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Thursday 30 July 2020

A HIERARCHY OF TERROR (poem + writing idea)

1. Failing my science exam

2. Going to the dentist

3. Making mistakes when I write lists

5. Mutant guinea pigs

6. Empty spaces


8. Getting lost in a forest at night (with bears)

9. Being forced to swim naked in the crater of a bubbling volcano

10. Growing up.

(why not create your own 'hierarchy of terror'...)

Saturday 25 July 2020


It follows me
and yet it’s not a part of me. 
It does the things I do

and yet remains
a darker hue. 
What is this thing

that stretches and contorts
and shapes itself
to my movements,

that seems to know me
so intimately?
Who is this spectre

that wraps around
my presence
like a whisper?

Shadow — I would love
to get to know you
but when I reach for you

you somehow slide away
like the final note

of some escaping melody.

Friday 24 July 2020


My darling is a genius.
She taught herself to read.
She also plays the violin
and swims at super speed.

She’s quite the whizz at ballet
and she’s excellent at chess.
When asked about her aptitude
one has to acquiesce. 

She knows her Dickens off by heart.
She cooks delicious food.
With high degrees of giftedness
my girl has been imbued.

She’s got the knack for algebra
though she is only three.
My darling is a genius.
She sure takes after me.

Wednesday 22 July 2020


the burning globe inside my chest
the eagle chick without a nest

the dagger poised above my head
the centipede beneath the bed

The paw prints of some distant bear
the creaking of a rocking chair

the cackle heard across the plain
the twisting of a dusty lane

the nameless baby in a well
the thing that I can never tell

Tuesday 21 July 2020


The country’s in a bloody mess
I’ll privatise the NHS
Then take a peek inside your dress
Cos I’m a Naughty Tory.

I’ll kick the scroungers to the curb
What’s wrong, my dear? You seem perturbed
Your cleavage does look quite superb!
Yes I’m a Naughty Tory.

I’ll lower taxes for my chums
Then toss the needy scraps and crumbs
And when I’m done I’ll pinch your bum
Cos I’m a Naughty Tory

“I’m quite the cad”, I’ll leer and quip
Now don’t you dare avoid my grip
See I’ve a governmental whip
I’m such a Naughty Tory.

Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke has been accused of sexual assault, on one occasion chasing a young woman round the kitchen table whilst singing "I'm a naughty Tory"

Monday 20 July 2020


1. The hippo's blue tongue
2. Mongolian wedding ceremony
3. Liger? What liger?
4. Yab yab yab yab yab yab
5. My very lazy uncles
6. Gyrating miniature monster truck
7. TOWELS!!!!!!!
8. Snargle snargle
9. Rotund

Saturday 18 July 2020


If you love something
give it a name. 

Think of Bluebell curled up on the couch. 
Compare her with
the millions of nameless beasts
scavenging through bins
in sprawling cities. 
Consider the difference:
she is loved; they’re not. 

Imagine further a world
where people have no names.
Flitting anonymously
through lives of nothing,
no memory holds them
when they’re gone. 

It doesn’t matter which name you choose.
You can call your cat Mavis,
or your car Abdul,
or your ballet dress Butch.
You could even call your first kiss Lorraine,
because things that are cherished
need a name. 

I hereby christen this poem

Wednesday 15 July 2020


I was honoured when Daniel Meyer, Assistant Head at St Bartholomew's Primary School in Lewisham, London, recently got in touch with me to ask if I would edit a poetry anthology that the school were putting together during lockdown. The theme of the anthology is 'Happiness', and it was such a joy to read a whole litany of poems which interpreted the theme with such variety and vivacity. I would like to share on my blog a selection of fantastic poems. These poems are not necessarily 'the best' (whatever that means); they are simply poems that captured my thoughts as I was reading through the two hundred or so poems that I was sent. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did, and I'm sure you'll agree that the young poets should be very proud of themselves!

Hazel’s Happiness by Hazel, Reception






Rainbow By Xanthe Yr 5
Your eyes are like woods,
woods that I get lost in
every time I look into them.
they make me feel lost and curious.
I dare to walk into them every time.
Your smile, even the sun
can’t stand that glisten. 
You make me feel wanted.
You are at the end
of my rainbow.

