The Dirigible Balloon
Poetry for Children


Wander with Fliss ...
Let’s go a-wandering! Hooray, our big balloon is here!
We’re flying off to Africa – jump in, jump in. And cheer!
We’ve got our flask of tea, some fresh-made sandwiches – yay, cheese!
And up we go! We’re drifting through a lovely summer breeze.

The sun is rising in Botswana – wow, the Delta’s pink!
An elderly bull elephant comes trundling in to drink,
jacana birds are up and singing from their bright blue bills,
their morning music merging with the finch-calls from the hills.

In Zambia, a leopard mum is hunting, on the prowl –
a painted wolf is out as well, and calling. Hear her howl!
The leopard pounces, grabs a bushbuck. Mmm, meat feast – yummy!
There’s plenty for her, and her cubs. Let’s count them! One, two, three.

Zimbabwe now: the buffaloes are munching fallen fruits –
they pause to biff and jostle slightly near acacia roots.
Oxpeckers on their burly backs keep eating all the while,
their busy beaks locating ticks with such a cruel red smile!

In Kenya, wildebeests are rushing down the riverbanks –
they cross for greener grasses, huge crocs snapping at their flanks!
Come winter they’ll be watching out for lions on the plains,
the place they come to calve and nurture following the rains.

Namibia! Rhinoceros are moving through the dunes –
the wind whips from the shoreline, bringing ghosts of old sea tunes,
as far as ancient valleys where the shamen liked to trance
and carve on sandstone shapes of beasts and tribes in joyful dance!

And in the jungles of Uganda, on the mountain sides,
beneath the trees where, black and gold, the crowned hawk-eagle glides,
the chimpanzees race through the ferns and chatter, shriek and scream,
or sit and watch researchers when they visit in their team!

Well, home-time now. It’s getting late! We’re off to find our beds.
Let’s drift away to Dreamland, with safaris in our heads,
impatient for tomorrow and the travels it’ll bring,
because we love to go, we love to go a-wandering!

About the Writer

Felicity Teague

Felicity Teague (Fliss for short) has a very serious job in publishing and enjoys writing poems during her playtime. Her poetry has appeared in a number of journals, including The HyperTexts, Snakeskin and The Ekphrastic Review. From 2014 to 2016, she was Poet-in-Residence of Happenstance Border Morris, a Morris dancing group in Winchcombe, Gloucestershire. She also enjoys art, birdwatching, films, music and photography, and she loves guinea pigs!