‘The Girl Who Was a Bird’ by Jessica Nelson

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The Girl Who Was a Bird


When I was young

I wrote to a girl

(on an island far away)

Who drew her self-portrait

In cheap ballpoint pen:

A bird in a cage.


When I was young

I wrote to a girl

(on an island not so far)

Of my home and land

How I wished she was here:

The bird cried behind bars.


When I was young

I wrote to a girl

(She was brave and strong and true)

Who sang and cried in her cage

In a forgotten attic-space

As she watched the world pass.


When I was a woman

They opened the cage

Long enough for my friend

To spread stiff wings

To soar as songbirds should.

In the blue sky she left my sight.


“Bubble bubble boil and trouble” by Jessica Nelson-Tyers


Bubble, bubble, boil and trouble

Fill my cauldron on the double

With slime of frog and pooh of bear

And Daddy’s oldest underwear


With fish’s scales, mermaid’s nails,

Dragon’s breath and lizard’s tails

Tear of tiger, eye of slug

A squirt from the bum of a citrus bug


Look out! Daddy’s had a hunch

About what he just downed for lunch.

Bubble, trouble, had some fun,

Drop the cauldron, run, run, run!

Jessica Nelson-Tyers

Poem of the Day


Star Wishing

Space was a glittering,

Glamorous eyeful

So I wished for a star—

But I got a sky full.

They covered the floor

Like sparkling snow;

They lit up the house

With a dazzling glow.

They caught in my hair,

They filled up my lap;

They poured like diamonds

From the kitchen sink tap.

The Milky Way draped me,

A burning white shawl.

Constellations were bright

Works of art down the hall.

The Southern Cross

Pointed me onto the lawn.

I looked to the sky;

It was bare and forlorn.

So I wished them away;

They returned to the night.

I should not wish again.

I should not—but I might.

Jessica Nelson

Poetry Prompt #35

Jessica said: Star Wishing is my response to 2016 poetry prompt #35 (Stars). I read a lot of picture books and I’ve noticed that wishing for (and often getting hold of) a star is  a common theme. This made me wonder how things would go if instead of getting one star, the wisher got a galaxy’s worth.


Poem of the Day


Mish and Mash


I love to cook a mish and mash

A pineapple avocado smash

Cranberry and potato soup

A pea and parsnip ice-cream scoop

A pepper zucchini chocolate slice

Special strawberry chilli rice

Pizza topped with jelly beans

Devil’s food cake served with greens.

I love to cook a mish and mash

Dinner’s done now – got to dash.

Jessica Nelson

Jessica said: Mish and Mash is my response to 2016 poetry prompt #45 (Food). This poem was inspired by the ‘cooking’ my siblings and I used to do as children, where any ingredients we could find were thrown together in the mixing bowl, with varied results.




Poem of the Day


The New Ssstudent


Slithering, whispering

A snake came to class

Brightly glittering

Its scales like glass


Short, thick body

Banded with grey

Wiggling lure tail

Tempting for prey.


Terrible, horrible

It gave us a turn

But Mrs MacWinkle

Said, ‘It may wish to learn.’


Snake failed English

Again and again;

Snakes are not built

For holding a pen.


Snake could not learn

To decipher a map,

Of history and science

It knew not a scrap.


But to our surprise

That snake was able

To complete with a snap

The seven times table.


At sums and fractions

It couldn’t be greater:

Its mind was just like

The best calculator.


When we realised the truth

We could hardly be gladder:

Mathematics comes easy

When you are an adder.

Jessica Nelson
  • Submitted in response to Poetry Prompt #4






Poem of the Day


We Wish You a Merry Birthday


My name is Noelle and I’m sorry to say

that I was born on Christmas Day,

after the presents but before the singing

(nonsense about sleigh bells ringing).

My father claimed he’d had a hunch

that I’d be born right after lunch

and so it was: Mum gave a shout!

Pudding went in, I popped out.

I wish, I wish, I really do

she’d held on for a week or two.

