George Washington Carver

I recently discovered an extremely talented illustrator named Julie Rowan-Zoch and instantly became a fan. Through chatting with her, I learned that we both think George Washington Carver was one of the coolest people to ever walk the earth. We decided to both do posts today honoring him. I think if you check out her blog, you will love what you see and read.

You can visit her site here:

I must admit I had a lot of difficulty writing a poem about George Washington Carver, even though he is a hero of mine. My poems are usually silly and always made-up. Mr. Carver was neither of those things. He was a brilliant man with many talents who accomplished amazing things. He had a gift with plants and became a professor of agriculture. He invented all kinds of products out of plants, especially from peanuts. He used plants to make hundreds of things from ink and milk to plastic and shaving cream. He also taught farmers how to grow better crops which helped the economy significantly. If you have time and you haven’t already, you should definitely read about George Washington Carver. He was a fascinating person.

Today, I have two poems for you: one silly poem about a kid who invents something from other things…kind of like George Washington Carver, but also very not like him, and a simple poem about my hero. I hope you like them! (And don’t forget to visit Julie’s blog!)



Although I may not have a dime,

I’m cunning and I’m smart.

I built myself a bike from scratch,

A two-wheeled work of art.

Mother Streusel

The handlebars from mixer prongs,

The seat, a kitchen chair,

The wheels are from Dad’s set of drums.

I don’t think that he’ll care.

Mother Streusel

My sister’s necklace is the chain,

The gears are from a clock.

The horn is my pet parrot Pete.

That bird can really squawk!

Mother Streusel

Although my new bike is quite large,

I made sure it’s not slower

By giving it a motor that

I stole from Dad’s old mower.

Mother Streusel

I ride with pride upon my bike

It’s fast, it’s sleek, it’s rare

The finest bike in all the land

A bike beyond compare

Mother Streusel

And now, please allow me to present my very humble ode to the great George Washington Carver:

Mother Streusel

I love George Washington Carver

I don’t think you understand

How truly remarkable

And amazing was this man

Mother Streusel

Although he faced racism

In our post-Civil War nation

He overcame the odds

And earned an education

Mother Streusel

Armed with his love of plants

And hard-won master’s degree

He helped Booker T. Washington

Start a university

Mother Streusel

From plants like the peanut

Came his hundreds of inventions

Like shaving cream and buttermilk

He had the president’s’ attention

Mother Streusel

He helped so many people

He never stopped creating

His life was truly meaningful

And truly fascinating

Thank you so much for visiting today!!! If you weren’t already, I hope you become as big of a fan of George Washington Carver as I am. Don’t forget to stop by Julie Rowan-Zoch’s page to see what awesomeness she has cooked up! See you soon!

– Mother Streusel

The Robot

Mother Streusel

This summer I’m building a robot,

A robot that looks just like me.

He’ll do all my chores and my homework.

Soon all of my time will be free.

Mother Streusel

I’ve told everybody about it.

They’ll see what a genius I am

When he attends all of my classes,

While I stay at home eating jam.

Mother Streusel

I’ve tinkered each day in my bedroom.

I shut the blinds and locked the door.

The summer has flown by like lightning.

There’s only a week or two more.

Mother Streusel

It seems now I have a dilemma

With my life-sized robotic man:

Although he does carry my likeness,

He can’t do the things that I’ve planned!

Mother Streusel

School is beginning tomorrow.

It seems all my great plans fell through.

I can’t let them think I’m a failure.

There’s only one thing I can do:

     Mother Streusel

I’ll walk and talk like a robot

While he’s at home behind closed doors,

He’ll lay in bed just like I would

And I’ll go to class and do chores.

