AtoZ Challenge; F is for Fish Ventriloquist by Brian Moses
Lovely Brian Moses (links to Where Do You Get Your Ideas From?) has been a professional children’s poet since 1988; he has over 200 books published including volumes of his own poetry such as A Cat Called Elvis and Lost Magic: The Very Best of Brian Moses , (both Macmillan and illustrated by Chris Garbutt), anthologies, and picture books. Over 1 million copies of Brian’s poetry books have been sold by Macmillan. His poem ‘Walking With My Iguana’ is one of the most listened to poems on the Poetry Archive. Brian has visited well over 3,000 schools to run writing workshops and perform his own poetry and percussion shows in the UK and abroad; CBBC once commissioned him to write a poem for the Queen’s 80th birthday! His website is here, blog is here, and Twitter is here.
This is the great poem Brian sent for the letter ‘F’ in the A-Z:
I wanted to be the world’s first fish ventriloquist,
so I searched and searched for the sort of fish
that might share the spotlight with me,
till somewhere near the Caspian Sea
I spoke with a cod who had found God
but all he wanted to do was pray with me.
In Yokohama I came across a shark
who had the sort of cut and thrust for showbiz life
but was more concerned with finding a wife.
I found a plaice with the most expressive face
but when I tried to put words into her mouth
she spat them out. I found an eel
whose personality was electric, but she was too much
of a shocker for me. I trembled every time I touched her.
I found a pike I liked immensely, but
he didn’t like me, spat in my eyes each time
I tried to handle him. There was a ray who I could pass
the time of day with and a monkfish had possibilities
till I discovered he had taken a vow of silence.
Then right at the end of my search when I thought
I’d be returning to puppets and dolls,
I found a fish that was perfect, but although I swam
with him, ocean after ocean, offered him money, fortune
and fame, his name in lights, a season in Vegas,
he stubbornly refused to be swayed.
People would have paid thousands for the illusion
of a talking fish. In a world where we celebrate
the sham and the fake, fish ventriloquism
could have been my big break.
© Brian Moses
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