The Dirigible Balloon
Poetry for Children

Body Strike

Listen to Michael read his poem ...
I fear my hand! I fear my spine!
I fear whatever I thought was mine—
Because a purple picket sign
From out my schnozzle darts,
Which reads, “Hey Meathead! We’re On Strike!”
Signed, “Love,
Your Body Parts”

This plug of bone above my neck
Refuses to be my head;
I’ve heard it’s bobbled on another’s
Shoulders in my stead.

These flaps of skin above my chin
Refuse to be my lips
At night they wander off in search
Of surreptitious sips.

These pegs that hang below my legs
Refuse to be my feet.
I’ve caught them under moonlit trolls
On a blunt and bilious street.

These bulbs that bulge above my cheeks
Refuse to be my eyes;
Last evening they escaped to town
To stare at damaged skies.

I don’t demand much of this me—
I’d always thought my body free—
It’s not that I am prone to be
A power-hungry glutton—
But I wish it’d leave me something—
At least
a spleen or a bellybutton!

About the Writer

Michael Heyman

Michael is a Professor of Nonsense at Berklee College of Music in Boston and has been known to perform his poetry for children self-accompanied on the baritone diddlemaphone. His stories and poems can be found in The Puffin Book of Bedtime Stories, The Moustache Maharishi and other unlikely stories, This Book Makes No Sense: Nonsense Poems and Worse, and Poetry International. He was also a judge for the Lion & the Unicorn Award for Excellence in North American Poetry.