Imagining a TARDIS for World Poetry Day

The lovely Saime Jung at Twinkl, where teachers create and share inspiring resources for students, has compiled a list of 15 favourite poetry blogs, which includes Science Rhymes!  She also asked “Why do you think that learning poetry is so cool?”  Poetry has so many styles, forms and facets.  Some sends our imagination into different situations, feelings and places.  One person may connect with a poem in a way that makes them laugh or gasp, whereas others might find the same words deeply emotional. 

What’s your answer this question? 

We might say rhymes help us remember; poems create crazy ideas or that verses can be shared over and over again.  What do you reckon to this suggestion for World Poetry Day?

Imagining a TARDIS  by Celia Berrell
(Time And Relative Dimension In Space)

What a wonderful toy
is the TARDIS!
It’s Doctor Who’s
little blue box.

It’s bigger inside.
So much stuff it can hide,
from a skate-park to
clean pairs of socks.

a magical TARDIS,
do you think it’s a
secret we’d keep?

Or would that depend
on inviting some friends …
and whether
we’d need any sleep?

With a
stay-or-go-anywhere TARDIS,
there are infinite things
we could do.

It has so much appeal,
for a toy that’s not real …
let’s imagine instead
that it’s true!

This poem was inspired by an article called The Physics of the Doctor Who TARDIS box and was first published in Australian Children’s Poetry.



Science Rhymes grew a collection of YOUR SCIENCE POEMS about the fruity facts and leafy love we have for our fruits and vegetables, to celebrate this year’s SCIENCE WEEK (14-22 August).  Thank you to everyone who shared their poems.  Please enjoy our harvest of tasty poetry!

22 Delectable Fruits and Vegetables by Michayla
(St Peter’s Catholic College, Tuggerah, NSW)

I love these fruits and vegetables.
In great abundance they flourish.
Nourishing and delectable,
our Earth they have embellished.

Their juice trickles down our chin,
with flavours so divine.
Plump fruit with flesh so thin,
a taste like wine refined.

Beneath the earth those vegetables grow,
dug deep into soil and grime.
Nourished in the darkness below,
their roots and soil entwined.

Animals feast on these delectables,
spreading their seeds far and wide.
They grow and ripen, as they are able,
to tempt the creatures where they abide.

With fruits and vegetables life can flourish,
singing with their sweetest scent.
They help make Earth healthy and nourished,
so creatures and humans are well content.


Do your cabbages and other brassica vegetables sometimes taste a bit … bitter?  That will be the flavinoid (flavour chemical) kaempferol!

21 The Properties of a Cabbage  by Sophia

As I watch my cabbages grow and grow,
the hungry caterpillars add to their woes.

Then they sprout and then they’re picked.
For dinner they’re cooked and taste perfect.

Not all the cabbages grown for our dishes
are sweet and mild-tasting, just what one wishes.

Their taste’s from the chemical kaempferol
which doesn’t affect our cholesterol.

Whether eaten as sauerkraut or boiled with sprouts
some of their vitamins get cooked out.

If it’s boiled in water the chemistry changes.
Some soluble vitamins go down the drainage.

I’ve detailed their properties, please don’t ignore.
Go eat some cabbages, cooked or raw!


20 Glorious Potato  by Alma
(Pennant Hills Public School, Pennant Hills NSW)

I push the veg around my plate,
Where do they come from?
Who grew, who ate?
I open my mouth to ask my Mum …

But no! Instead, I shall consult a book.
I know where to go,
I know where to look.
My eyes grow wider, aha! Aho!

Growing below, deep down in the soil
Storing-up sugars from the Sun,
starchy tubers, hard to spoil.
But where do they really come from?

South America’s their native land.
By boat potatoes went
to USA, to Ireland.
A food that’s so convenient.

Mashed, fried, roasted, boiled,
Hark! This veg, let it glow,
We’ve all been spoiled
by the glorious potato!


19 Amazing Fruits  by Soha
(Mary MacKillop College, Kensington SA)

Fruits are so sweet
Make you jump into the air
With lots of colours

Fruits make you dream
Eat them with their shiny skin
Unable to resist

Fruits are the key
To make children more happy
To give them a treat

Fruits are the way
To sweet fructose cheer
It is happiness

Fruits are delicate
Leave them out too long
they will turn very sad

So, eat sweet fruit now!
It’s the way to be good
They are the juice of life


18 Fruit and Veggies  by Jacqui
(Pennant Hills Public School, Pennant Hills, NSW)

Before you begin your day
pick up some fruit and eat away.
Apple, peach and watermelon,
banana, mango and lemon.

Lots of veggies taste good too,
as a snack or in a stew.
Carrots, peas, lettuce and more,
veggies are awesome, so never ignore.

Apples are juicy with a crunch,
bananas are great, just to munch.
Fruit and veg are so nutritious,
not to mention that they’re delicious.

So, before you begin your day,
pick up some fruit and eat away,
When fruit’s your thing and you’re feeling hungry,
just don’t eat the ones with mouldy fungi!


17 Save Our Planet  by Braxton
(Brisbane Boys’ College, Toowong QLD)

The ocean is moping,
the reef is weeping,
the air is in pain
and we are to blame.

We can save them by using
sustainable electricity.
Stop burning coal,
and those fossil fuels.

Stop cutting down trees,
be more caring please.
This is how we do it,
how we
         Save Our Planet!


16 Tomato Decisions (Limerick)  by Gabrielle
(Mary MacKillop College, Kensington SA)

Is it a fruit or a vegetable?
It’s true they’re juicy and edible,
have a great tangy taste,
which can make pizza paste.
A collectable fruit for a festival!


15 Watermelon  by Corina
(Mary MacKillop College, Kensington SA)

A watermelon grows from the ground.
A succulent gourd that’s green and round,
it tastes so juicy, sweet and fruity,
one of Earth’s beauties,  the best fruit around!


Grapes are an example of a soft fruit that WANTS to be eaten!  That way, its seeds are dispersed far away from the parent vine.  So don’t feel sad for the grape eaten by this little ape.

14 Grape on a roll  by Emily
(Mary MacKillop College, Kensington SA)

Here comes a rolling grape
caught by a hungry baby ape.
Falling freshly off the vine,
this outcome is so NOT divine.
Let’s hope another rolling grape
gets to make a great escape!

