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Wednesday, 13 October 2021

Prize winning poems from Moat Farm, Sandwell

I have been privileged to work with the fantastic pupils at Moat Farm Junior School. As part of National Poetry Day, they held a competition, and each year group selected a winning poem. Their wonderful teacher Gemma got in touch, and asked if I would display these winning poems on my blog. Of course I was absolutely delighted to do so. I hope you love these poems as much as I do!

When I Grow Up, by Year 3 Yellow Class

Mommy always asks me

What do you want to be?

When I grow up

I want to be an astronaut

To travel to the stars

Or maybe even Mars!

When I grow up 

I want to be a mechanic

To fix planes and trains 

But never get in a panic

When I grow up

I want to be a teacher 

Teach English and Maths

So kids can count their cash!

Mommy always asks me

What do you want to be?

Mommy, Mommy, I just want to be ME!

Poem by Year 4 Red Class

Every week we follow

Mr Bowen’s rules 

We even conquered Moat Farm

The best of all the schools 

The Red 4 kids from Oldbury

We listen near and far

You can hear us learning

All the way from your car…

Allez, allez, allez…[etc!]

Sensational Splashers by Year 5 Red Class

Book Travellers by Year 6 Yellow Class

The Best Subject in the World by Year 6 Red Class

Sunday, 10 October 2021

amazing poems from Berkhamsted Prep School

 I recently had the pleasure of running poetry workshops with the lovely students at Berkhamsted Prep School. I would like to share some examples of their incredible work; I hope you enjoy the poems as much as I did! 


When I met the snake of guilt

his eyes flashed red before me. 

I must not tell him what I have done

or punishment will follow. 

He slithers slyly under my skin

waiting for me to slip up. 

When I get close

his venomous breath chokes me. 

I must not tell him what I will do 

or pain and anguish will follow.


When I met the snake of guilt

his eyes flashed red before me.

I looked him in the eye 

and told him what I did. 

The great snake

became a mouse 

and scuttled off into the bushes. 

THE PUPPY OF JOY by Lauren Yr 6

The puppy of joy,

jumping around in the meadow. 

You can stroke her beautiful black curls. 

You can stare in wonder

as she dances in the long grass. 

You can listen to her bark,

calling out for you. 

The puppy of joy,

curled at the end of your bed. 

You can cuddle her and hug her. 

You can let her lick your hands

while you sleep. 

You can lie down next to her

and doze side by side. 

You can look into her eyes

and see the sweet soul

of the puppy of joy. 


Anxiousness is a darkness that covers all hope

Anxiousness is like eating Antarctic ice

Anxiousness is being showered in your mistakes

Anxiousness is talking to your friends in a language you don’t know 

Anxiousness is walking down the corridor thinking about how bad life is 

Anxiousness is something that will haunt you forever

[NB I suggested that the poet change ‘anxiousness’ to ‘anxiety’, but she didn’t want to!]

Friday, 1 October 2021

a poem for Tim Martin and Wetherspoons

I’d have a drink or several 

as I sit atop a crane,

I’d stand alone with glass in hand

out in the pissing rain,

I’d sip on some tequila

as I dance to dodgy tunes,

but I’d never, no I’d never,

no I’d never drink in Spoons. 

I’d gulp a can of cider

with a beggar in a skip,

I’d have some rum with pirates

in the crow’s nest of their ship,

I’d quaff some Jagermeister 

with a gang of raving loons,

but I’d never, no I’d never, 

no I’d never drink in Spoons.

I’d have a dram in prison

with a robber and a thief,

I’d wallow in a cesspit

with a nice aperitif, 

I’d share a Bloody Mary 

with a pair of crazed baboons,

but I’d never, no I’d never,

no I’d never drink in Spoons.

With alcoholic drinks 

there’s isn’t much I wouldn’t do,

I’d bathe in degradation 

for a simple pint or two

but I’d rather get my knackers chewed

by furious raccoons

just so long as I would never

have to have a drink in Spoons!

Grade-A Pillock, Above 

Tuesday, 28 September 2021

another poem for National Poetry Day 2021

Here is another poem written in my capacity as an Official Ambassador for National Poetry Day. The theme this year is 'Choice' 


Some clever people say

we have no choice at all,

that every decision we ever make

is predetermined by synapses,

genes, and things we can’t control. 

