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.
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
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.
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.
Two more poems have ended up in America, Night Rain in Spider Magazine (Cricket Group) 2010
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…
So if I were a poet and I think I must be
Then I’d write lots of poems and set them all free