Posted in Freedom Poem, National Poetry Day 2017

#NationalPoetryDay Free as the Wind by Liz Brownlee

Here’s my poem for National Poetry Day up on the National Poetry Day Website – all the other National Poetry Day Ambassadors have poems there too, also available as a FREE anthology, here.

Free as the Wind


It’s slight and likes
to infiltrate
makes supple grasses

it’s heavy and ready
to hurricane
power the storm clouds
splatter the rain

it swirls in the sand
bends barleycorn
dances the flowers’ heads
round the lawn

it flattens the trees
clack-clatters the bins
rat-tatters in dreams
sets leaves into spins

it slivers in houses
to whistle and haunt
makes the bare branches
jazz–hand and jaunt

it batters and scatters
the litter around
grapples the shadows
for space on the ground

it smooths unsmooth stones
whips away words
scattering syllables
dishevelling birds

it cannot be summoned
or seen or confined
as restless as waiting
as careless as time

it gusts from a suddenness
cannot be pinned
for nothing is free as
as free as the wind


©Liz Brownlee

National Poetry Day is September 28th!

National Poetry Day is almost upon us – this year the theme is FREEDOM.

If you visit the National Poetry Day website, you will find poems on all types of freedom and activities to inspire you.

You’ll also find details of events in your area, and if you are holding an event yourself, you can download poster packs and logos to advertise it.

If you are a school, toolkits, teaching resources and posters are available.

There are also display materials and posters for libraries and booksellers.

Forward Arts Foundation organises National Poetry Day, and the link to all the goodies is here.

And you will find resources and links on this blog as well.

Posted in National Poetry Day 2017

National Poetry Day Poem from John Foster

In the run up to National Poetry Day I will be featuring poems by children’s poets on this years NPD theme – Freedom! This one is from the excellent poet, poetry editor, textbook and information book author, John Foster.


All that they want

All that they want is to live in peace.
All that they want is to be free.
All that they want is to find a country
Where they can live like you and like me.

All that they wanted was a future
Across the sea in another land.
All that they wanted was a safe passage.
All that they needed was a helping hand.

But all that the others wanted was money.
They said it was safe but they lied.
They didn’t care about the people.
They didn’t care if they lived or died.

All that he wanted was somewhere for his children
Where they could grow up safe and free
But what a terrible price he paid
When the boat capsized and they drowned in the sea.

All that the others wanted was money
They didn’t care about the lives that were lost
As they counted the note with blood on their hands,
The grieving father counted the cost.

All that they want is to live in peace,
In freedom and in harmony.
All that they want is to find a country
Where they can live like you and like me.


© 2017 John Foster

One of John’s latest books is a Rocketful of Space Poems, illustrated by the wonderful Korky Paul. I’m very proud to have a poem in there!


Posted in Poetry Celebration/Anniversary

National Poetry Day 2017

National Poetry Day this year is on Thursday 28 September 2017. It’s fast approaching! 

National Poetry Day is organised by the Forward Arts Foundation, and is an annual celebration that inspires people throughout the UK to enjoy, discover and share poems. Everyone is invited to join in. This year’s theme is “Freedom”.

Go to the NPD website to get details of how to join in, posters, bookmarks, and other resources; if you’re celebrating in school, take a look at their Toolkit for Schools or free teaching resources for inspiration.

Under Poetry Resources on this site you will find details about the National Poetry Ambassadors if you’d like one to visit your school or event.

Here is a poem that celebrates Freedom to be getting on with!

The Darkling Thrush
Thomas Hardy

I leant upon a coppice gate
When Frost was spectre-gray,
And Winter’s dregs made desolate
The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
Had sought their household fires.
The land’s sharp features seemed to be
The Century’s corpse outleant,
His crypt the cloudy canopy,
The wind his death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
Was shrunken hard and dry,
And every spirit upon earth
Seemed fervourless as I.
At once a voice arose among
The bleak twigs overhead
In a full-hearted evensong
Of joy illimited;
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
In blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
Upon the growing gloom.
So little cause for carolings
Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
Afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
And I was unaware.