My Poetry Teachers

My Poetry Teachers

My favourite teachers still teach in my head
I met every one on a page that I read

A page in my childhood, a page in my teens
A page full of portals to worlds never seen

My favourite teachers still make me write lines
in verses in stanzas, in rhythms in rhyme

They taught me to jump with a cow over moons
and run faraway with the dishes and spoons (Mr Anon)

I learned how to feel others’ feelings, from small
all thanks to an egg who once fell from a wall (Mrs Anon)

They taught me to wish, to pretend, even lie
to buy magic beans that shoot hope to the sky (Mr Silverstein)

I learned of a land where the cows all go bong
where giggles were born in the Ningy Nang Nong (Mr Milligan)

They taught me on days when the sun is not sunny
the rain that is rainy won’t stop fun that’s funny’ (Dr Seuss)

I learned halfway up, halfway down on the stairs
there’s nowhere quite like it to say secret prayers (Mr Milne)

They taught me in life there are lions to fear
so don’t stick your ‘orse ‘ ead inside of their ear (Mr Edgar)

I learned that true love can play all sorts of tunes
by Owl and Cat dancing under a moon (Mr Lear)

They taught me true love, with its last ever breath
can keep love alive, far beyond earthly death (Mr Noyes)

They taught me to question what grown-ups have said
Miss Hood’s cosy coat could be wolf-fur dyed red (Mr Dahl)

I learned on life’s journey you’ll meet fiends and fakes
so don’t spend your nights in hotels run by sssnakes (Mr Moses)

They taught me to put inside every box
a mountain of magic, a moment’s tick-tock (Mr Wright)

I learned on life’s bear hunt that one thing is true
You cannot go under, if you can go through (Mr Rosen)

They taught me a child gone away upon air
In our mothers’ gardens still lingers right there (Mr Louis Stevenson)

I learned we’re all aliens travelling through space
accept everyone for their deeds, not their face (Mr McNaughton)

They taught me to tread very softly on dreams
for some dreams are poor and may vanish, unseen (Mr Yeats)

I learned to remember the past and not cry
for those that I’ve loved didn’t fade, didn’t die (Mrs Harner)

They taught me success is to fail inside and out
to line with thick silver, those grey clouds of doubt (Mr Guest)


I learned to seek orange trees, oceans glass-blue
and lands teachers taught me of but never knew (Mr Patten)

They taught me to question which road I should take
The one travelled less might be your best mistake (Mr Frost)

I learned to remember that dawn turns to day
and green is a memory of gold that can’t stay (Mr Frost)

They taught me on some days you might lose your YOU
So be your own poem, on days that you do (Mr McGough)

I learned I am Spider, I learned I am Fly
I learned in a web, I can live or can die (Mrs Howitt)

They taught me to treasure a mind of my own
That no one can burgle, I’m Billy McBone (Mr Ahlberg)

My favourite teachers still teach in my head
From pages I’m reading and pages I read

A page of the future, a page of the past
A page full lessons, all written to last

My poetry teachers in word and in line
All leant me their thoughts for a mind that’s all mine

Mark Bird ©2022