lizbrownlee – poet

Poems, animal info and Lola the labradoodle!

Wonderland – Alice in Poetry

Looking through my archives I realise I haven’t mentioned the publication of this exquisite book yet, collected by the wonderful Michaela Morgan:


This was a fun book to write for – in Alice in Poetry there are all the original poems in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, with the original illustrations by the incomparable Sir John Tenniel, alongside ‘answer’ poems written by modern poets.

Filled with excellent poems with a unique feel, this book will go down well with Alice fans of old, and introduce another generation of children to Lewis Carroll’s sublime and surreal wordplay.

Published by Macmillan and out already, you can get it here.

Is This a Poem?

Another new anthology! The children’s poetry world is coming alive!



This excellent book, edited by Roger Stevens and illustrated with great fun by Spike Gerrel, takes a trip through a journey of different types of poetry – there are advertising jingles, football chants, haiku, free verse, rap, shape poems, riddles, poems that rhyme and many more that don’t and more – the question asked is, are these really poems?

Roger Stevens, excellent poet and excellent friend looks at them all and explains what’s what, and what’s more gives you brilliant tips on how to write your own poems as well.

Published by Macmillan and Out now!

Oh, did I mention I have two poems in it? I have two poems in it!


One Minute Till Bedtime


This gorgeous book is due to be published in two weeks in the UK – out a few weeks in the States, it has already garnered prestigious starred reviews from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and School Library Journal.

Along with many wonderful other poets – I have a poem inside.

It’s an utterly engaging book, the poems collected by Kenn Nesbitt, (US Children’s Poet Laureate 2013) are fabulous, the illustrations by Christoph Niemann are charming.

Available from here, an exquisite present for Christmas young children’s bedtime reading perhaps?


National Poetry Day Message Poem by Bernard Young

To The Great Provider


Dear Great Provider,

This is to thank you

for the delicious cheese

you so thoughtfully provide.

Thank you.



(and I do hope this doesn’t seem ungrateful)

would it be possible to place it

by the side of our hole

and not on the spikes

of the thing that snaps

when we take a bite?

That would be most helpful.


It’s just that,

as you may or may not know,

a member of my family

(my precious daughter to be precise)

has not returned from dining out

and we fear her disappearance

may have something to do

with the fierce snappy thing.

It doesn’t like mice!

(This is not a criticism.

We would sooner pull out our own whiskers

than question your unquestionable wisdom.

We know you move in mysterious ways.)


Once again, Great Provider,

thank you for the wonderful cheese.

It’s irresistible.


Yours humbly and appreciatively,

Montague Mouse


© Bernard Young

National Poetry Day Message Poem by Pie Corbett

Message for the Mosquito who shares my bedroom.


I’m fed up

with the way

you keep me awake.


You wait

till I’ve just turned out the light

and settled down

for a good night’s zizz

before starting up

your irritating whine,


‘Mister Mosquito

is out for a bite.’


At any second

I expect to feel you

puncture my skin

and suck my blood.


Tiny vampire,

I am not your personal

Ketchup bottle.

If I find you’ve settled nearby,

I’ll swat you flat.

Be warned –

go pester

some other

sauce of blood.


© Pie Corbett

National Poetry Day Message Poem by Heather F Reid

Another great poem from Heather!


Letters of Apology


Dear black and white cat who I chased up a tree,
why did you hiss at me so viciously?

I didn’t intend to upset you that way,
I hoped we’d be friends and you’d hang out and play.

Well, when I say play, I mean I chase, you run,
because, isn’t that how dogs and cats should have fun?

You’re furry and purry, so, please cat, descend

Your trustworthy Labrador friend



Dear Billy

Your letter was gladly received
as it’s been half a day since I fled up this tree.

Forgive my poor manners, I misunderstood,
I assumed your intention was harm and not good

when you bounded towards me, all bark and sharp teeth;
you were just being friendly? Well that’s a relief!

I’m afraid being chased isn’t really my scene
but if you would like to call round for some cream

and a doze in the sunshine I’m sure I’d like that.

Your neighbourly black and white cat




© Heather F Reid

National Poetry Day Message Poem by Heather F Reid

Request from a Guide Dog


If we should meet,
please don’t tempt me with treats
or excite me
or jiggle my ears.


Don’t invite me to play
or put things in my way,
I’ve been training for this day
for years.


Don’t stand firm in my route
and shout ‘ISN’T HE CUTE!’
Don’t encourage your dog to say hi.


Though it’s tempting to pat me
you’ll only distract me
so, please, carry on, pass me by.


© Heather F Reid


Obviously this is a message VERY close to my heart!

National Poetry Day Message Poem by Alan Nicholls

This amusing poem arrived about an ant!


Dear Ant,


you bit my ankle,

your half-back bit my calf.

So when I squash you dead,

you bug! Excuse me if I laugh.


© Alan Nicholls

National Poetry Day Message Poem by Jill Townsend

To the Panamanian Gold Frog


You gesture with a little wave

to see off any new arrival –

other male frogs as brave

as you, who gesture with a wave.

But now the situation’s grave:

a fungus threatens your survival.

Your gesture with a little wave

may not see off this new arrival.



© Jill Townsend

The Panamanian Gold Frog is probably extinct in the wild now – it was a unique frog that lived by torrential rivers and which signalled to its mates with waves as croaking would not be heard above the sound of the water.

Gerard Manley Hopkins Poem read by Chris Packham for National Poetry Day

The Windhover: To Christ our Lord by Gerard Manley Hopkins, read by Chris Packham