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Thursday 15 February 2024

Valentine's Evening

I was sitting in a restaurant with my wife

when my website went down.

I pushed the button on my phone

but it wasn’t working.

I asked to borrow my wife’s phone

but the website still wouldn’t load.

I had ceased to exist.

My wife told me to put the phone away

and to focus on the meal, the beautiful evening,

but how could I do those things?

The universe had nullified my presence,

cancelled my very being.

If I was not there for everyone to find me,

then was I really there at all?

But I’m here, my wife said.

I’m right in front of you,

with a menu and new lipstick.

I reached for her hand

and felt the warmth, the flesh.

To let go now, I simply said,

would be a kind of death.

Joshua Seigal

Thursday 8 February 2024

EMOTIONS poems from Maidwell Hall School

This week is Children's Mental Health Week. I had a wonderful time visiting Maidwell Hall school, where I worked with a group of pupils from Years 2, 3 and 4 to create poems based on emotions. I gave everyone a short amount of time to choose which emotion they wanted to write about, and to turn their emotion into a list of metaphors. What follows is a small selection of poems from the group. Some of the lines have a slightly surreal quality, which I really like! I had great fun visiting, and I hope to be back again soon. 

Jealousy by Martha

Jealousy is when it feels in the middle

Like cloudy but not sunny

But with a little bit of rain

Jealousy is when you feel angry

And when someone boasts

You can feel rage 

Jealousy is every emotion

Whizzing around your head like a war 

But inside it’s like a number 4 

Out of number 8

Sadness by Daisy

Sadness is a storm raging through your head

Sadness is a drop of rain that gets you soaking wet

Sadness is getting bullied, when you just can’t dance 

Sadness is no friends

That bends like in the past

Anger by Teo

Anger is people shouting in my brain

Anger is in a long line in my legs 

Anger is losing in a game in my heart

Anger is when people lie in my eye 

Anger is everywhere!

Anger is people not letting me play with my feet [!]

Anger is annoying in my head

Joy by Alice

Joy is daisies and buttercups in my head

Joy is friends playing, shouting your name 

Joy is springtimetime and fruit 

Joy is cupcakes and sweets

Joy is fun in the summer breeze

Wednesday 7 February 2024


is the spice of life, they say. 

Well I don’t really like spicy things. 

When I come home to the same warm bed every night –

that’s the stuff I like. 

The same table, chairs and cutlery

waiting for me at breakfast – 

I like that. 

A different set of shoes in the hallway; 

some other car in the driveaway; 

a new school every few years –

that’s the stuff that burns

in the back of my throat. 

Variety might be the chilli powder,

but I want the solid stuff, the nourishment.

I need the potatoes, the chicken, the rice –

the things that fill up a life.

Joshua Seigal

Monday 5 February 2024

'NOTHING, REALLY' - a new poem for Children's Mental Health Week

Nothing, Really

A snake is coiling in my chest

A most unwelcome, fearsome guest

I’m feeling tense, I’m feeling stressed

But it’s nothing, really. It’s nothing. 

A tiger’s prowling through my brain

My legs are tangled in a chain

All hope is gurgling down the drain

But it’s nothing, really. It’s nothing. 

My stomach is beset by bugs

I’m being fed a bowl of slugs

My lonely life is lacking hugs

But it’s nothing, really. It’s nothing. 

There’s chaos crashing all around

I cannot stand on solid ground

I feel like I’m being drowned…

But it’s nothing, really. It’s nothing.

Joshua Seigal

Saturday 3 February 2024

Poems from Linton Village College

I recently spent a few days in the lovely village (town?) of Linton, on behalf the Lindon Children's Book Festival. I spent my time visiting schools, performing poems and running workshops. I was really excited to visit Linton Valley College, where I worked with some lovely groups of Year 7 and Year 9 students. I am excited to share two poems that emerged from my workshops. I hpe you enjoy them as much as I did!

If I Was a Colour by Elena Yr 7

I could be red

for I get angry and annoyed

I am like a bird

unable to fly

I could be green

for I am flourishing and calm 

I am like a flower

opening its petals

I could be yellow

for I have patience and brightness

I am like the sun

emerging from a cloud

I could be purple

for I am fair and caring

I am like a mother

helping their child 

I could be blue

for I am sad and lonely 

I am like a victim

of bullying

I could be any colour

nobody is one thing

There is difference in the world 

Colours by Adrienn Yr 9


Almost never pure

Never seen when coloured on paper


Always grumpy 

Snappy, unapproachable, harsh


Unloved. Alienated

Left behind, never to be seen again


In the shadows

Emotion? Gone. Quiet.