The very first thing I ever got published in a real book was a poem. Well, two poems, actually, which was even better! They were put in a collection of school poems called LOOK OUT! The Teachers are Coming and it had a great cover:

I love writing poems, and for me the best bit is getting the rhythm and the rhyme just right. Sometimes that’s very hard to do, and I can spend ages stuck on one line. I think today I’m going to show you a poem that no one has ever seen before! It is called Our Lolipop Man and is based on a real person. The illustration below is by my daughter Anna Rickards who is an animator and illustrator.

Our Lollipop Man
Our Lollipop man is called Donald Macdonald,
his hair is as white as the snow,
he’s quite a bright fellow
all decked out in yellow –
we cross when he says we can go, you know,
we cross when he says we can go.
Our Lollipop man plays his bagpipes at weddings
(or birthdays, if business is slow)
he really looks smart in
his pink-and-green tartan
and puts on a fabulous show, you know,
he puts on a fabulous show.
Our Lollipop man has a beautiful parrot
called Florence (her friends call her Flo)
she sits on his shoulder
and when it gets colder
she squawks if it’s going to snow, you know,
she squawks if it’s going to snow.
Our Lollipop man is a colourful character –
wouldn’t you say it was so?
And if we’re in trouble
he’s there on the double –
a wonderful person to know, you know,

a wonderful person to know.