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Sunday 23 July 2023

Still Here

I flex my fingers.

I’m still here.

I crack the knuckles of feet – 

still here

still here

I listen to the birds outside.

They’re still here 

and so am I. 

I hear the deep gurgling in my belly. 

I’m still here. 

I scratch an itch on my head. 

I’m still here. 

I feel my chest rise and fall – 

still here

still here 

I crunch into an apple.

It is sweet and cold

and lets my know

I’m still here. 

I read a few lines

in a book about death,

and I am still here.

I close my eyes

and say these lines softly – 

still here

still here

still here 

Joshua Seigal

Wednesday 19 July 2023

The Lecturer

holds his lighter up to a five pound note.

If you can’t handle this, the lecturer declares,

then you won’t be able to handle poetry,

with its inherent antipathy toward all capital.

He proceeds to burn the money. Is this

a form of performance art? Might this very act

constitute a poem in itself? How would he like it,

I’m sat there thinking, if a stockbroker or something

were to walk up to him and burn a poem

right in front of his face? In any case,

couldn’t he have made his point in words

and given the fiver to charity? Words, after all,

are his stock in trade. Perhaps he was saying

through his actions that sometimes words

are simply not enough. Or perhaps he hoped

that one or more of his students would go back

to their crappy little room and write a poem

about the whole experience. Could it be

that he was hoping to start a movement,

and that his acolytes, bearing torches, would go

and burn the banks? Maybe he was thinking sod it,

they don’t pay me enough anyway, I’ve nothing much

to lose. Or its converse: they pay me too much

when all I ever wanted to be was a poor, starving artiste...

The lecturer, it seems, has a point to make

and the money to burn to make it.

And if, perchance, there isn’t a point,

well it’s worth a fiver to fake it.

Joshua Seigal

Sunday 16 July 2023

Visit to Brenchley and Matfield Primary School

I have just had my final school visit of the term, which involved a lovely trip to the rather charmingly named Brenchfield and Matfield Primary School in Kent. I did two assemblies, followed by a workshop with Year 5. With this class I did one of my favourite activities - getting students to write love poems to their favourite (healthy) foodstuffs. Here are two wonderful poems from Year 5, which were composed in a mere ten minutes:

CHERRY by Yasmin 

Why little cherry 

Did you leave so soon?

Your insides look like flesh

And your juice as red as blood 

You look so innocent 

But I split you open

And your colours show. 

Why little cherry 

Do you seem so cute?

Do you seem so harmless?

Swallow the stone

Harmless no more. 

Why little cherry

Did you leave so soon?

Your outside do shiny

And your stalk as good as new.

Why little cherry

Do you look so innocent?

But I split you open

And your true colours show.


Oh strawberry

How I love you!

I love your juicy flesh

And sunshine smell

You taste like heaven

Your little pips

Your small green leaves 

Fill me with happiness

Oh strawberry

How I love you!

From your rainbow scent

To your sweet taste

Oh strawberry

How I love you!

Your bumpy red skin

Fills me with happiness

Oh strawberry

Oh strawberry

How I love you!

I also had the please of opening the school's new Reading Shed (see pic below)! I wish everyone at Brenchley and Matfield, along with all the other schools I've worked with, a happy and healthy summer break!

Tuesday 11 July 2023


We came from far across the world.

Some people called us picky.

That’s why we turned our boat around – 

They’d painted over Mickey!

Our lives, so full of turmoil,

Were precarious and tricky.

The risk just wasn’t worth it though – 

They’d painted over Mickey!

I’d hoped to get myself a job:

A painter, or a bricky.

I realised my dream was dust – 

They’d painted over Mickey!

The government are onto us!

They’ve made our wicket sticky.

They thought we take advantage

So they went and took the Mickey!

[Tory Immigration Minister orders murals of Mickey Mouse to be painted over in detention centres, lest Britain be seen as too enticing]