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Rhymes n Rhythm


Today my wonderful husband Peter excelled himself again by bringing me home a brilliant book from a car-boot sale. Costing only 20p (it was 1½d way back whenever the book was published) it is full of 40 poems for Junior and Intermediate Classes. Not all the poems have authors, some as usual have remained anonymous for years. The little book is No. 91. of the Green's Scholastic Series of Poetry, of which I have a few in my Library already but you can imagine how excited I was to have this one to add to it. I shall be adding the poems to various pages on all four of my websites and I hope you will find them all very enjoyable both for yourselves and your friends.

Eliza Cook (24 December 1818 – 23 September 1889)
was an English author, Chartist poet and writer born in London Road, Southwark.



Pot calling the kettle black

The Pot Calling the Kettle Black

"Bubble!" said the pot to the dancing kettle
(Who was in fine fettle)
"You are black as soot!"

"Pouffe!" said the kettle to the jiggety pot
(Who was feeling hot)
"You are black as a beetle!"

"Bubble. ubble, ubble," said the pot in wrath
With his voice full of broth
"I will get you into trouble."

"Fiddle, diddle, diddle," said the kettle in a rage
(He was old for his age)
"You have soup down your middle!"

"Fuss, fuss, fuss," gissed the pot on the fire
Boiling higher and higher,
"You're spitting like the puss!"

"I'll make you behave," said the kettle from above
As he spat from the stove
"You're a rogue and a knave!"

"Bother, bother, bother," said the cook running in,
"What a fuss, what a din,
"You're as black as each other!"

Pot calling the kettle black

This little verse was writen by Anne Pauline Clarke was born in Kirkby-in-Ashfield in Nottinghamshire in 1921. She attended schools in London and Colchester. Until 1943 she studied English at Somerville College, Oxford, then worked as a journalist and wrote for children's magazines. Between 1948 and 1972 she wrote books for children.  Her best-known work is The Twelve and the Genii which won the Carnegie Medal in 1962 and the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis in 1968.

By William Brighty Rands

A Rainbow Tree in SevenoaksSeven sweet singing birds up in a tree;
    Seven swift sailing-ships white upon the sea;
Seven bright weathercocks shining in the
Seven slim racehorses ready for a run;
 Seven gold butterflies, flittering over head;
Seven red roses blowing in a garden bed;
 Seven white lilies, with honey bees inside them;
  Seven round rainbows with clouds to divide them;
                                             Seven pretty little girls with sugar on their lips;
A Rainbow Tree in SevenoaksSeven  witty little boys, whom everybody tips;
Seven nice fathers, to call little maids "joys";
Seven nice mothers, to kiss the little boys;
Seven nights running I dreamt it all plain;
 With bread and jam for supper
  I could dream it all again!

                                         William Brighty Rands



Relics and ratsRelics and rats
cantrips and cats
giraffes with short necks
and kangaroos without flaps.
Teapots and toads
dead skunks and stoves
terrible journies
on ramshackle roads.
Wombats with wings
see-saws with stings
these are just some
of my favourite things.
 Relics and rats
Kangaroos without flapsimps in straw hats
maidens with cherries
and silken cravattes.
Kettles and kippers
vicars and strippers
chocolate ice cream
and ladies with flippers.
Fairies and foam
griffin and gnome -
fine in their place,
but not in the home!
Teapot and cucumber coffee
Teapots and toads
leprechauns in brogues
cucumber coffee
and squid a-la-mode.
Owls baked in omelettes
cats stuck in pelmets
children on stilts
and grannies in helmets
Pig in pink dressPigs in pink dresses
tarts with dark tresses
lime-flavoured ladders
and foreign addresses
Daisies that sing
button that ping
these are some more
of my favourite things.

I bet your favourite things aren't as exciting
as those of Willowdown.©

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   A Willowdown/Seligor Experience
Rhythm's and Rhyme's

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Here are some very different tales and rhymes.

These stories are very funny, though I don't think they are ideal for the very young. Actually my grand daughter of 9 and her brother of 10, think they are brilliant, but I suggest you check them out before reading them to the youngster.