Grapes are the perfect shape to pop in your mouth!  These ready-wrapped berries contain water, sugars (glucose and fructose) and organic acids (tartaric, malic and a little citric).  But berries naturally contain seeds don’t they?  So how can we grow seedless grapes?

13 Grapes and Crepes  by Lucy
(Mary MacKillop College, Kensington SA)

I love to eat grapes,

they’re a wonderful shape.
Some juicy and sweet,
while some are sour.

They’re my favourite thing
to eat with crepes.
Perhaps that’s why

I love to eat grapes.


12 Mango Stars  by Amelie
(Mary MacKillop College, Kensington SA)

Do you know how much I love mangoes?

I love the way mangoes grow on trees.
I love eating mangoes in a breeze.
I also love mangoes when they’re squeezed.

Unripe ones can be very hard.
Those mangoes end up in my pickle jar.
But every mango is a star!

Have I mentioned how much I love mangoes?


Here are three Haku poems by students from Mary MacKillop College, Kensington SA.


Have you ever heard of a cumquat?  It’s orange’s tiny cousin!


10 Cumquats and Wotnots  by Diane Finlay

Did you ever
tango with a mango
or mince with a quince
peel a lychee by the sea
or kiss a ‘blue’ berry?

Can you really
make rhymes with limes
or mix melons with lemons
blow GIANT raspberries
or get stuck in a strawberry jam?

Did you ever
scare a pear
or grapple with an apple
watch peaches on beaches
or discover plums have bums?

Can you really
tie cumquats with wotnots
feed grapes to apes
put a pawpaw on a seesaw
or be mean to a nectarine?

Did you ever
can-can with a rambutan
see grapefruits in suits
take kiwis to Fiji
or wonder why this rhyme began?


9 Apples  by Toni Newell

An apple a day keeps the doctor away,
Is a saying heard over the years,
But is there any truth to this?
Or just a slogan of profiteers?
Apples are beneficial,
Low cholesterol, sodium and fat,
However, eating them in excess,
May damage tooth enamel in fact.
Apples are acidic,
But are rich in vitamin C,
Also contain lots of fibre,
plus pectin, vitamins A and B.
Like anything else, another saying,
Everything in moderation,
Follow this saying and you will see,
The benefits of your gustation.


There are good and not-so-good vegetable smells …

8 Notorious asparagus  by Celia Berrell

Notorious asparagus.
A vegetable that’s good for us,
is packed with healthy vitamins
for energy and body cleanse.

Yet infamous asparagus,
you sometimes make a fool of us.
Your spear-like shoots, a delicacy
when eaten, give us smelly pee.

Asparagusic acid means
our urine smells a queasy green.
But fructans (carbs) within these plants
help do away with stinky farts!


7 The Versatile Potato  by Toni Newell

Potato is a favourite,
Can be cooked in many ways,
Roasted, boiled or mashed,
Baked in foil, in stews or braised.
My favourite is the chip,
French fries, wedges, straight,
Potato gems, potato cakes,
All worthy of the dinner plate.

Chips that come in packets,
Just to name a few,
Chilli, chicken, salt and vinegar
In different shapes and sizes too.
Such a versatile root vegetable.
20% starch, 80% water,
Contains antioxidants, vitamins B6 and C,
Magnesium, potassium and fiber.

Potatoes when they’re harvested,
Are alive, then in a dormant state,
They can be used to reproduce,
Which in itself is great.
Between 80 and 100 days,
A crop should be mature,
Can even be grown in a bucket,
Which is a great idea I’m sure!


6 Pungent Garlic  by Sukarma Thareja & Celia Berrell

My cousin is an onion!
I’m allium sativum.

My whitish bulb’s
found underground,
between the stem
and roots you’ve found,
growing segment cloves within
containing lots of allicin.

Some properties of allicin
even work like penicillin,
warding off some illness guys
like E coli and some fungi.

My sulphur compounds
you’ll know well
from garlic’s pungent
taste and smell!


5 When is a Fruit a Fruit?  by Toni Newell

Did you know that cucumbers,
and tomatoes are a fruit?
For they internally house,
the seeds from which they shoot.

We think of them as vegetables.
Their position on the shelves
with eggplants and zucchinis,
all being a fruits themselves.

It’s sometimes our perception,
the way some fruits are served,
mistakes them for a vegetable,
when hot, not raw/preserved.

Often it seems obvious,
an apple, orange, pear,
watermelon, cantaloupe,
all fruits which we can share.

It can get complicated,
by botanical classification.
Just observe what’s being served,
and gain an appreciation.


Three thousand years ago, celery seeds appear to have been used to make ointments and other medicines.  Back then, this wild herb from the parsley family was stringy and bitter.  But by the 17th Century, tastier versions were being cultivated.

4 Celery (Acrostic)  by Barbara Smith

Crunchy fresh
Emerald pale stalks
Lightly fragranced
Each juicy mouthful a
Ready-made meal
Your very favourite.


Can we tempt you with a Carrot?  As well as being a taproot vegetable, we use the word carrot (and the phrase carrot on a stick) to mean tempting or persuading someone to do something for a reward that’s just out of reach!

3 Healthy Orange Carrots (Pantoumby Toni Newell

Carrots grow under the ground,
Now yellow, white and purple seen,
Their fernlike leaves above are found,
They are high in beta-carotene,

Now yellow, white and purple seen.
Carrots contain lots of fiber,
They are high in beta-carotene,
They are an illness fighter.

Carrots contain lots of fiber,
May be eaten cooked or raw,
They are an illness fighter,
Roasted, boiled or in coleslaw.

May be eaten cooked or raw,
Their downside? Hardly any!
Roasted, boiled or in coleslaw,
Their benefits are many.


2 Carotene Carrot  by Jeanie Axton

There stood a carrot
on my plate.
It looked up at me
and said “Please wait”

before you take
your very first bite
Can I mention
I help your sight?

My carotene,
a nice bright colour,
will make you strong
like no other.

Vitamins and fibre
I’ll give to you,
so pick me up
and start to chew.

Consider the goodness
I contain.
Come back and eat me
again and again!


Sunflowers are loved for their fabulous flowers, sustaining seeds & oil and their amazing ability to face the direction of the Sun.

1 Sunflowers  by Sukarma Thareja & Celia Berrell

Look to the east
to greet the dawn,
then face the west
when twilight’s drawn.

Youthful blossoms,
left to right,
follow the Sun
from dawn to night.

Lopsided growth
on night-time stems
then turns their faces
east again.

