Come on in to Iambic Nana.

Sit awhile and read some poetry to your kids, in your children’s classes, your devotions and holy day celebrations, or on your home visits. These poems tell stories about friends, family, and faith. They really like to be read out loud, so make them happy and fill the air with words that mostly rhyme.

You are welcome to download all poems for use in your life. However, if you are moved to publish any of them, please contact me through the contact form so we can talk it over. Some of these poems are available in the book Bahá’í Holy Days: Stories and Poems for Children which can be found online.

Tiny Books can now be ordered right here at Iambic Nana. Currently available are The Bahá’í Faith: A Tiny Introduction in English or in Spanish, A Tiny Book of Prayers, and A Soul Is Forever: A Tiny Book of Comfort at the Tiny Books tab above.

And most exciting for me at this moment in time, the upper elementary school biographies, Robert Sengstacke Abbott: A Man, a Paper, and a Parade; John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie: A Man, a Trumpet, and a Journey to Bebop;  and Hazel Scott: A Woman, a Piano, and a Commitment to Justice are available for purchase from the Bahá’í Bookstore or Amazon.

To hear more about the biographies, check out the YouTube interviews posted under the “About Susan Engle” tab above.

So glad you stopped by. The door is always open for you.


Photo and Fabric Art by Elaine Phillips

Poems of Friends

Chucky’s Choice

For Clare

Chucky the Chipmunk, while scouting around,
Discovered a small, secret Cookie Jar Town.
“What ho,” muttered Chucky. “These mushrooms are tough.
They’re harder than bricks. Such inedible stuff.
But I do see a place where a hole can be dug.”
And he tested the soil with some scrapes and a tug.

This town was a playground of cookie jar houses,
A barn, and a teepee the right size for mouses
And chipmunks, of course. He did not use the doors.
He just dug underneath and created new floors,
Which toppled the buildings and left them askew.
Wreaking havoc was something he knew how to do.

Then Chucky heard noises, a soft humming sound,
And he poked his wee nose from his hole in the ground.
A large head with gray hair sprouting out of the top
Appeared much too close, and he paused in mid-hop. 
Its big mouth had a curve. He knew not what it meant.
Were those teeth going to eat him? He hid by the tent.

Not a tent, not exactly. But he didn’t know
That the tent was a teepee. No matter, he’d go
Pack his bags and move off to a quieter place
Where the chances of seeing a rather old face
Were not part of his day. Or his night, for that matter.
One leap and he left with a soft little patter.

He didn’t look back as he sprinted away.
It was good moving weather, this fine sunny day.
Farewell, little Chucky. I’ll miss your small frown,
But I won’t miss the havoc in Cookie Jar Town. 

By Susan Engle, Copyright 2021

Poems of Family

Hooray for Skin

Rejoice, and celebrate the skin
That keeps the veins and muscles in
That keeps the cold and germies out.
That is what skin is all about.

Suppose, when God created skin,
He turned the skin-side outside in
So when you talk to Mrs. Jones
Your eyes meet over fat and bones

And tissues, blue and white and red,
That stretch from toe to hand to head.
It makes me glad to have a skin
To keep the outside bone-side in.

Now there are folks who would be mad
If our insides were all they had
To tell all kinds of folks apart.
Perhaps they’d learn to read the heart
Instead of judging from a hue
If that one’s false or this one’s true.

Let’s all join hands and feast our eyes
On skins of every shape and size
Of every tone of gold or white
Of luscious black, of dark or light,
Of every shade that folks come in.
Rejoice, and celebrate the skin!

Hooray for Skin PDF

Poems of Friends

Great Places A to Z

“Hey, I know my letters!” yelled Albert one day.
“O yeah? Are you sure?” Zelda started to say.
“I’ll tell you my favorite places to be
And great stuff I like,” Albert said, “A to Z.”

A is for airport from whence people fly
To visit Australia or France or Mumbai.

B is for bathtub, all bubbly and hot,
Where I can get squeaky when spotless I’m not.

C is for city with people en masse.
And C is for country with cows, trees, and grass.

D is for desert where sunsets supreme
Show colors so thick you could eat them with cream.

E is for elevator. It’s such fun
To push all the buttons in rows, one by one.

F is for forest with creatures unseen
And sunlight in rays piercing through the thick green.

G is for garden, all weeded and neat.
New carrots with dirt are delicious to eat.

H is for home, O so cozy and warm,
A place meant for resting from testing and storm.

I is for island, surrounded by sea.
If you love to swim, it’s a great place to be.

J is for jungle, all luscious and shower-y,
All much overgrown-y, insect-y and flowery.

