Posted in A to Z Challenge 2019

#AtoZ Challenge; V is for Vexing Rex by Joshua Seigal

Joshua Seigal is a London-based poet, performer and educator. He has three published books and has performed all over the world. He has held residencies at numerous schools, is an official National Poetry Day Ambassador, and was shortlisted for a National Literacy Trust Award and the Laugh Out Loud Award. Joshua works with children of all ages and abilities, as well as running training days for teachers and doing comedy and spoken word performances for grown ups. His website is here and his book, I don’t Like Poetry, illustrated by Chris Piascik, here. His latest book is I Bet I Can Make You Laugh, published by Bloomsbury and illustrated by Tim Wesson.

The poem Joshua has sent appears in I Bet I Can Make You Laugh (I bet he can!):

.

VexinRex

If you want to annoy my dog,

(and I mean really, really annoy him),

don’t bother taking his dinner.

He’ll look bemused, maybe let out

a whine, but he can handle it.

Nor is it any use to snatch his toy,

or to cut short his walk –

he’ll get confused, maybe sulk

for a time, but he’ll face it with patience.

No, if you want to really, really annoy my dog

just blow

           very softly

                  on his head.

He’ll bristle and yelp

and bat the breeze with his paws…

He’ll snuffle and yap

and snap the gust with his jaws…

If you want to really, really annoy my dog,

a tiny little puff or air

will get him as growly

as a grizzly bear.

And it isn’t just my dog:

if you want to really, really annoy my dad

just do what I do

and climb in bed with him,

on a Sunday morning,

and blow

           very gently

                  in his face…

.

© Joshua Seigal

 

If you would like to blog hop to the next AtoZ Challenge post then follow this link.

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

Liz’s Blog: Liz Brownlee Poet

Liz’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lizpoet

KidsPoets4Climate Twitter: https://twitter.com/poets4climate

Children’s Poetry Summit Twitter: https://twitter.com/kidspoetsummit

Posted in A to Z Challenge 2019

#AtoZ Challenge, U is for Useless by A F Harrold

A.F. Harrold is a children’s author and children’s poet who writes and performs for both grown ups and children. He can often be found in school halls pointing at children and sharing his poems, and even more often in the bath, thinking them up… His latest wonderful poetry book is Things You Find in a Poet’s Beard, illustrated by Chris Riddell in my favourite colour.  A. F.’s Website is here and Twitter here.

Here is the brilliant poem beginning with ‘U’ that A. F. has sent for the Poetry Feast:

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Useless

 

I feel as useful as a kipper that’s been kept in a kettle,

as useful as a conker in your socks,

as useful as a top hat that’s been stuffed with orange jelly

and then balanced on the head of a fox.

 

I feel as useful as an ostrich on the number eighteen bus,

as useful as a desert in a pool,

as useful as a sausage that you’ve asked for assistance

with the homework that you’ve brought home from school.

 

I feel as useful as a cabbage that’s learnt to play cricket,

as useful as a llama on the moon,

as useful as a trifle that is sitting on the sideboard

saying ‘Eat me’ out of sight of a spoon.

 

But enough about me,

let’s talk about you…

.

© A.F. Harrold

 

If you would like to blog hop to the next 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: https://twitter.com/Lizpoet

KidsPoets4Climate Twitter: https://twitter.com/poets4climate

Children’s Poetry Summit Twitter: https://twitter.com/kidspoetsummit

 

Posted in A to Z Challenge 2019

#AtoZ Challenge; T is for Nick Toczek

Nick Toczek is a British writer and performer who has had more than forty books and dozens of recording published. As well as being a poet, he’s a rock journalist (for the magazine RnR), a radio broadcaster with his own week show (on BCB Radio), a professional magician and puppeteer, and an authority on the activities of racist groups in the UK and in America. His Authors Abroad page is here, and his brand new website is here.

Here is the lovely poem Nick has sent for the Poetry Feast:

.

