This poem:

a poem in two parts by Niamh, aged 10 and Clare, aged 45













This poem moves awkwardly.

It lives in the sea, near the shore

where the waves crash

and poetry is swept onto the beach.


This poem eats slimy things.

It has one blunt tooth

and its tail is ripped by rocks.

It swims with small poems


and big poems and songs –

the books are far off in the ocean

which looks plain from a distance

but from the inside,


it’s full of life.

This poem is red, like ore.

It is small and wide

and its eyes are sapphire.


They look straight ahead.

I almost caught this poem.

It was on the tips of my fingers,

I felt its smooth skin.


Though I followed this poem

to the shore

it had gone. It had gone

and the sky was grey.




This poem lives in a slow river

where it’s summer and I am seven

and the river is green

and the dark current scares me


it hangs in the shallows

there are pebbles

and low trees

and feet turned the colour of rust


in the sun through the water

and its mouth is a tiny dot

it flickers off on and on

and its eyes are invisible


but it sees

how the universe moves in colour

and a huge sun that simmers

and darkness I cannot describe


and the rocks are worlds

and the currents are storms

and my hand is a shadow

and cage