Heliotropic flowers
when young,
move their faces
to follow the Sun.



Ice Flowers & Dr Jim Carter

Do you live somewhere that’s really cold in winter?  Dr James R Carter is Professor Emeritus, Geography-Geology Department, Illinois State University.  He studies beautiful ice formations in USA.  In 2017, he gave us permission to share some of his rare photos to accompany a poem about Ice Flowers, written by primary school student Evie  – which was also shared on the Australian Children’s Poetry website.

We are delighted to learn that Dr Jim Carter has now written his own poem, inspired by Dr Seuss!  If you have any fantastic photos of ice flowers of this nature, you can contact Dr Carter at Illinois State University by email at

Ice Poetry  by Jim Carter

Oh, it’s mighty cold today.
Why did the Lord make it this way?

Hmmmm, the ground crunches when I walk by
So I bend down to find out why.

Look at those needles shining so bright
Clear ice, glistening in the light.

But my nose reminds me what I must do
Dress right for a cold sky so blue.

Properly attired, I set out to see
What other forms of ice there may be.

Are those white flowers at the base of a little tree?

No, it’s ice on the stems of plants quite tall.
They had white flowers last fall.

Wow, that ice presents a lovely face
And it’s only one of many in this place.

A wavy ball of ice nestled in brown.
Camera out, I kneel on the ground.

How have I missed such ice for years?
As I marvel my eyes produce tears.

Perhaps from their beauty
… but probably from the cold.

Oh, there’s ice on what was a puddle.

In layers of perhaps two or three
With leaves underneath and some lying free.

Another presentation of ice seldom seen
Gosh, nature is neat, even when it’s not green!

Origins of the Future

The above picture is a working drawing for a painting by Sharon Davson and it is a catalyst to some amazing things.

Sharon started the full-sized oil painting back in 1985, but stopped about half-way through.  Inspired by this drawing, I wrote the Science Rhyme Mother of Invention which is displayed on the Environmental Poetry page, here on the Science Rhymes website.

In 2013 Mother of Invention was published in the Canadian school textbook NELSON ENGLISH 10 (see image below).

Fast forward to 2021 and that planned oil painting is still very – unfinished!  Along with another unfinished artwork by Davson.  The record sale of these two unfinished paintings is setting a new precedence within the art world.

As author, I will be honoured to recite Mother of Invention at an event being held at Parliament House Brisbane on Tuesday 18th May at 10.30am to celebrate this event.  Does this mean the painting will never be finished?

Davson’s image for Origins of the Future was inspired by William Blake’s God-like painting The Ancient Of Days.  I imagined a Stone Age man, forging his partnership with science and technology through insatiable curiosity.  Neoteny in humans refers to our juvenile traits that endure into adulthood.  They include things such as our unstoppable curiosity, desire to play and experiment, plus our incredible adaptability.

Writing the poem Mother of Invention, inspired by Davson’s Origins of the Future, was how my Science Rhymes journey began.

The Bee is not Afraid of Me

Are we losing 1 percent of the world’s insect population each year?  This suspected insect apocalypse is complicated.  We don’t have a simple answer, but suspect that pesticides, habitat loss and climate change are involved.

Many insects don’t have a good rap.  Have you got an aversion to creepy crawlies?  Unless they are majestic moths, fairy-like dragonflies or beautiful butterflies, we often wish them away.  Mosquitoes carrying malaria accidentally kill hundreds of thousands of people each year.  But mosquitoes are also important pollinators as well as food for other creatures.  And without pollinating insects, flowering plants and crops can’t flourish and whole ecosystems suffer.  And that includes us.

It might sound lazy, but simply cutting the grass less often can help boost local insect numbers, increase biodiversity and even reduce pests.  So there are plenty of little things we can do to help boost their numbers.  Being sympathetic and connected rather than alienated by their insect oddities can be an important step too.

How we think and feel about insects begins when we are young.  So having a children’s poetry anthology dedicated to the beauty, fun and fascination of these six-legged creatures is rather special.

The Bee is not Afraid of Me: A Book of Insect Poems published by The Emma Press, includes two Science Rhymes.   Ask a katydid (p12) and True bugs are suckers (p15).  Pyrophorus Noctilucus by Kate O’Neill (p34) delights as it informs us about the talents of this click beetle.  And Yoga for insects by Myles McLeod has plenty of word-play giggles while naming various parts of insect biology.  Poems are interspersed with snippets of apt facts making this book engaging, enriching and enjoyable.

I was delighted to receive these lovely words (and link) from one of the book’s editors, primary science educator Fran Long:

“I wanted to write and thank you for your fabulous contribution to, ‘The Bee is not Afraid of Me’.  It is exciting to see my initial idea for the book become reality.  

I must admit I didn’t know about the katydid prior to reading your lovely poem.  However, the other day a friend sent me a link to some wonderful footage (1 min 44 secs in)!

This species of katydid looks like a snow pea!

Your poem on true bugs is fantastic for addressing misconceptions about bugs and hugely informative.”

The phrase, The Bee is not Afraid of Me, began as the first line of a nature poem by Emily Dickinson (published in 1924).  Now, it is the proud name of an innovative insect anthology being launched on Friday 6th March in UK.

Fashionable Distancing

Many cultures have known for centuries that the best way to avoid catching disease or pestilence is through distancing ourselves from such threats.  Below are two poems on this topic.  The first is about something many of us have needed to do recently.  But the second safety strategy has definitely fallen out of fashion.

The word QUARANTINE means strict isolation to stop the spread of disease.  It originated in Italy in the 1300’s.

Forty Days in Italian  by Celia Berrell

Venice, in the Middle Ages
feared infection from the boats
that visited its harboured stages,
ordering sailors to “stay afloat!”

For forty days they had to anchor.
NOT set foot on Venice land,
to make sure none were sick and rank
or had bubonic plague at hand.

Quaranta giorni (Kwa-rant-a jee-or-nee)
Quaranta giorni (Kwa-rant-a jee-or-nee)
is “Forty Days” in Italian.
That’s where the word for isolation
known as QUARANTINE began.

Some instances of social distancing made certain items of clothing trendy!  Voluminous crinoline skirts prevented suitors from getting too close; elaborate broad-brimmed hats stopped others breathing down your neck and the wearing of elegant gloves shielded hands from germs.  They have all served as kinds of fashionable personal protective equipment (PPE) in the past.