A bit wicked, but such good fun.


There was once a young gentleman whose household goods consisted only of a Boot jack and a Comb, but he had the most beautiful Shirt collar, and
it is the history of this collar we are about to hear.
It was growing old, so it thought of marrying, and it so happened that at the wash it met with a Garter.
"Never have I seen anyone so slim and elegant,so delicate
and pretty!" the Shirt collar said. "May I ask your name?"
"That I never give!" the Garter answered.
"Where do you live?" the Shirt collar then asked.
But the Garter was too modest to answer such a question. For I
"You are a sash, no doubt!" the collar said. "A waistband,
 see you are useful as well as ornamental, my dear young lady."
"You must not speak to me!"
 the Garter said, "I am sure I never gave you any encouragement!"
"Oh when one is as beautiful as you, no encouragement is needed."
"Do not come too near me!" the Garter said, "for you look so like a man."
"So I am a man!" the Shirt collar said. "I am a young gentleman, and am possessed of a Boot jack and a comb."
Now that were not true,for that was its master, whose property these
were, but it was fond of bragging. "
Do not come near me! the Garter cried, "for I am not used to it."
"Dearest!" the Collar said, but just then they were taken out of the
wash-tub and hung across a line in the sunshine to dry,
and then put upon the ironing board.
"Dear lady!" the Collar said, when the flat iron came.
"My dear widow lady, I am quite warm. I am quite another being.
I have lost all my wrinkles, but you are burning me!

Oh dear, will you marry me?"
"Spooney!" the Flat iron said, and it went proudly across the Collar,
for it imagined itself a boiler, destined to be a railway. "Spooney!" it said.
The Shirt collar had become a little ravelled, at the edge,
so out came the Scissors to trim it.
"Oh you are, no doubt, first dancer!" the Shirt collar cried.
"How you can stretch out your legs! I have never seen
anything so charming. No human being can come up to you!" "I know that," the Scissors said.
"You desrve to be a Duchess," the Collar said. I have only
a Boot jack and a Comb.  Had I but a Dukedom!"
"Why, he has the impudence to make love to me!" the
Scissors cried, and as they grew angry, gave it a deep cut,
and so it was cast to one side.
"I suppose now I must make love to the Comb," the Collar said.
"It is remarkable, miss, how you keep all your teeth.
Have you ever thought of marrying?"
"Of course! I am engaged to the Boot jack." replied the Comb.
"Engaged!" the Shirt collar said, and as there was no one left
whom it could marry, it despised matrimony.
A long tome after, the Collar lay in a box at the paper mill.
There was a considerable company of rags; the fine to themselves, the coarse to themselves, as is right and proper.
They all had plenty to say, but the Shirt collar most of all, for it was a mighty boaster. "I have had an immence number of sweethearts," it said. "The girls would not leave me alone. But   then there was no denying I was a proper young gentleman then, and I had a Boot jack as well as a Comb, though I used neither. You should have seen me at that time! I shall never forget my first love; she was a Sash, so fine, so delicate, and so pretty, and for love of me she threw herself into the wash tub. Then there was a widow who burned for me,
 but I would have  nothing to do with her, and she turned black with anger.
There was also the first dancer, who gave me a wound, the mark of which I bear still; she was very sharp and cutting. My own Comb was in love with me, and lost all her teeth from disappointment.
But I am most sorry for the Garter - I mean the Sash - which threw
herself into the wash tub. Ah, I have much on my conscience, and it
will do me good to become white paper." So it did, and so did all the rags
become white paper, but the Shirt collar, just that piece on which this story is written, which happened because it bragged so of things that were not true. And let us take a lesson, that we may not fall into the same trap. For no one can tell whether we may not some day come into the rag-box, and be turned into  white paper, and have to tell our own history - our most private affairs even - just like a Shirt collar.

A very strange tale, written by the wonderful pen of Hans Christian Andersen.


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These are a few more
tales from Roman times,
The Last Gladiator.

