Posted in National Poetry Day 2019

National Poetry Week Lie Poem by Trevor Parsons

Trevor Parsons was born in Parsons Green, London, but, disappointingly, was not the son of a parson. After studying dentistry at London University (he decided it was not for him) he had a variety of jobs including being a postman. He has written poetry since his postman days and for the last twenty years has written for children as well. He has had poems in dozens of anthologies and in 2011 had his first children’s collection, Hear Here (illustrated by Lucy Creed) published –  available here! He also writes poems for greetings cards. This is his website.

 

Lying Around

 

Lying on the beach

lying in the sun

lying on a lounger

lying having fun.

Lying by the water’s edge

lying in the foam

couldn’t go to school that day

lying ill at home.

 

Lying in department stores

lying, she was caught

lying in a cell before

lying in the court.

Lying to the magistrate

she was nowhere near the crime

lying she was on the beach

lying all the time.

 

© Trevor Parsons

Thank you for this excellent poem, Trevor!

Posted in National Poetry Day 2019

National Poetry Week Truth Poem by Michaela Morgan – Blake’s Tyger Revisited

Michaela Morgan 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 she is with her poem Blake’s Tyger – Revisited.

Posted in National Poetry Day 2019

National Poetry Week Truth Poem by Bernard Young

Bernard Young is an experienced professional poet and performer who leads writing workshops for children and adults. Bernard’s poems have been broadcast on local and national radio and feature in numerous anthologies of poetry for young readers. His speciality is primary school age. Here is a link to his new book, What are you Like? And here is a link to his website.

Here he is with his poem ‘Absent’ in a field somewhere deep in Somerset.

Posted in National Poetry Day 2019

National Poetry Week Lie Poem by Neal Zetter

Neal Zetter is an award-winning children’s author, comedy performance poet and entertainer. Most days Neal is found performing or running fun poetry writing or performance workshops in schools and libraries with children, teens, adults or families. He has worked in all 33 London Boroughs and many, many other UK cities. One of his Troika books for 6-13 year olds includes Yuck & Yum (A Feast of Funny Food Poems) illustrated by Scoular Anderson, with poet Joshua Seigal. More information is here. Neal’s Twitter page is here, and Neal’s Amazon Author page is here.

 

The Dog Ate My Homework

The dog ate my homework Miss
At breakfast time today
I managed to complete it first
I’m sure I got top grade
He suddenly felt peckish
In one gulp wolfed it down
I can’t hand in my homework
‘Cause I have a hungry hound

The dog ate my homework Miss
He shredded it to bits
Then munched it, crunched it, lunched it
Sent it to the dark abyss
It’s stuck inside his stomach
It nestles in his guts
I can’t hand in my homework
‘Cause my mutt has scoffed it up

The dog ate my homework Miss
I hate to break bad news
Preferred it to his dinner
And his biscuits, treats and chews
I’m begging you believe me
I’m telling you the truth
I can’t hand in my homework
‘Cause my pet’s a piggish pooch

The dog ate my homework Miss
It’s never coming back
My literacy, French, science
Art, geography and maths
He certainly is sorry
I hope you’re fine with that
But think I’d better warn you…
I also own a greedy cat

 

© Neal Zetter

Thanks for this funny poem, Neal!

Posted in National Poetry Day 2019

National Poetry Day Lie Poem by Gerard Benson

Gerard Benson was one very beloved poet and was also a lovely friend to have. He was an actor, poet, raconteur, book reviewer, editor and co-founder of the ‘Poems on the Undergound’ project, former Barrow poet, former teacher at the Central School of Speech and Drama. Sadly he died in 2014, and is much missed.

He was an immensely talented poet – and any poem read in his wonderfully resonant tones was a joy to listen to. Here is one of his poems read by Hannah Evans.

Posted in National Poetry Day 2019

National Poetry Week! Truth Poem by Jackie Hosking

Jackie Hosking’s favourite thing to do is write in rhyme and meter. Her second most favourite thing to do is walk amongst the Australian Bush. Her third most favourite thing to do is to combine the two. She also likes to copy other poets as she’s done in her picture book, The Croc and the Platypus, illustrated by Marjorie Crosby-Fairall. (Only available in Australia or New Zealand, I’m afraid!) If you read it very carefully you’ll likely hear echoes of Edward Lear’s The Owl and the Pussycat. Jackie’s website is here.

