If I Were a Poet…


If I were a poet I wonder if I

could write lots of poems that spread wings and fly


Well that’s exactly what one of my poems has done. The very first poem that I wrote specifically for children, If I Were a Giant, has flown the coop and landed not only in the pages of The School Magazine (2005 & 2016)


but also in Oxford University Press India’s Mulberry English Course Book (2 editions)

and more recently at Cambridge University UK as part of their Festival of Ideas.

If I Were a Giant

First published by The School Magazine – Orbit 2005 and again in 2016 and illustrated by Kim Gamble


This poem is very special to me, not only because it is my first children’s poem but also because it was illustrated by Kim Gamble who sadly passed away in 2016. I’ve since decided to name my giant Jamble (Jackie & Gamble).

While I also write picture books, my first love is poetry, particularly rhyming poetry and when I think of it even my picture book The Croc and Platypus is really a poem, an Aussie twist on Lear’s nonsense poem, The Owl and the Pussycat and soon to be released with a brand new cover (here’s the old one) – it begins…

The croc and the platypus trundled off

In a rusty old holden ute

They took some damper and tea in a hamper

And bundled it up in the boot

The Croc and the Platypus-COV

My next picture book, Road Trip, is also being published by Walker Books (black dog books) and is due for release next year. Is it too a poem? Well if not a poem then certainly a story in verse that is being illustrated by the very talented Tom Jellett. Can’t wait to share more about that one.

So have I written any poems that don’t rhyme? Yes I have, with two recently being published by Balloons Lit. Journal (Hong Kong, China). These two poems came to be during a poetry writing course that I did with the amazing Lorraine Marwood. Prose poems don’t come naturally to me but with some gentle coaxing I managed to produce two that I’m quite proud of.

Screen Shot 2018-10-01 at 3.07.34 pm

Two more poems that ended up in China can be found in a book edited by Mark Carthew and Kit Kelen, titled When the Moon is Swimming Naked (Flying Island Books). These two poems appear in both English and Chinese which I think is wonderful.

Screen Shot 2018-10-01 at 3.24.29 pm

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Two more poems have ended up in America, Night Rain in Spider Magazine (Cricket Group) 2010

Screen Shot 2018-10-01 at 3.34.55 pm

and Morning Star in Kenn Nesbitt’s One Minute till Bedtime (little brown). 

A few of my poems have also ended up in England via a lovely publication called The Scrumbler that’s no longer in production.

Here’s a favourite…

Screen Shot 2018-10-01 at 3.58.28 pm


So if I were a poet and I think I must be

Then I’d write lots of poems and set them all free



4 thoughts on “If I Were a Poet…

  1. Jackie, I am so glad you set these poems free and shared them with us! Congratulations, and here’s to many more of your poems set free for readers to enjoy!

  2. Beautiful, Jackie!

    Congratulations on all your success.

    I’m sniffing back tears at your old dog poem – it’s so very moving.

    Can’t wait for your new book either!

    Debra xx

    Debra Tidball http://www.debratidball.com

    Sign up to my newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/c-ydEn

    The Scared Book: CBCA notable book, SCBWI Australia Crystal Kite Winner, shortlisted Speech Pathology Book of the Year, Premier’s Reading Challenge NSW When I See Grandma: Winner Children’s section Caleb Award, shortlisted Speech Pathology Book of the Year, Premier’s Reading Challenge NSW


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