The  Cat Came Back (1)

Well, old Mr. Johnson had troubles all his own,
He had an old yeller cat that wouldn't leave home,
Tried everything he knew to get the cat to stay away,
Even took him up to Canada and told him for to stay,


But the cat came back, the very next day,
The kitty came back, 'cause he wouldn't stay away,

Well, the farmer on the corner said he'd shoot him on sight,
So he loaded up his gun full of rocks and dynamite,
The gun went off, heard ALL over town,
Little pieces of the man was all that they found,


Well, they give a boy a dollar, to set the cat afloat,
So he took him up the river, in a sack in a boat,
Well, the fishing it was fine, 'till the news got around,
That the boat was missing and the boy was drowned,


Well, they give him to a man, going up in a balloon,
And they told him for to leave him with the Man in the Moon,
The balloon got busted, back to Earth it sped,
And seven miles away they picked the man up dead,


Well, they finally found a way, this cat for to fix,
And they put him in an orange crate on Route 66,
Come a ten ton truck with a twenty ton load,
Scattered pieces of the orange crate all down the road,


Well, they took him to Cape Canaveral, and they put him in a place,
Shot him in a U.S. rocket going 'way out in space,
Well, they finally thought the cat was out of human reach,
Next day they got a call from Miami Beach,

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Brian May, lead guitarist of Queen introducing some of the Guitar greats of the 60's, 70's, 80's and even 90's.
Starting with Joe Satriani, then Stevie Vai,
Joe Walsh. Paul Rogers and more. Fantastic sounds with Cozy Powell to accompany on drums. This concert is followed by Lynyrd Skynyrd with "Freebyrd" Slash playing Hey Joe, Guns and Roses with Knocking on Heavens Door, Gary Moore with "Still got the Blues. Two from the Immortal, Pink Floyd, Wish you were Here and Shine on you Crazy Diamond.  Then as a special treat the last track is...
well come inside and see

The Cat Came Back  (2)
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Old man Johnson had troubles of his own.
Had a little cat that wouldn't leave him alone.
He tried and tried to give him away,
He gave him to a man going far, far away.


But the cat came back, the very next day.
But the cat came back, they thought he was a goner,
But the cat came back, he just couldn't stay away, away, away.


He gave it to a man going up in a ballon
Told him to give it to the man in the moon
The ballon came down about 20 miles away
And where that man is we just can't say.


He gave him to a boy with a dollar note,
Told him to take up the river in a boat,
Tied a rock round its neck must have weighed a hundred pounds,
And now they're dredging the river for the little boy who drowned.


He gave hime to a man going way, way out west,
Told him to give it to the one he favored best,
First the train jumped track, then it hit the rail,
And no one is alive today to tell the gruesome tale.


Old man Johnson said he'd shoot that cat on sight,
So he loaded up his shotgun with nails and dynamite.
He waited and waited for that cat to come around,
But ninety seven pieces of the man were all they ever found


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 Nits and Gnats
(advice to young nomads, possibly!)

O send not nits to eat gnats
owl with moon and stars
when the night is full of crickets and bats
but stand straight and tall,

without chain or ball and distribute fresh welcoming mats.

Voice ne'er an indelicate word
cricketto maiden or lad sipping curd,
for should the wind change
thine fate to re-arrange
it may summon the fearsome Felt bird.

The Bird it is jealous of sweetmeats and prunes
(it was raised in a sea-pirates favourite spittoon),
it gleefully chortles and chokes on old grapes
and mouths imprecations when blustery winds break.
felt raven bird
So heed ye with diligence the words of my song
lest your days on this Earth be not overlong
- there's many a fine and vacuous knave
come foul of this avian beasts escapades.

Harvest your nits and starve them of gnats
when nights are chock-ful of crickets and bats
- rein in your moths and shackle all lice
Batand before taking thought, always think twice.

The Bird it is pretty, and the Bird it is vain
- it scorns the humble bicycle if it can travel by train.
But despite its bright glamour and glittering eye
the discriminating soul may surely descry
that the Bird is best baked in a meat and veg pie.

