Guest blog by Liz Brownlee, National Poetry Day Ambassador


National Poetry Day’s theme of messages prompted me, as a wildlife and sustainability poet, to organise a competition for adults and children to write a message poem to the planet, or wildlife, or a wild place – or a message from wildlife to humanity, or a message poem from human to human.

I’ve received some lovely poems, as many as possible of which I will tweet throughout National Poetry Day itself! 

Here are some of the poems I have received from all ages - very young people to slightly older young people: 

Dear Friend,

I could never forget playing with you,

Or rolling down hills with you.

Everywhere you’re with me,

Within me.

 

I could never forget spinning with you

And you whispering in my ear.

And when we played hide and seek

You could never be found.

 

© Sophie Marshall, aged 9, Coastlands School

 

I love the way you don’t really know who Sophie has written the poem to – it is a puzzle as well as a poem. But I think it is the wind. 

 

Dear Autumn,

 

Battered leaves blown,

Misty fog flees,

Streams slow-flowing,

Daisy meadows die,

Sloes start to grow,

Leaves couple-coloured,

Hedgehogs curl up closely,

Squirrels tear up trees,

Robins look forward

As the sun starts to sleep.

 

Autumn, my friend,

You are the best season.

 

© Jasmine Gainfort, aged 8, Coastlands School

 

Jasmine’s poem contains some lovely imagery – what a wonderful description of autumn leaves – couple-coloured, and there is some fabulous alliteration in the line ‘Daisy meadows die’.

 

Dear Pig

 

Your pink twisted tail,

Curly like a quaver.

I love the way

You play

In the murky mud,

Like a rollicking rhino.

 

But I am ever so sorry

That I eat you:

Sizzling sausages,

Beautiful bacon.

 

© Izzy Scale, aged 10, Coastlands School

 

William Carlos Williams wrote an apology poem called ‘This is Just to Say’, from a person who had eaten some plums probably saved for breakfast. He described them as ‘delicious/so sweet/and so cold. That was an empty apology in the same way that this is, clever Izzy!

 

The Message from a Whale

 

Dear World,

 

This is my story.

My pod of ten,

playing around

eating anything near us.

Then there was trouble,

our number decreased.

 

Ten left,

nine

eight

 

the boats came,

whizzing over us.

Harpoons hit the water

took my mum,

blood spilling everywhere

 

Seven

Six

Five

 

they keep on coming,

taking more and more of us.

Then they took them away.

I never saw them again,

wondering what happened

as more of us went.

 

four

three

two

Just me left.

 

I was all alone,

wondering if

I was next.

Splash,

I heard it again.

Sharp pain shot through my back.

I was getting pulled up.

I knew it was the END.

 

Then there was

none.

 

© Jack Tucker  aged 12, Ardingly College.

 

Jack has written and laid out his poem very cleverly to make you feel every loss of each member of the whale’s family.

 

And lastly a poem from Daisy Proctor, from Chepstow.

 

Dear Earth

 

I will miss

the forest owlet’s big eyes.

 

I will miss

The Fire-crown’s long beak.

 

I will miss

The cute Malabar Civet.

 

I will miss

the Iberian Lynx.

My favourite.

 

The Hawaiian crow

as black as Halloween.

 

The South China Tiger’s 

stripes.

 

The beaver’s strong teeth.

 

The Seychelle bat’s

deep purple wings.

 

The Maui dolphin’s leap.

 

The Asiatic cheetah’s speed.

 

Suni, the Northern white rhino

died two years ago.

 

Only one male remains.

 

And I’m already missing George

the Pinta Island Tortoise

now extinct.

 

© Daisy Proctor, age 7

 

This is a wonderful poem by Daisy, celebrating the uniqueness of each animal she names by describing one of its attributes – the whole poem has a deep sense of longing and sadness about it. 

 

If you’d like to see these poems and all the rest sent in for the competition, they can be viewed at https://messagepoemstotheplanet.wordpress.com

This year I am doing less for National Poetry Day as I have some other commitments, but I will be hard at work tweeting and blogging all day! I would love to see some poems for my next poetry competition from any subscribers to this blog, so do have a look coming up to next National Poetry Day on www.lizbrownleepoet.com where you will find details! 

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