One famous outfit, associated with plague doctors in the 17th and 18th Century, included a funny-looking long-beaked mask.  The foot-long beak could hold perfumes or herbs to keep nasty smells at bay.  Looking rather macabre, this mask has been a popular item for fancy-dress events.  Can you see our recent use of masks taking a trendy turn too?

Hats and headgear have many purposes.   From keeping our heads protected to indicators of social status.  But the wearing of indoor bonnets such as the humble mob cap in schools has definitely fallen out of fashion.   However mother-of-four, Leonie McDonald, laments this because of head lice!

Bonnets and Headlice  by Leonie McDonald

Bring back bonnets I say
For children at school every day
It used to be part of our kids’ daily wear
To confine their own nits to their hair.

To get infected with a case of lice
Is as we know not very nice
The only known cure was the old kerosene
Or before that indeed a full shave it would seem.

So to counter this dreaded social plague
Bonnets became quite the fashionable rage
For to get your head shaved every time kids got nits
Would annoy any female to horrible bits.

With chemical treatments we get so blasé
To have nits abound has become quite blasé
Well enough I now shriek with my duty of four
To afford all this nit stuff is making me poor.

Not to mention of course what all of us know
Repeated toxicity can make your health low
So spare me I beg you from pecuniary divestments
In chemists rewarding financial investments.

Give me a break and check your kids’ hair
And if they have nits then you keep them there
Don’t send them to school with their hair wild and free
If you must send them in, put on bonnets for me.


Perhaps wearing a hoodie could help instead?

A World Full Of Poems


Yesterday, I received a rather special poetry anthology.  A WORLD FULL OF POEMS is a luxuriously sturdy hardcover book, intent on enchanting early readers and listeners.  It is the kind of poetry book that someone, perhaps an aunt or grandparent, would ceremoniously give you when you are young.  It will faithfully serve you snippets of pleasure, wise philosophies and the joys of wordplay until you are old enough to gift it to a child or grandchild of your very own.

Towards the back is a whole section of Science and Art poems!  However, the Science Rhyme “Peace by Piece” is an environmental poem, so appears closer to the heart of the book (on page 83) in the section on Cities, Towns and Travel – next to another Australian contributor, Sally Murphy.

Most of the 153 poems are fairly short.  Many are created in rhyming verse, but not all.  Set out in large print, it yearns to encourage new readers to take the plunge.  Published by Dorling Kindersley (DK) in Great Britain, the collection was selected by Dr Sylvia Vardell (of Poetry Friday book fame in USA).  It includes some classics (such as “The Crocodile” by Lewis Carroll & “The Moon” by Robert Louis Stevenson), familiar favourites (including Kenn Nesbitt, Jack Prelutsky & Michael Rosen) and many others that provoke a tingle of delight.

My favourite discovery was on page 45 in the Feelings category:

Don’t Be Scared  by Carol Ann Duffy

The dark is only a blanket
for the moon to put on her bed.

The dark is a private cinema
for the movie dreams in your head.

The dark is a little black dress
to show off the sequin stars.

The dark is the wooden hole
behind the strings of happy guitars.

The dark is a jeweller’s velvet cloth
where children sleep like pearls.

The dark is a spool of film
to photograph boys and girls,

so smile in your sleep in the dark.
Don’t be scared.


The source of each poem is acknowledged in tiny print at the back of the book.  There, I discovered that three of the poems were first found on Australian Children’s Poetry.  That’s how “Peace by Piece” was chosen for this book, along with James Aitchison’s “Ratty Writing” and J R Poulter’s “Dive into a Book”.  This endearing anthology is full of friends, whichever way we look at it!

Awesome Possum

This cheerful image of a Leadbeater’s Possum (left) and Sugar Glider (right) is an excerpt from oil painting Time To Grow by Sharon Davson.  Toni Newell’s delightful Fairy Possum poem below prompted this blog … and a great excuse for me to share my own awesome possum poem!  Then there’s Meryl Brown Tobin’s Haiku after she encountered a young ringtail in Victoria – snapped by Hartley Tobin.


2021 will mark the 60th anniversary of the first sighting of a Leadbeater’s Possum Gymnobelideus leadbeateri (aka Fairy Possum) for over 50 years.  Ten years later, it was awarded the momentous status of Victoria’s faunal emblem in celebration.  We are sadly seeing their numbers in decline due to habitat loss.  Friends of Leadbeater’s Possum are working to protect their stunning forest environments in Victoria, so we don’t lose any more of these delightful endangered marsupials.  Our support for their cause can help too.


Fairy Possum  by Toni Newell

I’m small and cute,
With big brown eyes,
I weigh very little,
Which is no surprise.
I live in the Highlands,
And eat at night,
Sleep during the day,
In tree-holes, no light.
I survive on insects,
And sap from leaves,
Which mainly comes,
From Acacia trees.
I have brown fur,
I’m soft to touch,
I can live for five years,
Which isn’t much.
An enemy of mine,
Is the feral cat,
Who rob the nests,
In our habitat.
I’m a proud Australian,
As you may know,
I’m the faunal emblem,
For Victoria, on show.


Victoria’s Awesome Possum  by Celia Berrell

The Leadbeater’s possum is very shy
and spends its time in trees on high.
It likes eating bugs and nectar and sap
from gumtrees, acacias and mountain ash.

From pink little nose to attentive ears,
the friendliest face imagined appears.
With cute pudgy fingers and tiny nails,
they’ll keep their balance with long brown tails.

Crickets and spiders are favourite food
along with the gums those trees exude.
The sweetest of parties can go for hours
when sipping the nectar from perfumed flowers.

They socially sleep in a group of eight,
hiding in hollows of trees until late.
And getting around is a possum’s breeze,
making breathtaking leaps among the trees.




end of sweltering day
ringtail possum baby
seeks coolness of dusk

by Meryl Brown Tobin

Ocean Animals (book review)

OCEAN ANIMALS written by Blake Chapman and illustrated by Astred Hicks

When I first opened this book, it looked like a proper scientific resource with plenty of photographs and a handy glossary at the back – and it is.  But it reads like a Talent Show!

It’s as though the best ocean acts are waiting in the wings, ready to star in this amazing book’s performance.  I was half-way through before I came up for air!

Blake is a great host as she introduces the weirdest, smartest and sneakiest sea creatures.  She’s friendly, cheeky and fun to read.  Nearly every page has two or three exclamation marks, which just shows how fantastical and fast-paced the performances are.

