Poems to share

Go Explore the Countryside

A summer’s day, a bunch of friends
Bows and arrows, building dens
Make believe and let’s pretend
All of this and much more when
Finding tallest trees to climb
Leave reality behind
Hide and seek and lots to find
Losing track of space and time
A place to chase and seek and hide
Go explore the countryside

Rope swings over muddy ditches
Stepping stones and building bridges
Snagging clothes on hawthorn hedges
Balancing on stony ledges
Buttercups beneath the chin
Spinning jennies spin and spin
Grass between the thumbs that sing
Dock leaf cures for nettle stings
Hikes to hike and bikes to ride
Go explore the countryside

A piece of penknife poetry
Initialled love hearts there to see
Carved graffiti on the tree
From here to eternity
Flat and smooth skimming stones
Four-leaf clovers, pine cones
Branches look like monster bones
Escape from all the mobile phones
All of these and more beside
Go explore the countryside

Be a cowboy, be a pirate
Let the geography inspire it
Be a soldier, be a knight
Find that stick to fight that fight
Forest shadows, grass that’s high
A place to laugh or shout or cry
Caves and bones and stones and rocks
Blowing dandelion clocks
Imagination – far and wide
Go explore the countryside

Let your dog run and run
Lose your dad and hide from Mum
There is space for everyone
In God’s fairground filled with fun
Time for families to run wild
Find that hidden inner child
A fallen tree’s a crocodile
Lose yourself and stay awhile
Feel the secrets on the breeze
Feel the past within the trees
Eternity in flowing streams
Rugged rocks and crystal seams
In this eternal field of dreams

Go explore, go explore
Go explore – it’s what it’s for
All of this and much, much more
Mother Nature’s superstore
Where geography, biology
And history all collide
Th majesty and mystery
Passing time for me and you
Lots of things to make and do
Yesterdays or something new
Go explore – you know it’s true
The magic here, the magic there
Take your time to stop and stare
Be sanctified and goggle-eyed
Satisfied and gratified
Come back to
Come back to
The magic of the countryside

Paul Cookson

Paul Cookson has spent twenty-five years visiting schools, libraries and literature festivals, performing poems, leading workshops, publishing books and making people laugh – and he still isn’t tired. The Works is his bestselling anthology, and his latest collection of his own favourite poems is Paul Cookson’s Joke Shop.