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Tuesday 30 May 2017


(NB this is not a kiddy poem)

He lurks by the bar,
He’s downing his beer,
He’s lairy, he’s sweary,
He’s had two or three.
He chats up the birds,
There’s nothing to fear
Until... he needs a wee.

For nothing panics good old Lionel
Like standing at the men’s urinal.
It makes him sweat, it scares him rigid,
Catching sight of another man’s digit.
Eyes straight ahead! Just keep on pishing!
Block out the view from your peripheral vision!
Gawk at the pork? No bloody way!
If you clock a cock you MUST be gay!

He’s dancing away,
He’s busting the moves,
He’s healthy, he’s wealthy,
He’s flashing the cash.
He’s loving the party vibe,
Loving the grooves
Until... he needs a slash.

For nothing tortures Micky McGee
Like a trip to the gentleman’s WC.
He’ll go to great lengths, he’s determined, he’s hell-bent
On avoiding the sight of another bloke’s bell-end.
He’ll don some blinkers, there’s a lot at stake –
He might catch a glimpse of a trouser snake!
It’s driving him nuts! He needs to get sectioned!
Penises flying in all directions!

He’s pumping some iron,
He’s lifting some weights,
He’s hurly, he’s burly,
He’s fit as a fiddle.
He’s flexing his biceps,
He’s feeling just great
Until... he needs a widdle.

For nothing troubles our man Gareth
Like copping sight of some dude’s phallus.
He gets palpitations, he breaks out in hives –
Eyes to the front! Don’t look to the sides!
For no other horror can compete
With an inadvertent peak of meat.

You’ll be OK, mate. You’ll struggle through.
But... is the guy next to you glancing at YOU??

Image result for urinal

Thursday 18 May 2017

Reading 'Just Like Me' to my niece

Here is a video of me reading my new picture book Just Like Me, published by Flying Eye, to my niece. Purchase the book here. Enjoy!

Monday 15 May 2017

MANIMAL - new poem

My dad is a MANIMAL.
In the morning he WOLFS down his breakfast.
I try to MONKEY around with him
but he says he can’t BEAR it.
Sometimes he even goes APE
and tells me to stop RABBITING on
and BADGERING him.
Then he BATS me away
and SWANS off to work,
where he TOADIES around
and FISHES for money.
In the evening he PIGS out
and watches the CRICKET.

[optional adult ending]... Then he goes DOGGING

Image result for animals

Thursday 11 May 2017


These poems were written by students at my weekly lunch club. There were no models or stimuli; I just told them it was Mental Health Awareness Week and to write what they were feeling. Whether or not the poems below use a degree of poetic licence, I think we can tell that we are in the midst of a mental health crisis.

Poem by Aleeza

On the outside I’m happy
Sometimes slightly snappy
Inside I feel dead
My soul is locked up in a shed
Happiness is drifting away
Why can’t it stay
Friends cheering me up
But it doesn’t feel enough
One day will come
To bring back the happy sun

Poem by Maiya

They go around the ocean
I am the prey of the sea monsters
I am the victim of people

Voices by Safiyah

The voices tell me no one cares
About me and my stories
The voices tell me I should go
On a stabbing spree with myself
The voices tell my head
To have a headache and stress
The voices make me see things
Like people in empty cars
The voices tell me things
I don’t want to hear
These voices
Are my depression

Poem by Aaysha

Show happiness from the outside
Smile and wave
Inside it’s hell
Pain and sadness
Heart shattered
But can’t let anyone know
Keeping a dark secret
People drifting away
The world upside down
Loneliness is haunting
Life is not worth it
Memories gone
Gone forever
Holding it in
The day will come
Without me knowing
I will fall in a black hole of emptiness forever

I will be waiting.

 Image result for mental health awareness week

Tuesday 9 May 2017



Demons in my mind
Demons in my head
Demons in my brain
Demons want me dead

Demons in my thoughts
Demons in my soul
Demons want my life
Demons want me whole

Demons in my body
Demons in my eyes
Demons in the silence
Demons in disguise

Demons with a sneer
Demons with a grin
But though they try and try and try,



Tuesday 2 May 2017


I work at a girls' secondary school, where I recently led a workshop looking at gender, feminism and inequality. After looking at the life and work of Sojourner Truth, a pioneer in abolitionism and women's rights activism, the students wrote their own poetry examining their own identity. I'd delighted and proud to share some wonderful poems produced by the students:

Poem by Elaynath

Low expectations
Bad opinions
Bad reputations
You aren’t allowed
To meet their high expectations

Be modest
Be kind
You don’t need to know how to drive
Because you can wait for your husband
To take you out on a ride

To the shop you go
Buy make up
Buy clothes

Don’t get a job
Just learn how to mop
Let him control you
While he happily makes a fortune

Let him enjoy
You’re just his toy
You’re not allowed his kinda life
Because you aren’t a boy

Trapped by Elisha

As the wind hits my cheeks
I stare at the boys outside.
I stand there watching my friends get beaten up
by the men that brought us here,
but I can’t help,
because I’m trapped.

They think they are better and wiser.
They think they know what the future holds for me,
but they don’t.
They are as dumb as a dog.
They have no heart, no mind.
But I can’t do anything,
because I’m trapped.

I wish I had a family.
I wish I had a place to call home.
I wish I was standing in school
breathing in the fresh air with my friends
by my side.
But I have no tongue,
I can’t say a word,
because I’m a refugee.

The Difference Between Boys and Girls by Leotie

They wake up each morning, they’re natural.
No make up, no hairspray, no product at all.
Straight to the bathroom to freshen up.
They’re out of concealer so they’re out of luck.
They worry ‘bout spots and scars all day,
Wondering what everyone else will say.
To be a girl in this world,
There’s a big price to pay.

They wake up each morning with no care in the world.
Not insecure, don’t even care about girls.
Mess up their hair,
Walk out the door.
Throw on some clothes, they don’t care anymore.
No more feelings,
Bottle it up, nothing to say.
To be a boy in this world,
There’s a big price to pay. 

Image result for gender