Each chapter has a winning “Sea-lebrity”, such as the ‘poison breath skull cap’ on page 20 and ‘natural little water pistols’ on page 79 (including search words to access rewarding video links on the internet).

Astred’s illustrations make excellent backdrops for setting each scene as we learn about ocean environments, these creatures and their extraordinary abilities.

The Ocean’s got talent alright!


Thanks to everyone who submitted a poem about the Sea to share. We are celebrating, National Science Week with our OCEANS OF POETRY from EVERYONE – not just school students.

Here is the final wave of poems:

Pacific  by Callum
(Adelaide Botanic High, SA)

Crystal clear waves dance on the surface
Crashing and tumbling as they go.

Falling upon the shore,
And moving to and fro.

Beneath the shifting landscape
A storm is brewing,
A bountiful home for life,
A system self-renewing.

In the Abyss
Rests a memory of innovation.

A gentle giant gone amiss,
A reclaimed salvation.

This place of elegance,
Is also a place of power,
Moving millions of tons
In a fraction of an hour.

Grinding away at the cliff,
Stealing the rock and sand.

Crash and smash, swish and swirl,
Whisking away the land.

How alluring is the sea,
With all its quirky features.

It’s nature’s tidal dance,
And a home for many creatures.

The ocean’s beauty,
Now returns to the deep
Where it lives and it thrives,
And can finally sleep.



How wonderful oceans can be!  by Madeleine
(Iona Presentation College, Mosman Park, Western Australia)

Oh, the oceans, how wonderful they can be!
A deep world full of mysteries, so let’s go on and see.
Two thirds of our Earth is covered by seawater,
Full of creatures, some larger some smaller.

Artic, Southern, Indian, Atlantic and Pacific,
The oceans that surround our countries, are so terrific!
They help to keep the climate steady,
And to keep them healthy we must all be at the ready.

Unfortunately, the ocean is full of the wrong stuff,
Full of litter, because people don’t care enough.
People don’t get how wonderful the ocean could be,
If only they understood, it needs to be litter-free.

The ocean is a place like no other,
Full of creatures who interact with one another.
They live and create a miraculous place,
That we as humans should appreciate!

Oh, the oceans, how wonderful they can be!
A world full of mysteries, deep under the sea,
There, now you have it, I’ve presented my case,
The oceans truly are a wonderful place!


Deep Blue Ocean  by Luca
(Sandringham East Primary School, Victoria)

Orcas live in the ocean
They have white and black coloured skin
The beautiful ocean is their home
Where they sleep and play and swim.


Ocean Waves  by Anna
(Sandringham East Primary School, Victoria)

Waves are floating free
in the big dark sea.

Sharks are looking for their prey
and fish are swimming away.

Dolphins are having fun with the waves
and making lots of shapes.

The Sun is rising fast
and the kids are having a blast.


Deep Blue  by Imogen
(Sandringham East Primary School, Victoria)

Deep and peaceful
the ocean laps against the sand
Blue fish and coral,
the waves meet the land.

Bright light on water
whirls through my head
I wish I was there
and not in bed.


The Ocean From a Dolphin’s View  by Kaushika
(Parramatta High School, NSW)

As I dived underwater I came to a halt,
What I saw, wasn’t just water with salt,
What I was viewing was spectacular scenery,
Colourful corals and amazing anemones,
As I moved further along, a colossal fish,
Seemed to be having krill as his dish,
But the creature I saw was a mammal, like me,
A whale that weighed tons, I know you’d agree
Colourful fishes, in all shapes and sizes,
Wherever I looked was a sea of surprises,
From purple to blue and orange to green,
Some large, slow but agile, or miniscule, lean,
Other sea creatures I found in that spot
Were clown fish inside their anemone cot,
Unlike sea grasses, all corals are animals,
Who would have thought …
Elegant and admirable!
Like what Mr Columbus has once said
“The sea will grant each man new hope,
and sleep will bring the dreams of home.’’
This gorgeous place is home to me.
I swam back to my dolphin family.


My Unexpected Voyage!  by Vinaya
(Parramatta High School, NSW)

Sea water rippled through my fingers,
As I stared at a crab that slowly lingered.
I have lost my way, like some people do,
I have lost my way under ocean blue!
Anemones, seaweeds, reefs, and corals
Produce a magnificent show of florals,
Filled with many fish as well,
Fish with bright colours and fish that swell.

I gasped at their sight as some seaweed drowned.
While others decided to float around.
Fish swifted by, corals swayed side by side.
And that’s when it struck me!  I realised.

I’m lost on our treasured Great Barrier Reef!
Phew! At last! A sign of relief!
But now, I want to remember a lesson,
Our world is suffering, this I must mention
and we are the cause. Yes, we! Me and you!
Our reef is a victim of spoilage too.
We need to act as the cops of the ocean;
It’s up to us all. We must take action!

I learnt this lost under ocean blue
And somehow I hope that you did too!


Océan  by William
(Bonnyrigg High School, NSW)

The Ocean covers three-quarters of the Earth
Our mother – the place of our birth
But our thirst we cannot quench
Down in the Mariana Trench
Down where the pressure is crushing
Down where the creatures are rushing
Their beacons in the blackness for all to see.
The wide dark land for me!


Sea-Creature Action  by Fin
(Footscray Primary School, Victoria)

Sharks kill
Urchins spike
Jellyfish sting
Sea snakes bite
Dolphins Jump
Hermit-crabs shuffle
Crabs pinch
Turtles nibble
Whales migrate
Otters Dive
Penguins catch fish
Happy, alive.


The Greatness of Sand  by Sonam
(Chevallum State School, Sunshine Coast, Queensland)

Oh Sand, oh Sand, how soft you are!
On my feet, I feel you like a cushion.

Oh Sand, how wide, you are,
You hold my toes and you hold the ocean.

Oh Sand, how strong you are,
Cooked in fire to make my glass bottle.

Oh Sand, how fun you are,
I pile you up to make my sand castle.


