Skip to content

Breaking Up

July 16, 2014

    We’re breaking up today!

You mean you’ve got a bad signal on your phone?
You mean we can’t be best friends any more?
You mean we’re falling apart, like weather-worn rocks?

We’re breaking up today – and
before you say another word –  no, don’t speak! –
we’re finishing school for the summer:
for six whole weeks!

You mean we’re going to be bored?
    Not me!
    I’m going to

tidy my room
ride my bike
read a book
do what I like

bake a cake
build a den
paint a picture
maybe ten

plan a picnic
go for a walk
play with friends
enjoy a talk

play some footie
visit a mate
rent a film
stay up late

go for a swim
and, if I remember,
go back to school
in early September!

© Celia Warren 2014

What are you going to do when you break up? Whatever it is, stay safe and have fun!

breaking up playtime Juggler

Can’t win them all!

June 20, 2014

So, England is out of the World Cup! We didn’t put our stamp on football this time, but when I was a nipper, we put football on a stamp. That was in 1966 when England hosted the event. Here’s a sonnet that I wrote, remembering my excitement when England won … but for rather a strange reason! (PS I don’t collect stamps any more. The excitement proved too much for me!)


From Bobby Moore to hat-trick star, Geoff Hurst,
Quite soon I knew each England player’s name:
The World Cup nineteen-sixty-six – my first.
On black-and-white TV we watched each game.

Then, in that gentle stamp collecting age,
With England acting as the World Cup host,
A Special Issue stamp hit centre stage
Commemorating all we loved the most.

And then we won! – The few remaining stamps
Were overprinted, blackly: ENGLAND WINNERS.
We flew on bikes to buy some – we were Champs.
That stamp, to me, was worth a hundred dinners!

No postage-stamp since then remotely licks
The ENGLAND WINNERS stamp of ’sixty-six.

poem © Celia Warren 2014

Flowery May

May 24, 2014

May is such a flowery month that I thought I would share some of my seasonal flowery limericks:

Foxgloves on Lane to Strete Gate

Foxglove (Digitalis)

A popular purple delight,
Whose blooms are occasionally white,
The foxglove can kill
Or, at least, make you ill,
Yet disease digitalis may fight.

dandelions © Celia Warren 2013

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

The ubiquitous dandelion spreads
Its delicate seeds to new beds.
At first yellow and bright,
It turns white overnight,
Then goes bald, with the smallest of heads.


Plantain (Plantago major)

Once part of a young children’s game,
From a distance it seems rather tame,
But look closely — you’ll see
Frail, white stamens, so wee:
Pretty plantain, to shoot it’s a shame.         All poems &  pictures © Celia Warren 2014

When we were children we would pick plantain, twist and squeeze the stem around itself, pull sharply, and fire off the flower-head like a bullet from a gun. It was only a weed; we didn’t think twice. Now that I look closely at that delicate mist of stamens around the flower head, it seems like sacrilege to spoil this little flower and turn it into ammunition.




RIP Gerard Benson

May 12, 2014

Today my thoughts rest upon the talented poet, Gerard Benson, whose funeral takes place today. My thoughts, too, are with his widow, also a gifted poet, Catherine Benson. Gerard was not only an excellent writer and speaker, but a lovely, gentle and generous-hearted man. He had a mischievous sense of humour and, a member of the Society of Friends (or Quakers), was also a spiritual, Christian man.

He has left the world a lasting legacy through his wonderful words. It was a blessing to have known him and I feel proud and honoured that, when I was collecting poems for my recent anthology, A Time to Speak and a Time to Listen, Gerard was among a handful of poets who wrote a new poem especially for this book. Thank you, dear Gerard, for Shirts for Us Kids, and for all you shared with those whose paths you crossed.

If you never knew Gerard, or have never met his poems, I exhort you to look through the index of poetry anthologies and seek him out. Let me introduce you to his work, so that you can meet him through his own words. If you would like to read the poem that Gerard penned especially for my anthology, it appears on page 77 or, for a taste of the poet’s whimsical wit, read Whoo-ooo-ooo-ooooo! on page 89.