What Makes Me Happy? By Elsie Yr 3

When I am painting it makes me happy
I enjoy the moment
I can hear the paintbrush on the paper
Swishing, swirling, twirling and curling
I see the paintbrush therapeutically going on the page
Making a beautiful artwork of paint.

Sometimes I get frustrated, but I persevere
When I’m painting I’m happy,
I don’t paint it when I’m sad,
I paint at the right moment
When the frustration is over and I’m finished,
I’m really proud and glad I persevered.

Don’t be afraid to show your emotions 
Art is always there for you and you will always cherish it.
It’s a moment in this crazy time, 
that will always be in your memory box
You’ll never forget - it’s one of those special moments
that will never die                                                         
When I am finished I am ever so proud,
it makes me joyful and happy.

The Strawberry Bigger Than The Sun by Elias, Reception

I am thinking of a strawberry bigger than the sun
Do you think eating this would be fun?

It will fill my tummy and yours
And yours and yours
And yours

If you bite into it
It will splash you not a bit
But a lot
And all of its seed
Will feed
A lot

Let’s all think of a strawberry bigger than the sun
If we all think really hard maybe it will come?

A Cartwheel By Emily Yr 5

Put your hands down and spin around
Feel like you’re never going to touch the ground
Feet on the floor without a sound
What makes me happy?
A cartwheel.

They give you a wonderful feeling
Though your hands may start to ache
But they will get on with the healing
And you can do more when you awake.
What makes me happy?
A cartwheel.

I like to do them in a line
I should feel dizzy
but I feel fine.
What makes me happy?
A cartwheel.

Fire By Theodore Yr 2

Burning fire – Flaming hot;
Smoking up the chimney pot,
Warming up the coldest days,
The red and yellow sparks ablaze.
Barbeque – Juicy smells rise,
I lick my lips and await the surprise;
Marshmallows toasted – OUCH! my mouth burns,
But I still want another – for sugar I yearn.
Candles on cakes glow as I blow;
Happy Birthday! They cheer,
as sparkles fly near;
But beware! My dear children - there’s
one thing we know;
FIRE!  Can burn us – if given the chance,
Stand back, be careful, don’t play near the flames,
It’s lovely to look at – but cannot be tamed.

Sunday 12 July 2020



In dingy rooms on top of pubs,
on rainy nights in basement clubs,
in tented fields and rural hubs
a laugh can soothe the soul.

At midnight, drunk and packed in rows,
at open mics and five-star shows,
with amateurs or seasoned pros
a chuckle makes us whole.

When hopeful blokes get gonged off stage,
when ranting poets spit with rage,
when jesters test our pressure gauge
and leave us wanting more,

it sprinkles life with seasoning
and gets our lungs to leap and sing;
such times as these can be the thing
to touch us at our core.

The slickest acts who wield their wit,
the group with their pretentious skit,
the callow youth who’s rather… untalented,
the old-school and the woke;

we face a new reality
of worry and uncertainty
so help us save live comedy.
For once, it’s not a joke.

Live comedy has seen me through some dark times. I first discovered it aged eighteen, on my unplanned gap year, at the Comedy Store in London. I first gave it a go myself a few years later, and whilst my tenure as a performer has been somewhat sporadic, it is still true to say that, of all art forms, I probably enjoy the experience of live comedy the most. It is now under threat as a result of the lockdown, and it is vital that we do all we can to preserve this special art form. Please visit to find out how you could help!

Thursday 9 July 2020


They answer the phone
with a shrug and a grunt.
You ask them a question,
they’re brittle and blunt.
The doc’s round the back,
they’re the one at the front
The Receptionist at the GP.

They treat every patient
as though they’re a foe.
They keep people waiting.
Whenever you go
to reserve an appointment
they cough and say “no”
The Receptionist at the GP.

In being bad tempered
they’ve won an award.
They sit on their throne
looking surly and bored.
They guard their domain
with a sceptre and sword
The Receptionist at the GP. 

You need something quickly?
You’re sure out of luck,
no matter the lurgy 
with which you’ve been struck.
Put rather succinctly, 
they don’t give a….
The Receptionist at the GP.