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Wednesday 27 February 2019


Yesterday I had a fantastic time working with KS2 classes at Chalfont Valley, which is part of the E-ACT Academy chain where I am poet-in-residence. In Year 5 we wrote metaphor poems. I asked pupils to think of a person (or animal!) they love and admire, and to describe them using metaphors. I am thrilled to be able to share three lovely poems that were produced. Enjoy!

You Are by Phoebe

You are my bed
covering me with a sheet

You are my music
moving me to the beat

You are my teddy bear
I can hold you really tight

You are my books
making sure that every word is right

You are my headphones
enjoying all the sounds

you are my school
sometimes I can’t leave your grounds

You are my popcorn
always have something for the movie

You are my dance floor
you make me want to boogie

You are my sun
you are shimmering with shine

You are my rose
you feel like my heart’s divine

My Mummy by Mimi

You are my sun
Shining bright on me
You are my bed
Keeping me snuggly and warm
You are my moon
Shining at night in my room
You are my world
Keeping me safe
From the ooglie booglies
You are my everything
Keeping me safe
When I am sleeping

Wuff Wuff by Leo

You are my alarm
Keeping me alert

You are my bed
Keeping me safe

You are my PS4
Making time go by

You are my watch
Keeping me informed

You are my cup of tea
Keeping me warm

You are my chihuahua dog
And I love you

The way you are.

Thursday 21 February 2019


His face is as green
as a leathery frog.
His breath is as bad
as the fumes from a bog.
His back is all scaly
and rough to the touch,
and I love him very much,

His eyes are as dark
as the blackest of holes,
with pupils that glisten
like fiery coals.
His belches are deadly
and stink most severely,
and I love him very dearly.

His shout is as loud
as a violent explosion.
His sweat is acidic
and causes corrosion.
His claws are as sharp
as the blade of a knife,
and I’d trust him with my life.

Thursday 7 February 2019


Now milk is very popular;
it floats the public’s boat.
I understand how to milk a cow,
a sheep, a horse or goat.
I even think that I can grasp
the milking of a stoat
but i can’t begin to fathom
how the fuck to milk an oat.

What are the facts of milking flax
or hemp, or a cashew?
It’s not the same as milking
a giraffe or kangaroo.
If you hand me a hazelnut
and ask me for a brew,
I wouldn’t have the slightest notion
what the hell to do.

It’s not so far beyond me
how you just might milk some mice
(you wouldn’t get an awful lot;
it’s probably not nice)
but to know this information
can’t begin to quite suffice
in giving you instructions how
the fuck you’d milk some rice.

The milking of an almond nut
gives my poor brain unrest.
To milk a fucking coconut?
The thought just leaves me stressed.
I couldn’t milk a soya been
however hard I pressed:
the sad fact of the matter is
it hasn’t any breasts.

Image result for MILK

Monday 4 February 2019


I recently returned to Plashet School in Newham, London, where I was lucky enough to spend three years as poet-in-residence, between 2014 and and 2017. I spent the day working with classes of Year 7 girls, where the theme was to explore ideas connected with 'British Identity'. Plashet is notable in having a vast majority of students from an Asian background, most of whom speak more than one language. We looked at Benjamin Zephaniah's poem 'The British', which is written in the form of a recipe. With this in mind, I encouraged the students to think about their own ideas as to what constitutes 'Britishness'. I encouraged them, in fact, to cast their nets wider and to think about their identity in a much broader sense. I am excited to share four fantastic poems that were produced during my workshops at Plashet.

I Come From by Eerum (Year 7)

I come from chocolate cookies.
I come from apple tarts.
I come from endless cakes and milkshakes
and this is just the start.

I come from a place called Britain,
sweet like a fruit but spicy like a chilli.
I come from a place where the flavours can vary
and each bite will give you a unique feeling.

I come from a place where it’s cold.
I come from a place where it’s hot.
I come from a place where it rains all day
and looks like it will never stop!

Britain is like a piece of cake,
it’s easy to make with the right ingredients.
With the same amount of heat and the same amount of cold
and you’ve made a tremendous cake.

What’s the flavour, you ask?
it’s not chocolate,
not vanilla, not strawberry.
It’s British.

Recipe by Rahab (Year 7)

Take a dose of care
and leave it to settle.
Then add tolerance to the mix.

Take a lick.
Still a little bitter?
Add lots of democracy.
Don’t forget
a right to a good education -
a vital ingredient
for the perfect recipe of life.

Mix the law in there.
Nearly there.

Then take a blend of sweet equality,
combine with a mix of religion
and a large dose of community.

The perfect recipe for life.

My Britain by Kahloon (Year 7)

Britain is salt and pepper
with a pinch of Asian spices
Britain is fluffy
with solid rocks at the corners
Britain is a light spread of unity and equality
Britain is the feeling of a merry-go-round
Britain is a flag of a mansion
Britain is where uniqueness and individuality is popular
Britain is where Brexit takes over
gentle flowing streams
Britain is Theresa May farting [!!! - ed.] on paperwork
Britain is the scent of shepherd’s pie with mustard
Britain is hope with a bright red cherry on top

Britain Is… by Nadira (Year 7)

Britain is my past,
Britain is my future
Britain is my present,
where I live as a peasant.
Britain is like a fruit mix
where you have a combination of cultures,
Britain is a world
where love and hate is spread
Britain has people known as ‘friends’,
who betray, hate and hurt my feelings.
Such ‘friends’ are a stab in the back,
They don’t have a heart,
They lack,
If they did have a heart
They would come back.
Britain makes me feel unloved,
I don’t feel adored,
My friends don’t love me
If they did they wouldn’t dump me,
I don’t know who I am any more
Britain doesn’t seem like my destiny or future,

Britain was my past.