Gerard Benson, rest in peace.

GerardBenson_2012  Shirts for us kids by GB


Do you Share your Name with a Worm?

May 5, 2014

Apparently lots of people do! At least, a good number of people share names with Wonderful Worms in my brand new book of poems, called Don’t Poke a Worm till it Wriggles. A fair few more could identify with the anonymous worm in my alphabetic poem: A secretive worm is X.

Blackawton Procession + signing 2

Woolly Worm (acknowledged as the real author of the book) and I (the scribe) had a wonderful time at the Blackawton International Worm Charming Festival held on the Sunday of Bank Holiday weekend. The South Devon village was alive with the little wrigglers. A rousing chorus of Nobody Loves me, Everybody Hates me, I’m going in the garden to eat worms … set the mood for a procession through the village. Led by maypole and morris dancers, they finally reached the competitive worm charming event.

Woolly Worm Author  Worm Stall

There are many methods of charming worms – stamping, sprinkling water, playing music and, OF COURSE, reading them lyrical poems. One team was disqualified for digging – tut tut! Then again, the event always supports an official cheat – and a junior cheat. (I did notice the junior cheat looked a couple of inches taller than last year. “Yes, I am,” she said.)

So … do you share your name with a worm?

Anna Worm is acrobatic,
Bertie Worm is brave,
Charlie Worm is cheerful,
a daring worm is …

It’s no good: you’ll have to get hold of a copy of my book to find out!

Competition – Win my Book of Worm Poems!

March 28, 2014

Meet Woolly Worm:   SmilyWoollyWorm&Book

I’ve just finished knitting him and he’s now enjoying reading about all his wormy friends – Slightly Soiled, Humble Worm, Wee Willie Wormy, and lots of others in my new collection OUT NOW from Bloomsbury and called DON’T POKE A WORM TILL IT WRIGGLES.

Now, you may have already heard about my new book on this website BUT – DID YOU KNOW – you now have a chance to win one of five copies that are being given away as prizes in a poetry writing competition for children?

If you like writing poems, have something poetic to say about worms – or any minibeast you like – head over to THE POETRY ZONE for details of where to send your poem to enter the competition. And if you win – please tell me all about it!

If you can’t stand the tension of waiting and hoping, you can always buy a copy of the book from any bookshop and join Woolly Worm as he enjoys reading the poems.

Don’t Poke a Worm till it Wriggles by Celia Warren

ISBN 978 1 4729 0023 4

Warren, Worms & Woodhall Spa

March 6, 2014


When I was three I wanted a pair of jeans. My older brother and sister wore jeans and they looked great. So I began pestering my mother (apparently). Now I remember neither the pestering nor the eventual purchase of my first pair of ‘jeans’, but I do remember where they came from – not a real memory; rather a learned memory from my mother’s telling the story – but they came from Woodhall Spa. And the ‘jeans’ themselves I remember only too well: and I loved them. They were green cotton dungarees, with a squirrel embroidered on the bib front and they had crossover straps at the back. They were my first pair of ‘jeans’! I also remember my sadness when I grew too big for them.

Today sees the publication of my book of poems about worms. It’s written for – well, anyone who likes worms – or to convert those who don’t – and with special appeal to those aged seven or eight or under.

So how does this exciting news link with Woodhall Spa? Yesterday I read a newspaper story about this small town in my home county of Lincolnshire, which was holding its first Worm Charming contest. This highly newsworthy event became extra newsworthy by its extraordinary result: despite contenders’ best efforts, not one single worm was charmed from the ground! So if there are any readers from Woodhall Spa: you know where you can find worms – between the covers of Don’t Poke a Worm till it Wriggles.

isbn 978 1 4729 0023 4
Published today on WORLD BOOK DAY by Bloomsbury.

As tenuous and wriggly as any worm, here’s a link to the story of Woodhall Spa’s wormless event.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 46 other followers