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S e a    P o e m s

By Josie Whitehead

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This beautiful illustration is a gift from
Peter Hudspith, Yorkshire Artist.

I N   T H E   W A S H

By Josie Whitehead

Written in Anapaestic Metre.  
In the Wash

The sea’s a big laundry that’s pounding away -
And it's cleaning the world in a wonderful way.
     It washes the fishes, it cleanses the rocks
     And I’m sure the sea wouldn’t mind doing my socks.

It cleans all the sea shells, then leaves them to dry
On a sandy, gold seashore beneath a blue sky.
     There is one thing  for certain which you'll  know is true:
     Many shells will be found by small children like you.

Now look down on the seashore.  What else can you find?
Those big rollers have left lots of washed things behind.
     You're bound to find pebbles left there on the sand -
     So go on, pick them up; feel them hard in your hand.

They are such pretty colours and smooth as can be,
And they’ve travelled our world in that salty old sea.
      Now as well as those pebbles, you may find a shell. 
      In the sea are lots more where small sea creatures dwell.

Put a shell near your ear.  Oh, now what can you hear?
It’s the sound of the ocean, that’s perfectly clear!
      What you hear is, in fact, not the sound of the sea,
      But the noise all around you that echoes, you see.
You may find a rock pool with small sea creatures there.
Oh don't poke them or prod them - that wouldn't be fair!
     It’s a pity they can’t tell us of the things that they’ve seen
     In the ocean’s big laundry that’s washed them so clean. 

Copyright on all my poems

This poem, well tried and tested on teachers and children in 188 countries of the world, has proved  itself to be a winner.  Thousands visited just this one poem last year.  I hope your children enjoyed it.   I have tried to paint a picture in words and with the added beauty of anapaestic tetrameter, ie di di DUM di di DUM  which, to me, flows along like the waves coming and going on the sandy shore.  Without this music in the poem, it would be as flat as a mill-pond, whereas the sea has so much rhythm in its waves.                                                                                                                     


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