GROWING

 

A branch begins as a twig.

A piglet becomes a pig.

When I’m older, I’ll be big,

Biggerty, biggerty, big.

 

An elephant starts off small,

And little bricks build a wall.

When I’m older, I’ll be tall,

Tiggerty, tiggerty, tall.

 

Maybe a baby just cries

Yet learns with its ears and eyes.

When I’m older, I’ll be wise,

Wiggerty, wiggerty, wise.

 

Our legs and our arms get long,

Grow muscles where they belong.

When I’m older, I’ll be strong,

Striggerty, striggerty, strong.

 

And anyone can be cruel,

A bully, a beast, a fool.

When I’m older, I’ll be cool,

Kiggerty, kiggerty, cool.

 

© Nick Toczek

 

If you would like to blog hop to the next AtoZ Challenge poet then follow this link.

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

Liz’s Blog: Liz Brownlee Poet

Liz’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lizpoet

KidsPoets4Climate Twitter: https://twitter.com/poets4climate

Children’s Poetry Summit Twitter: https://twitter.com/kidspoetsummit

Posted in A to Z Challenge 2019

AtoZ Challenge; S is for Roger Stevens


Roger Stevens is a National Poetry Day Ambassador, a founding member of the Able Writers scheme and runs the award-winning website www.poetryzone.co.uk for children and teachers, which has just celebrated its 20th anniversary. Roger (link to 3 Simple Steps to Perk up your Poems) has published 40 books for children. His book Apes to Zebras – an A to Z of Shape Poems (Bloomsbury) won the prestigious NSTB award in 2018. Recent books include The Same Inside; poems about empathy and friendship (Macmillan 2018), The Waggiest Tails; poems written by dogs (Otter-Barry 2018) and I Am a Jigsaw; Puzzling Poems to Baffle your Brain (Bloomsbury 2019). A book just published is Moonstruck; an Anthology of Moon Poems (Otter-Barry), and in August there will be Be the Change; Poems About Sustainability (Macmillan) and a “best of” collection will be published later in 2019. Roger spends his time between the Loire, in France, and Brighton, where he lives with his wife and a very shy dog called Jasper.

.

Here is the funny poem Roger sent for the poetry feast:

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Escape Plan

.

As I, Stegosaurus
stand motionless
in the Natural History museum
I am secretly planning
my escape.

At noon
Pterodactyl
will cause a diversion
by wheeling around the museum’s high ceilings
and diving at the curators and museum staff
while I
quietly slip out of the fire exit
and melt
into the Kensington crowds

.

© Roger Stevens

From The Monster That Ate the Universe, Macmillan 2004

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

Liz’s Blog: Liz Brownlee Poet

Liz’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lizpoet

KidsPoets4Climate Twitter: https://twitter.com/poets4climate

Children’s Poetry Summit Twitter: https://twitter.com/kidspoetsummit

If you’d like to blog hop to another AtoZ Challenge post please try this link.

Posted in A to Z Challenge 2019

#AtoZ Challenge; R is for Coral Rumble

Coral Rumble has worked as a poet and performer for many years and now specialises in writing and performing for children. She has three collections, Creatures, Teachers and Family FeaturesBreaking the Rulesillustrated by Nigel Bainesand My Teacher’s as Wild as a Bisonalso illustrated by Nigel Bainesand has poems in over 100 anthologies for young people. She performs and gives workshops art centres, books shops, libraries, theatres and festivals. Her website is here.

Here is the lovely poem Coral has sent for the Poetry Feast – it also has an ‘R’ in the title!

.

LOOKING FOR RILEY

Riley had dragged the emptiness to school.
It would seem wrong to leave it in his bedroom
Where he had filled silent spaces with sobs.
Grandma had gone, but her songs hung in the air,
Small memories, pockets of comfort.

