Children go through a very long phase where they love all things poo, bum, wee, farts, snot, ear wax – get the picture. My kids love Paul Cookson’s book Disgusting Poems for the same reason.

I thought I’d start writing some poetry for kids, so here goes.

Enter at Own Risk

Messy’s what I really like
and messy’s what I’ve got.

Mum would like it pristine clean
she’d spoil my favourite spot.

My books don’t really need a shelf
there’s plenty of room on the floor.

They’re better than a carpet
they can also block the door.

Why want them in order
of size, shape and subject matter.

I can see the covers better
when they’re laid out flat and splattered.

The best thing about a messy room
is the places you’ve got to hide

crusty undies and broken cups
and something else that died.

There’s yucky stuff that could be food
befitting an alien snack.

Who would have thought that yellow
banana skins go such a shade of black.

I draw many lovely pictures
leaving paper everywhere

and when the wind blows through the room
they float throughout the air.

Stuffed toys and pillows fluff about
wherever they want to go.

I can’t control their movements
this is not the army you know.

Super balls and marbles
roll around without a care

only causing serious injury
when you enter unaware.

My room is like a mixing bowl
for smells that shock the nose.

I’m warning new arrivals
it reeks of rotten toes.

But my nose has grown accustomed
to the lack of fragrant air.

To me it is quite comforting
only causes Mum despair.

So if you wish to visit me
and enter my abode

you do so at your own risk
something might just explode.

18 thoughts on “Enter at Own Risk

  1. ABSOLUTELY CORRECT (And I hate to spoil the anticipation of future neatness, but some of them don’t grow out of it).


  2. You are obviously quite experienced when it comes to the stinky state of young boys bedrooms. The key phrases here are crusty undies, something else that died and rotten toes. It can be a horror movie in a teenage boy’s room. Hilarious.

    1. Thanks Selma. I won’t think about the teenage years just yet – ha,ha. Would you believe this is more about Tessa than Michael (esp. the book bit) and a bit of exaggeration for fun.

    1. Thanks slpmartin. Boys do tend to have that reputation. My two brothers, who shared a room, certainly came up to par with their mouldy fruit and other unmentionables. But my 7yo daughter Tessa is trying, successfully to compete.

  3. Love it Gabe! There is a real hole in the children’s poetry market in Australia. One of my favourite Australian poet’s working in this area is Michelle A. Taylor. Her two collections ‘If Bees Rode Shiny Bicycles’ and ‘If the World Belonged to Dogs’ are wonderful and well worth the read.

  4. Well I only had a girl and she was a neatness freak from the word ‘GO’ – a throwback to my mother, we always thought. (And she’s now a PhD in psychology, so maybe she can explain how this happened. Not surprisingly, she and Mom got on famously.) She wouldn’t even allow her friends to sit on her bed!) So when A and I hooked up some 30+ years ago, it was a rude shock to suddenly have his two near-adult sons living with us on and off. And I learned late about ‘crusty undies’ and ‘the lack of fragrant air’. Wish I’d had your poem to prepare me.

    1. My son Michael is a bit of a neat freak himself, though a little stinky at times. I’ve written this from my experience of a number of little boys (cousins, nephews, brothers) and also my daughter whose room looks like a bomb hit it much of the time. Nothing prepares you for crusty undies I’m afraid πŸ™‚

  5. Gabrielle, as it is you writing and not Tessa, I can only assume the detail is from your own childhood experiences, smelly feet and all! You don’t fool me! Lovely stuff, more plese!

  6. risky ha ha and very funny. remembered how i was unwilling to understand the value of vacuuming when i was a kid. it was like ‘what’s the point’ ha ha. i think of that now when i vacuum.

  7. wonderful stuff.
    Mine are 18 and 16 but I remember when my daughter fit this bill.My son is an alien from some neat planet ,poor child.

  8. I like how your sense of humor comes through, via poem, on the page. Reading this and “Twisted Lemon” has been so much fun. I’m still cracking up over the lines “I’ve done my time / in this teacup excuse / for a residence” and “Who would have / thought that yellow / banana skins go such a shade of black.” πŸ˜‰ And the beat in this poem, so even to the ear. πŸ™‚

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