Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Poems for all the Lovely People


When she's not cooking or cleaning or reading aloud or writing or singing, what on earth does a woman at home with kids do with her time? (Yes, I get asked this question occasionally.) Well, one of the other things I do each week is sit in a classroom reading and writing with a bunch of terrific kids, most of whom have a refugee background. It's great fun, and I freely admit I probably get more out of it than the kids do. You can read about one instance of 'more' here.

And just as, a year or two ago, I wrote a set of poems incorporating names from the classroom, over the last month I have again written a set of poems which include the class list, and collated the poems into a little illustrated book. It is no great poetic work, just a heap of lovin' fun to make some fantastic kids belly laugh. The book was debuted in class over the last two weeks; and each kid has taken home a copy to keep and read over the holidays. You, I am sure, have enough books to keep you occupied over the holidays, but here's a couple of the poems for the child in you.


Faiza (pronounced fay-zah)

Faiza plays a
Game of catch.
Away rolls the ball
Into a patch
Of shadow where the light grows dull.
Faiza runs and finds her ball.
Faiza gaze a-
cross the green.
Here comes a man with a mowing machine!
Faiza runs off with the ball
And bounces it against a wall.
Marbles, four square,
Hopscotch, hey!
Faiza plays the
Days away.



Ziad's name means 'more than enough',
But enough of what? Well, that's a bit tough.
Is it dozens of smiles? An abundance of brains?
Plenty of sunshine? Or showers of rain?
Does he have a herd of elephants
To carry him through the streets?
A great big pile of umbrellas and hats
To shade him from the heat?
Outside his window perhaps he sees
A fleet of shining cars
Or looking up above at night
A universe of stars.

Or could this 'more' be what he gives
As he fills our lives with joy?
Whatever it is, however he lives,
Ziad is our abundant boy!



How does it feel, Jibreel, to be
Climbing the branches of a tree,
Pushing through leaves way up high,
Arms reaching out to touch the sky?

How does it feel, Jibreel, to run
Round the oval in the sun
Through the grass or kicking a ball
And hearing it thud against the wall?

How does it feel, Jibreel, to rest
Down in the shade with one of your best
Friends in the world, chatting away?
How do you feel, Jibreel, today?


Why did I start reading with these kids? Click here to find out.


  1. You make me smile, thanks. Helen S.

  2. Hi Alison. Have you found Sir Ken Robinson's book The element: how finding your passion changes everything? I know it sounds like a self help book but he has real credibility in education and the book has stories that I think express an approach to children and people that I think you and I share.

  3. Hi Jean, No I haven't, but I will certainly look it up! Thanks for the recommendation. Alison.


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