Us and Them

I wrote this poem some time ago and want to share it with you today. I have been a bit hesitant about publishing it as I have so many supportive people in my life and I don’t want it to sound like the poem is about them as it isn’t. It refers to the sniping on the public forums and those who openly judge choices that other parents make and maybe try and make them feel bad about those choices.

Today I give you

Us and Them

The us and them factor
Is sadly nothing new

The mums who don’t work
And the mums who do

The mums who, when weaning
Like to spoon feed

The mums who feel that baby led
Is what babies need

The mums whose babies sleep through
The mums whose babies don’t

The mums who”ll give their baby a dummy
And the mums who won’t

The mums who give the bottle
The mums who give the breast

The mums who want to do it all
The mums who just want rest

Why does there have to be
Such a divide?

Why can’t we support each other
Whatever we decide?

It is inevitable that on many matters
We will all hold different views

But we all want the best for our little ones
Whichever path we choose

Jen Elvy

I was inspired to post this recently when I heard on social media of an actress who was shamed for having a date night with her hubby, despite the fact that she left the baby with close family.  And I’ve seen some sniping on recent forums about choices connected with baby sleep.  We all do what is best for our children and we all know our own children too.  What works for one baby may not work for another and that often applies to children with the same parents too.

Here’s to supporting other parents and being there for them when they need guidance.

Jen xxx

 

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Poem for my Hubby

You know all these posts you see on social media? The ones that say its sisters week or its daughters week or whatever… Well I saw one the other day that said “It’s spouse week,” and suggested copying and pasting with the year you were married.  I don’t take lots of heed to these ‘weeks’ and copy and paste this and that but I did see an opportunity.  To dedicate a poem to my husband.  He is my rock, my soul mate, my best friend and my right hand man.  Love you babe, this one’s for you:

You’re the one I turn to
In times of heartache and pain
And when I feel like I want to scream
It’s you that keeps me sane
You’re the one I laugh with
And cry with at times too
You’re the one I love
And I’m always here for you

Jen Elvy

 

x x x  x

 

Unicorns and the Tooth Fairy

Hello all,

Left it quite a long time as I’ve been busy/tired and while I’ve been trying to gather ideas I haven’t been really in a place to just sit and write but today, armed with my phone and with the kids happily watching Paw patrol, I got down to some poetry writing. I produced three poems, two of which I will share in this post and the other perhaps in a separate post, as this entry is dedicated to my children’s poetry.

The first poem I’m going to share is one that sort of came to me out of the blue,  I was thinking about unicorns and somehow this ‘boasting’ poem came to me and built up quite nicely from the first few lines.  I’ve read a few of these before and have always enjoyed them.  One poem with a boasting theme, “No Word of a Lie,” by Jackie Kay was rewritten by myself and my Year 3 literacy set in my first year of teaching.  I may even still have it, somewhere! In any case, here is the one I wrote today:

“My unicorn is silver”
“My unicorn is gold”
“My unicorn is kind”
“My one does as he’s told”
“My unicorn can do magic”
“My unicorn can swim”
“My unicorn does clever tricks”
“Mine can sing a hymn”
“My Unicorn cane  make a rainbow”
“Mine can bring the sun”
“My unicorn was in the grand national”
“So was mine and he won ”
“I don’t care about your unicorn,
Mine is better than yours”
“I haven’t really got a unicorn, silly!
I’ve got dinosaurs!”

Jen Elvy

I loved writing this one.  Actually had such fun writing it.  It’s just the sort of conversation that you could imagine children having.  The challenge, as usual with me, was closing the poem. I could have gone on forever with the bragging lines but I didn’t want to just stop in mid air.  So I got to “Mine is better than yours” and dabbled for a while before coming up with the response. I just thought it had to be a really clever/funny one liner.  How do you like my final decision?

Writing tip: Try writing a poem that makes you laugh.

Probably easier said than done but it’s fun to try different angles on the same theme.