And now, in a dusty corner of the PE cupboard,
Riley sat and rocked and clutched his knees,
Resting his chin on his shiny, worn trousers
Stretching over his bent legs, hiding away
From questions he’d be asked, but couldn’t answer.

They were all looking for Riley, the teachers, Mrs Moore.
They would try to wipe his grief away, catch his tears
Before they hit the ground, before they made a mark
In the dust, before they stopped falling of their own accord.
So I hid with him, and somehow, it made him smile.

 

© Coral Rumble

 

If you would like to blog hop to the next AtoZ Challenge post then follow this link.

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

Liz’s Blog: Liz Brownlee Poet

Liz’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lizpoet

KidsPoets4Climate Twitter: https://twitter.com/poets4climate

Children’s Poetry Summit Twitter: https://twitter.com/kidspoetsummit

Posted in A to Z Challenge 2019

#AtoZ Challenge; Q is for Queens by Chrissie Gittins

Chrissie Gittins is an award-winning poetry writer for children and adults. She has been visiting schools as a poet for over 20 years, is an experienced teacher and has read at festivals all over Great Britain. Chrissie has written 5 children’s poetry collections. Now You See Me, Now You…, illustrated by Gunnlavg Moen, and I Don’t Want an Avocado, illustrated by Kev Adamson, were shortlisted for the CLPE Poetry Award, and Stars in Jars, A&C Black. Her latest book is Adder, Bluebell, Lobster, illustrated by Paul Bommer. The children’s poetry page of her website is here.

This is the poem Chrissie has sent for Q – which appears in her book, Stars in Jars:

.

Queens

for Tess

.

One day, while out walking,

the Queen Of Asking Stupid Questions met

the Queen Of Stating The Obvious.

“Are you walking to Town?” asked the Queen Of Asking.

“This is such a long road,” said the Queen Of Stating,

peering at the spires in the distance.

The sky was purple and grey.

“Will it rain, do you think?” asked the Queen Of Asking.

“This umbrella is full of holes,” said the Queen of Stating.

Her curls dripped down her cheeks.

“Will it take long?” asked Asking.

“As long as it takes,” said Stating.

.

© Chrissie Gittins

 

If you would like to blog hop to the next AtoZ Challenge, follow this link.

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

Liz’s Blog: Liz Brownlee Poet

Liz’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lizpoet

KidsPoets4Climate Twitter: https://twitter.com/poets4climate

Children’s Poetry Summit Twitter: https://twitter.com/kidspoetsummit

Posted in A to Z Challenge 2019

AtoZ Challenge; P is for Pie Corbett

Letter P in the Feast of Poems is fulfilled by Pie Corbett (link to Pie’s article on here about reading poetry in school). Pie is an inspirational English educational trainer, writer, author, anthologiser and poet who has written over two hundred books. He is now best known for creating Talk for Writing which is a teaching programme that supports children as storytellers and writers. He has supported children’s writing and children’s poets as well as the education of primary children for many years. Pie’s excellent and very popular main collection is called Evidence of Dragons, illustrated by Chris Riddell and Peter Bailey, published by Macmillan Children’s Books.

Here is his lovely poem:

.

In the City

.

In the city of snow,
The silence smothered the citadel.

In the city of suffering,
A poor man became the author of statistics.

In the city of saxophones,
A silhouette of sound insinuated itself.

In the city of scales,
A piano played for justice.

In the city of scholars,
They taught the science of beauty.

In the city of serendipity,
A startled key stumbled across a frozen lock.

In the city of sarcasm,
Stern words sliced chasms of pain.

In the city of silences,
The soft-hearted were squashed.

In the city of sunsets,
A song stood still.

.

© Pie Corbett

 

If you would like to blog hop to another AtoZ challenge, here is a link.

