“Count up to spring” by Katherine Gallagher

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Count up to spring,

it’s time to sing

with wattles golden, bright

and magpies – what a sight

as you’re walking through the bush –

such a perfect hush

and you want a lyrebird to surprise you

along with maybe, a kangaroo.


© Katherine Gallagher

“Moon-talk” by Katherine Gallagher

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Moon, creamy white stone,


precious . . . Stick with the legends –


better at a distance.



My litany could go on –


I don’t want to visit,


take a machine-ride against gravity





But if I change my mind


Moon won’t have any


say in it.




©Katherine Gallagher


(Published in The Eye’s Circle, Rigmarole Press)

“Im mad about …..” by Katherine Gallagher

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I’m mad about . . .



I’m mad about honey

that’s runny and funny


I’m mad about cheese

that grows on old trees


I’m mad about chilli

that’s spice-cool and silly


I’m mad about eggs

and rainbow-striped veg


I’m mad about jam

on speckled green ham


I’m mad about pepper

the hotter the better

Our Class’s Hamster Horatio with Teacher Notes by Katherine Gallagher

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Sometimes it’s my turn

to take him to our house

for the weekend. We celebrate.

I give him the nicest titbits

And he spins and spins on his wheel.


When I take him out of his cage,

he wanders about my room.

He’s extremely curious

and sniffs at everything in his path.

But I watch him constantly

in case he zooms away.


Katherine Gallagher

(Published in A First Poetry Book, Macmillan Children’s Books, 2012, ed Gaby Morgan and Pie Corbett)


Teacher Notes: – for Primary years 7 – 11 years


Most of us have pets – fellow creatures that we care for and love.

In cities, sometimes it’s more difficult to have enough room for preferred pets such as rabbits or dogs and we may  have to accept having smaller pets such as cats, hamsters and guinea-pigs.

Then again, a class may like to share caring for a pet as in this poem, ‘Our Class’s Hamster Horatio.’

Suggestion: Write about a pet you used to have at school.




“Dog” by Katherine Gallagher

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Dog waits in and out of shadows.

Dog dives around chairs and feet.

Dog looks for the spill of hands.

Dog sings the Ballad of Less and More.

Dog sleeps with one eye open.

Dog’s life isn’t negotiable.

Dog circles moons of language.

Dog barks for homecomings.

Dog is a name away.

Remember you can’t lose Dog.

Sooner or later, Dog will find you.



©Katherine Gallagher, 2018

“Circus-Apprentice” by Katherine Gallagher

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I’m learning it all – acrobatics, clowning,

riding bareback and trapeze,

fire from a sleeve: my hand’s a wand.

I weave my life around dancing elephants

who spray the air while turning their backs

on the crowd;

lions who never put a foot wrong.

I’m taking their cue, I’ve seen

what people want.

Prancing ponies teach me steps:

pacing, adroitness, like my fellow-dancers

keeping their spot.

I’m walking the high-wire, making my mark

poised, balanced, don ’t look away –

you are my gravity’s other edge.

© Katherine Gallagher

(Published in Carnival-Edge: New & Selected Poems (Arc Publications, 2010)