slow as slurred speech
to allow a diluted light to fall on this town.
Commas of raindrops cling to branches
or drip from TV aerials.
Roofs gleam the way a flat lake would
on a summer evening.
The townsfolk creep along Main Street
wearing shabby clothes
and damaged expressions.
So much is unfamiliar in this town;
the irregular buildings, the cylindrical fells,
the baggy accent. A northern desolation
acting colourfully in some farcical charade.
A life as thin, as weak, as insubstantial
as the streaks of skeletal light.
red ones are the worst.
I hate them being blown up,
it scares me when they burst.
They’re nastically plasticky,
they’re ballistically blasticky,
they’re drastically nasticky,
they’re bloodthirstically bombasticky!
I hate balloons at parties
if they’re in the hands of boys.
Or if the magician twists an animal
and there’s that squeaky balloony noise.
It’s excruciatingly nauseating,
it’s frustratingly abominating,
it’s gratingly penetrating,
it’s inflatingly aggravating!
I hate balloons at Christmas
when they’re dangling from the tree.
I shove my fingers in my ears,
in case they pop and scare me.
They’re ponderously wonderous,
they’re plunderously sunderous,
they’re murderously blunderous,
they’re gunpowderously thunderous!
(I’m the only balloonophobic in the balloonophobicphonebook!)
I have a hand of metal,
I have a hand of clay,
I have two arms of granite
and a song for every day.
I have a foot of damson,
I have a foot of corn,
I have two legs of leaf-stalk
and a dance for every morn.
I have a dream of water,
I have a dream of snow,
I have a thought of wildfire
and a harp-string long and low.
I have an eye of silver,
I have an eye of gold,
I have a tongue of reed-grass
and a story to be told.
Copyright John Rice, 2014
This is one of my favourite poems. It has appeared in lots of anthologies and has been set to music and recorded by the wonderful Irish singer Padraigin Ni Uallachain on her CD called 'When I was Young: Children’s Songs from Ireland'. It’s a poem that tries to capture the essence of the Celtic cultural spirit as it mentions song, dance, storytelling and music.
Poetry Is Important: Very young babies adore nursery rhymes because they are rhythmic and repetitive.
As children get older, they begin to become fascinated by words and how they look and how they sound different from each other...words become quite attractive and interesting little machines!
Poetry allows us to experiment with rhythm and sound and also allows us to investigate language and meaning. Poetry is good for children just as porridge was good for Robert Burns!
What Makes Poetry So Cool?