In keeping with my fantasy theme, (at the moment I see myself as a fantasy poet when it comes to children’s poetry, although I may branch out at some point) I was keen to write a poem about the tooth fairy as our eldest son lost his first tooth yesterday so last night he had his first visit from the tooth fairy.   (Athough he will tell you it’s a tooth elf!)  He was thrilled with his coin and wanted to keep it out and play with it.  So I thought it would be rude not to take this occasion and use the tooth fairy as my subject.  I had to make a couple of notes before I started but I was soon composing the first lines. Here is my poem:

The Tooth Fairy

She uses fairy magic dust to find her way into your house
You could never see her she’s tinier than the tiniest mouse
She wears a dainty white dress and has a pink fairy wand
Her eyes are as blue as the sea and her long flowing hair is blonde
Being careful not to wake you, she flies over to your bed
And lands by the pillow where you’re resting your sleepy head
Using her fairy magic she carefully takes her goods
Which she’ll show to all her fairy friends who live in the woods
She gives you a golden coin from her box of fairy treasure
You’ll never know the joy she gets from this simple gesture
Then as quick as she arrived she flies off into the night
Knowing that in the morning, your face will be pure delight

Jen Elvy

This one flowed quite easily and I only hesitiated slightly on the rhyme for “treasure”  for which none of the rhyming words seemed to produce a decent line.  I went with gesture in the end, which is close enough.  The final lines, I love as it sums up the joy and the magic of the tooth fairy for children.

Writing tip: Find writing material in what is happening in your life.

It’s there! And sometimes you have to dig deeper or be a bit more creative but luckily, in the case of the tooth fairy I had my material right there in front of me.

Hope you enjoy today’s offerings and feel free to read them to your children or to children you know. And if you do this, let me know what you think.

Thanks for reading

Jen x x

 

 

A Poem for Bedtime – Learning To Talk

Just wanted to share this one:

 

Learning to Talk

You like to have a chatter
Before you go to sleep
Making sure in your head
Your new sounds you keep
You listen to the way we talk
The rhythm and the tone
Knowing one day you will speak
All on your own
You’ll get there in your own time
There really is no rush
And when you don’t get words quite right
We won’t make a fuss
We’ll enjoy your mispronunciations
Your special words for things
This is how you’ll learn, my love
It’s where it all begins

Jen Elvy

This poem is of course about our littlest son, Sam as he is experimenting with speech now and likes to have a little chatter before he goes to sleep.  It’s a joy to listen to and I look forward to the journey ahead.

My tip for this post is :

Write about the special moments in your life.

Night night,

Jen xx

 

 

 

Children’s Poetry: Unicorns I love them!

Hi all,

Excuse the cheesy title. It is reference to a cute character in a well loved film in our house. Can you guess?  Yes that’s right Despicable Me.  And the character is Agnes who is mad about unicorns and sings a little song about them, hence my title.

I have loved writing about elves and fairies and all things magical.   I was a little worried after publishing the last one that the poems were getting a bit “samey” My husband agreed that this may be the case and suggested unicorns as they seem to be popular in the media at the moment.  Even in Cold Feet a character expressed their admiration for a unicorn keyring.   So I thought I’d bear that in mind.

I still fully indend to write about elves and fairies again but maybe some of them could be from a different angle or taking a different approach.   It’s been about a week since I last wrote a poem and so I felt quite fired up yesterday to write another one.  I chose Unicorns as the topic and I thought, OK, where do I start.  To find out how this poem came about, feel free to read on:

 

Mad About Unicorns 

My sister loves the creatures with horns
Commonly known as unicorns

It makes her go all soft and dreamy
To imagine their fur all white and creamy

With curly horns like ice cream cones
“I want one as a pet,” she always moans

Mum says they’re magic but I don’t believe her
And I don’t see the point in trying to deceive her

But then again, ok I suppose I’ll play along
As long as she quits with that silly unicorn song

She’s unicorn mad,  that much is true
But as long as she’s happy, what can you do?

Jen Elvy

 

So to prepare for this poem I did a bit of word association.  Most will be familiar, but in case you’re not, what you do is you take a word, in this case Unicorns and write down/think of the first words that come into your head.   In this case there was: horns, dreamy, white, magical.  Then immediately I started to come up with rhymes, like I observed the rhyming words : horns and uncorns, and after dreamy, I immediately thought of creamy, as in creamy white.  I was chuffed that already I was thinking in rhyme.   Then I thought of the idea of a child writing about their younger sister.  I’m not quite sure how I came up with that one, to be honest.  But the poem developed from there.

When I wrote about the unicorn song, that bit was inspired by the film but it didn’t necessarily apply to the song in the film.  Perhaps there was another song that the sister sings.

I got a little bit stuck for ideas half way through so I took a little break and then continued to think.  I thought the sibling narrator, (could easily be a sister or brother) could decide to play along a bit and decide that as long as the sister is happy, then who is he (or she) to say what the sister can or can’t like.  There you get the sense of love for the little sister. That’s right, I’ve decided the unicorn mad sister is definitely a younger sibling.

So my tip is:

Let the ideas flow by playing Word Association.

It definitely got me started on my unicorn poem.

