Animals and Creatures

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.

Gorgon’s Bad Hair Day

Have you got wild, unmanageable coils?
Don’t dare look in the mirror?
Petrified someone will see you?

Try ‘Medusa’s Mixture’
And put the hiss back in your hair!


I claim with confidence, I’ve met
Most creatures in the alphabet.
I’ve hunted them with noose or net,
From aardvark, ape and avocet,
Through musk-ox, moose and marmoset,
To xiphias and zebra, yet
It is to my intense regret
I haven’t seen a Yeti … yet.

I’ve trekked by mule with my machete,
Getting chilly, mucky, sweaty,
And, though you may call it petty,
Still I’ve never found a Yeti.

I’ve searched regions dry and wet.
I’ve scoured the plateau of Tibet.
I’ve studied Yeti etiquette,
Seen things I think a Yeti’s ate,
And though I’m not the sort to fret,
I’m really getting quite upset
That I’ve not seen or smelt or met
Or found or caught a Yeti … yet!

First published in ‘A Poetry Teacher’s Toolkit – Book 2’, by Collette Drifte and Mike Jubb, published by David Fulton, 2002.