The Dirigible Balloon
Poetry for Children

How to Sail a House

Listen to Sarah ...
First, secure your ship’s rabbit, or cat,
black and white or stripy sailor suit tabby
will do for a good journey

and hang a handsome sail curtain
of colour struck bedsheets and covers
on wash day, to be reefed in some

windows - if the main and headsail
material is uncertain to take the breeze –
but let fly full sturdy spinnaker,

red or yellow cottons to be seen for miles,
in the big bay at the front and finally fling
open all your windows to the force 6, feel

your hair blown back and tangle
with the salt wind, set your heart to adventure,
point your compass out west, set your cap

to a jaunty salute and simply put to sea in your house.
Picture copyright (©) Sarah Wallis 2024
Picture copyright (©) Sarah Wallis 2024

About the Writer

Sarah Wallis

Sarah is a writer based in Scotland, with work published in journals cross genre, poetry, flash fiction and stage. She has x2 chapbooks out in the world - Medusa Retold @fly_press / Quietus Makes an Eerie @dancinggrlpress, with one due in May 2022 How to Love the Hat Thrower from @SelcouthStation. Her website is and she tweets @wordweave