K is for kitchen where everyone meets,
Makes jokes and tells stories and giggles and eats.

L is for lake and the loons living there
Who call for their mates in the soft evening air.

M is for mountain, majestic and craggy,
Where mountain goats’ coats get all matted and shaggy.

N is for nursery, just up the stairs,
Where mothers and dads sometimes sing us our prayers.

O is for outside where we love to play
By the creek, on the swings, up the trees, in the hay.

P is for playground, all covered with friends.
It’s always too soon when our afternoon ends.

Q is for quasar, a kind of black hole.
I wouldn’t go visit if Mars is your goal.

R is for refuge, a good place to hide
With feelings of sad, mad, or quiet inside.

S is for school where we learn the three “R’s”
And all about lizards and singing and stars.

T is for there, which is someplace not here,
Sometimes very distant, sometimes very near.

U is for universe, vast, deep, and wide.
We could travel forever and still be inside.

V is for valley where food can be grown.
Folks yodel their messages when there’s no phone.

W is world. All this big world around
Will soon be at peace, not a war to be found.

X is for xebec, a great place afloat.
Just in case you’ve not seen one, a xebec’s a boat.

Y is for yurt, a small house with a dome.
If you were a nomad, you might call it home.

Z is for zenith, that star’s path up high.
Or a great big success we can reach if we try.

“So Zelda my friend, did I do it all right?”
“Yep. You certainly did. Now let’s both say good night.”
“But it’s only lunchtime,” smiled Al, “about noon.”
“Well, we’ve sure traveled far!” Zelda yawned. ”See you soon.”

Great Places A to Z PDF

Poems of Family

Which Wealth?

Have you heard the story told
Of how a king turned things to gold,

Turned all to gold with one small touch?
King Midas loved this gift so much!

He touched his cup. (I’m sure you know.)
He touched his bed. He touched his bow.

He touched his table, rug, and chair,
His soup, his cheese, his grapes, his hair!

He whirled around in joyous fun
And reached to touch his dearest one,

His precious child. Alas, alack!
She turned to gold! “O give me back,”

The one whose love lights up my way!”
His wish was granted. Happy day!

Now do you think our king was sad?
No! Gold was gone, but he was glad.

He’d found that love was irreplaceable
And gold, mere gold was, well, erasable.

Sometimes I wonder just how much
I would enjoy the golden touch.

Would I have chosen, if I could,
The gold for now, or love for good?

Which Wealth PDF

Poems of Friends

Dara of Deeds

There once was a land
That lay empty and green
Under blue sky and warm summer breeze.
It was patiently lying there,
(Land often does),
Whisp’ring riddles and singing to bees.

Then one morning, a rumble
Was felt on the land.
It came from a wandering crowd.
And heading them up
Was a tall man in robes
Who was also exceedingly loud.

“How ‘bout here?” he cried out.
Then he answered himself,
“What a brilliant idea! My word!”
And he called out to people
To follow behind
Very close so his thoughts could be heard.

This baron, Sir Worthington,
Grabbed his valise
And way up on the top of one peak,
He settled and sat.
Then he opened his mouth,
And from then on did nothing but speak.

“O noodles and poodles,
O fruit flies and fleas,
Stretch up with your minds unto me.
For green cheese is gumptious
And fairies are fluttering
Flutes on the shores of the sea.”

Many folks gathered near
And were soon stuck like glue
By the words that rolled by down the hill.
But others decided
To try out the east
Where a hillside lay empty and still.

Far down at the bottom
Of hill number two,
Young Dara of Deeds made her camp.
Smiling and waving,
She welcomed the folks
To make friends and make plans round her lamp.

“What is needed,” she asked
Women, children, and men
“To help us all prosper and grow?”
“We need houses and schools.
We need farms, orchards, pools,”
Came the answers she’d wanted to know.

“Now, tell me the names
Of the work you all love.”
And people signed up, two by two,
To take on the jobs,
All the science and arts.
Each one knew what they needed to do.

That night, folks on hillsides
Slept under the moon,
Dreaming dreams. But as weeks flew ahead,
One hillside sat spellbound.
The other worked wonders
‘Til one day, an East Hill child said,

“Look, Mama. Look Dad.
Over on the West Hill.
Are those clouds or balloons or large birds?”
Sir Worthington’s lectures
Had filled West Hill heads
With the Gas of Continuous Words.

For days, weeks, and months,
All the folks in the west
Had done nothing but listen and eat.
One by one, the whole hillside
Was floating aloft,
Ribbons tied to the earth and folks’ feet.

