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Happy National Poetry Day, 2022

October 6, 2022

I left North Lincolnshire (then, Lindsey), where I was born and grew up, in 1975. Now, in 2022, I’ve returned to my home county – but this time South Lincolnshire (erstwhile Kesteven, now South Kesteven). I miss the sea of my husband’s native Devon, but we remain in the midst of beautiful English countryside.

This is my first National Poetry Day in our new home. Its theme is Environment. Here are two poems to celebrate, the second somewhat whimsical! Copyright Note: Please do not reproduce or make commercial use of these poems without permission of the author. Thank you.

A New Environment

I thought I saw a fox at first
till its darts and turns and tiny tail said Deer.
Through fields we walked paths new to us.
You said, I like it here,
where sugar beets peep above the ground
and the massive sky is clear.

Berries for birds are rich and red,
predicting winter’s freeze.
Leaves turn amber, beginning to drop
from hedgerows spiked with trees.
I like it, too, despite the fact
we’re far from English seas.

© Celia Warren 2022


Says Bat, It’s the dark and a ledge.
Bays Horse: Nay, a field and green hedge.
Sings Swallow, It’s fresh air and sky.
Whispers Spider: My web and a fly!
Bubbles Fish, It’s clean water to swim in.

Flea jumps in with It’s fresh, fleshy women,
stout men, kids and dogs and fat cats,
hedgehogs, rabbits and succulent rats —
any mammal with blood — just you name it.
Tick agrees, and sucks hard. Who can blame it?

© Celia Warren 2022


RIP Wes Magee

October 26, 2021

I am saddened indeed to hear the news of Wes Magee’s death on 21st October, whose poetry I knew long before I met the poet. He was a lovely man, serious but modest, not precious about his writing. ‘Wheez’ – ‘Whizz’ – (Whatever) ‘Magoo’ never took himself over seriously, except in his work-ethic. He clearly enjoyed language, and word play, and used his talents to please the ear of grown-up and child alike. Already an established poet, contributing widely across the small poetry press, he first wrote a series of poems about dinosaurs to fill the gap he’d discovered in children’s poetry books, and to present to children in his school. More such poems continued to complement their school work and play and entertain them. He also enjoyed writing spooky poems – and books – many of which will certainly be re-read and shared this hallowe’en month.

On leaving the teaching profession, the former headmaster was free to be a full-time writer. Wes was tireless in his cross-country, cross-world visits to schools. He could hold a packed hall – a large school of 4-11-year-olds – in thrall, each child hanging on his every word. He held them in the palm of his hand with humour, poignancy and careful observation. His knowledge of teaching led to his leading insets for teachers, while his knowledge of writing for youngsters led to writing workshops for would-be authors. It was at one such day I first met him.

Wise, generous, highly organised and inspiring, he carried us along through various challenges to end the day feeling like ‘real writers’ and producing worthy efforts. Indeed, a number of us did find our way into the world of publishing thanks to this man’s advice and encouragement. If he spotted talent, rather than fearing competition or feeling threatened by it, he was willing to share potential outlets for our work. Nearly thirty years on, with hundreds of published poems and around 120 titles to my name (mostly educational books for teachers, and classroom readers), I personally have much to thank him for. The loss of this kind, courteous and talented man will be felt widely. As he was working to the end, still providing and planning school visits, I sympathise with those children who will have missed out, but mostly I offer sympathy to his wife Janet, children and grandchildren. RIP Wes Magee.

My Favourite Christmas Card

December 21, 2020

A baby foot print, goggle eyes,

drawn-on antlers, one surprise:

A reindeer with (a shiny heart)

a Rudoph nose – a card that’s smart.

(copyright) Celia Warren 2020

Wishing you a very happy and Christmas, and a happier, kinder, healthy new year. Keep taking Vitamin D and zinc supplements to help protect your body from bad bugs.

I regret that this will be the last post on this website for the forseeable future, as I am finding the interface impossible to negotiate. Hope to return anon. Meanwhile …

Please do continue to follow me on my Facebook Poetry Page. Thank you. And enjoy one more new Christmas poem, with thanks to a guest illustrator for the image below. (All content copyright 2020.)

How’s it going, Father Christmas?

“I’m snowed under,” he says,

“still busy sorting toys

to pile upon my sledge.”

“The stars are all lined up,” he adds,

“in time for Christmas Day.

So be good girls and boys and

I’ll soon be on my way.”

The little elves are helping

and Rudolph’s at the ready.

Just a few sleeps left to go,

so snuggle down with Teddy!

(c) Celia Warren 2020


October 2, 2020

Yesterday was National Poetry Day in the UK, and I do hope you enjoyed reading, writing, sharing and reciting favourite poems, old and new. The theme this year is VISION. You may remember that I wrote a new poem called Dreams for this year’s NPD.

Hindsight, my theme for the morning after the day before, is another form of vision. It comes too late and might have changed our views or opinions or, indeed, our actions. So I hope, as you continue to look at the theme of Vision, you will enjoy this poem.


If only we’d known
but we never imagined.
If only we’d thought
but we hadn’t a clue.
  Now we look back
  it’s as clear as daylight:
     Hindsight’s a wonderful thing.