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

Liz’s Blog: Liz Brownlee Poet

Liz’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lizpoet

KidsPoets4Climate Twitter: https://twitter.com/poets4climate

Children’s Poetry Summit Twitter: https://twitter.com/kidspoetsummit

Posted in A to Z Challenge 2019

#AtoZ Challenge; O is for Eric Ode

Eric Ode (pronounced Oh-dee) is a national award-winning children’s singer/songwriter, an author and widely published poet, and a thoroughly engaging entertainer. His performances include interactive music, stories, skits, poetry, props and puppets.  One of his latest books is Sea Star Wishes, Poems from the Coast, illustrated by Erik Brooks, available here in the UK and here in the US. Eric’s website is here.

This is the wonderful poem he has sent for the Poetry Feast, from Otters, Snails and Tadpole Tails!

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THE RIVER OTTER
.
The river otter
twists and tosses,
loops and spins,
out and in.
He turns and totters,
twirls until
we can not tell
where one end ends
and one begins.
We wonder as
we watch him roll
and jumble-tumble
over, under,
through the water—
How does he keep
from tying into
one big otter knot
while behaving
quite exactly
as a river otter
ought?
.
.
© Eric Ode
If you would like to blog hop to the next 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: https://twitter.com/Lizpoet

KidsPoets4Climate Twitter: https://twitter.com/poets4climate

Children’s Poetry Summit Twitter: https://twitter.com/kidspoetsummit

Posted in A to Z Challenge 2019

AtoZ Challenge: N is for Now That I Really Think About It by Shauna Darling Robertson

Shauna Darling Robertson’s poems for adults and children have been set to music, performed by actors, displayed on buses, turned into short films, made into comic art, hung on a pub wall and published in a variety of magazines and anthologies. Shauna also makes artwork and loves working with other writers, artists, musicians and film-makers to explore and play with poetry in different ways. Her lovely website is here.

This is the fabulous poem she has sent for the Poetry Feast:

.

Now That I Really Think About It

 

My friends all say I think too much.
I think they could be right.

I think my way throughout the day
and think myself awake at night.

Outside, I think of ways back in.
Once in, I think things out again.

I chat with John and think of Jane.
In rain, I think about the sun.
When Jane comes round, I think of John.

At school I think of going home.
When home alone, I think of friends.
If blue, I think of red or pink – it never ends
and now I’m thinking hard about
how much I tend to think.

I tell all this to Jane, she says,
your brain must have a kink.
But John, he looks me in the eye,
asks why I think so much.

I think about it deep and long,
then round and square
and down and up,
then left and right
and like and such

I really make a meal of it
but think it’s best I don’t reveal
the reason that I think I think.
(I’m not sure how I feel.)

.

© Shauna Darling Robertson

 

If you would like to blog hop to the next AtoZ Challenge then please follow this link.

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

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Liz’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lizpoet

KidsPoets4Climate Twitter: https://twitter.com/poets4climate

Children’s Poetry Summit Twitter: https://twitter.com/kidspoetsummit

Posted in A to Z Challenge 2019

#AtoZChallenge; M is for Michaela Morgan

And who else could it be, with such a perfect name other than award-winning poet Michaela Morgan? Michaela has had over 140 titles published including poetry, picture books, junior novels and non-fiction. She is a regular visitor to schools. Her 2016 poetry book Wonderland: Alice in Poetry, illustrations by Tenniel, was shortlisted for the prestigious CLiPPA Award for poetry and her 2017 collection Reaching the Stars: Poems About Extraordinary Women and Girls co-authored with Jan Dean and Liz Brownlee won the North Somerset Teachers’ Book Award 2017.  Her book How To Teach Poetry: Writing Workshops, stresses the importance of poetry across the curriculum.

Here is the poem Michaela has chosen, from Reaching the Stars.

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Tinker… Tailor

 

I could be a lawyer, a doctor, a teacher, a vet.

I could be a mother, an artist, or the pilot of a jet.

I could be the one who speaks up for a revolution

Or a steady force for status, calm, order, institution.

