X marks the spot

And there it is! The last poem of my Children’s Alphabet written ( not quite in order!)

And with my agent.

That was fun.

Now to write the companion volume of An Alphabet of children’s poems for Parents…



A map must be found

in a cave


Near a beach on wild seas

Where the water sweeps in

with an unearthly din

And runs all round the cave

With a rush and a roar

Leaving a tangle of weed

On the floor

As the water sucks out..


In the weed

Is a bag

Full of salty wet sand

And half buried inside

Is a chest made of wood

Ribbed with iron gone red

Flaking off from the rust

Of the years on the floor

Of the ocean itself

In the dimness and dark.


In the chest

Is a map

Rotting now in the folds

Yellow, dog-eared, forlorn,

Crisp to touch, dank to hold,

Of an island

A bay,

A tall ship

A large rock..


And right there,

In the centre,

An X

Marks the spot.


But what spot

Does it mark?

What is buried down there?

Is it crusty doubloons,

Is it ropes of dull pearls,

Is it wealth beyond dreams

Won through other men’s blood

In a raid or a war?


Or is it a curse?

The white bones of a death

That will rise in the light

Of the opening lid

And dance hideous jigs

As they take their revenge

On the unlucky kid

Who revealed what was hid

From the merciless sky?


Well; who knows?

Would you be a hero?

Would you be the one

Brave enough

To find out?

Rather you, friend,

Than I!


C is also for Chameleon

I have decided to try to make these into two books; one an ABC of children’s poetry, and the other A Children’s ABC of poetry for Grownups, as some of the poems I have written seem to be about children from an adult’s perspective, rather than for children.

So – this next batch of posts will be filling in the gaps! Children’s poems first. If you want to see the whole collection, they can be found in categories.


I would so like to be

a chameleon

When my aunt

Comes to tea

I could stand

Very still

by the wall

And she


See me

At all!

Q is for Quark

A quark,

Is a quark..

Is a curious bird..

That quacks in the dark

Like a duck in a park

But can never be seen..

Or, indeed, even heard..


It is possibly green

With a massive red beak

And it plays hide and seek

Like a Pokemon freak


Or it might be quite different..

It might be quite small..

I really don’t know

Much about it at all..


It might be right here

Or right there

Or nowhere..


Is it caught in a cage?

Does it long to be free?

Does it want to meet me?

It’s a great mystery.


But more fun than the Queen

Who I’ve quite often seen.

O is for Ostrich

My grandmother says that when she was a small girl in Africa,

She rode on an ostrich once.

She said they are very silly birds;

with nothing in their heads except feathers.


An ostrich is the only bird which can run very fast in several directions at once,

For no reason whatsoever.

Which is very confusing when you are sitting on their back

With your feet stuck under their armpits, hanging onto their wings for dear life.


I have absolutely no idea why she wanted to ride one in the first place.

But that’s grandmothers for you.



L is for Love

People talk about love all the time.

Love you!

says my mum when she kisses me.

Love you!

says my sister when she tucks me into bed.

Love you!

says my Dad when he picks me up after I’ve crashed my bike.

They say it to each other, too.

Lots of people do.

I don’t know what it is, though.

I can’t see it, or bite it, or smell it.

Perhaps it’s just there.

Like air.