Movement in the Forest  by Jeanie Axton
(Australian Children’s Poetry contributor)

 Seahorses stand upright
hiding in the blades
as the current passes

Rock fish
dart in and out
staying close to home

Feet expanding
the Sea stars move slowly
in search of urchins

Jellyfish squeeze
propelling forwards
pushing out jets of water

Nibbling algae on the holdfast
crabs scurry
protected by the forest

Through the gnarled seascape
Sharks zigzag
stalking angry Seals

The Giant Kelp Forest
a nursery for the young
a protector of sea life

Standing tall
a marine fortress


Sea Urchin  by Toni Newell
(Australian Children’s Poetry contributor)

Sea urchins aren’t fish,
They’re an invertebrate,
They are omnivores,
Sea floor their real-estate.

They come in many colours,
Mainly round and spiky,
Sensitive to light and touch,
The hedgehog of the sea.

They move around slowly,
But on their underside.
Are five paired rows of feet,
Which within the spikes hide.

Amongst their predators,
Are crabs, wolf eels, sea otters,
Trigger fish and humans,
A favourite food of lobsters.

Sea urchins may look frail,
With long spikes extended,
A vision delicate and beautiful,
As nature had intended.


The Turbulent Sea  by Madonna George
(Yeppoon, Queensland)

The angry sea, a storm in the night
shaking the corals and clams with fright,
stirring the sand and scattering shells
until waves subside, and all is well.



Published 6th August 2020
Drifting past, is a raft of ACROSTIC poems by Year 1 and Year 2 students from Sandringham East Primary School, Victoria:



BLUE OCEAN  by Scarlett

B lue whale
L ively fish
U nder water
E ndless waves

O n a rocking boat
C rabs scurry
E ating seafood
A shipwreck on the sand
N ever want to leave


Coral, That’s Us  by Adeline

C reatures underwater use me as food,
O ver in a submarine you can still see me,
R eefs, we are in,
A nimals, we are not plants,
L ook at me, I am coral.


OCEAN  by Isla

O n the rocks snappy little crabs scuttle.
C olourful coral grows in a rainbow of colour.
E xcited divers learn about sharks.
A ll the interesting fish glide through the water.
N ature is different down this deep.


OCEAN by Rose

cean waves lapping at the sand.
urious creatures investigating new foods.
choes bouncing from the bottom of the sea.
stounding, amazing, light blue water.
oisy boats whizzing around like crazy leopards.


SHARK by Shivaa

S ea lions swim underneath the cold arctic water
H ands of people lay on the sand
A sting from box jellyfish can kill
R ockpools have starfish that we can spot
K iller whale can eat sharks


Shades of Blue by Faith

O pen seas
C reatures big and small
E ndless waves
A mazing coral reefs
N othing but shades of blue


published 31st July 2020:

A Turtle Meditation  by Lucas
(Calvin Christian School, Kingston, Tasmania)

Drifting away, feeling free,
I float over waves as calm as can be.
No worries in life can trouble me
away from the shoreline, upon the sea.


In and Out  by Fraser
(Calvin Christian School, Kingston, Tasmania)

High tide and low,
Changes every half a day,
This poem is about,
The ocean so if I may,

I’ll tell you about tides,
And all that they do,
Hopefully people will learn,
As well as you,

Like most things on earth,
The tide goes in and out,
So the whole galaxy can hear you,
You should probably shout,

The truth is that the moon makes,
The water rise and fall,
There is no exception,
It happens to all,

Pattering against the shore,
Waves come and go,
This is because of the tide,
Both high and low,

It sweeps boats out far,
Or fills an empty bay,
High and low tide happens,
Twice every day,

The tide is made,
Because of the moon,
Its gravity pulls water,
It’ll happen again soon,

Thank you for listening,
Making this has been fun,
Although no regrets,
Know that I am now done.


Amazing Oceans  by Charlotte
(Sandringham East Primary School, Victoria)

Oceans, oceans everywhere
Calm and rough, you never know.
Billions of creatures call it home
where dolphins and colourful coral grow.
Amazing, unbelievable, cool.


Pinniped Seals  by Isobel
(West Footscray Primary School, Victoria)

A seal is grey, fat and furry
It has big dark black eyes

It lives in the deep, dark blue ocean
Where it’s cold, icy and quiet

It dives into the water
Twirling, twisting and swaying

Flipping its flippers and fin-foot
happily kicking and playing.


Sea Creatures Rhyming Acrostic by Class KJ
(Sherwood Grange Public School, Merrylands, NSW)

Octopuses gliding slowly in the sea
Crabs crawling sideways in fear
Eels making body waves to set them free
Amazing sea creatures for us to see
Narwhal’s pointy tooth is like the top of a tree
Shrimps have tiny black eyes with which to see


The Deep Sea  by Tara
(Sherwood Grange Public School, Merrylands, NSW)

The corals swish back and forth
The fish swim side to side
The murky sea is flowing
The waves go up and down
The crabs are clapping


The Mysterious Ocean  by Zakaria
(Sherwood Grange Public School, Merrylands, NSW)

The mysterious ocean
reminds me of a blue potion.
Beneath, lurks lots of creatures
with exquisite and unique features,
Above the surface we see crashing waves
that create salty foam which slowly fades.
The lower we go, the more curious we grow
to learn what really lurks deep down below.
No longer a bright blue potion,
but now a very dark ocean!


Secrets of the Sea  by Taylor
(Sherwood Grange Public School, Merrylands, NSW)

As I journey to the sea
I smell the fresh breeze close to me
Walk down to the beach and take a seat,
I feel the sand underneath my feet.

Looking out to the sea
The energy of the waves is calling me.
I dive into the ocean blue.
Will I discover something new?

Looking down beneath the sea
I see a crystal as blue as can be.
Picking it up, I already knew
The ocean is coming home with me too.


A Deep Blue Problem  by Elianna
(Sherwood Grange Public School, Merrylands, NSW)

We are killing our marine life out there
And sadly some people don’t seem to care.
Our pollution wraps around necks, tails and fins.
Those animals suffer and no one wins.
Creatures are dying from ocean pollution
We really do need a lasting solution.
So use less plastic and think of my rhyme.
We can save our oceans, one piece at a time.


True Beauty  by A’isha
(Sherwood Grange Public School, Merrylands, NSW)

In the light of day …
Its waves convey an icy chill
Through foaming spray,
While thunderous waves
Rush to the shore,
Then peacefully roll away.

As the Sun goes down …
The ocean receives
The burning Sun, about to leave.
Then gradually comes the night,
Devouring that glorious, glowing light.


published 21st July 2020:

At the edge of the Ocean  by Falak
(Barton Primary School, Cranbourne West, Victoria)

The waves whisper in my ear,
Calling me to the soft sand.
The water sweeps over my feet,
And surrounds where I stand.