I could be a strutting model or a structural engineer

Or I could march in uniform to fight foe, or fire, or fear.

I could be a juggler… a jeweller…

What could be my scene?

Whatever it is, I choose to be

A fully fledged human being.

 

© Michaela Morgan

 

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

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

Liz’s Blog: Liz Brownlee Poet

Liz’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lizpoet

KidsPoets4Climate Twitter: https://twitter.com/poets4climate

Children’s Poetry Summit Twitter: https://twitter.com/kidspoetsummit

Posted in A to Z Challenge 2019

#AtoZ Challenge; L is for Laura Mucha

My L poet for the poetry feast is the bundle of fun, Laura Mucha. Laura worked as a face painter, studied flying trapeze, philosophy and psychology, and swam in Antarctica before becoming a lawyer. Now she spends most of her time playing with words. Her poetry has been published in books, magazines and newspapers around the world, and she’s performed on BBC Radio, at festivals and in schools. In 2016, she won the Caterpillar Poetry Prize. Laura’s latest book, however, is a non-fiction one about Love – Love Factually. You can read and listen to Laura’s poetry here.

This is the poem Laura sent for us to enjoy:

.

MIRROR, MIRROR

 

I’ll show you if broccoli’s jammed in your teeth
or toothpaste is smeared on your lip,
your frowns won’t escape, every face that you make
I’ll reflect – don’t neglect me. Look quick!

Come by, say hello, and I’ll make sure you know
that there’s orange all over your chin,
your eyes need a wipe or your nose needs a blow,
and I’ll even remind you to grin.

So do pop along as I’d love to help out –
as long as you don’t come and gawk.
Just take a quick peek to ensure you look chic,
and then turn around, honey, and walk.

.

© Laura Mucha

 

If you’d like to blog hop to the next AtoZ Challenge post, follow this link.

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

Liz’s Blog: Liz Brownlee Poet

Liz’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lizpoet

KidsPoets4Climate Twitter: https://twitter.com/poets4climate

Children’s Poetry Summit Twitter: https://twitter.com/kidspoetsummit

Posted in A to Z Challenge 2019

AtoZ Challenge; K is for Kate Wakeling

Kate Wakeling‘s poems have appeared in many magazines and anthologies. Her debut collection of children’s poetry, Moon Juice, illustrated by Elīna Brasliņa (The Emma Press) was described by The Sunday Times as “clever, funny, inspiring”, and won the 2017 CLiPPA; it was also nominated for the 2018 Carnegie Medal. You can buy and read about Moon Juice here. There is a link to Kate’s website here.

Here is the lovely poem Kate sent for the poetry feast:

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Jungle Cat

I lived for a while in a village in Bali. After many nights hearing strange noises coming from the ceiling, I found out I was sharing the house with a jungle cat. Jungle cats are larger than ordinary cats with long legs and an extra tuft of fur on each ear.

They told me
you live in my roof,
jungle cat.

Fire-eyed
trick-tailed
sleep thief.

You rumble the night
with your claw dance,
your tooth song.

I hear you yowl and pounce
and hiss and purr.

You scratch my sleep.

You creep across my cat naps.

Years later,
I find you still roaming my roof,
a wild thing
grinning
in the black night…

.

© Kate Wakeling

 

If you would like to blog hop to another A to Z Challenge, please follow this link.

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

Liz’s Blog: Liz Brownlee Poet

Liz’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lizpoet

KidsPoets4Climate Twitter: https://twitter.com/poets4climate

Children’s Poetry Summit Twitter: https://twitter.com/kidspoetsummit

Posted in A to Z Challenge 2019

#AtoZ Challenge; J is for James Carter

James Carter is an award-winning children’s poet, non-fiction and educational writer and INSET provider. He is the author of over 16 popular and best-selling poetry titles. James travels all over the UK and abroad with his guitar (that’s Keith) and melodica (that’s Steve) to give very lively poetry/music performances and workshops. His latest poetry/non-fiction picture book, Once Upon A Star (Little Tiger Press) was BooksforKeeps’ Book of the Week March 2018. His new book, Spaced Out, an anthology of space poems, edited with Brian Moses, is just out on May 9th! James’ website is here.

