The Dirigible Balloon
Poetry for Children

Afraid of Words?

Listen to Mhairi's poem ... read by JH
Don't be afraid of words.
All they want is to be heard
and remembered.
They want to wrap their little arms
and legs around you in a hug;
to hear you with their tiny ears;
to wag their tails as you speak them
and dance across pages with you
as you learn, leaving punctuation
marks scattered.
They long to meet your eye
and share their magic secrets,
as fast or slow as you like.
They are happy to be upside down,
back to front and jumbled,
scrambled and tumbled
across a page,
getting bigger and bigger or
smaller and smaller as you go.
They love to be written in the air
and spotted everywhere.
Parents and teachers can tell you
all about grammar, phonics, rhyme
and writing on the line.
But those little letters
don't really care.
They're just happy squiggles
to have you there,
spending time together,
whatever the weather.
So make time every day
in a lovely lettery way
for fun, funny, fantastic
and friendly word play.

About the Writer

Mhairi Helme

A veterinary surgeon, mum, children's charity founder and trustee, adult and children's poet and writer, Mhairi's poem Brave was commended by Michael Morpurgo in the 2021 Caterpillar Prize for Children's Poetry. When not writing in her spare time, she is usually running in the fells, swimming in the Lakes, biking the trails or climbing the crags in her home in the Lake District.