Weather or not…

The polar caps are melting and the plastic‘s run amok
Our oceans all are drowning in a sea of human muck
There’s just no use denying that our planet’s slowing dying
And we need to change before we’re out of luck.

 

© Jackie Hosking

 

Thank you Jackie for this great poem all the way from the other side of the world!

Posted in National Poetry Day 2019

National Poetry Week – The Duck by Eric Ode

This Friday in National poetry week, here is Eric Ode (pronounced Oh-dee), 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 Eric in a video telling the truth about ducks.

Posted in National Poetry Day 2019

National Poetry Day! Truth Poem from Pie Corbett

The third poem for this National Poetry Day comes from wonderful Pie Corbett – 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. His main collection is called Evidence of Dragons, illustrated by Chris Riddell and Peter Bailey, published by Macmillan Children’s Books.

 

I set out to seek the truth

 

Not knowing where to look,

I took the lane towards the fields

to see what time might yield…

 

as the knot grass

caterpillar moth

humps and bumps

along the fence,

resting

for a second

at the wind’s touch;

then undulates

its rhythmic pulse

like a heart monitor;

its lean, stippled body

and soft bristles rippling,

as the whopper swan

flexes its neck,              stretches bridal wings,

open as blank pages           of frail feathers;

white washing-line sheets        take off in a flutter,

skimming the lake     with a clatter,

as the orb-weaver spider

tests each thread,

waits at the edge

to scuttle, seize and wrap

any unsuspecting fly

that passes by –

diamond specks of dew

freckle the leaves;

the web clings, glittering,

as kindly morning sun

warms the lane.

Early this morning,

while the sun set out at first light,

I sought the truth.

Not knowing exactly

where to look,

I took Farm Lane

towards the fields

to see where rambling

might take me.

 

The road ahead glowed,

blackberries polka-dotted hedgerows,

blackbirds broke the silence

and clouds scudded

through sheer blue above.

 

Truth blossomed with every step,

every stop to stare,

and there I found

that truth

was everywhere

I chose to look.

 

© Pie Corbett 2019  Photos © Nicola Stables

 

Thank you Pie Corbett for this fabulous Poem!

Posted in National Poetry Day 2019

National Poetry Day! Truth Poem from Charles Ghigna

The second poem for National Poetry Day is from one of America’s best-loved poets, Charles Ghigna (also known as Father Goose®). He lives in a treehouse in the middle of Alabama and is the author of more than one hundred books and more than five thousand poems for children and adults. Charles Ghigna website is here, and this is a link to his excellent latest book, Dear Poet: Notes to a Young Writer, published by Resource Publications.

Be Still in the World

Be still in the world wherever you are,
listen to life’s lullaby;
the heartbeat, the breathing,
the giving, receiving,
the sun and the moon and the star.

They all shine true through the essence of you,
a beacon of boundless light;
the father, the mother,
the sister, the brother,
all are within you tonight.

Let the flow of the seas, the lilt of the breeze,
the rush and the calm of all time
carry your dreams
along rivers and streams
and let you be still where you are.

© Charles Ghigna

 

Thank you, for this lovely poem, Charles Ghigna!

Posted in National Poetry Day 2019

National Poetry Day! Lies Poem from Philip Gross.

It’s National Poetry Day! Hip, hip hooray! This fabulous poem today is from Philip Gross, whose life as a Quaker informs much of what he writes with its special relationship between words and silence. His work includes poetry for adults and for children, thought-provoking fiction for young people, schools opera libretti, radio short stories and plays. His children’s poetry includes The All-Nite Café, illustrated by Claire Fletcher, which won the Signal Award, and Off Road To Everywhere, illustrated by Jonathan Gross, the winner of the CLiPPA (CLPE) poetry award 2011. His latest book, Dark Sky Park (Otter Barry), illustrated by Jesse Hodgson, was nominated for a CLiPPA this year. 

 

White Ones

 

with small scritchety claws

and pink

shortsighted blink-

ing-in-the-sunlight

eyes that looked raw

as if they’d cried all night…

 

One morning they were gone.

 

On holiday,

says Dad. Gone to stay

with their friends

in the pet shop. And so I pretend

I don’t know about the cage door

he left open. I try to ignore

 

the look on the face of the cat.

 

It isn’t that

wakes me up in the darkness. No,

it’s the scritch and the scratch

at the bars, those pink-eyed

lies. They’re only little

white ones, oh

 

but watch them breed and grow.

