Kids’ Stuff: A Freedom Poem for National Poetry Day 2017

Kids’ Stuff


Hanging round parks for a go on the swings

your palms smelling of metal off the roundabout

The iron grip of the slide as you launch yourself

It’s kids’ stuff but I still like it.


Dipping your fingers in sherbet and licking

Sticking your tongue into your ice cream

Strengthening your suck on a chocolate milk shake

It’s kids’ stuff but I still like it


Playing follow-my-leader when no one can see

Tidying your dollshouse and making them speak

Cuddling your teddy when you can’t get to sleep

It’s kids’ stuff but I still like it


Reading Narnia books and travelling with Hobbits

Watching E. Nesbit’s books on the box

Curling up in a chair with a book and some chocolate

It’s kids’ stuff but I still like it


Making shapes with your bread dough and watching it rise

Making gingerbread men with currants for eyes

Putting smarties on top of little iced cakes

It’s kids’ stuff but I still like it


Going to the pictures to watch Walt Disney

Getting sticky fingers from eating popcorn

Sucking an ice-lolly through the second half

It’s kids’ stuff but I still like it


People try and tell you ought to grow up

My kids don’t mind having a daft mum

I don’t see why I should stop having fun

It’s kids’ stuff but I still like it.

Angela Topping



It’s True

I imagined the speakers in this poem were two boys, happily continuing the reason for their detention. And for some reason I imagined the teacher concerned was a Geography teacher. But it doesn’t really matter what I imagine. You readers are free to decide for yourselves.

ATNG.jpgIt’s True

I don’t believe yer.

It’s true, a big hairy one.

Geroff, you’d hear it.

Some have, screeching at night.


But what does he feed it?

The lines of those kept in at break.


No bird would eat those.

Who said it was a bird?

You did.

No, I never. There’s other things


than birds go screeching at night.

It makes its nest in chalk dust.

Now I know you’re fibbing.

I’m not, actually.

OK, then, why has no-one ever seen it?

Some have, shifting from foot


to foot in the stock cupboard.

Have you?

No. But I dare you to go.

No way. I don’t care what

sort of animal that is, there’s no way

I’d try and look in that stock cupboard.

You know what sir’s like.

We’d better get these lines done

before the bell goes.

I must not witter on in class.

I must not witter on in class.

I must not witter on i

Angela Topping

from The New Generation (Salt 2010)

Almost out of print, but a few available from Angela £6.99





Witch in the Supermarket



witch.jpgIn my children’s poetry, I love to mix fantasy with the everyday. Here’s a poem which came out of being bored in the supermarket and wondering what it would be like to see a witch shopping there. In the poem, the child is trying to tell the mother what they have seen, and as usual, the adult is too busy to notice.


Witch in the Supermarket

There’s a witch in the supermarket over there
After Fowler’s treacle for her flyaway hair,
Buying up nail-varnish – black or green?
Rooting in the freezer for toad ice-cream!

There’s a witch in the supermarket next row on
Asking where the Tinned Bat’s Ears have gone,
Mutters, ‘Why do they always change things round?
Mouse Tails and Rats’ Tongues can’t be found!’

There’s a witch in the supermarket down that aisle
Searching for something to blacken her smile,
She’s a trolley full of tins for her witch’s cat
Who simply swears by Bit-O-Bat.

Times are difficult and Bovril has to do
Instead of newt’s blood for a tasty stew;
Sun-dried bluebottles crunchy and sweet,
Dessicated spiders for a Hallowe’en treat.

There’s a witch in the supermarket at the till
Scribbling her cheque with a grey goose quill!
There’s a witch at the checkout, look, mum, quick!
Piling up her shopping on a big broomstick!

Angela Topping

This poem first appeared in The Bees Knees (Stride 1990) and was subsequently published in several anthologies and my own solo collection The New Generation (Salt 2010)

I have performed it in hundreds of schools and it always goes down well.

The illustration is by Russell Thompson.