A bucket for the truth

The poet Adrian Mitchell once described poetry as, “a bucket for holding the truth”. Adrian Mitchell was one of my favourite writers, and poetry is one of my favourite types of writing. So this is a space for some poems…

A POEM FROM OXFORD

Thanks to the young word jugglers at Oxford’s Story Museum who helped us come up with this poem inspired my new picture book A BRAVE BEAR…

 

OUR ANIMALS

An angry dinosaur!

An angry dinosaur!

He’s gigantic.

He’s a triceratops.

He has a long tail.

He has BIG TEETH!

An angry dinosaur

is the angriest thing in the world!

 

A naughty lion!

A naughty lion!

He has sharp claws.

He has stinky breath.

He steals bikes.

He is FEIRCE!

A naughty lion

is the naughtiest thing in the world!

 

A happy crocodile!

A happy crocodile!

He has splashy claws.

He has a big smile.

He has shiny eyes.

He has A TOOTHY SMILE!

A happy crocodile

is the happiest thing in the world!

 

by children at Oxford’s Story Museum working with Sean Taylor April, 2016

 

Posted April 25th, 2016

POEMS FROM CARDIFF

Thanks to all who came along to meet me at Cardiff Central Library on Saturday, as part of the Cardiff Children’s Literature Festival. It was a delight to be in the middle of all those warm exchanges! And here are the poems you helped me to write:

 

SILLY ANIMALS

 

GIRAFFE  -  You tall, spotty, long-necked, dribbly leaf-eater.

PUPPY  -  You messy, hairy, running-in-the-garden, splashing-on-the-beach, cat-chaser!

ELEPHANT  -  You gigantic, flappy, floppy, grey stomper!

ANT  -  You small, crawling, tickly, busy rock-climber!

 

by children at Cardiff Central Library working with Sean Taylor, Saturday morning April 16th 2016

 

 

VOLUME CONTROL

Louder than a dinosaur roaring!

Louder than Dylan going OWWWWW!

Louder than a storm covering the night sky!

Louder than a lion growing!

Louder than a children’s birthday party!

Louder than a tired baby crying!

Louder than a cross mummy shouting!

 

Quieter than a mouse creeping.

Quieter than a library.

Quieter than a fish swimming.

Quieter than a shy child whispering.

Quieter than a leopard’s footsteps.

Quieter than a quiet house.

Quieter than us, when we’re asleep…

 

by children at Cardiff Central Library working with Sean Taylor, Saturday afternoon April 16th 2016

Posted April 17th, 2016

I WILL ALWAYS KEEP IT SAFE

Thanks to all those children who joined me at DISCOVER in Stratford on Tuesday 29th March. They came up with special words and ideas so that we could write this poem together…

 

I WILL ALWAYS KEEP IT SAFE

My naughty black cat.                                                                                                           I will always keep her safe.

My brown, stuffed bear Bertram.                                                                                           I will always keep him safe.

My best friend Alana at school.                                                                                              I will always keep her safe.

My cheeky, sneaky, mischievous toy monkey.                                                                          I will always keep him safe.

My noisy baby sister, Naia.                                                                                                     I will always keep her safe.

My whole, funny, kind, lovely family.                                                                                      I will always keep them safe.

 

 

by children at DISCOVER working with Sean Taylor, Easter holidays 2016

 

 

Posted March 30th, 2016

The Day the World Turned Upside Down

The day the world turned upside down
the trees went blue, and the sky went brown.
Men became women. Women became men.
Two became three, and nine became ten.
All the dogs turned into cats.
Roots became branches, and shoes became hats.
Lambs became butchers, and fish became birds.
“Please” and “Thank you” became rude words.
Roads were rivers, and squares were round.
The day the world turned upside down.

The day the world turned upside down
aeroplanes flew underground.
Honest people turned into thieves.
Tea became coffee and coins became leaves.
Horses rode upon their riders.
Mice caught cats, and flies caught spiders.
Milk became metal. The deserts froze.
The sun set in the morning, and at night it rose.
All the news-readers were dancing clowns
the day the world turned upside down.

by Sean Taylor

Posted January 3rd, 2008

Snow Babies

I saw three girls make snow babies
with stumpy arms and legs.

They rocked their small white bundles
and kissed their soft cold heads.

It warmed my heart to see those
bright-eyed little mothers.

Then they burst out laughing
and threw the babies at each other.

by Sean Taylor

Posted January 3rd, 2008

Sharp Eyes

My father’s palms on the worn smooth wood of the fork.
Garden trousers instead of his weekday suit.
Me, abob round his knees like a floating cork,
watching the prongs pushed into the soil by his boot.
Then he’d tilt back and turn up a thick wedge of earth,
say, “No luck?” and seem to be looking around.
“Yes!” I’d say, finding potatoes for all I was worth -
like scattered coins in the blackness of the broken ground.
Years later he admitted his bad eyesight had all been a fake.
Pretending not to see the potatoes was just his game.
He loved to see me with my eyes and my fingers awake.
And perhaps that is why I am writing this poem today.
Because he taught me to look for what’s golden down in the dark
and to watch the world with eyes alive and sharp.

by Sean Taylor

Posted January 3rd, 2008

A Welcome for Joey

(Read out when my son, Joey, was born. It got a round of applause from the doctors and nurses, and a yawn from Joey…)

Welcome to the world, to the air and the stones.
Welcome to the colours of the birds.
Welcome to dogs and distances and storms.
Welcome to the rooms full of words.

Welcome to trees and choices and love.
Welcome to friends and the sun.
Welcome to wheels and worn down shoes.
Welcome to your dad and your mum.

Welcome to windows, doors and shelves.
Welcome to adverts and sirens.
Welcome to the world with its big, wild cats,
its laughter, its songs and its silence.

by Sean Taylor

Posted January 3rd, 2008