A poem for Valentine’s Day

Tulip petals photo copyright Karen Cropper

I’m not sure if this is romantic or not. I’ll let you be the judge. Happy Valentine’s Day! (This poem is in my book, What Are You Like?).

Ooh! I Think You’re Wonderful

You’re the wings on my aeroplane
You’re the strings on my guitar
You’re the star in my night sky
You’re the fuel for my car

You’re the answer to my question
You’re the pen that writes my line
You’re the spring in my onion
You’re the tingle down my spine

You’re the zipper on my jacket
You’re the ketchup on my chips
You’re the method in my madness
You’re the promise on my lips

You’re the headline in my paper
You’re all my favourite smells
You’re the last piece in my jigsaw

Oops!

Sorry,

I thought you were someone else

New Year Resolutions – What are yours?

Person in a hat copyright Bernard Young

Here are mine! Happy New Year everyone!

Eight Resolutions

I resolve
not to complain
at the drop of a hat

I resolve
to make more fuss
of my wonderful cat

I resolve
to investigate becoming
an adventurous acrobat

I resolve
to treat no one
like a dirty doormat

I resolve
not to indulge
in tit for tat

I resolve
not to expose my
neck to a vampire bat

I resolve
to take more notice of this
and that

And I resolve
never to drop
my hat

Happy Christmas Everyone

Frosty Figures photo copyright Bernard Young

Wishing you all a very happy Christmas and New Year. Here’s a little poem from me, sparked by what I could see in the photo.

Gifts From Above

They’ll have been out in the early hours,
the wintery Christmas creatures.
They’ll have been stalking the forests.
Searching for parcels.
Sniffing for presents.
The presents you didn’t receive.
The ones that fell
off the back of the sleigh.

Yes, they’ll have been out
in the night’s blue and white,
the wintery Christmas creatures,
claiming what’s theirs;
the packages that landed with a thump
on the earth of their forests,
the parcels caught in the branches,
the boxes wrapped in bright paper
and signed ‘…with love.’
Gifts from above.

We Love Manchester – Celebrating with Poetry on 22nd May #ILoveMCR

Image I Love Manchester CC-BY-SA Transport Pixels https://flic.kr/p/arpsFZ

On 22nd May, the anniversary of the Manchester Arena attack, I am looking forward to a day of creativity with E-ACT Blackley Academy to celebrate everything great about Manchester.

I’ll be performing some of my poetry to the whole school at the start of the day, then working with Reception children to compose poems celebrating Manchester.

In the afternoon I will be with a group of KS2 children and the plan is to write a school poem celebrating Blackley Academy itself.

Our thoughts will, of course, be with all of those who were affected by that awful event.

Image: Bees CC-BY Duncan Hull https://flic.kr/p/XRyGmV

Image credits

I Love Manchester CC-BY-SA Transport Pixels https://flic.kr/p/arpsFZ

Bees CC-BY Duncan Hull https://flic.kr/p/XRyGmV

Eight Line “The Sea” Poetry competition for ages 7-14

Invitation to enter poetry competition

I had the pleasure of meeting Christina Gabbitas at the Between the Lines Children’s Literature Festival in Sheffield on 24th February. We were both leading sessions. She asked me to be one of the judges of a poetry competition that she is organising, and I agreed. The competition is open to young people aged 7-14. The closing date is 30th April. Schools or individuals can submit poems. Selected poems will be published in a lovely book. Full details are here: http://www.christinagabbitas.com/competition/

Concentrated half day poetry workshop with one year 3 class

Bernard Young half day visit to Chorlton CofE Primary school

Mostly, when I visit a school, I spend a whole day and work with all year groups, spending a little time with each, having kicked things off with a performance to the whole school. However, on Friday, linked to National Poetry Day, I had the pleasure of spending half a day with just one class at Chorlton CofE Primary School in Manchester – Miss Lowe’s year 3 class. This meant a more concentrated experience for the students in that class.

I performed to the class reading some poems from my books, some with guitar, and then answered their questions about being a poet. After that we wrote a poem about their school all together, with guitar accompaniment. Then I gave them some suggestions so they could write their own individual poems, which every child did. At the end of the session each child performed their poem to the rest of the class. All of this before lunch time! A very successful literacy lesson.

Thank you Year 3 and Miss Lowe for your enthusiasm and creativity. I hope this experience has nurtured a confidence with poetry which will stay for every day.

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Another Message Poem for National Poetry Day on 6 October

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National Poetry Day takes place the first Thursday in October every year in the UK. Each year there is a theme and this year it is MESSAGES. Here is another poem of mine on that theme to give you some inspiration.

Message From A Miserable Tortoise

To whom it may concern,

Don’t expect
to see me today.

I’m fed up.
Depressed.
Withdrawn.

You can knock as hard as you like.
I’m not coming out.
Not even for a lettuce leaf.

I’m a hard nut to crack.
An unsociable bone.

Leave me alone.

I’m already booked for the actual day of National Poetry Day, but still have some slots that week, if you want to have me come to your school to kick off the creativity, or any other time of year is good too. Just contact me for availability and price.

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A Reassuring Message – Free Teaching Resources for National Poetry Day

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I hope all the teachers out there are having a lovely time still on holiday, sipping ice cold drinks, basking in the sunshine. But for those already thinking about returning back to school and lesson planning, there are some FREE LESSON PLANS and other resources for National Poetry Day on the NPD website.

Maybe a competition will provide some motivation. Here are some to look into:

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National Poetry Day takes place the first Thursday in October every year in the UK. Each year there is a theme and this year it is MESSAGES. Here is a poem of mine on that theme to give you some inspiration.

A Reassuring Message

Anything that’s broken
I will mend

Anything that needs to go
I will send

Anytime you call me
I shall attend

You can ask me anything
I am your friend

I’m already booked for the actual day of National Poetry Day, but still have some slots that week, if you want to have me come to your school to kick off the creativity, or any other time of year is good too. Just contact me for availability and price.

National Poetry Day is the first Thursday in October. Book a Poet www.bernardyoung.co.uk

Messages for National Poetry Day on Thursday 6th October

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National Poetry Day takes place the first Thursday in October every year in the UK. Each year there is a theme and this year it is MESSAGES. Here is a poem of mine on that theme to give you some inspiration.

To The Great Provider

Dear Great Provider,
This is to thank you
for the delicious cheese
you so thoughtfully provide.
Thank you.

However,
(and I do hope this doesn’t seem ungrateful)
would it be possible to place it
by the side of our hole
and not on the spikes
of the thing that snaps
when we take a bite?
That would be most helpful.

It’s just that,
as you may or may not know,
a member of my family
(my precious daughter to be precise)
has not returned from dining out
and we fear her disappearance
may have something to do
with the fierce snappy thing.
It doesn’t like mice!
(This is not a criticism.
We would sooner pull out our own whiskers
than question your unquestionable wisdom.
We know you move in mysterious ways.)

Once again, Great Provider,
thank you for the wonderful cheese.
It’s irresistible.

Yours humbly and appreciatively,
Montague Mouse

This poem appears in my book Wanted Alive, copies are available to buy from this site. More information about National Poetry Day is available on the Forward Arts Foundation website.

Illustration by Jessie Gillick from Wanted Alive
Illustration by Jessie Gillick from Wanted Alive

Remembrance

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We comfort one another
We who never learn

The losses continue
The fires still burn

We comfort one another
We who never learn