Ocean’s Drift  by Ibrahim
(Barton Primary School, Cranbourne West, Victoria)

We are the ocean
where life was first chosen.
But now it rains plastic
which isn’t fantastic.

Put yourself in our seas
and see how it feels.
We’re starting to choke
and this is no joke.

We’d like some respect.
Want to see the effect.
Please be the solution
and not the pollution.


Going Home  by Clara
(Ripponlea Primary School, Melbourne, Victoria)

The skies were grey,
The sea was blue.
A stormy night
for the sea below.

The fish go home,
clams say goodbye
and turtles turn
to sleep and hide.

An octopus lay
in its comfy cave,
wondering if
its friend was OK.

It could hear her voice
loud and clear …
even though
it has no ears.


Pretty Little Starfish  by Toni Newell
(Australian Children’s Poetry contributor)

Pretty little starfish,
Colourful and great,
You’re really not a fish,
But an invertebrate.
You have a central disc,
Five arms typically,
Within the central disc,
Prey’s digested organically.
You’re sensitive to light,
Touch and temperature,
Your anatomy’s advanced,
Larger bait you can procure.
Enzymes help to digest,
Some of the bigger prey,
And due to this ability,
More food is on display.
Depending on your species,
Your lifespan will vary,
Ten to thirty odd years,
Of predators be wary.
You are the star of the sea,
Few others can compete,
Your shape known globally,
That’s very hard to beat.


published 21st July 2020:

The Cuttlefish  by Cheryl Polonski
(Tarlo, NSW)

The cuttlefish is wrongly named, it’s not a fish at all.
It’s family is cephalopod.  Now that’s a better call.
His cousins are the nautilus, the octopus and squid.
He has 8 legs, 2 tentacles and mouth that he keeps hid.

He is the only cephalopod with cuttlebone inside.
It’s porous structure filled with air, helps cuttlefish to hide.
A gas tank that’s nearby it, to adjust the buoyancy,
allows him to position, just right where he wants to be.

They all, intelligence display, on testing in a lab.
But what amazes me the most?   Their camouflage is fab.
Their texture they can even change, papillae do this job.
The muscles make the skin poke up in nodules and knobs.

 Chromatophores are ink-filled sacs with every colour known.
Their muscle-driven camouflage can make them look like stone.
When flexed, their striking colouring and patterns do express,
perhaps to hide from danger, or a female to impress.

So when the mating season comes, we see just what they’ve got,
displaying mottled patterning or fancy stripe or spot.
Bright colours now, of every hue will burst forth on their skin.
Fluorescent, neon, flashing lights, create a visual din.

But when two males compete for her, they have a mighty spar.
Non-violent shows light up the sea, to see who’s up to par.
Sometimes while this is going on, a small male will sneak in
and fertilise the female’s eggs.   The big boys then don’t win.

Then off she goes to lay her eggs in underhangs and cracks.
But she will go away to die and won’t be coming back.
They do not eat in spawning time, their bodies soon grow weak.
Producing all their progeny is when they’re at their peak.

And when the little ones burst forth, from in their eggy home,
they look like little adults. On the ocean floor they’ll roam,
until next year when they return, to propagate their race.
They are the rock stars of the sea and they have earned their place.


A Fish Called a Seahorse  by Toni Newell
(Australian Children’s Poetry  contributor)

Breathing through gills,
Seahorses are fish,
They live in salt water,
Change colour at wish.
Long snake like tail,
Helps them survive,
Holding onto sea weeds,
Reproduction can thrive.
Babies called fry,
Are born by the male,
They’re small and complete,
Understandably frail.
They are not nurtured,
But left on their own,
To fend for themselves,
Their future unknown.
Possessing long snouts,
They suck up their food,
Quite often copepods,
Larval fish they include.
They possess two eyes,
Which behave as four,
Each sees independently,
Meaning they can see more.
Their heads resemble,
That of a horse,
It’s why they are called,
A seahorse of course.


The Crab  by Toni Newell
(Australian Children’s Poetry  contributor)

Walking sideways on the sand,
Which is what we crabs do,
Looking at the ocean,
Appreciating the view.
Peeking from our tunnels,
When it’s safe to roam,
Skittling across the sand,
Leaving our safe home.
Finding small morsels,
Bought in by the sea,
When we’ve had enough to eat,
We return back cautiously.


Ultra-black Fish  by Sukarma Rani Thareja
(Associate Professor Retired, CSJM Kanpur University, India)

Ultra-black fish, Ultra-black fish
hide in plain sight in the deepest sea.
So how does it work, this trickery,
their magic invisibility?

Ultra-black fish, Ultra-black fish
have melanin, just like human skin,
but pigment structures found within
are packed so tight –
like a gumball machine –
that almost all light gets trapped right in.

By taking a lesson from fish-skin designs
we could make-up a pigment, right shape and size.
The blackest of blacks would be our prize
for material science that tricks human eyes!


published 12th July 2020:

Friends of the Ocean  by Lavanya
(Kambrya College, Berwick, Victoria)

The bottle that you’re drinking from,
Is making all our oceans glum.
Alike, the cling-wrap on your sandwich,
Now that is seriously savage.

Today in your lunchbox, tomorrow in the seas!
All of them are crying out their pleas!

Our plastics, chemicals, and negligence
Have prodded our guilty consciences.
Sea-life worldwide at death’s door,
This stretch of blue will be no more!

Starvation and food scarcity,
And don’t forget turbidity,
Chemical poisoning too,
Problems, these are only a few.

Disappearing are our food resources,
Pollution killing our small sea-creatures,
vital components of marine’s food chain.
Is Sea-life crying out in pain?

But the ocean is our mother, and we are its children.
We’ll be friends of the ocean and no longer villains.
For it is ours to nourish for evermore.

The Curious Unknown  by Elizabeth
(Our Lady of the Sacred Heart College, Kensington, NSW)

The waves crash against the rocks
stumbling about like a teenager,
never knowing when to stop
those tireless tides of flows and knocks.

Carrying others everywhere it goes,
carefree about where it will lead.
A resting place or back for more?
With curious currents – who knows.

Mysteries of the deep adore
diving into endless questions,
searching for new answers,
surfacing each time with more.

Starfish  by Deborah Kennelly
(Currumbin Waters, Queensland)

A Star fell from the sky tonight,
into the sea, still shining bright,
was washed by waves to the shore,
a shining light, it was no more.

