The Dirigible Balloon
Poetry for Children

Poet Feature ... Zaro Weil

Find out about Zaro ...
Hello Balloonists!

Jonathan here!

Last year, I was lucky enough to be invited by the lovely people at Troika Books to the launch of Zaro Weil’s book of poetry entitled When Poems Fall From The Sky, published in association with The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. This is a gorgeous book of poetry, illustrated by the excellent Junli Song, and is “… a tender love letter to Earth, reminding each of us that we are all guardians of our planet.”

Zaro was most welcoming at the launch and after the event I was also invited to dinner with her family, friends and colleagues at a nearby restaurant where we all chatted and toasted the success of the book. She is such a lovely and kind-hearted person and I came away from the event, not only impressed by her poetry but also by the warmth of her personality.

So, here for your information and pleasure is more about our latest poet feature, the talented Zaro Weil

Zaro was born in the United States. For the first ten years of her professional life she worked as a dancer, performer, writer, educator, choreographer and theatre director in a theatre/dance company which she founded in St Louis, Missouri; Metro Theatre Company.

After coming to the UK, she worked in theatre and dance, studied flute, started a publishing company which she ran for 16 years and wrote her first children's poetry book, Mud Moon and Me, which was published by Orchard Books in the UK and Houghton Mifflin in the USA.

Since 2018, Zaro has had 5 books published by Troika Books with a host of wonderful reviews. These include Firecrackers, Spot Guevara Hero Dog, Cherry Moon, Polka Dot Poems and When Poems Fall from the Sky. She won the coveted CLIPPA Poetry Award in 2020 for her book, illustrated by Junli Song, Cherry Moon.

She has been published in a host of publications and poetry anthologies.

From Autumn of 2022, Zaro will be published by Welbeck Children's Books. Her first book with Welbeck is an affordable quality paperback edition of When Poems Fall from the Sky. This edition includes a series of brilliant activities for kids, teachers and parents written by CLPE. It will be published in October for National Poetry Day.

In an exciting new development, a theatre piece, based on When Poems Fall from the Sky, has been created by Mr. Dilly and will be performed in arts venues, festivals and schools across the UK in 2022-23.

Here on the Dirigible Balloon, we’ve been lucky enough to upload a number of Zaro’s poems including Recipe for a Spring Birthday Cake, Letter to the Wind from a Shaggy Rose, A Beetroot that Time Forgot and To a Wolf Cub from its Mother. Zaro’s latest poem shared on the DB is here …

If You Came This Way
by Zaro Weil

if you came this way
you would see me
gliding sweet in a school of friends
through water
dashing here darting there
whorling miniature orbits
exploring everything smooth and wet
there is to know—
something you can never
really understand—
perfect in my slippery world

if you came this way
you would see me
jumping high-playing games
my curious big feet
leaping boundless towards the horizon
long tail holding me steady
as I race with my mob
exploring the thrill of almost flight—
something you can never
really understand—
perfect in my dust and grassy world

if you came this way
you would see me
ever line-marching with friends
collecting what I can carry
building bewildering stations
far down underground
exploring the life of doing everything
all together—
something you can never
really understand—
perfect in my rich earth world

if you came this way
you would see me
a winged sun-sparkle
fluttering tinted streamers in air
landing petal-soft
sipping heaven-nectar
exploring every sweep of wind
something you can never
really understand—
perfect in my billowing world

if you came this way
you would see me
curled tight in my spiralled house
then stretching high-shined on
a blade of wet grass
leaving a trail of miniature pearls wherever I go
exploring the freedom of slow
something you can never
really understand—
perfect in my inch by inch world

if you came this way
if you came this way
you might begin to understand
we are all
all of us here

in our perfect worlds

written by Fish, Kangaroo, Ant, Butterfly and Snail

If You Came This Way poem is copyright (©) Zaro Weil 2022
Photographs courtesy of Zaro Weil
Article written and organised by Jonathan Humble of the Dirigible Balloon

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.