you, Moldy!”
       “No, prob! It’s my pleasure!”

Now Moldysocks visits the bears a lot;
In her heart she has a big Moldy spot
For Bear’s treehouse done
By more than just one,
Where some days she naps in this Camelot.

                                                                Alice’s Treehouse
                                                                          by Mindy Gars Dolandis

                                                                I’m excited about my new treehouse! gushed Alice.
                                                                It’s going to look like a princess’s palace.
                                                                I’ll paint the floor lilac, the walls sea foam green,
                                                                the door dusty rose, the roof aquamarine.
                                                                Aside from the usual paraphernalia,
                                                                I’ll decorate with all the finest regalia:
                                                                A golden-trimmed, pink velvet throne that’s gigantic,
                                                                and white chiffon curtains, so soft and romantic.
                                                                My treehouse will be finer than any other!
                                                                Yeah, dream all you want, said Sammy, her brother,
                                                                but it won’t build itself, so stop all your yammering.
                                                                Pick up a hammer and nails and start hammering!

Neighborhood Project
          by George Heidenrich

It's a treehouse we're building. We found the directions
In a cereal box, mixed in with confections
Like chocolate bits and marshmallow fluff.
We tell all our friends. For today that's enough.

Tomorrow we'll look through all our collections
To find rope and wood, then make some corrections
To plans we have doodled, and schedules so tough
A wizard would find the results are too rough.

We hammer and saw, then wait for inspections.
We're crossing our fingers; we want no rejections!
The job's done at last. There are no objections!
The neighborhood's happy. We like our selections!

                              A Treehouse All Your Own
                                        by Catherine Flynn

                             When you’re feeling boisterous,
                             rowdy, shouty, roisterous,
                             go outside and find a tree
                             that you can call your own.

                             One that has a flat, wide space
                             between the branches that can brace
                             a treehouse hideout
                             that you can call your own.

                             Find a friend to help you hoist
                             smooth pine planks for each floor joist
                             plywood walls and a flat tin roof
                             that you can call your own.

                             Once you’ve built your private lair
                             twenty feet up in the air,
                             you can jump and stomp and shout
                             in a treehouse all your own.

                             Be careful as you prance about.
                             The ground’s a long way down!

                                                                                         My Tree House
                                                                                                   by Linda Mitchell

                                                                                         Better in my head
                                                                                         than it is in the tree
                                                                                         more a to-be-read shed
                                                                                         of stories for me.

                                                                                         During my school year
                                                                                         I read all that I had to.
                                                                                         Now summer’s here
                                                                                         and I read what I want to.

                                                                                         No sawing or sanding
                                                                                         of boards to my tree
                                                                                         just hauling up books
                                                                                         skyward, closer to me.

                                                                                         Up a few branches
                                                                                         where  apples will ripen
                                                                                         fantasy flutters and
                                                                                         poetry happens.

Treetop Dream
          by LeeAnn Blankenship

I wish I’d somehow soon acquire
The tree house of my heart’s desire:
A sturdy, wooden home replete
With fellow poets on retreat.

We’d leave distractions down below,
Escaping to our high chateau
Where each could have his private nooks
For writing verses, songs, or books.

Feeling inspired?

You have until Tuesday, June 30th, to send your rhyming treehouse poem to TodaysLittleDitty (at) gmail (dot) com, or use the contact form in the sidebar to the right.

Participants in this month's challenge will be automatically entered to win a personalized copy of WHAT ABOUT MOOSE? by Corey Rosen Schwartz and Rebecca J. Gomez, illustrated by Keika Yamaguchi. (One entry per participant, not per poem.)

Alternatively, you may enter the giveaway by commenting below.  If you contribute a poem and comment below you will earn two entries in total. Comments must be be received by Tuesday, June 30th.

The winner will be determined by and announced next Friday, July 3rd, when Carrie Clickard will be here with a new installment of her rhyme crime investigation series.

I'll be taking a little ditty of a hiatus in July, but hope you'll be hungry for our next Spotlight ON interview and ditty challenge come August!  (That's a hint, by the way. Something to chew on while I'm gone.)

Carol is hosting this week's Poetry Friday roundup at Carol's Corner.


  1. Been antsy to see these all in one place! There's something to love in each of these. Enjoy your month off...but that's all you get, remember! Thanks for all your work on these challenges!

  2. This one was tough indeed! It brought back a lot of memories of my boys when they were young.
    Thanks for hosting these challenges, Michelle!

  3. I've been traveling, Michelle, so missed those final few, but they are wonderful, too. What a fun challenge this month has been. Have a wonderful July!

  4. Wow, Michelle, just wow! Can't believe all these talented poets. And I especially love your vision of a treehouse with a shelf-ful book books. One of the things that has been on my bucket list, almost forever, is to go stay in one of those treehouse hotels (usually way out of my price range!). A girl can dream, right?

    1. I'm all for dreaming, Carol! You've got to dream it before you live it, right?

  5. You are a brave and creative lot! Love the great variety of these poems.

  6. These challenges amaze me by the variety of responses from make believe characters like Mrs. Moldysocks to a happy memory of boy children. Then Michelle just climbs in and curls up to read. Thanks for this round up.

    1. I've got a bean bag chair with your name on it, Margaret. :)

  7. The poems are fab, but that photo of the treehouse taken by Maranda--where is that abode to be found?

    1. It's the observation deck at Paynes Prairie– a state park near us. Miranda went on a field trip a couple weeks ago as part of her digital photography camp.

  8. I started on a poem for this month, but I never finished it. You deserve a month off from ditty duty, Michelle, but I'm going to miss you! See you in August for a chewy challenge.

    1. Hey, goodonya for putting some effort into it, Kristi! I know you'll like August's challenge. :)

  9. What an imaginative bunch. Loved these!

  10. This was a challenging challenge. I started a couple of times but didn't get very far. Kudos to the poets who contributed these fun stanzas.

  11. Amazing poems by all those who rose up, up, and up for this challenge. Have a great July off, Michelle. I'm intrigued by your August hint...if it involves food, you know I'll be there! *nom-nom*

  12. My hat is off to the intrepid poem builders this month! Thanks for another month of fun!

  13. A rich and fun summer collection! Thanks for putting them all together and the enchanting treehouse drawing and photos Michelle! Have a wonderful month off!