The signs were all there
yet we failed to notice.
We all meekly followed
or turned a blind eye.
  Now we look back
  it’s as plain as our faces:
     Hindsight’s a wonderful thing.

History’s torchlight
foreshadows so faintly.
Late recognition’s
a blindfold too far.
  Now we look back
  the sad mission’s accomplished:
     Hindsight’s a wonderful thing.

                 © Celia Warren 2020

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International Talk like a Pirate Day

September 18, 2020

On 19th September 2020 it’s the annual International Talk like a Pirate Day. (Why? Don’t ask me!) Pirates attract a lot of questions, such as

Q: Why are pirates called pirates? A: They just arrrrrrrrrrrrre!

In celebration of this occasion my blog closes with a couple of my own pirate poems, two of many, but, before that, start writing your Christmas list after you read this book review of a humorous new poetry book called Barmy Ballads by Colin West ISBN 978-1-83859-518-0

No matter what your age, you’ll be laughing at Colin West’s joyful cover illustration before you’ve even opened the book. On the brink of International Talk Like a Pirate Day, I turned straight to Percy the Pirate and laughed heartily, me hearties, at Percy’s secret weapon. As with all the author’s traditional rhyming ballads, the rhythm swings along with never a buckle and ever a chuckle.

Classic characters appear throughout – the best kind of stereotypes – where P.C. 47 is an old-fashioned bobby, while in his tale’s telling, warlock wonderfully rhymes with door lock, and sandwich with man witch. Such is the light touch of Colin West’s equally charming words and pictures. There are unexpected characters (and a bit of social history for youngsters): a love story dating from 1964 when the mods met the rockers at the Battle of Brighton, and magical story-poems such as The Dreamer’s Favourite Hat, Mary the Mixed-up Mermaid, and many more.

This delightful hardback has 124 pages of pure joy. No propaganda, no preaching, no ‘issues’ – social, environmental or political. Children can share with their parents and grandparents (a blissful escape from politics and all the worries of the world) some essential and ever-welcome escapism, appealing to boys and girls from age 1-101. Now, don’t forget to add the book to your Christmas list for all the family to enjoy! ISBN 978-1-83859-518-0

And next for a couple of my pirate poems! Read them aloud in your best properrrrrrr pirrrrate voice, me hearrrrties!


That’s my evil laugh;
It sounds best when it echoes
So I practise in the bath.

There I go again;
I sometimes even scare myself
Every now and then.

Why don’t you join in?
Bare your teeth and squint your eyes,
Now, with an evil GRIN:

What a wicked din!

© Celia Warren 2020

And a brand new pirate poem to finish off:

Polly the Pirate

Polly was a pirate
but she didn’t look the part.
She didn’t have a parrot
on her shoulder, for a start.

Polly was a pirate,
but it was a little weird
that her voice was high and squeaky
and she didn’t have a beard.

Polly was a pirate,
but her flag was pink and square
with – instead of skull and crossbones –
a yellow teddy bear.

Polly was a pirate,
but she’d never been to sea.
“There’s lots of time for that,” she said.
“You know I’m only three!”

© Celia Warren 2020

Please note that the content of this website, words and pictures, are copyright © Celia Warren 2020. Please ask permission before reproducing any of the content for commercial purposes. Thank you.

Looking to the Future …

September 1, 2020

In just one month’s time on 1st October 2020 it will be National Poetry Day in the UK, when this year’s theme is VISION. It’s a theme open to wide interpretation, and over the next few weeks, perhaps the muse will visit many poets, who will write new poems. Doubtless, we shall also find older poems that fit the theme, but more of that in due course. For now, here is my newest poem:


Dreams, visions and prophecies
lie cold on a biblical page

or, perhaps, belong to wizard and witch
from a bygone, magical age …

No, I have dreamt dreams of the future,
words spoken and actions – precise –

that the following day truly happened.
For me, that has occurred twice –

not often enough in a lifetime,
to consider all dreams a warning

out of the few I remember
in the clear light of morning

but enough to make me stop and think
and keep an open mind

about visons and dreams and prophecies
of a personal, meaningful kind.

© Celia Warren 2020


May your dreams and visions be happy, and may only life-affirming prophecies prove true.


Please note that all content on this website, words and pictures, is copyright. If you wish to publish my poems or pictures elsewhere, please ask my permission first. Thank you.

On the South Devon Coast

August 18, 2020

Hope you are getting out and about this summer. Maybe some of you have been lucky enough to visit the sea, or rivers and lakes. I am so lucky to live on the coast, especially at this time of year. I am also delighted to see my poem Salmon Says on Gordon Maclellan’s blog Celebration Earth. It’s among my favourites. Click on the link above to learn more about salmon and read my poem.

Much of my writing features the natural world, minibeasts, animals and flowers. The sea and beaches are a great inspiration. Here’s a new poem – another silly limerick – with some photos that I took last week off the coast of Devon, in the English Channel.

    Compass Jellyfish
 Chrysaora hysoscella

They go with the flow, never frantic,
Round the coasts of the northeast Atlantic.
They’re both Mr and Mrs,
Know nothing of kisses:
Compass jellyfish aren’t so romantic!