Life is change – nothing stays the same
and so, a Starfish it became.
Left like treasure from sea to land,
now shining in the morning sand.

The Shell Graveyard  by Deborah Kennelly
(Currumbin Waters, Queensland)

I walked along a windswept beach earlier today,
where broken, battered seashells lay strewn along the way.
Some were smashed completely, whilst others just a bit –
a shelly graveyard stretched for miles made up of this shell grit.

Then sighted partly buried, a perfect shell was found
among the broken pieces laying all around.
I wondered how it survived the same journey from sea to land
and how it now just rested unbroken in the sand.

Are we just like the seashells strewn across the shore –
swept along by currents from Life’s ocean floor?
Are we just chosen randomly as victims every day
as Life directs the set and scene, or do we create the play?

Some of us are broken bad, while some just dents and knocks,
still other hearts have hardened when smashed against the rocks.
And like the wind that blows the waves on relentlessly,
some won’t relinquish their belief that they’re scarred eternally.

I watched as storm clouds gathered and threatened from up high
and wondered where the sun had gone, deserting our blue sky.
If only we would stop and see the pattern causing strife,
and know that we create the change for light to fill our life.

It’s like we’re always fighting and battling some new storm.
In defiance we stand against the wind and wonder why we’re torn.
The battleground is littered with broken hearts and more
and confusion still reigns supreme as to what it is all for.

Coastal Reverie  by J. R. Poulter
(Australian Children’s Poetry & Word Wings Publishing)

Waters rush,
Waters surge,
Seagulls sing
A mournful dirge,
Sands sift,
Clouds drift …

We stand
Upon the shore,
Watching waves run
And pelicans s-o-a-r!

Sea Breathes  by J. R Poulter
(Australian Children’s Poetry & Word Wings Publishing)

Sea breathes in
Ripples running,
Wind flowing
Across its face …

Breathe in!
The blood tide responds
Drawing you down
Liquid as soul or thought.
Breathe out …

Sea wash, salt cleanse,
The fingers of the land,
We stand and fill our lungs
And cool our feet
Deep in wet sand.

Rhythm of the Sea  by Jen Rhoderick
(Wattle Glen, Victoria)

Waves roll and crash endlessly, a rhythm so calm,
heartbeat of the ocean, it’s drawcard – it’s charm,
The warmth from the sun, as it shines on my skin,
The squelch of the sand, as I dig my toes in,
The rock pools, a treasure, of uncharted sights,
A crab or a mollusc, a shell- such delights,
Expanses of water, shades of green and of blues,
So many colours and magnificent hues,
The seaweed discarded, thrown up in the night,
A squark from a seagull, hovering mid-flight,
The line where the sky joins up to the sea,
A horizon of hope for dreamers like me,
So full of respect and admiring such charm,
Ensuring the wildlife
Will come to no harm,
Look after what we have, what we love and adore,
Protect all our oceans for evermore
So that one day, you too, could say you were here,
Laying on a beach, or standing on the pier,
Waves roll and crash endlessly, a rhythm so calm,
Heartbeat of the ocean- it’s drawcard, it’s charm.

The Sea  by Rosemarie Galea
(In memory of those lost at sea)

A sleeping giant, when it’s calm,
caressed by sand and swaying palm.
A raging monster rears its head
when wind and rain by night are led.

It swells and roars, it foams and crashes.
Against shore and ship it loudly splashes
then, as if by some strange hand, it stops.

When morning light again appears
the giant has wiped  away its tears,
and all is well in the world.


published 4th July 2020:

Ocean’s Eye  by Andrei
(Georges River College, Peakhurst, NSW)

My journey has begun.
To home I say goodbye,
I bid farewell to the sun
And seek the ocean’s eye.

As the Southern winds blow,
my boat begins to sway,
I question, should I go?
Or is it safer to just stay?

My stomach begins to rumble,
The ocean’s beauty I crave,
I try to walk but stumble,
And capsize from a wave.

The seabed approaches me,
Or so I really think,
I step onto a squid which flees,
And leaves a trail of ink.

The water gets colder,
My teeth start to chatter,
The pressure gets bolder,
My lungs get flatter.

I ignore the chill,
And search for my boat,
I mistakenly gasp
And krill fills my throat.

I accept my fate,
Surely I’m done
But as though to debate,
I’m saved by someone.

So happy to be fine,
I can say that for sure,
But since I’m alive,
Why not try once more?

On planet Earth, dear Ocean  by Sukarma Rani Thareja
(Associate Professor Retired, CSJM Kanpur University, India)

You are a source of power and strength.
Linking with our atmosphere,
creating climate’s balances
or shaping coastlines by yourself.
You are a fundamental force
of nature’s fine fragility.

You resonate our consciousness;
you fascinate with siren songs.
Your watery wings make homes for life,
sustaining hungry humankind
who use your every turbulence
to calculate and understand.

Many are in love with you.
From arts to oceanographers,
inspired by vastness, nature, science
that draws our need for truth,
a pledge to keep you safe and clean
for future generations.

Dreaming Seas  by Margaret Pearce
(Australian Children’s Poetry  contributor)

The silver lake across the sea
flung by a lavish moon
Is edged with a misty darkness
Whispering a lullaby tune
for more quiet depths of peace
As the chill star spangled sky
Covers the remotely dreaming seas.

The Digital Tide  by Margaret Pearce
(Australian Children’s Poetry  contributor)

Early morning the waves of information are sure and
Safe for toddlers in the shallows of technological
Romping through the foam of unsupervised
While practicing their control of the predatory
The technology rises to break on discarded
Teenagers surf the Facebook depths and internet
The waves swell higher, heavier with knowledge and
Balancing on the technological edge the experts keep
their lead
And the unskilled, swamped by megabytes are dumped
Under the incurious memory of cloud and the alien


Too Many Jellyfish  by Celia Berrell

Could you eat
some future dishes
made with lots of

Crunchy noodles
salad, sushi
jellied ice-cream
(slightly chewy).

Many fish
that fed on jellies
ended-up in
human bellies.

Has this caused
an ocean muddle
full of too much
jelly trouble?

If fishermen
could earn a living
only going

other fish-stocks
might grow back
and get the oceans
back on track.

Celia Berrell
PO Box 830
Hervey Bay QLD 4655

0408 069 192
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