Children’s Verse
{A Bumbershoot Special Feature}


John Whitworth

is one of those fattish, baldish, backward-looking, provincial poets in which England is so rich.

His ninth collection, Being the Bad Guy, was published by Peterloo in November 2007. You might also consider Writing Poetry published by A & C Black, one of those how-to books; it has run to a second edition and is jolly good, though he (the poet) would say that, wouldn’t he?

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Black Velveteen

Vampires of velveteen
Flit through the shadows then
Hang from your ivy with
        Toes to the moon,
Row upon row of such
Sweet little faces, each
Wizened and shrivelled and
        Black as a prune.
Listen, oh listen, you
Good little children, the
Velveteen Vampires will
        Come for you soon.

                                                (How they croon...)

Open the windows, you
Scrump-ti-ous children, we
Want you to cuddle us
        Ever so tight.
Better than teddies or
Hot water bottles, a
Velveteen Vampire will
        See you all right.
Sleepytime, kiddiwinks,
Beddybyes, cuddlekins,
Naughtikins toothiboots
        Coming tonight

                                                FOR A BITE!