Each year I share my special day

with that festering, festive holiday.

Instead of balloons I get baubles.

My head aches as my family warbles

Christmas carols all day long—

I never get a birthday song

and though each year I get a cake

it’s always fruit, for goodness sake.

I always thought it couldn’t be worse

than a birthday with a tinsel curse

till my sister made my birthday cool—

she was born an April fool.

Jessica Nelson

  • Submitted in response to Poetry Prompt #49
    poetry-prompt-48Jessica said: I was guilty of having a baby on Christmas Day last year, and I’ve been filled in on the potential downsides of a birthday overshadowed by Christmas. I hope she always finds her birthday special, and I’ll be sure to sing her Happy Birthday every year.


Poem of the Day


What the Smoke Says


This smoke floats

With light airy whispers:


‘Roast potatoes,

‘Billy tea,

‘Fun by the sea.’

It points to the sweetest one

Points at me.


This smoke floats

Heavy and dark,

It billows and bellows:

‘Crisped leaves

‘And crimson sun

‘Embers are falling,

‘Fire is burning,

‘I’m your alarm,’

It points with the wind,

Says: ‘Time to flee.’

Jessica Nelson
  • Submitted in response to Poetry Prompt #44
poetry-prompt-44Jessica said: I live on a bush property, so smoke always brings to mind either campfires or bushfires. I based this poem on my thoughts about the different messages smoke can give us.

Poem of the Day


I’d rather be a pirate


‘I don’t want to be a princess,’

The Princess Carlie said.

‘I’ve no wish to grow my hair out long;

I’ll use a rope instead.

I’ve no need to use these glassware shoes;

I’d rather wear my clogs,

And don’t even get me started

On what’s wrong with kissing frogs.

If you really need a royal,

You might try Gary Brown,

He’d enjoy a regal job

Complete with jewelled crown.

I’d rather be a pirate,

Sail a thousand seas;

Swing gracefully in rigging

Like an acrobat on trapeze.

I’d rather have adventure

Than an adoring crowd,

So you’ll find me on the sea-ways,

Belching very loud.

Jessica Nelson
  • Submitted in response to Poetry Prompt #42

Prompt5Jessica said: I wrote this poem for my daughter, who for now likes both pirates and princesses.

Poem of the Day


I Will Be Brave


I will go into the three bears’ house

I won’t be frightened like a mouse.

I will eat porridge from a spoon

I won’t fear that they’ll be home soon.

I will sit in this tiny chair

Just to show that I don’t care.

I won’t be scared and I won’t run—

But listen, look out, here they come.

I will perhaps have some concern,

The porridge has made my tummy turn.

I hear a stamping at the door,

I hear great footsteps on the floor.

I won’t dawdle, I need to hide!

Look, a bed, I’ll jump inside.

Flatten myself under the blanky

Hope the bears aren’t feeling cranky.

I will be quiet, I won’t shift

I will not toot or I’ll be sniffed.

I will sneeze, I just can’t stop it!

They’ve heard me now, I’d better hop it

Papa Bear, Mama Bear and little Wee

Have no porridge and might eat me!

I’ll quit this window (second floor)

I won’t come back here anymore.

Jessica Nelson
  • Submitted in response to Poetry Prompt #33

poetry prompt #33

Poem of the Day


The picnic


Help! I’m in a pickle.

The pickle’s in a jar;

The jar is in a hamper

On the back seat of a car.


We’re going to a picnic

I don’t know what to do:

When they eat the pickles up,

I’ll be eaten, too.


This is a disaster.

They think it’s just a lark

To hear birds sing and nibble things

Down at the local park.


I’m really in a pickle;

I must get a message through.

If I can’t send this call for help,

I’ll be chomped in two!

Jessica Nelson
  • Submitted in response to Poetry Prompt #32
poetry prompt #32Jessica said: I usually write poems in two stages. I’ll have an initial blaze of inspiration, during which most of the writing happens. Then I’ll let the writing stew over the following days (or weeks), making small changes until it feels right.