What a sight! Dara rushed
To the hill, calling out,
“Are you happy? Content? Need a hand?”
“Bring us ba-a-a-ck. We’re so seasick,”
They called from the sky.
So she pulled each by foot to the land.

Then, bold as you please,
She took Worthington’s hand
And led him to work that he loves:
Spouting words that make gas
So all festivals have
Floating rubber inflatable gloves.

Now the land ‘neath the sun,
Once so empty and still,
Is exploding with bustle and laughter.
Dara’s life of good deeds
Had infected them all
And the hills rang with joy ever after.

Dara of Deeds PDF

Poems of Friends

The Crimson Balloon

O the man in the moon
Loved a sweet red balloon
Who lived on the shore by the sea.
“Do come nigh! Oh, come near,”
Wooed the moon. “Crimson dear,
Loose your string now and come marry me.”

“Oh balloon red and sweet,”
Cried the clams at her feet,
“Take care, for you weren’t meant to fly.”
But the crimson balloon
Loved the man in the moon
And raced off through the star-sprinkled sky.

“I’m untied now. I’m free,
And I’ll soon marry thee,”
Cried sweet Crimson as faster she leapt.
But her love and the height
Burst her heart in mid-flight.
The moon gathered her fragments and wept.

O the man in the moon
Loves his sweet red balloon.
He sings songs to the sun of her light.
And in autumn, the moon,
Longing for his balloon,
Hovers low and burns red in the night.

The Crimson Balloon PDF

Poems of Friends

Deward’s Dilemma

Big Deward the Dump was a mite bit upset.
Over long years, his diet of trash
Had been growing in items he’d rather forget,
Things that made him break out in a rash.

“How I long for an eggshell, a rind or a crust
That I used to enjoy by the ton.
Most the things in me now don’t digest, or they rust.
I am fasting ‘til something is done.”

With those words, Big Deward closed up his large mouth
And refused all the garbage that streamed
From the east and the west and the north and the south.
Heaps of cast-offs just piled up and steamed.

Many garbage truck drivers tried all kinds of tricks
To get Deward to alter his ways.
But no joking or patting, cajoling or kicks
Changed a thing. His fast went on for days.

At last—weakly—he posted a banner up high,
Right where all of the people could see.
And it said, “If you don’t want Big Deward to die,
Please recycle the trash that hurts me.”

“Recycle? What’s that?” asked a man at Town Hall.
Some kids heard him and held up their hands.
“You just use things again. Make a dish or a doll
Out of plastic or bottles or cans.”

“I can turn all the plastic to t-shirts and swings,”
Yelled a man who could weave and make toys.
“We’ll make bottles and cans into all kinds of things,”
Offered others. And soon all the noise

Of recycling ideas reached way out of town
To the ears of Big Deward the Dump.
And he tore down the banner while swallowing down
The edible trash in one lump.

How the people rejoiced as they carted away
Ev’ry smidgeon of synthetic scum.
Now they annually celebrate Deward Dump Day
Chewing biodegradable gum.

Deward’s Dilemma PDF

Poems of Family

Night Walk

The house is quiet, O so still.
The moon shines on my windowsill
And draws me out in silver light
To hear the language of the night.

The doves and owls, the crickets near
Are voices that I often hear
When moonlight waves its tempting hand
And I obey its soft command.

But on this night, the rustling trees
Sing different songs upon the breeze.
Tonight the woods out past the lawn
Cry out, “Where have the People gone?”

The People. Yes. The ones whose lands
Have passed to others’ eager hands
The ones who sing Earth Mother’s song
Not heard in this woods for so long.

The ones who tell the tales of dreams
Of sacred mountains, lakes, and streams.
Where are they now? I long to see
Their fires and lodges close to me.

Too soon the moon sets round and red.
I wander back to my warm bed.
I pray the People will return
That, hearts together, all might learn

The language of the earth and sky,
The songs of stars that pass me by,
The secret of the moonbeam’s light
That calls me out to walk at night.

Night Walk PDF

Poems of Family

My Grampa and I

My grampa and I
Are the bestest of chums.
We both run outside
When the ice cream man comes.
We even have long, kind of bendy-back thumbs,
My grampa
My grampa and I.

My grampa and I
Hunt for mushrooms and rocks
When we’re walking together.
And Dad says our socks
Are all smelly from wading in mud by the docks,
My grampa
My grampa and I.

My grampa and I
Like our fireworks loud
Search for men in the moon
And the moon through a cloud.
And when we do dishes, we do ourselves proud,
My grampa
My grampa and I.

My grampa and I
Have decided to be
Like two peas in a pod,
Like a lock and a key.
And I’ll always love him and he’ll always love me,
My grampa
My grampa and I.

My Grampa and I PDF