Three NEW environmental poems by Jane Yolen, author of over 300 books for young readers, including Owl Moon and How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?

Garden to Gardener

First the earth must be turned,

clods loosened, worms set free,

Breathe deep of the strong brown air.

Next make the graphs of rows,

measured, treasured, tweaked, and ruled.

Now you must set in the points.

Strew seed. Cover. Tamp.

Unless rain is forecast–water.

And even then, water right away.

Finally, step back.



The green will do the rest.

©2012 Jane Yolen all rights reserved

The Recycled Orchestra

Here music is played by children on pieces of garbage

recycled, reworked, refinished, refined.

Small fingers hover over stops, strings, beating time,

though time is all they have for payment.

Music doesn’t come from their fingers or mouths;

nor from strings saved from the trash

or corroded pipes shaped into horns,

into flutes, or the old canister now a drum.

It comes from the heart, that oldest dump site,

that heap of emotions, that compost of desires.

©2013 All rights reserved


Entomologists don’t study ents.

but insect ladies, insect gents.

They study them in places muggy.

I’d say it drives them really buggy.

©2013 Jane Yolen all rights reserved

Jane Yolen has been called the Hans Christian Andersen of America and the Aesop of the twentieth century, beloved for her poetic voice. Her children’s books have won dozens of awards, including the Caldecott, Golden Kite and a National Book Award nomination. Visit her official website at

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