The Dirigible Balloon
Poetry for Children


I like tomato ketchup
with everything I eat.
Tomato ketchup’s savory,
but also kind of sweet.
It's really nice on scrambled egg;
it's very good on chips;
It's perfect on my sausages
and tasty mixed in dips.
It makes yummy pasta sauce,
it's good on pizza too.
How I love squishing out
that thick tomato goo.
Now, I did say that I liked it
with EVERYTHING I ate;
and my favourite ever thing to eat
is tomato ketchup cake!
Then it's tomato ketchup ice cream
with tomato ketchup sauce;
which is just ketchup drizzled straight
from the bottle (of course).
Then there's tomato ketchup lollies
which take some time to freeze
and tomato ketchup honey made
by feeding it to the bees.
Ketchup flavour custard
really is just great.
And it also makes a lovely thick
tomatoey milkshake.
Mum has ketchup in her coffee
and in her morning cup of tea.
And she uses it to clean the house,
as well bathing me.
It's amazing floating in the bath
with ketchup underneath,
and at the end of the day,
we use it to clean our teeth!

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.