For lots more exciting info about me, please go to my main home -

Wednesday 26 April 2023

Kenning Poems with Year 1, Longfield Primary School, Harrow

I had a marvellous time yesterday working with KS1 at Longfield Primary School. I worked with seven classes throughout the day, and given the time constraints I had to come up with a way of producing a piece of shared writing. With three of the classes I wrote Kenning Poems. The idea was to describe an animal using two-word circumlocutions instead of one-word nouns. With each of the classes, I went through the following steps:

1) choose an ANIMAL to write about
2) think of FIVE VERBS associated with that animal
3) add a NOUN or an ADJECTIVE 
at the beginning of each verb, along with the suffic 'er' at the end
4) think of an ACTION to go with each line

Here, then, are the three poems we came up with. The whole process took ten minutes - a fab, fast poetry activity!

Tuesday 25 April 2023


The team that I support,

they never seem to win a match.

Our striker cannot score a goal.

Out keeper cannot catch.

Frustration, farce and failure

happens every single time.

Our manager’s a donkey.

It’s a dreadful pantomime. 

The owner doesn’t care

because spectators always pay,

but I’m done with disappointment,

disaffection and dismay

so I’m tearing down my posters

and I’m ripping up my ticket. 

My football days have been and gone. 

I’m off to watch the cricket.

Monday 24 April 2023

A poem for Tottenham Hotspur FC


I was going to write a poem

About the situation at Spurs

About all the incompetence

That routinely occurs

I was going to make it witty

With pithy observations

And it was going to go viral

Appealing to all generations

And it was also going to be written

In perfect rhyming meter

And when people read it

They’d think there’s nothing sweeter

But even though I’m a poet

And that is my profession

I found myself feeling lazy 

And struggling for expression

So I came up with this rubbish

That’s really second rate

Something better may come along soon

But til then, you’ll have to wait

[Spurs sacked their manager, hired an interim manager, and then sacked the interim manager. Maybe they'll appoint me as their interim poet-in-residence]

Wednesday 19 April 2023

Thank-you letter from Brookside Primary School

I had a lovely time yesterday working with Years 3 and 4 at Brookside Primary School in Oxfordshire. Just before I left, they presented me with a bunch of thank you letters. This doesn't happen very often, and meant a lot! Here is a small selection. You'll notice my cat Bluebell features quite heavily!

Sunday 16 April 2023


On my MA

a bloke with a PhD

and several books under his belt

said never to write a poem

containing the following words:

shards; crepuscular; liminal; preternatural; cerulean; verdant; dappled.

He also proclaimed it

the height of laziness

and indicative of

a total lack of imagination

to write a poem

about the process

of writing a poem. 

I guess I won’t be submitting this

Thursday 13 April 2023


now lies prostrate on our kitchen floor.

The PhD from Penn or wherever was not

so penetrating when faced with the bat, was it?

I dealt the blows and you drew the blinds.

It took both our strength to haul the body

to the bathroom. Bones can be tough to break –

I gave them a crack whilst you held the

bin liner open, tying the knot in the way

I’ve come to know. And after it was all over,

we both scrubbed the place clean with

disinfectant. You called the dude’s lab,

said he wouldn’t be in tomorrow; I drove us

into the night to dispose of the remains.

I suppose that bit was a bit of a pain, with us 

being afraid of the dark and all, but you are

my wife, I love you, and all else is bullshit.

Joshua Seigal

Saturday 1 April 2023

Poem by Harry, Year 3

A great poetry writing technique is to construct metaphors to describe different emotions. I find that this activity works well with all ages and temperaments. I was especially struck by the following poem, written by Harry. Firstly, Harry is only in Year 3, and I think his work displays a remarkable maturity. Secondly, I think this is the only time someone has ever chosen 'shy' as an emotion in my workshops. Harry goes to Orchard Way school, whom I recently visited. He should be incredibly proud of his lovely poem. 

SHY by Harry, Year 3

Shy is talking to unknown people

Shy is birds when they fly up in the brilliant blue sky 

Shy is when fog surrounds the place 

Shy is all about people

Shy is when I see people and get near them

Shy is just everywhere

Shy is nothing you hear of 

Shy is what you feel

And it’s not a good feeling