© Celia Warren 2020

The symmetrical pattern on the bell-shaped, translucent ‘umbrella’ of the compass jellyfish explains its name. Very little preys on jellyfish, so the creatures are growing in number as they compete for plankton as their main food source. Though their tentacles can sting, I’ve not been stung yet, and it doesn’t stop me from swimming in the sea. Jellyfish are hermaphrodites (each is both male and female) – hence ‘Mr and Mrs’!

This week my one-year-old grand-daughter visited the sea for the very first time. She and her mum and I all bobbed around together in the lovely cool water. There were lots of wiggles and giggles. And the jellyfish didn’t come near us. We also saw lots of wasps gathering in one spot on the sand – and then a Fox Moth caterpillar that we rescued from the incoming tide. I think I might be writing more poems before long …

Please note: all photos and text, including poems, are copyright Celia Warren 2020. Please request permission if you wish to use any of these online, in print, or for commercial purposes. Thank you.


wasps gathering on the pebbly beach



Fox Moth caterpillar (Macrothylacia rubi)

Di-diddle di-diddle di-dum

June 22, 2020

One thousand, six hundred (and counting)
And seventy-six (number’s mounting).
These are limericks I’ve written
Ever since the bug’s bitten:
Obsessive — or simply astounding?

Yes, I have written 1,676 limericks for the Omnificent English Dictionary In Limerick Form. At the moment, this international project has defined and continues to define words within the Aa-Gz section of the alphabet. And it’s been going for over a decade! Lots of people join in, adding their own “valentines to words” in the English language, from all over the world. Many are from writers in English-speaking countries. Other contributors are from countries where English is not their first language, and yet they still manage to create the most witty, clever verses in English. Anyone can join in — adult or younger — the main criteria are a love of language and a basic knowledge of the form a limerick takes. We workshop each other’s work, suggesting tweaks and changes to produce the best word definition (as any dictionary should), as well as entertaining and sticking to the rhythm and rhyme rules of a limerick:

1. A limerick has five lines.
2. It contains two rhymes arranged at the ends of the lines in an A-A-B-B-A pattern.
3. The rhythm of the lines is anapestic. That is they go —
     di-DID-dle di-DID-dle di-DUM
     di-DID-dle di-DID-dle di-DUM
     di-DID-dle di-DA
     di-DID-dle di-DA
     di-DID-dle di-DID-dle di-DUM
4. The stresses in each line should land as shown in capitals above.

Unlike Edward Lear, pastmaster of the limerick, we never use the same end word or homophonic rhymes, but that’s really all there is to it. Fancy having a go?

To give you an idea, here’s one I wrote (not for the project) — ooh, that makes 1,677! — composed during Covid-19 “lockdown”:

Found on our Doorstep

copyright Celia Warren 2020

If the rainbows young kids paint and draw
Could but heal, we’d no longer endure
This disease in our midst,
Seven colours the grist
Of a powerful, magical cure.

© Celia Warren 2020

Fancy reading more of mine and others, or having a go at writing your own?
If you’re under 18, please ask your parents’ permission first.

Minibeast Safari Challenge

May 20, 2020

Do you have a garden, or live near a park? Or perhaps you have a shed or a hedge to explore? You could take part in a Minibeast Safari Challenge to see how many minibeasts you can find. Then record your findings, either on camera or by drawings.

If you want to find out more about where to look, what you might find, and more about the minibeasts around us do have a look at this video-link: the Minibeast Safari Challenge for children, produced for Birmingham City Council, also features my poem Mr Snail (towards the end of the garden safari, where children can learn about the minibeasts they find).

Do have a look – especially if you are aged 14 or under – though it’s delightful viewing for any age.

Mr Snail

Quaint and quirky, never quick,
Mother Nature’s glue stick.
Strong shell, tacky tail,
Glue the garden, Mr Snail.                      © Celia Warren

NaPoWriMo2020 – nearly there!

April 25, 2020

How have you got on writing a poem every day for the month of April? It’s not too late to give it a go at least for the last few days. I’m pleased to say I’ve not missed a single day, though I haven’t shared all my first drafts. One thing I can say about this April – a month renowned for rain showers – is that it’s provided lots of lovely sunshine. It’s been a blessing during this prolonged period of Covid-19 lockdown.

Sunbathing is frowned upon at present, so perhaps it’s unsurprising that this poem requires a …

Sad Ending Alert

Banana had spent
so long in the sun,
the poor thing had started to peel.
She hadn’t a notion
on how to use lotion,
and began to feel slightly unreal.

Though her deckchair supported
the skin she’d aborted,
Banana still felt very bare
as, after some hours,
the birds and the flowers
and bees were beginning to stare.

Now, I have to admit,
she made a fine split,
filled with ice-cream and sweet vermicelli.
And as for her skin,
it’s chopped up in the bin,
making compost while I watch the telly.

© Celia Warren 2020

Please note this poem, photograph and all content are copyright Celia Warren 2020. Please request permission before reproducing anything from this site for commercial purposes. Thank you.

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