© 2014 Karyn Linnell

The Library Book

    Mother Streusel

I borrowed a book from the library

There still are three weeks till it is due

I’m sure I can read the whole book by then

In fact it might only take two

Mother Streusel

It seems now I have missed the deadline

The book was due two days ago

I hate to return it before it’s been read,

This book full of things I should know

Mother Streusel

It’s been now a month since the due date

I’ve just read a handful of lines

The library’s leaving me messages

I’ve racked up a long row of fines

Mother Streusel

The library finally stopped calling

Perhaps ‘cause I moved out of state

It’s been two long years since I borrowed that book

I read it today and it’s great.

Mother Streusel

© 2014 Karyn Linnell

Vote for Karyn AKA Mother Streusel’s Poem “Spring Break”

Mother Streusel

You can vote for her poem “Spring Break” at

Spring Break

You might think I’m a liar, maybe blame confabulation,

When I tell you all the details of my crazy spring vacation

We planned a quiet trip by bus, me and my cousin Mona

To the hot air balloon festival held in Arizona

To our surprise the bus was full of women in their eighties

One gave us both makeovers (We looked more like clowns than ladies)

We took a restroom break and things really went downhill

We ran into a circus on its way down to Brazil

They thought we were performers; they just spoke Portuguese

We found ourselves upon a plane despite our urgent pleas

In Rio de Janeiro we finally got away

We needed to get home but we had no way to pay

We were hired by a squid boat but a giant squid was tracking us

Then in the Gulf of Mexico the squid started attacking us

Me and Mona got away and crawled along the shoal

We were covered all in seaweed; they called animal control

When they saw that we were human, not some oceanic creature

We were taken to a shelter run by a Baptist preacher

We told the man our story and when we said “hot air”

And mentioned Arizona he said he’d take us there

In his hot air balloon shaped like a butterfly

We climbed aboard and soon we were all floating in the sky

We got to Arizona and found our tour bus

The same old ladies were on board; they all smiled at us.

We thought we could relax; we were ready for a snooze

When an old lady offered to give us both tattoos

I know you don’t believe me; even I think it’s surreal

But the shaky kitten on my arm reminds me it was real



You can vote for Karyn’s funny kid’s poem “Spring Break” at


You can vote for Karyn’s poem “Spring Break” at

Mother Streusel is Officially in the FINAL FOUR!!!!!!

I have written one of the most outrageous, ridiculous poems ever!!! It’s called “Spring Break,” and I HAD to use the word confabulation, which means a few different things. I chose to go with the psychology term which means when you have memories that didn’t really happen but you think they are real.

The battle is underway! Voting is open until late Monday morning and you can vote here:


I (Barely) Made It To Round Five!!! I’m In The Final Four!!!

I am so excited to have made it into the final four in the March Madness Poetry competition at My reward for barely sneaking past the last round? Going up against one of the most popular Authletes in this entire competition. His name is Samuel Kent and you can check out his awesome drawings and poems at
So, friends, family, fans…get ready to vote!!! Round 5 starts on Friday!!! I can’t believe I’m still in this thing, but I’m glad I am!
Want to see how close the last round was? You can see it here:

I Made It To Round Four!!!!!!

I’ve been battling other poets in the March Madness Poetry competition hosted by Every round half of the contestants are eliminating, meaning that it is tough!!! I’m still in it! You can see and hopefully vote for my poem, The Magnificent Ford, by clicking here:


Mother Streusel


Karyn Linnell AKA Mother Streusel made it to round 4! You can see her poem, The Magnificent Ford, by clicking this picture!


My word was “unsustainable.” While in our current society, many would instantly think of the environment as the word sustainable is closely linked to it, the word unsustainable instantly made me think of adventure, danger, and things that could not be kept going for very long.

Here is the first poem I wrote. I love how it curves on the right margin like a racetrack.

Dashing Dan the racecar man

grinds the gears of his

six-cylander steed…

Careening around

the concrete corners at

unsustainable breakneck speed

Has he done it? Has he won it? Yes, he has indeed!


One of the other poets wrote about racing, so I’m glad I kept writing.  What do you think of “The Magnificent Ford?” Have you read any of the other poems in round 4? Which one is your favorite?