Sherryl Clark

Sherryl Clark

Farm Kids by Sherryl ClarkMy first memory of poetry at school is being made to learn “The Highwayman” off by heart, and it created a longstanding hatred of rhyming poetry in me!

Luckily, I have overcome this to some extent, and even written some rhyming and form poems of my own, but my preference is for free verse. Rhyming poetry is very hard to do well, and so when I teach poetry workshops, I try to steer kids away from it. Only a few can do it naturally well.

I wrote poetry for adults for many years, and had two collections published – Edge and Thicker than Runaways by Sherryl ClarkWater. When I started writing children’s books, it never occurred to me to write poetry for that audience until I did some workshops in the US with two children’s poets. The poems I wrote there, about growing up on a farm, led eventually to my first verse novel, Farm Kid. Farm Kid won the NSW Premier’s Award for children’s books, and I have since also produced Sixth Grade Style Queen (Not!) (CBCA Honour Book), Motormouth and Runaways. I’ve also written a picture book in free verse – Now I Am Bigger (Working Title Press).

I’m currently working on a fifth verse novel in six voices which is a real challenge!

I teach poetry writing to both children and adults, and continue to write poems for both audiences. In 2006, I created a website – http://www.poetry4kids.net/ because I thought there weren’t enough resources out there. Quite a few Australian poets were very generous and contributed poems for the Poem a Week project on the site.

My main website is http://www.sherrylclark.com/

I can be contacted at sherrylc1@optusnet.com.au

 

GIFT HORSE

Our neighbours are selling up

moving out
 

our mean neighbours

who never lend

only borrow
 

never help

only ask for things

we barely have enough of
 

Dad sighs, Mum sniffs

the neighbours offer

what they’re throwing out
 

threadbare carpet

broken couch

worn tyres

frayed ropes
 

I hate how

we can’t afford to say

no.

 © Sherryl Clark

SUNGLASSES

I look cool

in these glasses

in the mirror

I am tinted

smooth

slick
 

Natalie said

my old glasses

made me look like

a bogong moth

big black orbs

instead of eyes
 

now I’m cool

lizard cool

beetle cool

cool insect

that’s me.

© Sherryl Clark

FOXES IN THE CITY EAT McDONALDS

In the city, foxes are like stealth bombers,

staying low, dark on dark, barely

a sliver of moonlight in their eyes.
 

They’re below everybody’s radar,

making hides in stormwater drains and

sewers, by the weed-infested creeks.
 

They dig, climb, slither,

adapt to metro life like they were

born to it.  Fox yuppies
 

eating McDonalds burgers and KFC

as they glide through the night

in their sleek red fur.
 

There’s always food on the side of the road

so chickens in flimsy city coops

are sport, the fox’s footy fever moment,
 

where nothing matters but the chase,

teeth ripping at soft underbellies, the blood-lust,

the squawking victims, the win.

© Sherryl Clark

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