The Good Ship Gumtree

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We pinch a tea towel for a sail,

And to the deck the ladder scale.

With any luck we’ll spy a whale

From the Good Ship Gumtree.

 

We climb the rigging till we stop;

Reach the crow’s nest up tiptop,

Then down upon the floor we flop,

On the Good Ship Gumtree.

 

No crows upon this ship today,

But cockies screech and fly away.

And sailing onwards, branches sway

On the Good Ship Gumtree.

 

The horizon is a sea of green:

The biggest waves you’ve ever seen.

Only the breeze knows where we’ve been

On the Good Ship Gumtree.

 

Ahoy, ahoy, what’s that ahead?

A school of fish – a flock instead?

Parrotfish of blue and red

Around the Good Ship Gumtree.

 

And when sunset floods the sky

We head to port and dock nearby.

“Was it fun?” asks Mum. “Aye, aye,

We sailed the Good Ship Gumtree.”

 

 

When I was tree-climbing age, I enjoyed the view from the top branches, and only once had to be rescued!

Jaz Stutley

“The Fur-O-Saurus” with Teacher notes

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The Fur-O-Saurus moved in one day

And I’m sad to say that it’s here to stay.

It raids the cupboards and fridge for food;

When you’re not looking, it’s up to no good.

Fur-O-Saurus; Fur-O-Saurus;

Its eyes and teeth are quite enormous.

Fur-O-Saurus; Fur-O-Saurus:

A cat or a dog; or is it a walrus?

 

The Fur-O-Saurus sleeps on my bed.

I have suggested the roof instead.

Rodents don’t interest it at all –

“A rat – what’s that? A mouse? Too small!”

Fur-O-Saurus; Fur-O-Saurus;

Its eyes and teeth are quite enormous.

Fur-O-Saurus; Fur-O-Saurus;

If there was a tune, this would be a chorus.

 

The Fur-O-Saurus is not polite.

It lazes all day and yowls all night.

It’s large and lumpy and striped and strange;

It has fleas and flies and mumps and mange.

Fur-O-Saurus; Fur-O-Saurus;

Its eyes and teeth are quite enormous.

Fur-O-Saurus; Fur-O-Saurus;

In a certain light, it is weirdly gorgeous.

 

I tried to donate it to the zoo:

“A Fur-O-Saurus – it’s old but new.”

But sad to say, they turned it down;

I’ll wait till the circus comes to town.

Fur-O-Saurus; Fur-O-Saurus;

Its eyes and teeth are quite enormous.

Fur-O-Saurus; Fur-O-Saurus;

What a spectacular performance!

 

Jaz Stutley

This poem started life as a song, which is why a tune is mentioned. Do you think it would make a good song?

It is a about a large beast which could look like a dog or cat, or perhaps a dinosaur with fur. In any case you don’t wish to meet one on a dark night!
It is lazy, eats a lot, and doesn’t do anything useful. Do you know an animal like this? You could draw a picture of what you think a Fur-o-Saurus looks like.

Some of the rhymes are “near” rhymes – such as food and good; enormous and walrus, chorus, gorgeous, performance.
Sometimes a writer can use this method when there is a word that is difficult to rhyme – as long as the rhythm works when you say the lines out loud.
Do you think it does? Beat out the rhythm as you read the lines.

Also there is an “internal rhyme” (words that rhyme in the same line) near the beginning of the poem. Can you find it?

Poem of the Day

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INSIDE/OUTSIDE

 

I have a cat and she lives inside;

Inside the house, where she grows quite fat.

BUT often that fat cat wants to go outside;

Outside the house to hunt for a rat.

 

Inside, outside, inside, outside –

Cat at the window goes meow, meow, meow.

Inside, outside, inside, outside;

Make up your mind, cat, right away, NOW!

 

I have a dog and he lives outside;

Outside the house where he stays on guard.

BUT often that guard dog wants to come inside,

Inside the house and away from his yard.

 

Inside, outside, inside, outside –

Dog at the door going howl, howl, howl.

Inside, outside, inside, outside;

Make up your mind, dog, right away, NOW!

 

Jaz Stutley

 

  • Submitted in response to Poetry Prompt #30

Poem of the Day

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TRAVELLING

 

I find travelling a mystery,

‘specially if I fall asleep.

First I was there, now I am here.

How can that be?

 

All it takes is time passing –

plus a bus, a tram, a train,

a boat, a car, a plane.

Then I am where I wasn’t before.

 

It’s a riddle I hope never

to solve. Even more than

travelling from city to bush,

bush to sea: I like the mystery.

 

Jaz Stutley
  •  Submitted in response to Poetry Prompt #23

 

Poem of the Day

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A Plea for Green

 

Green are the hills for children:

a sunlit place of grasses,

dandelions and daisies;

 

as green as an apple, a fig,

an unripe fruit; the green

of memory and melody,

 

the scrubby bushy slopes

for exploration; tall trees

to climb, parks to run through.

 

Screens are not green

or sunlit; the blue wild

winds do not blow there –

 

a static buzz bends

the mind in dark rooms.

This is my plea for green.

 

Jaz Stutley

  • Submitted in response to Poetry Prompt #22

Poem of the Day

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GATEWAY

 

This portal

speaks to me of Narnia:

the last book, the last battle.

 

Long before Dr Who,

C.S. Lewis knew, we knew

of the stable bigger on the inside;

 

though that door was rough and wooden,

a portal can disguise itself

as a gate in a lichened stone wall.

 

But enter at your peril.

The Irish faery folk haunt castles

and barrows, and mortal souls

 

can wander their land for a day; returning

to find it is seven years or seventy.

And Narnia was a faery place.

 

Look, admire, beware; walk through –

only if you desire to be bewitched,

craving the adventure of your life.

 

Jaz Stutley

 

  • Submitted in response to Poetry Prompt #21

Poem of the Day

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River Run

 

Run river run:

sIlver over stones

riVer sobs and moans;

briEf gleam in the sun:

riveR run and run.

 

 

Run River run

rapId to the seas;

riVer leap with ease,

tEasing just for fun:

River run and run.

Jaz Stutley

 

  • Submitted in response to Poetry Prompt #19