Once finished I wanted to find a picture of a unicorn on PINterest to use on this blog, and also my facebook page.   Ideally I wanted to try the text on top of the picture but I didn’t have the right editing app that could do that (on Moldiv you can only add a few words)  so I posted the text and the picture one after the other, (but still on the same post)

This morning, however I found an app.  It is called Bazaart and it was free.   I found I could easily add text to pictures using that app.  Here is the unicorn poem with text on image:

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Pleased with my work, I tried it on a couple of other poems of mine. On ‘Down the Forest Stream’ I found the picture was too bright for the text to show up but I found that if I shuffled the verses around a bit, it worked with “Fairy Party” :

IMG_2010

Hope you like the finished products and that you enjoyed the Unicorn poem.

Thanks for reading,

Jen xx

Children’s poetry: my latest work 

Hi everyone,

Today I want to share my latest children’s poetry.  Both start with an image! I just can’t help but love using pictures to fire my imagination!

There’s a party going on 
Behind the magic door
With elves and fairies,
Pixies and more

They have fairy food
More delicious than ever
Especially to be enjoyed
As a feast all together 

There’s a pink unicorn cake
And special fairy bread
But the magic only works 
If you use the special spread 

Anyone not fairy sized 
Cannot join in the fun 
Humans cannot fit through the door
It simply cannot be done 

So if you’re free this evening 
And you happen to be fairy-sized
Come to the tree with the fairy door
And you’ll be pleasantly surprised 

Jen Elvy

Down the Forest Stream

Down the forest stream
A magical land can be found
If you listen carefully 
You’ll hear the gentle sound
Of fairies whispering to each other
In the summer breeze 
Of elves cleaning and tidying
And scrubbing on their knees
Make your way along the stream 
Be careful of the prickles
And eventually you might just feel
The tiniest of fairy tickles 

Jen Elvy

The second poem came to me just now when I was making notes on my Pinterest pictures trying to practise my powers of description using a word bank I have created. I saw this picture and the poem just came to me! I love it when that happens!

About that word bank: I have been reading Fairy themed books for research and collecting some lovely words and phrases from them so I decided to make a word bank of fairy/magical themed words.  I created categories: nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs.  I started writing them longhand in my writing journal but ended up typing the whole thing up into a Pages document and I’ve yet to tidy it up with text boxes.  I’m hoping to use the word bank for reference when writing poems and stories. I’ll keep you posted on how that goes.

So today’s writing tip is:

Create a word bank of words you collect from your reading.

The word bank will be useful when you are writing and you need some new vocabulary.

Done this already? Let me know in the comments and how it’s worked out for you.

Thanks for reading and hope you like my latest ramblings

Jen x

Broken Sleep: Using Strong Emotions

So this morning, in the midst of severe sleep deprivation I wrote this poem, which I actually started in the early hours:

 

Broken Sleep

I can’t remember a time
When I didn’t have broken sleep
Its getting quite hard to bear
A brave face I can no longer keep

I love my little babies
I’m blessed to have them, it’s true
But I long to start each day
Feeling refreshed and new 

I yawn the whole day through 
I need matchsticks for my eyes
I pretend to be okay with it
But I can’t keep up the disguise 

I know this won’t be forever 
And one day he’ll sleep through
In the meantime I’m constantly shattered
What am I to do? 

Jen Elvy

 

The poem says it all really.  Ever since becoming a mum nearly six years ago! (I know! I can’t believe it either!) I’ve always had broken sleep in some form of another.  My eldest settled and really started to sleep better just as my youngest was born! Timing eh!

Some nights have been better than others but some have been terrible. Last night was one of those where I was up for a good couple of hours solid with my little wakeful two year old. We think that he’s about to master talking and this milestone is on his mind and keeping him awake.  Something has to explain his wide open eyes at silly o’clock in the morning.

Needless to say, this morning I was a mess.  Tired, emotional, you name it.  I decided to use these powerful emotions to write a poem.  As I was using these emotions as a springboard, the writing flowed nicely and I didn’t struggle at all.  In the past I have used huge rushes of love  to drive my poetry and this morning I was reminded that I can use the rushes of not so nice feelings to guide me as well. I don’t know, I’ve always avoided it as I haven’t felt in the right frame of mind to write.  This morning, I was able to express my feelings through my poem.  I found it rather healing.

So my top tip is:

Never be afraid to use strong emotions to write poetry.

This could even be applied to prose and stories too.  I think it makes the whole writing process flow naturally.

I was also aware that the poem would speak to other mums as sleep deprived as I am. That is the beauty of poetry.  It can reach out to people.

Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed the poem.

Jen xxx