 

 © Philip Gross  (first published in Off Road To Everywhere (Salt, 2009)

 

Thank you for the fabulous poem, Philip Gross!

Posted in Poetry News

National Poetry Day Truth Poem by Sue Hardy-Dawson

Sue Hardy-Dawson (besides being a lovely, lovely person and my dear friend), is a Yorkshire born poet, artist, and illustrator, 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!

The Listening

 

Somewhere inside rock, tree and root

Earth knows the truth about everything

her own truth

of scents, still sounds

where mole and eagle go

one brushing darkness, the other a sky mouth

 

her words are water and wind,

creeping frosts, a cool dawn trickling

over mountains

she may shout storms

out at sea breaking coasts

or simmer with sulking fogs choking lanes

 

but her bones are molten

and her flesh loam, just as her words

are glass runes

on rainbows. She

speaks her truths to the sun

and moon: if you put your ear against soil and stone

 

you can listen to her     warm   heart       beating

hear the sound of our   Earth   Mother   weeping

 

© Sue Hardy-Dawson

 

Thanks, Sue, for this wonderful poem.

 

Posted in National Poetry Day 2019

National Poetry Day, Climate Truth Poem by Liz Brownlee

Happy National Poetry Day everyone! Here is my National Poetry Day Truth poem, published last month in Be the Change, Poems to Help you Save the World, Macmillan.

 

Greta Thunberg

 

When the whole world is deaf

by greed and by choice,

how do you change things

with only your voice?

 

It’s hard to be noticed,

harder to be heard,

but she stood up and spoke,

could not be deterred.

 

What made them listen?

What cut through their lies?

Not the pollution

or the fast melting ice,

 

not the experts or science,

not hunger or flood,

not the extinctions,

our hands red with blood,

 

it was her steady gaze,

on our planet, alight,

her desperate calm,

her demand, make it right.

 

It’s what we’ll recall

of her fight for our youth,

her luminous words

her courage, her truth.

 

© Liz Brownlee

Posted in National Poetry Day 2019

National Poetry Week Lie Poem from Trevor Millum

Trevor is a writer and performer of short stories and poems for children and has published lots of other stuff too. His poems are widely published and anthologised. He is also an experienced workshop leader and is well known for his work on creativity and developing the use of ICT in English.  His website is here.

Lies

A lie
set free
like a fly
where will it settle
where will it go
will it mate
and reproduce
produce maggots
of untruth?

A promise made
Emerging like a butterfly
From its cocoon
Tests it wings
Takes flight
Settles… moves on…
Can it be trusted?

A reminder…
A buzzing fly
banging at the window pane
of your mind
flies off around the room
out of sight, out of mind
And returns
bangs against the pane again

An excuse..
Wriggling
Avoiding the light
A worm
Wanting the haven of deep dark soil
Away from the pecking beaks
Of close questioning

 

© Trevor Millum

Thank you very much for this great lie poem, Trevor!

Posted in National Poetry Day 2019

National Poetry Week Climate Truth Poem from 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. 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), written with Sue Hardy Dawson and Liz Brownlee, won the prestigious NSTB award in 2018. Recent books include  I Am a Jigsaw; Puzzling Poems to Baffle your Brain (Bloomsbury 2019) and Moonstruck; an Anthology of Moon Poems (Otter-Barry). This poem is from the Tricky Questions, Talking Points section of the just published Be the Change; Poems About Sustainability (Macmillan) written with Liz Brownlee and Matt Goodfellow.

.

Getting to the Truth

Some people say
drinking cow’s milk is bad
For one thing
cows expel huge volumes
of greenhouse gasses
which contribute
to global warming

They say
Drink almond milk.
Almonds are good for you.
And they are.
Very good for you.

But it turns out
that nearly all the world’s almonds
are grown in California*
where there are often droughts
And did you know that
in California
it takes
six thousand litres of water
to produce one litre of almond milk?
That’s BONKERS!
And farmers are ripping up
healthy citrus groves
to meet the rising demand
for almond milk.

Oatmilk seems to be a better alternative
But the whole point is this.
Don’t always accept
what you read on a label.
or what people tell you.
Don’t always believe what you read
in the papers
or see on TV
or on the internet
If you really want to help
Just dig a little deeper
Try and get to the truth

*around 80%

.

© Roger Stevens

.

Thank you for the poem, Roger!