“Australian Bushfires” by James Aitchison

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Australian bushfires

They say the smoke has reached Chile.

Not just the smoke from our blazing forests,

But the smoke from lost fireys and townsfolk,

And thousands oft homes,

And five hundred million wild animals,

And cattle and sheep and bold horses

Burned alive in once-lush paddocks.


They say the smoke is toxic.  It is not.  

It is sacred.

“Leaving” by Louise McCarthy

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One hour until midnight,

A strange and warning silence,

Do we stay – what are the odds though?

Sleep is no defence.


The judgment is to leave,

Sad words will not escape,

Sentiment is beaten,

Just a few things can we take.


A box of precious items –


Photographs, souvenirs,

Silly little trinkets,

A change of clothes, books,

Pillows and some blankets.


Tall trees stand surrendered,

The backdrop of our home,

The sky is red and the air is hot,

And tomorrow is unknown.

Poetry Prompt 1 2020

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Good Morning and welcome to the 2020 Australian Children’s Poetry Prompts.

We have certainly had an eventful summer in Australia.

How about for the whole of February we write poetry that instills hope into children after the bushfire events. Many of them have witnessed horrible scenes on TV and media and it would be beneficial for them to see the good that has come out of what has been a destructive time.

For example: Here are three prompts. You may have other ideas as well which are welcomed.





Community Groups

Animal rescue groups

Red Cross

Armed forces

One idea here is a thank you poem


New Growth

The new growth happening in our forests


Hope in general

How hope is a reason to continue fighting and believe things will improve.

You may like to pick a particular area of Australia and research what has happened in that area to write your poetry.

Please send in poems this week to




And this weeks thought:


“Australia Day” by Toni Newell




Our wonderful Australia,

Is a wonderful country,

That’s opened its arms,

To diversity.

It’s integrated people,

From afar and near,

Absorbed different cultures,

Given support to those in fear.

And now Australia’s shared,

With Indigenous and white,

And skins of many colours,

Which come together to unite.

Our richness has evolved,

From just food upon our plate,

But to customs, religion, art,

Architecture, and debate.

It is indeed a tapestry,

Of cultures intertwined,

And should be viewed and loved,

Not trampled by mankind.

This is Australia’s story,

And whilst troubles have been seen,

We strive to make it better,

Move forward from what has been.

So, let us all embrace,

Our great diversity,

Which brings us all together,

In this, our ‘sunburnt’ country.


Herald on Australia Day,

So, we can celebrate,

A country which embraces,

And where all can become a ‘mate’.


“CHILDHOOD’S END” by Margaret Pearce

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Once he was a puppy small

As cute as cute could be

Children loved him one and all

As everyone could see.


Soon he grew to adulthood

So helpful to be directed 

Guarding as a good dog should

All property as selected.


He grew old and ailing

 With childhood left behind

All love and caring paling

By dark cares of adult kind.


Neglected deaf and lame

Strayed on the railway track

Unheard the noisy train

Was death so very black?


The punctual train no outrage 

As death disposed so cleanly

Of the inconvenience of age

And incontinence so unseemly.


Guilt caused memories to awake

Returning back to when

Childhood lacked all heartbreak

And caring was easier then.



Margaret Pearce


“A Letter from the Principal” by Pat Simmons



Dear Mr. Smith and Mrs. Smith,

I’m writing you this letter

because your son’s behaviour

isn’t getting any better.


His writing is untidy and

his spelling is a worry.

He’s often late and consequently,

always in a hurry.


His recent science project

nearly caused a school disaster.

The explosion covered twenty boys

in clouds of ceiling plaster.


He’s been with us for twenty years,

or is it twenty two?

Dear Mr. Smith and Mrs. Smith,

just what are we to do?


He’s untidy and he’s silly

and he always acts the fool,

but still the students say he’s

the best teacher in our school.