All About Animals: Animal Poetry

Pete Traynor, How Would You Feel If A Cow Ate You?

How would you feel if a cow ate you?
Caught you and bopped you,
And chopped you in two,
Fried you or broiled you or put you in a stew
With carrots, potatoes and an onion or two?
So sometimes at dinner when you’re starting to chew,
Put down your steak and ponder this through,
How would you feel if a cow ate you?

Philip Larkin, Take One Home For The Kiddies

On shallow straw, in shadeless glass,
Huddled by empty bowls, they sleep:
No dark, no dam, no earth, nor grass –
Mam, get us one of them to keep.

Living toys are something novel,
But it soon wears off somehow.
Fetch the shoebox, fetch the shovel –
Mam, we’re playing funerals now.

Jenny Moxham, They will never know a Spring

As I walked along the street today
My heart began to sing
For I passed a mass of daffodils
And I felt the joy of Spring.

I marvelled at the colours
Of the flowers everywhere
And it filled my heart with pleasure
To see the trees no longer bare.

Then I thought of all the animals
And no more my heart could sing
And I ached for all the millions
Who will never know a Spring.

I thought of pigs in factory farms
In squalid, filthy pens
And I thought of spider-ridden sheds
Stacked up with battery hens.

How dare man rob them of their world
Of colour, scent and flowers!
And give instead a filthy shed
To spend their lonely hours.

They’ll never feel a ray of sun
Their hearts will never sing.
Locked away from life and beauty
They will never know a Spring.

Benjamin Zephaniah, A Day in the Life of Danny the Cat

Danny wakes up
Finds a private place in the garden,
He returns
Plays with the plants
And sleeps.

Danny wakes up
Inspects the garden
Finds a cosy place
And sleeps.

Danny wakes up
Comes indoors
Inspects the carpet
Scratches himself
And sleeps.

Danny wakes up
Goes in the garden
Over the fence
Has a fight with Ginger
Makes a date with Sandy
Climbs on to next door’s shed
And sleeps.

Danny wakes up
Comes indoors
Rubs up the chair leg
Rubs up a human leg
Sharpens his claws
On a human leg
And sleeps.

Danny wakes up
Watches a nature programme
Finds a private place in the garden,
Finds Sandy in next door’s garden
Next door’s dog finds Danny
Sandy runs north
Danny runs home
Eats an sleeps.

Benjamin Zephaniah, Luv Song

I am in luv wid a hedgehog
I’ve never felt this way before
I have luv fe dis hedgehog
An everyday I luv her more an more,
She lives by de shed
Where weeds and roses bed
An I just want de world to know
She makes me glow.

I am in luv wid a hedgehog
She’s making me hair stand on edge,
So in luv wid dis hedgehog
An her friends
Who all live in de hedge
She visits me late
An eats off Danny’s plate
But Danny’s a cool tabby cat
He leaves it at dat.

I am in luv wid a hedgehog,
She’s gone away so I must wait
But I do miss my hedgehog
Everytime she goes to hibernate.

John Cotton, Beetle

Glossy black beetle
Gracefully walking
In your forest of grass.
A nest of leaves,
A crack in the wall,
You’re safe at home at last!

Barry Buckingham, Leopards

It’s hard to see lions
when they lie in the grass
or deer among the trees
where they’ve trotted.
It’s hard to see rabbits
stood in a field,
but leopards are always spotted.

Wes Magee, Who’s seen Jip?

Jip’s run away.
Left home for good.
I just knew he would,
For earlier today
he was shouted at by dad.

“Bad dog!
Bad dog!

Now Jip’s a stray.
What will he eat?
Where will he sleep?
I’m so sad I could weep.
Oh doomsday, gloomsday
My dog has gone.

Who’s seen Jip?


Aileen Fisher, Open House

If I were a tree
I’d want to see
a bird with a song
on a branch of me.

I’d want a quick
little squirrel to run
up and down
and around, for fun.

I’d want the cub
of a bear to call,
and a porcupine, big,
and a tree toad, small.

I’d want a katydid
out of sight
on one of my leaves
to sing at night.

And down by my roots
I’d want a mouse
with six little mouselings
in her house.

Used by permission of Marian Reiner on behalf of the Boulder Public Library Foundation

Aileen Fisher, My Puppy

It’s funny
my puppy
knows just how I feel.

When I’m happy
he’s yappy
and squirms like an eel.

When I’m grumpy
he’s slumpy
and stays at my heel.

It’s funny
my puppy
knows such a great deal.

Used by permission of Marian Reiner on behalf of the Boulder Public Library Foundation

Pete Traynor, Oh, Deer

Wouldn’t it be awful, wouldn’t it be queer,
To be playing in the woods and be shot by a deer?
To be strolling with friends in the afternoon sun,
Just to be stopped by some deer with a gun,
And blasted to bits while out having some fun?
So consider this thought and remember it clear,
It wouldn’t be fun to be shot by a deer.

Elaine Morandini, My Little Monster

Fur of grey
Eyes of green
Fiercest monster ever seen
Stalks at night
Sleeps all day
I am his most favourite prey
Sharpest fangs and longest claws
He hides behind the bedroom doors
And even though his teeth do hurt
And he sleeps on my best shirt
I love my cat, and that is that!!!

Kate Williams, Stripes through the Streaks

Through the streaks of stalk and stem,
through the strands of twine and twig,
stripes are sliding.
Black through gold, gold through black,
slanted strips through slatted slits,
velvet limbs through woven looms,
wild-cat stripes through wild-wood streaks
are sliding…

(A tiger)

Poem copyright Kate Williams

Kate Williams, Albatross

Lonely ocean bird
surfing the sunset’s glow –
so bright,
so white,
so graceful,
so grand,
so silent,
so strong,

Poem copyright Kate Williams

Kate Williams, Creepy-Crawly Riddle

He’s a
flit-away, flap-away,
this-a-way, that-a-way,

(A ladybird)

Poem copyright Kate Williams