The Dirigible Balloon
Poetry for Children

The Bones of Houses

Listen to Brian's poem ... read by JH
Something I did as a kid
was playing in the bones of
half-built houses,
swinging on their
Skeleton frames.
rattling their rib cages
with sticks,

Planks of wood became
ropes dangled
as if someone had
recently been let loose
from a noose.

“Dangerous’ my Dad warned.
‘Don’t play there.’
But we did,
avoiding those ankle-twisting
snappy crocodiles,
and the coils of snakes
with their venomous bites
and threat
of strangulation.

It was that sniff of danger
that led us there,
the sense that somewhere
an abyss beckoned.

And I’d like to say now
that I was the one who held back,
spoke sense, took no chances,
but I wasn’t, I didn’t.

Always sneaking back home
with the wriggle of a lie
on my lips.

About the Writer

Brian Moses

Brian is an English poet who writes mainly for children. He has over 200 published works and has given over 3000 performances of his poetry and percussion show. His poetry books and anthologies for Macmillan have sold in excess of 1 million copies. He was asked by CBBC to write a poem for the Queen's 80th birthday and was invited by Prince Charles to speak at Prince’s Summer School for teachers at Cambridge University in 2007. Brian is Co-director of the Able Writers’ Scheme which he founded in 2002. Brian can be contacted at