Look not to your laurels,
nor gloat o'er your pines;
hoard not your sheep
or garrulous swine,
but inculcate amity between nits and gnats
and polish the fluff off your scrawny black cats.


Please take this as it was written ....for fun

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little boy with teddyYoung boys are nice in rissoles and girls make a delicious stew
 but best of all are babies - believe me, I've had quite  a few!
They're sweet, they're soft and they're tender and sing the most piteous song as they slide down your throat to your stomach
- the place they were born to belong!

Fathers are mean and bad tempered and mothers are ugly and cruel,
but babies have fair dispositions - I generally find as a rule.
I try to avoid ancient grandmas, they're stringy and tasteless and tough,
whilst sisters and nieces and aunties have tongues that at times can be rough. baby kiss
Young boys are nice in a rissole and girls make a delicious stew, but the treat I like best is a baby - believe me, it's perfectly true!
Their bones are like crispy fried bean shoots,
their eyes are like seeds in red jam,
their limbs are the wings on a sparrow, their belly-pork goes well with yam.

Yes, young boys are nice in a rissole and girls make a delicious stew.
But line little babies up for me, please- in a neat and orderly queue!
I'm not very fond of Great Uncles and stepbrothers leave me quite cold.
mummy and babyDomestic pets can help indigestion but too many cause excess gas-
If you don't mind a little suggestion avoid those with rashes or mould!
Terrapins make a nice starter and goldfish go quite well with cheese;
little boy
but the main course, of course, is a baby with tasty and well-seasoned knees!
I don't mind the sex of the baby- there's little to tell them apart:
With both one end dribbles and splutters, whilst the other just piddles and farts.

O bring me a baby for breakfast, with fingers to dip in the yolk.
Or else bring `em fried or sunny side up -but scrambled is a bit of a joke.
Unless their prepared with caution and care they can go all gooey and run

and nothing is worse than skull, nails or hair, in one's teeth- it detracts from
the fun.

A young lad is nice in a rissole and girls they make delicious stew.
My favourite dish is a Sylvia Sandwich, followed by Custard and Sue.
Little BabyA Peter is fine prepared in white wine, with fish and asparagus tips-but what can compare to a choice leg of Claire or Dorothy's fresh fingertips? Now some say it's vicious and hostile to eat little babies at all but once you have tasted their tender young flesh, other meats wont doswinging on the moon at all.

I try to behave circumspectly, I never eat orphans or twins.
I never touch mites, or lone kids on bikes,
or fairies and angels with wings,
But young boys go well in a rissole and girls make a delicious stew;and best of all are the babies that crawl, straight up and burble at you.

Willowdown/Seligor's Emporium.co.uk copyright 2006.


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        At the Feast of Minutes
        the Goblins drink blood like milk,
        sucking on bones like licorice sticks,
        sucking the juice from kidneys and livers
        like children eat apples and pears,
        crunching up knuckles like tasty sherbet lemons.

        At the Feast of Hours
Like hoops of delicious spaghetti
        the Goblins dip their spoons
        into lovely human brains,
        slurping and smacking their leathery lips,
        savouring tendons like spears of asparagus,
        lingering over par-boiled ligaments
        like hoops of delicious spaghetti,
        munching pickled eyes
        like crispy cod-balls in batter.

        At the Feast of Days
        the Goblins chew thoughtfully on braised and toasted hearts,
        savouring tongues dipped in honey,
sitting down to eat
        burping and picking their teeth
        with their fingernails of elegant young d'butantes.

        At the Feast of Years
        the Goblins pick languidly at the glazed and sugared babies,
        popping their little skulls like the shells of roasted chestnuts,
        rolling their tiny hands and feet around in their mouths
        from cheek to cheek,
        regaling each other with witty after-dinner repartee
        and rubbing their swollen bellies with pleasure.
Swamp Goblins come to tea
 bee n farie       At the Feast of Lives,      
        the Goblins groan and yawn,

        and one by one,
        nod off to sleep,
        to dream their Goblin dreams.

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