Poetry Friday: “When the Moon Is There”

I’ve been feeling moony lately.

It started with my “’round the moonlit town” poem from last week. Then I got my pal Iza Trapani’s beautifully illustrated Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star in the mail (co-starring the moon), then my little Lorenzo rediscovered his formerly favorite bedtime book I Took the Moon for a Walk, which I reviewed a few months ago, and then there was this gorgeous halo moon the other night when I arrived at chorus rehearsal. I pointed it out to a couple of people, but no one paid it any attention. I don’t get that. How can you not be seduced by the beauty of the moon, even for the thousandth time? That moon is a smooth operator, if you ask me.

So today I’m sharing a little bedtime ditty I wrote for the book Lizard Lou, called “When the Moon Is There,” recited to a chorus of cicadas. Do you suppose there are cicadas on the moon?


When the moon is there,
at half past six tonight,
we’ll sit out in the garden
to watch the fading light.

And when the moon is there,
we’ll have a bite to eat;
a slice of bread, a glass of milk,
and maybe something sweet.

And when the moon is there,
when it looks so small and far,
we’ll gather at the window
to name the brightest star.

You’ll stare up to the heavens,
your eyes so round and bright—
and when the moon is there,
I’ll kiss you all goodnight.

[heading style=”1″]Extension Activities: “When the Moon Is There”[/heading]

  • Writing:
    • In this poem, I repeat the phrase “when the moon is there” to show the progression of time, the position of the moon in the sky, and what happens at each stage. Write a poem about the passage of time, focusing on something that tells time, like the moon, the sun, the stars, a clock, an hourglass, or a shadow, and use a repeated phrase to give the poem shape.
  • Reading: 
  • In the kitchen:
Ed is hosting the Poetry Friday roundup today at Think Kid Think. Go moon him!

[heading style=”1″]COMING NOVEMBER 16: ROBYN HOOD BLACK![/heading]


Video Location: Cicada Central Station.

See more poems in my poetry video library.
“When the Moon Is There” by Renée LaTulippe. Licensed by All About Learning Press, Inc. Copyright © 2010, 2012 All About Learning Press, Inc. All rights reserved.  No portion of this material may be copied, retransmitted, reposted, duplicated, or otherwise used without the express written approval of All About Learning Press, Inc.

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  1. Renee, There is such a warm sweetness here. I just want to cuddle this poem! It reminds me of how “moon” was one of each of our children’s first words. Such magic. Thank you for this poem-to-save… Happy Poetry Friday!

  2. Beautiful Renee!

    My 4th grader is completing a “Moon Unit” and keeping a moon journal this month, so we have done lots of lunar observing in the late night and early morning hours. I’ll share these poems with the teacher so there will be a literacy dimension to the science unit!

    And yes, she thinks I’m odd when I try to explain Moon Unit Zappa and valley girls! 🙂

  3. Renne. This was beautiful. Now, don’t get me wrong. Your witches act was also beautiful. But this one will help me sleep at night, whereas the other has made quite the lasting impression on my imagination! =) You are so talented and this site is the bestest resource. I think you are the smooth operator, not moon! =) xoxo

  4. Beautiful, Renee! I, too, am a fan of the moon and will periodically drag my kids out of the house at night to look at it.

    So far I’ve let them sleep through the Perseid meteor shower, but one of these years…

  5. Very heart warming. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    The phrase ‘Slice of bread, glass of milk’ brought to mind another poem ‘Loaf of bread, jug of wine’ (from Edward Fitzgerald’s translation of Omar Khayyam) which incidentally also has this stanza:

    Yon rising Moon that looks for us again–
    How oft hereafter will she wax and wane;
    How oft hereafter rising look or us
    Through this same Garden–and for one in vain!

  6. I love all the moon poems, Renee, and this is just so lovely and a sweet bedtime poem for the little ones. I think I told you last time, I’ve done moon journaling with students for a month in my past teaching. We watched, wrote & did different kinds of art, including moon cookies, for a month, ending with a full moon hike. It was something I wanted to give the students, a love for the moon. I don’t understand how people can ignore it. Thanks, & best wishes for more moon viewings!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, ladies. Tina – my kids have been fascinated with the moon since it first registered in their brains that there was something bright in the sky. “Luna” was one of their first words.

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