Here is the great shape poem James sent:

© James Carter

 

If you would like to blog hop to the next AtoZ Challenge, follow this link.

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

Liz’s Blog: Liz Brownlee Poet

Liz’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lizpoet

KidsPoets4Climate Twitter: https://twitter.com/poets4climate

Children’s Poetry Summit Twitter: https://twitter.com/kidspoetsummit

Posted in A to Z Challenge 2019

#AtoZ challenge; I is for I’m Igserious by Robert Schechter

Robert Schechter’s children’s poetry has appeared in Highlights for Children, Cricket, Ladybug, and various major anthologies. His website is here.

Here is his fun poem for the poetry feast beginning with the letter ‘I’:

.

I’m Igserious

 

If “ignoble” means “not noble,”
it seems to me that “ig”
should make all words their opposites.
You’re “small”? No, you’re igbig!

For “empty,” why not say igfull?
For “dark,” why not iglight?
For “ugly,” try igbeautiful,
for “left,” why not igright?

I am not “dirty”! I’m igclean!
“Embarrassed”? No, igproud!
When I am hidden, I’m igseen.
When quiet, I’m igloud!

Someday when I have igshrunk up
(make that igshrunk igdown!)
I’ll be igpoor and igunknown
(the thought makes me igfrown).

The world will igignore me then,
since igno one will dig
the fun I’ve igdeprived them of
iglearning them to ig!

 

© Robert Schechter

 

If you would like to blog hop to another AtoZ Challenge, here is a link.

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

Liz’s Blog: Liz Brownlee Poet

Liz’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lizpoet

KidsPoets4Climate Twitter: https://twitter.com/poets4climate

Children’s Poetry Summit Twitter: https://twitter.com/kidspoetsummit

Posted in A to Z Challenge 2019

AtoZ Challenge; H is for Sue Hardy-Dawson

© Sue Hardy-Dawson

Sue Hardy-Dawson is a Yorkshire born poet, artist, and illustrator (she illustrated poet Matt Goodfellow’s first book, Carry Me Away), and is widely published in children’s poetry anthologies. She enjoys visiting schools and has provided workshops for the Prince of Wales Foundation for Children and the Arts. Being dyslexic she takes a special interest in encouraging reluctant readers and writers. Her first solo collection, of illustrated poems, Where Zebras Go (Otter-Barry Books) was long-listed for the North Somerset Teachers’ 2017 Book Award and shortlisted for the CLiPPA 2018. Sue has a new collection of shape poems, Apes to Zebras (Bloomsbury) with Roger Stevens and Liz Brownlee, and her second solo collection If I Were Other than Myself (Troika) is due out soon!

Here is her wonderful hare poem for the poetry feast:

.

The Shape of Hare

.

Sometimes he is long and thin
others, just ears
a grass apostrophe
but mostly he’s gone
lacing the meadow
with damp loam shadows.

somewhere distant
he’s a constellation
shades on the moon
waxing about cloud hills

he who has watched
our ancestors prayers
and dances
knows only the beat as rainfalls
the gentle music of silence
moist winds

inside he’s the rattan
of storm bent trees
soft bones sinking into fern
blanched stone
hardly a touch
from the breath of his feet
forged in earth
as the land falls below

.

© Sue Hardy-Dawson

 

If you would like to blog hop to another AtoZ Challenge, please follow this link to Beth Lapin.

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

Liz’s Blog: Liz Brownlee Poet

Liz’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lizpoet

KidsPoets4Climate Twitter: https://twitter.com/poets4climate

Children’s Poetry Summit Twitter: https://twitter.com/kidspoetsummit