The Balloon Goes Up … adventures in children’s poetry

I stagger to the counter, an armful of book packages clutched to my chest. “Hello!” I say through the perspex slot. “It’s me again.” Mrs Goggins in the post office leaps into action and five minutes of weighing, printing and sticking begins as post codes and zip codes are checked. While the growing queue behind…

DB Anthology News Update

It is now one year since I wrote a blog entry about the possibility of setting up a poetry bank to help plug a publication gap for poets who write for children. In August 2021, there followed an announcement through an article in the Yorkshire Times that the inaugural launch of The Dirigible Balloon (the…

Yorkshire Times Review: What is a Bong Tree? by Michael Rosen

Book Review by Jonathan Humble‘What is a Bong Tree?’ by Michael Rosen (edited by John Richmond)Published by Michael Rosen (February 2022)ISBN 978-1-9999238-6-0 Sometimes, post arrives that lightens the day and puts a spring in your step. ‘What is a Bong Tree?’ a selection of articles and talks by Michael Rosen over several decades, had that…

December Update … news from the mesosphere

The last winter poem has been uploaded along with sound files sent by poets and the Dirigible Balloon is almost set up for Christmas. A feature on the artistic and poetic genius that is Colin West has yet to be released (the man himself has kindly offered further unseen gems which will be added to…

The Dirigible Balloon … preparing to launch a new webzine for children’s poetry

Dirigible Balloon: the name used to describe the newly invented airships in the 18th century. From ideas originating in China, the development of hot-air balloons was carried out by French brothers Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier. On October 15th 1783 Jean-Francois Pilâtre de Rozier made the first tethered flight, November 21st Pilâtre de Rozier and the…

Doggerel for the Discerning

Over at that wonderful organ, The Yorkshire Times, another poem in the ‘Doggerel’ series has surfaced. Last week, the title poem from ‘My Camel’s Name Is Brian’ was front and centre (copy and link below with a favourite photo of Ian McMillan at Tullie House last year), but today we’ve gone for ‘The Thoughtful Little…

Look out for Lonely Pebbles

Another poem in the Doggerel for the Discerning series at The Yorkshire Times … A Happy Ending For Petrologists A pebble sat upon a beach and thought, as would a stone,of whether in the Universe it was a soul alone.For it could see no evidence to otherwise disprovethat rocks had not the wherewithal to think…

The Sad Tale Of The Reckless Rhubarb

This is the second in the series Doggerel for the Discerning currently appearing over on The Yorkshire Times website … The Sad Tale of the Reckless Rhubarb ‘Twas on a clear and moonlit nightin Castleford’s green fields,the stick of rhubarb’s mind to thoughtsadventurous did yield. And turning to his nearby love,he made a solemn pledgeto…

Goodwill to all Men and Mice

I am a soft clart. Situations requiring cold, reasoned logic and swift decisive action are often dealt with ineptly when they involve wildlife infestations. Let me paint a picture … In Cumbria where I live, my house is situated next to a field. Along with the help of neighbours, the field is run as a…

Poetry and the Addicted Serial Submitter

Back in 1967, the Milk Marketing Board ran a competition to promote their dairy products. Pictures had to be sent from entrants depicting the wholesome quality of milk, cheese and/or eggs. My dad, a milkman working for the Co-operative, brought an entry form home and at six years old, I set about producing my own…