The Dirigible Balloon
Poetry for Children

Why Jim doesn't get Invited to Parties

Listen to Jonathan read his poem ...
Upon his peers aged five and six,
a naughty lad called Jim played tricks.

At birthday parties Jim’s main aim,
once fun began with party games,
was distributing spoons of jelly
in the hair, down necks and bellies
of the party congregation,
causing wails of protestation.

And if there were distracted mums,
whilst at the parties of his chums,
he’d mix the meat paste with the trifle;
giving every child an eyeful.

So one will not be too surprised
when Jim was somewhat ostracized.
Aged seven he became aware
that invitations were quite rare.
He wasn’t asked to parties much,
as parents were not keen as such
to add him to the party list,
on which his name was often missed.

Then Jim decided it was time
to curb behaviour out of line,
reforming all his naughty ways,
until aged eight he reached the days
when folk would not have found it strange
to comment on how Jim had changed.

Once more he joined the party scene
of jelly, trifle and ice cream.
And nicely now he played the games
to great delight and much acclaim,
until some child during dessert
spilt juice down Jim’s best party shirt ...

And in a flash there re-emerged
the Jim of old; the party scourge!
As birthday cake flew through the air,
with pickled onions everywhere.
And flinging stuff about the place,
a manic grin upon his face,
young Jim reverted gleefully,
the evidence for all to see.

This verse reveals a painful truth,
that Jim, at heart, was quite uncouth.
Though self-improvement’s overdue,
to thine own self one must be true.
One mustn’t tie oneself in knots;
for leopards cannot change their spots.

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, but is no longer available. 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 poem Masterclass was chosen as the Milk House Poem of the year at the end of 2022.