The Dirigible Balloon
Poetry for Children


One wet weekend last winter
When snow refused to fall,
From mud I made a claymate
Broad and six feet tall.

I pelted Clay with mudballs,
He stared and stood his ground,
Magnificent and muddy
He uttered not a sound.

At first he was a softy
But summer made him hard
And he did look pretty scary
Standing guard in our back yard.

Now it’s autumn and I’m searching
For a conker for his nose
To surprise him on his birthday,
He’ll be thrilled with one of those.

He’s been better than a snowman,
Clay, my mudman, lots more fun,
And Clay has stayed when long ago
A snowman would have run.

So, though I’m still fond of snowmen
I will say this as I end,
My massive, messy, mudman’s
Made a more enduring friend.

About the Writer

Philip Waddell

Philip lives in a friendly Oxfordshire village close to Thame. He studied Biochemistry and Microbiology a long time ago and had a variety of jobs but is now retired. Born in Guyana he has lived in various countries and has always enjoyed traveling. Since the 90s his poems for children have appeared in dozens of anthologies and he has produced two collections for children with his friend, performing poet Ian Bland.