Rubbing shoulders with Thomas Hardy

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This week I was delighted to receive the Winter edition of The Caterpillar, a lovely publication for children full of stories, poems and art.

The Caterpillar is the offspring of the prestigious Moth  arts and literature magazine.

I sent off a selection of poems to one of the editors, Will Govan, back in September. Although they weren’t suitable, he asked for more…

‘Wind’ was one of the poems I submitted in the next batch, and Rebecca O’Connor, the second editor, said that they would love to publish it. I actually only added that one to make an even number of submissions; I thought it was the weakest of the lot. What do I know?!

Anyway, here it is, looking perfectly lovely on p.21:

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And, this will probably be the only time that my name appears on the same contents page as Thomas Hardy.

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#thinkofapoem

My lovely – and talented – friend, Liz Brownlee has been made National Poetry Day Ambassador. Have a look at her website and you’ll see why:

http://www.poetlizbrownlee.co.uk/site/welcome/

Poetry is not a dying art, but, for some reason, many people are afraid of it. Yes, some poems are very deep and intellectual, but there are so many that are accessible to everyone. The beauty of poetry, I think, is in the speaking of it. That’s when you hear the choreography of words. How wonderful to experience the sounds and rhythms which dance in your mouth and to be introduced to metaphors which would never have crossed your mind, yet, to hear them, you realise how perfect they are.

To bring poetry to the forefront, Ambassador Liz would like everyone to #thinkofapoem – and to use that hash tag on Twitter with the poem title, or link.

At this point, I thought I would introduce you to one of my light-hearted poems for children, which is included in ‘A Mouthful of Chuckles’, one of my books which you can see shown on the right-hand side.

Weird Beard

Boris, ’twas said, was a hundred years old

with a beard right down to his feet.

Amassed in the hair

was all manner of fare

he’d spilled while attempting to eat.

 

Boris had oathed to dispose of all clothes –

his beard made a wonderful cloak.

It tickled a bit

and was awkward to sit

and muffled his voice when he spoke.

 

Often Boris would slip as his beard made him trip

or entangled itself in his toes.

Reluctant to trim it

or set a length limit,

he’d left it to grow and to grow.

 

The day did not come of a hundred and one,

the story is sad to be told…

for Boris got trapped;

in his beard he was wrapped

and cocooned there until he turned cold.

Yes, it’s a bit dark, but children love a bit of menace!

Poetry can make you laugh, make you cry, unsettle you or stay with you. We can all remember one, so go on, Tweet it!