Others contest 

that god knows everything anyway,

that the things we choose were 

known by him before we reached out

our hand to pick them.

Me? I studied these theories

long ago. Turned them round

in my still-fresh mind, looked

for holes in the argument,

flaws in the logic.

Now I stand here at the river’s edge

and as I jump in

I refute it thus

with the heft and the heart

and the heat of my splash.

Saturday, 25 September 2021


They’re panic buying poetry!

They stretch around the block. 

For Duffy, Heaney, Armitage

they queue around the clock. 

They’re set on buying Byron

and Neruda fuels their fire. 

They’ve got the hots for Walcott

and the zeal for Zephaniah. 

They’re panic buying poetry!

The shelves are running bare. 

They’re loading barrows by the tonne

with Donne and Keats and Clare. 

They’ve gone all hard for Hardy

and for Edgar Allan Poe. 

Cummings keeps them coming

and I don’t know when they’ll go. 

They’re panic buying poetry!

They’re stockin’ and they’re hoardin’. 

They’re barkin’ mad for Larkin 

and for W H Auden. 

For Dickinson and Rosen 

watch them clamour, hear them shout. 

They’re crackers for Baraka 

but the poetry’s run

Sunday, 19 September 2021

'Choices' - a poem for National Poetry Day 2021

 I am an Official Poetry Ambassador for National Poetry Day, which this year is on 7th October ! I have had this role since 2016, and it involves going all around the country, either virtually or in real life, spreading the joy of poetry. Every year National Poetry Day has a theme. This year it is 'Choice'. Here is a little poem I wrote on that theme. I would LOVE it if teachers were to get in touch with their pupils' work, perhaps inspired by this poem. In particular, I would love to share some children's work on my blog, so do get writing!

CHOICES by Joshua Seigal


the choice is easy,

like picking pepperoni pizza

from the restaurant menu. 


the choice if tough,

like deciding which friend

to have for a sleepover. 


the choice is cowardly, 

like hiding behind the sofa

when the monster comes on telly.

And sometimes 

the choice is brave

like picking up the pen

and writing this poem.

Wednesday, 8 September 2021


Last night you asked me

if I believed in an afterlife.

I said no.

You cried. 

I said, What do I know?

Far cleverer people than me

believe there is one. 

You said that if

there was no afterlife

it meant that we wouldn’t always

be together. 

I held you tight to me. 

The moon winked

in the window.

Thursday, 2 September 2021


He gave the Remainers a sneer He said it was all 'Project Fear' He scoffed at the drama But how's this for karma... Tim Martin has run out of beer

Wetherspoons pub owner Tim Martin was an ardent and notorious Brexiteer. His firm is now hit by drinks shortages. 

Wednesday, 1 September 2021


Johnny Keats famously said

“If poetry comes not as naturally

as the leaves to a tree

it had better not come at all.”

I come before you today

to say it’s not like that.

Sometimes poetry comes

about as naturally as the truth

to the lips of a politician;

as readily as a ripe strawberry

to a volcanic wasteland;

as easily as sanity

in a roaring pandemic.

And sometimes

just sometimes

it’s all the better

for the effort.

Friday, 27 August 2021


O, spare a thought for Laurence Fox!

His drama days are on the rocks.

Once on the boards this thesp did tread

But now he acts the prick instead.


O, spare a thought for Foxy Loz!

He will not isolate because

He values liberty, you see.

Unless you want to take the knee. 


O, spare a thought for Laurence Fox!

Won’t get the jab, would rather pox.

He got divorced, which hit him hard

His ego’s lying bruised and charred.


Yes, spare a thought for little Lorro

Won’t wear a mask, won’t be like Zorro.

But fear not, since on the whole

No mask could hide his putrid soul.

Wednesday, 25 August 2021


I saw a man on the beach

yelling about seaweed.

He sunk down into the sand,

hurling words at the ocean.

Oh, sweet brown algae!

the man hollered;

how I long for your blades

and pneumatocysts!

Manically grabbing handfuls of sand,

he flung it up to the heavens,

his mouth frothing

and his eyes crazily darting.

However, I’m pretty sure

it was just a cry for kelp.

Friday, 20 August 2021


You never can trust the elite

They bluster, they lie and they cheat 

Catastrophe comes

And they sit on their bums

While they laze in their villa in Crete

(Foreign secretary Dominic Raab was in lounging about on holiday as the Taliban seize control on Afghanistan)