Posted in A to Z Challenge 2019

#AtoZChallenge; F is for Fish Ventriloquist, by Brian Moses

Lovely Brian Moses (links to Where Do You Get Your Ideas From?) has been a professional children’s poet since 1988; he has over 200 books published including volumes of his own poetry such as A Cat Called Elvis and Lost Magic: The Very Best of Brian Moses , (both Macmillan and illustrated by Chris Garbutt), anthologies, and picture books. Over 1 million copies of Brian’s poetry books have been sold by Macmillan. His poem ‘Walking With My Iguana’ is one of the most listened to poems on the Poetry Archive. Brian has visited well over 3,000 schools to run writing workshops and perform his own poetry and percussion shows in the UK and abroad; CBBC once commissioned him to write a poem for the Queen’s 80th birthday! His website is here, blog is here, and Twitter is here.

This is the great poem Brian sent for the letter ‘F’ in the A-Z:


Fish Ventriloquist


I wanted to be the world’s first fish ventriloquist,

so I searched and searched for the sort of fish

that might share the spotlight with me,

till somewhere near the Caspian Sea

I spoke with a cod who had found God

but all he wanted to do was pray with me.

In Yokohama I came across a shark

who had the sort of cut and thrust for showbiz life

but was more concerned with finding a wife.

I found a plaice with the most expressive face

but when I tried to put words into her mouth

she spat them out. I found an eel

whose personality was electric, but she was too much

of a shocker for me. I trembled every time I touched her.

I found a pike I liked immensely, but

he didn’t like me, spat in my eyes each time

I tried to handle him. There was a ray who I could pass

the time of day with and a monkfish had possibilities

till I discovered he had taken a vow of silence.


Then right at the end of my search when I thought

I’d be returning to puppets and dolls,

I found a fish that was perfect, but although I swam

with him, ocean after ocean, offered him money, fortune

and fame, his name in lights, a season in Vegas,

he stubbornly refused to be swayed.


People would have paid thousands for the illusion

of a talking fish. In a world where we celebrate

the sham and the fake, fish ventriloquism

could have been my big break.


© Brian Moses


If you would like to blog hop to another AtoZ Challenge post please follow this link.

Children’s Poets’ Climate Change blog: Be the Change

Liz’s Blog: Liz Brownlee Poet

Liz’s Twitter:

KidsPoets4Climate Twitter:

Children’s Poetry Summit Twitter:


Award-Wining Children's Poet, Author, Wildlife and Climate enthusiast, NPD Ambassador, blogger and owner of Lola the retired alert dog and Paddy the alert dog in training. Books include CLiPPA shortlisted Being Me, Poems about Thoughts, Worries and Feelings, Editor of Shaping the World, Author of Be the Change, Apes to Zebras, The Same Inside, Reaching the Stars and Animal Magic. I visit schools, libraries, literary festivals via Zoom and give lessons on writing poetry for children. @Lizpoet

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