The Dirigible Balloon
Poetry for Children

Skeletons Tell Terrible Jokes

Zombies shuffled aimlessly with heads tipped to one side
The phantoms rattled chains and flung transparent cloaks out wide
The vampires swooped theatrically as they are wont to do
And ghoulish forms materialised in pools of dipping goo

“Wait everyone,” the skeleton interrupted, “I’ve got a joke

Spectres paled spectacularly, their colour swiftly drained
Ghosts gave agonising moans evoking thoughts of pain
Frankenstein looked stoney-faced and gnashed uneven teeth
And through the soil a groan was heard from things that lie beneath

“No, don’t be like that, it’s really good!

Apparitions looked around for somewhere to escape
Vlad the Prince of Darkness huddled underneath his cape
Lost souls tried to lose themselves and ended up confused
While werewolves asked with urgency if they could be excused

“Why …” began the skeleton with an excessively toothy grin, “ can’t I go to the party?”

Things from fevered nightmares screamed that they had had enough
Spooks that had the talent disappeared with just a puff
Desperate sobs were heard from every supernatural being
All wishing they were capable of joining those yet fleeing

“Because I haven’t got an invitation!”
“Hang on, that’s not it …..”

The skeleton was glared at by a thousand bloodshot eyes
And heads intact and severed were all shaken with a sigh
“It seems,” a wraith hissed softly, “that it isn’t just a rumour,
Those without a body have a lousy sense of humour”

About the Writer

John Svatins

John teaches in Cumbria and when not in the classroom, he loves to walk the fells with Sid the Dog. Writing poetry makes him happy and gives him a chance to be very silly. His poems and stories can be found at