“Wheels Song” by Katherine Gallagher with Teacher Notes

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I don’t know why I’ve got feet

when I could have had wheels,

for wheels go so much faster.


Imagine me flying down our street

not in my trainers or boots

but on wheels, with my ghetto-blaster.


Imagine people turning to stare

and all telling me to slow down

before I caused a disaster.


Imagine me gliding off into space

with a quick little nod to the Moon,

then simply going straight past her. . .


©Katherine Gallagher


Published in Through a Window, Longman, 1995)

Teacher Notes

Students might like to write a poem about something that belongs to them (for example, a bicycle,  an old car,  a scooter, a broom)  which suddenly takes off into space.  Describe the journey. Did they have any accidents? What did they see? smell? touch? hear? taste?

List everything that happened, using rhyme or free verse. Make it surprising and exciting.



“Remembrance Day” by Toni Newell

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Remembrance Day,

Ever in our hearts,

Minute of silence observed,

Every year at the eleventh hour, day and month,

Marking respect and gratitude,

Being reverent to those

Returned soldiers,

And those who lost their lives.

Never forgetting their sacrifice,

Commemorating their achievements,

Embracing a universal loss.


Defending home and country,

And human rights and more,

Yet always striving for peace, not war.

“REMEMBRANCE DAY” by James Aitchison

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On the eleventh hour

Of the eleventh day

Of the eleventh month, 

1918, the guns fell silent.


World War One, 

The war to end all wars,

Was over.


Lest we forget, in Flanders fields,

The poppies grew blood red,

When Aussie boys, far from their homes,

Were number’d ’mongst the dead.


They came from farms where red gums grew,

From ’neath the Southern Cross;

No friendly sun, no magpie’s cry,

Would ever mark their loss.


In ev’ry town, in ev’ry park,

Their solemn statues stand.

Lest we forget those brave young men

Whose honour shaped our land.



“Girl Singing in Martin Place on November 11” by Katherine Gallagher

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The blood of her song

is a litany against war


It throbs against the air

echoes remembrance 


The sky doesn’t break

as her voice wavers


The world craves her song

of forgiveness and hope


She sings for those who died in war

and a crowd gathers silently


offering homage to soldiers

Anzacs and those who have borne


their love and innocence, 

always reminding



“Grandpa  Joe” by Toni Newell

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Grandpa Joe had been to war,

Many years ago,

And he shared many stories,

With his grandson Billy Joe.

He told him of the friends he’d made,

Whilst serving in the war,

Of how they’d fought and survived,

And loved life even more.


He spoke of bombs and weapons,

Of trenches and terrain,

Of aeroplanes that flew so low,

That the noise drove him insane.

Of many nights that knew no sleep,

Of many days which saw no relief,

He spoke of devastation,

And of God and his belief.


He spoke of the heat, during the day,

And of the bitter cold at night,

Of always feeling hungry,

And to this no end in sight.

Of fighting shrubs and narrow paths,

Of mosquitoes high and low,

Of crawling on his belly,

To strike another blow.


He remembered the weight of his rifle,

As he carried it close to his chest,

Of shots that were constantly ringing,

As they pushed forward, getting no rest.

He spoke of the wounded and dying,

Of the sadness and loss that he felt,

Of the fear and adrenalin pumping,

And of the air and how it had smelt.


Billy Joe listened intently,

To what he had to say,

And thought his grandpa was the best,

In each and every way.


Toni Newell