As a child I enjoyed poetry, but it was as my own children were beginning to reach major life events such as engagement, 21st birthdays and marriage, that I began to write light-hearted verse as a way of contributing to the celebration of these significant occasions. This led to writing similar material for some of our friends’ celebrations as well.
My early working life was spent as a primary school teacher in suburban Sydney and then in country NSW. Country life was new to me, including the one-teacher school to which I was assigned. This brought the opportunity to teach several students in the lower grades and help them develop facility with reading through poems and stories. One important source of this material was The School Magazine, published and distributed to schools monthly by the NSW Department of Education.
I first sighted copies of this now century-old magazine in my own primary years as a child and in retirement have become a contributor to it! At the time of writing, nine of my poems have been accepted for publication through the magazine and all of them have first been a “Poem of the Day” on this site during the last couple of years. The Mail Tin, my first “Poem of the Day” on 19/11/15, was among the first they accepted. I had written that poem in response to a picture prompt on this site. It brought back memories of my time in the country.
From country teaching I returned to Sydney for theological training and ultimately to Perth where I pastored several metropolitan churches and became involved in theological education. Here I began writing occasional poetry on Christian themes for church bulletins. In 2015 these were published as Poems on the Way: Christian Verse for the Curious and the Committed.
Wanting to break some new ground in my poetic output I joined a local writing group and heard about australianchildrenspoetry.com.au. I felt that as a former primary school teacher and a grandparent to several primary-aged children, this was an avenue I ought to explore.
Since then I have contributed over sixty poems to this site and been heartened by the response. I sometimes write as if I were a child of primary school age and try to see life from that perspective.
My poems are generally in rhyming verse and often feature humour, narrative or word play, the latter doubtless a product of my solving and composing cryptic crosswords over many years.
Early in 2017, I engaged a local publisher and illustrator to assist me in producing a collection of forty-five of my children’s poems. The Mystery Box: Playful Poems for Young Readers, is now available direct from myself or from online booksellers.
Monty Edwards, email@example.com Ph. (08) 9528 1741
12/59 Rockingham Beach Rd, Rockingham WA 6168
I’ll tell you the trouble with bubbles:
They burst like a punctured balloon
As they fall on a sharp piece of rubble,
Or they fail on their flight to the moon.
It’s useless to try to collect them.
They’re not like a coin or a stamp.
For the hand that you raise to protect them
You’ll soon find is feeling quite damp.
Yet bubbles, you’d better believe it,
Can actually be lots of fun.
You can catch them and snatch them
And quickly despatch them
Until you have burst every one.
You can chase them all over your garden.
You can watch them drift over a wall.
Though you run like a hare,
As they’re mostly just air,
When you search you’ll find nothing at all!
The bottle looked lost as it lay on the sand.
Perhaps it had fallen from somebody’s hand.
It seemed to be empty, but still had it’s lid
Whoever had dropped it must know that they did.
Or had it been lost from the deck of a boat,
With air trapped inside having helped it to float,
Until borne by the waves and washed up by the tide
It was left on the sand at the end of its ride?
Still, no one had claimed it. The bottle was mine!
It looked to have once held some cider or wine.
I bent down and grasped it, then held it up high
To check if inside it was thoroughly dry.
I found it not empty as first I had thought,
But rather, inside was a note of some sort!
I opened and read what was written within:
“Please take this old bottle and throw in the bin.”