My Poems

Maxine the Vaccine

You’ve heard me tell of Cyrus
The virus who’s so cruel.
Who makes so many people sick
And stops you going to school.

Well I’ve got news for Cyrus,
For a valiant hero’s come,
To break his crown, to blunt his spikes,
To kick him in the bum.

Maxine the vaccine,
Her quest is to protect us,
Her lance is sharp, her aim is true,
She’s racing to inject us.

Her mystic, magic potion
Will create an army, teeming
With her antibody buddies
Like a suit of armour gleaming.

The battle will be loud and long,
Whamoozle! Bash! Kerpow!
So wash your hands, as you’ve been told,
Just like you’re doing now.

Then give a cheer for Maxine,
She’s our vaccine superkid.
She’ll dump Cyrus in the dustbin
And superglue the lid!

Cyrus the Virus

The virus.
He’s nasty and he’s mean.

The virus.
So small he can’t be seen.

He lurks on taps and toilet seats,
He really loves the loo!
On bannisters and handles,
Whatever can you do?

Wash your hands! Wash your hands!
Make him squirm and make him struggle.
Wash your hands! Wash your hands!
Send him glooping down the plughole.

He wants to make us cough and choke,
He’s really a disgrace.
If he gets onto your fingers,
He could end up on your face.

Wash your hands! Wash your hands!
It’s the thing he fears the most.
Wash your hands! Wash your hands!
And we’ll make this Cyrus toast!

We can thwart his evil plans
So remember – WASH YOUR HANDS!!!

Draw Me an Alien

Draw me an alien,
One you’d like to meet,
Or one to send you yelling,
Shrieking, howling down the street.

Draw me an alien,
A blob, a beast, a thing,
With talons, toes, or tentacles,
To grasp or clasp or cling.

Draw me an alien
From light-years far away,
From Earth, or Mars, or Venus,
Then slither off and play.

Space Etiquette

It really is most impolite
To sneeze in zero-gravity.
For those who do, display to view,
What’s in their nasal cavity.

Granny Meets an Alien

An alien from Andromeda,
With seven pairs of flippers,
Grabbed Gran, by the gasometer,
We only found her slippers.

But then we got a letter,
Redirected via Saturn.
She’s knitting him a sweater –
Fourteen-sleeved! Please send a pattern.

Mr Fledermaus

Our teacher, Mr Fledermaus, seems frightened of the light.
He comes to school before the dawn, and goes home late at night.
His face is almost deathly pale; he wears a long black cloak.
And with those little pointy teeth he really looks a joke.

He ought to eat much more, he should put on a bit of weight,
But he left the garlic mushrooms in a pile upon his plate.
He often nips into the loo, to comb his sleek, black hair,
But they say that, in the mirror, no reflection greets him there!

The weirdest things upset him, like that time, the other day,
I was sharpening my pencil, and he winced, and looked away.
I think Miss Cartwright fancies him, and though she’s quite a wreck,
He does seem strangely taken with her long and shapely neck!

First published in ‘Top Secret Lives of Teachers’, edited by Brian Moses, published by Macmillan, 2002.

Don’t Put Out the Light!

Don’t put out the light!
For a crocodile might
Wander by in the night
And be tempted, despite
Knowing it’s impolite,
To partake of a bite.
Yes, you’re probably right
That the danger is slight,
But don’t put out the light!

Check under the bed!
For some beasts, I have read,
When they haven’t been fed,
Get it into their head
To try hunting instead.
And though it’s been said
That they may prefer bread
Thick with chocolate spread,
Please check under the bed!

Don’t put out the light!
No, I’m not in a fright,
I’m not getting uptight,
I am quite, quite all right.
But I half thought you might,
To be mean, out of spite,
So, just for tonight,
As you wish me goodnight
Please don’t put out the light!!!

5-a-Side Mythical Beast Football

Centaur? You go up front. Striker.
Centaur-forward, you could say!
Just my joke.

Pegasus? Right wing.
No, you can use the left one too.
That’s your position. Right wing.
All that speed. Hefty kick. Brilliant!

Unicorn? Left wing.
And this time, don’t try to head it!
You’ve burst six balls already this season.

Minotaur? Man’s body, bull’s head.
You stay at the back.
But no rough stuff. Not like last week.
Should have told them not to wear red.

Dragon. In goal.
No, it’s not because you’re useless.
Just spread those wings. Can’t go wrong.
And if the ball’s going past you,
Burn it.

Now. Are you fit? Ready?
It’s a tough one this week.
Back Street Primary, Year 3.
Now they’re real beasts!

First published in ‘My Mum’s Put Me on the Transfer List’, edited by John Foster, published by Oxford University Press, 2002.

Want to be an Angel

Want to be an angel.
Don’t want to be a King.
Angels dress up all in white,
Angels get to sing.

Want to be an angel,
Kneeling on the straw.
Wings so big, I have to shuffle
Sideways through the door.

Melanie’s an angel,
Miss? That isn’t fair!
I’ve got angel sort of eyes
And angel sort of hair.

I should be an angel,
Miss. Instead of her.
… Oh, if I must, I’ll be a King!
Just don’t give me the myrrh!

Show and Tell

A week last Thursday Mrs Bell
Said, perhaps for Show and Tell,
We could bring along some pets,
An idea that she now regrets.

There were cats and rats and dogs,
Miriam had brought some frogs,
Then shy and quiet Ursula
Took out her pet tarantula.

Children shouted, children shrieked,
Some stood on their desks and squeaked.
All of which just served to wake
Brian’s favourite rattlesnake.

It shook its tail, as if to say
One shouldn’t treat a snake that way,
Terrifying mice and rats
And Cathy’s dozing vampire bats.

They rose as one into the air.
Amy leapt onto her chair,
Knocking over neighbour Grant’s
Box of giant soldier ants.

Pets were crawling, croaking, creeping.
Mrs Bell just sat there, weeping,
When we heard a fearsome roar
And a head popped round the door.

In the room came Susie Bland
With a leash grasped in her hand.
“Quiet boy! Now stay! Just wait!
It’s my T-Rex. Are we too late?”

First published in ‘Why Do We Have to Go to School?’, edited by John Foster, published by Oxford University Press, 2002.