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 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.

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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%

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© Roger Stevens

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Thank you for the poem, Roger!

 

Posted in National Poetry Day 2019

National Poetry Week, Climate Truth Poem from Liz Brownlee

Happy National Poetry Day Week from me! If you don’t know who I am, I’m a children’s poet, I own Lola the poet assistance dog, I quite enjoy performing but prefer organising poetry events, I write this blog, and my own, and I have five published books, the latest of which is Be the Change, Poems to Help you Save the World, from which the following poem comes. It is not too late to change the world. The truth is we just need to love one another, help one another and cooperate with one another.

 

Snow

Swirling slowly

in lilting flight,

as cold as stars,

in soundless white,

 

their drifting feathers

spread their wings,

and sing the songs

that snowflakes sing,

 

of how small gifts

of peace and light

can change the world

in just one night.

 

© Liz Brownlee

Posted in My Favourite Poetry Books

Roger Stevens; My Favourite Poetry Books

My Favourite Books of Poems

Here is the first in a series where I’ll be asking children’s poets what their favourite poetry books are – they must choose one of their own, and they can if they wish choose a book of poems for adults, too. First to go is Roger Stevens, who idea this was!

Quick, Let’s Get Out of Here (Puffin) Michael Rosen. Michael reminds us what it’s like to be a child. The poems are funny, clever and full of heart.

The World’s Greatest Space Cadet (Bloomsbury) James Carter. There are so many brilliant books around to choose from but, well, I just really like this one.

The Dictionary of Dads (Otter-Barry Books) Justin Coe. This book is full of funny, sad and very thoughtful poems, brilliantly written. Every class should have one.

Picnic, Lightning (Random House) Billy Collins (for grown-ups). If you don’t know Billy Collins check him out. He has a very natural style, and is easy to read. But the way he tackles both big themes and small themes, is so skilful, it almost makes you gasp.

Apes to Zebras: an A – Z of Shape Poems (Bloomsbury) Liz Brownlee, Sue-Hardy Dawson and Roger Stevens. A tricky book to put together, but it turned out well in the end. It won an award you know.

Thank you, Roger! There will be more poet’ choices to come. Do you have a favourite book of children’s poems? Let me know what it is in the comments!

Posted in A to Z Challenge 2019

# A to Z Challenge, B is for Liz Brownlee

Sue Hardy-Dawson, Me and Roger Stevens after our NSTBA win

The second post is me, because I handily have a surname beginning with B. I write poems for kids and I’m a National Poetry Day Ambassador, a role I take very seriously.

I have my own website, but run this website to showcase all children’s poets and the wonderful work they do to celebrate children’s poetry and everything it encourages, such as empathy, understanding, reading ability, education, etc. The website contains poetry videos for kids, poetry activities for kids, poetry games for kids, everything to do with poetry for young people!

I run the Children’s Poetry Summit Twitter feed, as well as my own, and also the Twitter account for KidsPoets4Climate, supporting our children in their fight for their climate. If you have any suitable sustainability poems, do send them for tweeting!  There is also my blog called BetheChange about sustainability for children.

In August, a book of sustainability poems I have written with Matt Goodfellow (link to Matt’s article, What Poetry Offers in the Classroom) and Roger Stevens (link to Roger’s article, Three Simple Steps to Perk Up Your Poems) will be out, called Be the Change – we are all very excited about it!

I also love going into schools, to libraries, performances and literary festivals with all the books’ subjects, but my favourites are animals, rainforest and sustainability readings and workshops.

You might think I’d have no time for writing, but I love writing for children; my books are Animal Magic, Poems on a Disappearing World (about endangered animals), Reaching the Stars, Poems about Extraordinary Women and Girls (about some of the countless women who have shaped history, until now), The Same Inside, Poems about Empathy and Friendship (what it says on the tin), Apes to Zebras, an A-Z of Shape Poems, a book of animal poems in the shapes of the animals they are about, and out on August 8, Be the Change, Poems About Sustainability

Reaching the Stars won the prestigious NSTBA for poetry in 2017 and Apes to Zebras won it in 2018, with The Same Inside being shortlisted.

Here is my poem for the poetry feast:

Pelican

And here’s the poem written down!

 

Pelican

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A pelican scoops up to consume

its seafood soup with its own spoon;

the spoon unfolds into a dish,

and soon as it is full of fish

which wiggle-waggle round inside,

the pelican swallows, goggle-eyed.

Oh, what efficient use of space

to keep a kitchen in its face!

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© Liz Brownlee, poem and shape.

 

If you’d like to blog hop to another A-Z Challenge, follow this link.

Liz Brownlee

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 Endangered Animal, Lego Poem

Whale Poems Wanted!

Here’s my Lego blue whale – please read the information after the poem about the danger they are in. Send me you Lego animal photo and maybe I’ll write a poem about it! Here is my blue whale poem:

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Lone Blue Whale

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Far out at sea

where waves clash and toss

and the wide sky holds

just one albatross,

where light surrounds

and the winds blow long,

this is where you hear

the lone whale’s song,

 

horizon to horizon

winding on and on,

 

the air’s too weak

to carry the sound

of the pulses and cries

in the water around,

the beat of its heart’s song

has oceans to cross,

under a wide sky

and albatross,

 

and only the lone whale

that swims wild and free

has a love song as large

as the wide green sea.

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© Liz Brownlee

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The Japanese Government has indicated that they are going to allow commercial killing of whales to start again. Many whales are still endangered, and all sea life is battling against plastic in the water.

Fabulous author, poet and animal lover Nicola Davies asks: “Calling all uk children and their teachers. Please send your best whale pictures and poems to The Japanese Embassy to protest against the decision to start hunting whales again”.

If you would like to do this, please tweet, blog and also send the poems to:

Ambassador Koji Tsuri

Embassy of Japan

101-104 Piccadilly

Mayfair

London W1J 7JF

Posted in Lego Poem

Lego Poetry Challenge

This year I will be making Lego models of animals and writing a poem for them, or adding an already written poem to them.

Send me a picture of your Lego or building block animal and perhaps I’ll show it or write a poem to go with it!

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Christmas Robin

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The spirit of joy

is a bird,

 

bright eyes,

star feet,

 

the colours

of wild things,

free,

 

its song

the art

of giving,

 

its red breast

a heart

.

© Liz Brownlee

Posted in Poetry Awards

Apes to Zebras, Winner of the North Somerset Teachers’ Book Awards 2018 for Poetry

Award winning children's poetry
Apes to Zebras, by Liz Brownlee, Sue Hardy-Dawson and Roger Stevens, Award Winner!

There aren’t many awards for children’s to poetry so it’s pretty special to win one of them!

I’m thrilled to announce, with Sue Hardy-Dawson and Roger Stevens, that we have won this year’s North Somerset Teachers’ Book Award for Poetry, which is voted on by teachers from North Somerset and all over the UK.

A huge thank you to all the teachers who took the trouble to read the entire shortlist and vote on them. What a special thing. We are overjoyed that our book is helpful and being used in schools.

Over the next few days I will be sharing videos of some of the poems from the book read by the authors.

Book Award