Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Mask Poems Reprise

Here are the mask poems I posted previously at Wild Rose Reader. I thought I’d include them all in one post in response to this week’s Poetry Stretch—Mask Poems at The Miss Rumphius Effect.

by Elaine Magliaro

The day we hatched from jellied eggs…
We looked like fish.
We had no legs.
We breathed through gills.
We had no lungs.
We didn’t have long sticky tongues.
We didn’t look like frogs…for sure.
But then we started to mature.
And day by day we changed and grew.
To tails and gills we bid adieu.
Now we have lungs and four fine limbs…
And we can croak
and jump

by Elaine Magliaro

This Pig’s outwitted me before.
No, I won’t knock upon his door,
Won’t threaten him, won’t huff and puff.
I’m finished with that macho stuff.
WELL…down the chimney here I go.
I’ll get that little pig. Ho, ho!
Can’t wait to taste his tender meat,
His juicy snout, his porky feet.
I’ll serve him up with grated cheese,
Potatoes, parsley, parsnips, peas.
Yeh! That’s my kind of swiney grub.
I guess I’m in hot water now.
Goodbye, cruel world.
I’m piggy chow!

by Elaine Magliaro

I’m grizzly bear. I’m fierce and fat…
And dangerous. Remember that!
My teeth are sharp as sabers.
My curvy claws can cut like saws,
And when I prowl the woods I growl
And frighten all my neighbors.
I rule this land. These woods are mine!
I ain’t NOBODY’S valentine!
Don’t think that you can be my friend…
My dinner?

The End

by Elaine Magliaro

I’m black and white.
My tail’s all fluff.
I never growl.I don’t act tough.
I wander into yards at night.
I’m really harmless…
I don’t bite
Or snarl
Or scratch
Or kick
Or pounce.
I just dispense scents by the ounce.
That’s how I frighten foes away—
I lift my bushy tail and SPRAY!

I do not need long fangs or claws,
Bulging muscles,
Mighty jaws.
My malodorous defense,
I think,
Makes a lot of SCENTS!

So if you see me take my pose
To ward off predatory foes…
Just stand back and hold your nose!

by Elaine Magliaro

I’m the biggest whale
in the big blue sea.
I’m blubbery big
as a whale should be.

I’m bigger than
an elephant
three rhinos,
a giraffe.

I’m bigger than
ten walruses
twos hippos
and a half.

There’s nothing
in the world
that’s bigger than me…
except, of course,
for the big blue sea!

by Elaine Magliaro

I’m a slippery slitherer
silent and sleek
sliding and slinking
through grasses
I sneak...
weaving and winding
legless and low
I slip slyly hidden
wherever I go.
Wending and bending
by stalk, stem, and stone
like a ribbon of muscle
and skin without bone
tongue catching the scent
of a soft, furry prey.
Smells like it’s field mouse
for dinner today!

by Elaine Magliaro

My magic mirror is for sale.
It’s such an awful tattletale!
It told me things about my foe
I’d really rather never know.
I MUST be fairest in the land…
Not second best! You understand?
I want to be the most divine.
My reputation’s on the line!

The seven dwarfs are little cretins!
They should be in the dungeon, beaten.
They foiled my plans to kill the lass.
So…now I’ll sell my looking glass
And spend the cash on wrinkle cream,
A nose job, and a health regime,
Two weekends at a beauty spa.
Then I’ll look like a movie star.

I’ll be the fairest in the land!
And Snow White? She can go pound sand!

by Elaine Magliaro

Dear Lion,

I’m tired of doing the hunting, the preying
While your only job is to watch the cubs playing.
I’m tired of stalking the zebras and gnus
While you lie around on the grassland and snooze.
I’m tired of running, and pouncing, and killing.
I want a career that is much more fulfilling.
I’m tired, so tired. I’m spent to the core.
While I’m hard at work, you just eat, sleep, and snore.
I fetch all the food. You grow stronger…I thinner.
For the next seven days you can catch your own dinner!
I’m going away for a well-needed rest.
I’ll be seeing you soon.

All my love,


laurasalas said...

Wowee, wow, wow!

Elaine, these are fabuloso! I love how many of your animals are eating or getting eaten:>)

My favorites are the snake, esp.

like a ribbon of muscle
and skin without bone

Love the ending of the whale one, all the sound play in the skunk one, the lioness' attitude and the queen's remedy.

Sheesh, these are great! I think the snake is my favorite overall, but there are so many terrific ones. Thanks for sharing them ALL.

Elaine Magliaro said...


Thanks! I'm so glad you like these poems. I actually have a whole collection of animal mask poems--which I've never submitted to a publisher. I posted most of the poems here last April for National Poetry Month.

MHN said...


These poems are so great. They made me laugh most especially Thoughts of a Wolf..., and in For Sale: Fairy Tale Artifact the last two lines: I’ll be the fairest in the land!
And Snow White? She can go pound sand!
In your Snake Sililoquy I loved all the ssssssss sounds. I find 's' sounds soothing...

Great poems,

Elaine Magliaro said...


Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting on my poems. I love writing mask poems. When I was teaching elementary school, my students often wrote mask poems and poems of address. Their poems were wonderful. Sometimes their writing inspired my own.

Sara said...

Lioness! I love the way you state your case.

And whale---I love how you revel in your proper size.

See, Elaine, now you've got me talking to your poems. :)

tanita✿davis said...

WOW. Elaine, I adore that snake poem, especially since a.) it's ALWAYS field mouse for dinner for my snake, and b.)all those lovely sssssounds. The skunk one gave me a good laugh, too, as did the lioness! I don't know if you just write poetry for fun sometimes, but I think these should be published too.

Elaine Magliaro said...


Thanks for commenting. I dug that lion poem out of an old folder last April and worked on it so I could post it for National Poety Month.


Thanks! The snake poem is one I wrote many years ago. I kept reworking it last April to include lots of words with "s" sounds and to get the rhythm right. I like to hear which of my poems people like best.

Andromeda Jazmon said...

These are really wonderful! My favorite is the snake one too - you really sound like a snake.

Andromeda Jazmon said...

SUBMIT them as a collection to a publisher girl!!

christine M said...

These are great! I love them!

paisley said...

every one was better than the last... i feel you should create some kind of a children's collection with the majority of them.. they are dynamite!!!!!

Marinela said...

These poems are really great!
I just love them!