“Through the Park” by Katherine Gallagher

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With every step among the leaves,

crackling, golden, orange, brown

you hear the music of the  bees,

you feel the rhythm of your feet;

the slip and slide on crackling grass,

and the colours of the burning trees.


Keep on walking – it’s a treat

to drink the air and sing your feet

in crackling grass as you pass.


©Katherine Gallagher

“Song” by Katherine Gallagher

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   (after Charles Causley)

I am the song that lifts the sky

I am the wind that flames the fire

I am the cloud that calls the flood

I am the stream that draws the sun

I am the tide that drinks the moon

I am the air that sings the leaf

I am the bird that stirs the branch

I am the tale that flies the word

I am the note that spreads the song


©Katherine Gallagher

“Wheels Song” by Katherine Gallagher

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Wheels Song


I don’t know why I’ve got feet

when I could have had wheels,

for wheels go so much faster.


Imagine me flying down our street

not in my trainers or boots

but on wheels, with my ghetto-blaster.


Imagine people turning to stare

and all telling me to slow down

before I caused a disaster.


Imagine me gliding off into space

with a quick little nod to the Moon,

then simply going straight past her. . .


©Katherine Gallagher

“ Count-up to Planet Bed” by Katherine Gallagher

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Count-up to Planet Bed


I’m one for the window

and two for the door.


I’m three for the ceiling

and four for the floor.


I’m five for the morning

and six for the night.


I’m seven for the stairs

and eight for the light.


I’m nine for a story

and ten for my bed.


Now I’m off for a dream

to hold in my head.


©Katherine Gallagher,


(Published in Toothpaste Trouble (ed. Nick Toczek, Macmillan, 2002)

“Moon-watch” by Katherine Gallagher

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We’ve been studying the moon

drawing it, remembering all the moons

we’ve ever seen.


Just now, through the window,

there’s a daylight-moon looking fragile,

shellsoft, pale white.


I’d love to go up there

whizzing through the blue,

landing on the moon’s pearly face.


What a journey –

a first for our school.

Would I want to come back?


Sure, I would, after a good look around.

And I’d want to keep talking about it

a holiday in a lifetime. . .


© Katherine Gallagher

“BooBoobook Owl” by Katherine Gallagher

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BooBoobook Owl


BooBookook Owl

doesn’t think twice

if she suddenly feels like

a meal of mice.


When she’s swooping about

you only feel the breeze

as she glides in and out

from her hollow in the trees.


Boobook Boobook

she calls through the night . . .

Boobook boobook


until it gets light.


© Katherine Gallagher


“Friends” by Katherine Gallagher

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It was Zorba, the song that started us,

back there at our family’s in Carlton –

one foot forward and across, arms and shoulders linked.

Everyone could do it – all ages stepping out:

children with adults, those guys who said

they couldn’t dance – whole lines weaving

to the same steps, a homage to Theodorakis,

recently imprisoned for his music.

Songs that could sing on their own

with enough bouzoukis to quicken a city.