I Am Not A Poet

I used to collect poems, like some people collect postcards or glass paperweights.

I’d keep a notebook, and if I read or heard or found a poem I loved then I’d scribble it down, as though by writing the words out myself I could somehow own them.

Sometimes it wouldn’t be a whole poem, it would just be a phrase.

a gossiping stream full of blethering pebbles

a shotgun sprinkle of freckles

I give you an onion.
It is a moon wrapped in brown paper.

Good poetry – even a line or two – takes your breath away a little bit. Good poets make you feel like they have peeked inside your memory and plucked out an experience that you have lived, but then gone on to express your feeling or describe your scene better than you ever could yourself.

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The Oyster and the Raccoon

We came back from our holiday to very good news! Jack Henderson (of Jack Draws Anything fame) had drawn our picture.

I’d requested the picture of behalf of DorkyDad – it is an oyster and a raccoon – and Jack gives a great explanation on his website about how he based it on a famous painting that he liked.

In response, I’ve sent Jack a copy of this children’s poem called The Perfect Sea Island Night – which DorkyDad wrote years and years ago – that inspired the request.


A Perfect Sea Island Night


A fine warm night

on a fresh tide beach,

watched over by an orange

waning moon.



Two old friends met

with a song in their hearts,

an oyster

and a raccoon.



The coon played a flute,

the oyster a drum,

and the music spread

on the breeze.



Soothing the restless,

calming the dark,

while birds relaxed

in the trees.



And a glorious sound

swelled up to the sky;

the stars were tinselled

and bright



When two old friends

found a song in their hearts

on a perfect

Sea Island night.


Thanks Jack, we think your picture is a perfect illustration of the poem!

The other exciting news when we got back is that the artwork for DorkyDad’s Spoken Word show at this year’s PBH Free Fringe is done. It has been done by a very talented designer friend, Sabrina Russo, and looks fab. Here is a sneaky wee preview of the front of the flyer.

Let us know what you think, and keep an eye on DorkyDad’s poetry page for more details of the show.

The Perfect Sea Island Night is © Young Dawkins, 1970. Do not republish without permission.