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  • Writer's pictureDavid Mathews

Inspired by Shackleton and ice

Our grandchildren’s primary school in Sussex gets things just right. Last year, Ernest Shackleton and Endurance. Boring dead blokes with frosty beards? Oh no, much more than that: a challenge to the imagination.

Megan, 9 at the time, read me her Shackleton poem (just published) over the phone. It works best out loud, like rap. Try it, at speed. Bring out the rhythm.

For Months and Months

For months and months I ominously wait, Carefully hoping I can look back, Several crewmen have left our pack, Steep cliffs and mountains, Bad news seems like a fountain.

For months and months, Ice is all I see, All the blizzards are targeting me, I wait and wait for our trip to commence, Antarctica is like a closing fence.

I want to go, But the ice stops me, We are all so sorry, We are sad, not jolly, Ice in my eyes, And the thought of us drowning Is not very nice.

For months and months, We’ll never get out, All I feel is panic and doubt, It is like a knife That is stabbing my life, And I don’t know if I will survive.

Stranded for life.

Megan Hughes , St Michael’s Primary School, Withyham, in Poetry Wonderland - Poems from Sussex, ed Holly Sheppard, Young Writers, 2019.

I visited St Michael’s a couple of years ago and was rewarded with a set of six word stories written by Megan’s class. I loved them.

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