A Room In A Cliff

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A Room In a Cliff

There was a young boy with a room in a cliff–
so much better than having a moat.
He could climb a ladder right down to a skiff–
a submarine was his favorite boat.

In his sub, he explored the deep ocean floor,
where octopi (at least two octopus)
once banged their suction cups on his door,
and howled, “won’t you come play with us.”

But that boy, who had a room in a cliff–
he knew quite a bit of the sea,
and though the octis’ howls scared him stiff,
he smiled so they would not see–

But the octupi were giant—in fact, squid–
out the porthole the boy took peeks,
and he counted ten, ten, tentacles amid
rubbery ravenous beaks.

He motioned with hands though he had but two
that some other time he would play,
but just that minute he had else to do
like underwater dragons to slay.

There was also his best pet whale to feed–
He signed the word “balleen” with his tongue–
T’was a signal the squids somehow could read
with the sea-creaking song he sung.

Of a sudden the sub began to spin–
for one squid really loved to play cricket–
It was not a game the boy could win–
he felt stuck in a seaweedy wicket.

But when the sub spun, it also flew
high above the ocean’s dark floor,
for that squid was a batsquid through and though,
now no tentacles knocked at the door.

The boy kept to the surface heading home,
opening the hatch to catch sun;
A whale swam close by so he wasn’t alone.
(A nice whale, though not his pet one.)

At the cliff, he climbed back to his laddered room,
after battening with care the hatch lid,
climbed right through the window where nightly the moon
brightened seas inked with games of the squid.

**********************************************
Here’s a draft children’s poem for the 12th day of National Poetry Month and also for Margaret Bednar’s prompt on With Real Toads to write something in a child’s voice (or for children).   Margaret gave a selection of children’s drawings, but I was thinking of some of the drawings of my nephews, which seemed often to feature submarines and cliff houses.  I’ve tried to recreate one, but it turned out to have an elephant.

Squid actually have eight legs and two tentacles–ten extensions in all–but I didn’t realize their biology until right before posting, so I fudged it a bit.

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13 Comments on “A Room In A Cliff”


  1. I love the idea of octopuses banging on the door…this is a fun piece!! Well done!

  2. Sumana Roy Says:

    love the adventurous spirit of the child…pet whale and octopus wanting to play cricket..

  3. Kerry O'Connor Says:

    I thought this prompt would be perfect for you and couldn’t wait to read your piece. Here is such a thorough narrative, so well-realized and filled with clever and amusing details. I am especially impressed with your knowledge of cricket!

    I so enjoyed your poem.

  4. wolfsrosebud Says:

    wonderful tale you’ve taken us on… nicely done

  5. brian miller Says:

    what a fun adventure…kids would def love it…
    esp the play with the octopus and the squid

  6. Grace Says:

    Very imaginative write K ~ I so love the nightly adventures, with the games by the octopi and squid ~ (I thought I will see elephants, smiles) ~

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks, Grace. I am looking forward to trying your challenge today–as it looks super cool–though I may have to do it another day as my prompt ability is low at the moment! K.

      >

  7. hedgewitch Says:

    Just delightful, k. The fanciful and the ‘scientific’ meet head-on in children’s fantasies, and the complexity of their make-believe is in full throttle here. Some very neat rhymes (cricket/wicket) and images(the batsquid)–plus a great sense of adventure that any child would enjoy. Lots of fun!

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks–I was truly tired when posting it last night and had a hard time with the lines as the first version had involved longer lines–only a couple of syllables, but once I started shortening had to go through and shorten each one–not sure if it worked out as youbegin reading the meter the way you simply want it to read. k.

      • hedgewitch Says:

        Yes, I stuck with a short simple meter for mine because it comes the easiest for me–here you have so much going on though that you need the extra syllables.

  8. humbird Says:

    What the story…I’d love this story as kid before going to bed…:)

  9. grapeling Says:

    this is fantastic, K. I like the realism of the batsquid not being attached to the ocean floor, the wisdom and whimsy. ~

  10. margaret Says:

    Learning and Imagination paired with adventure… what more could a kid ask for? The drawings for this would be amazing in a full feature children’s book!


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