The Dirigible Balloon
Poetry for Children

Bill the Bad

Listen to Bill the Bad's parrot ...
I am a pirate's parrot,
with an owner fierce and bold.
We’ve sailed across the seven seas
in search of jewels and gold.

My pirate’s known as Bill the Bad
who has a bushy beard.
Bill scares all other pirates and
around the world he's feared.

He wears a leather eye patch
Picture copyright (©) Em Humble 2022
Picture copyright (©) Em Humble 2022

and is covered in tattoos,
with tales of his adventures
featured in the ‘Pirate News’.

The crew all quake when Bill’s about,
because he looks so grim;
but sometimes reputations hide
the truth that lies within …

Beneath the scowl upon his face,
Bad Bill’s a different fellow.
I’ve seen that when he is alone,
he can be chilled and mellow.

I know that he takes flowers
to his mum when on a visit.
With recipes, Bill’s quite a cook;
his soufflés are exquisite!

He sings just like an angel
and he writes just like a poet.
The poor get all Bill’s stolen gold
and yet they do not know it.

Just scratch beneath the surface
of this naughty reprobate,
you’ll find a splendid chap that you’d
be proud to call shipmate.

So if you hear odd rumours that
my Bill’s not nice with folk,
remember what his parrot said:
Bad Bill’s a lovely bloke!

About the Writer

Jonathan Humble

Jonathan lives in Cumbria. His work has been published online and in print in a number of magazines and anthologies. His first collection of poetry, My Camel's Name Is Brian, was published by TMB Books in 2015. His second poetry book, Fledge came out in 2020 through Maytree Press. His poems for children have been shortlisted and highly commended in the Caterpillar and Yorkmix poetry competitions and he is the editor of The Dirigible Balloon. His poems Masterclass and This Work is Done were chosen as the Milk House Poem of the Year at the end of 2022 and 2023.