Resources on poetry by the poets themselves

No Stone Unturned

Preview of ‘New and Collected Poems for Children’ to be published by Faber in Autumn 2009

No Stone Unturned

Under the pebble caressed by a thumb,
an ant with a crumb.
Under the stone covered in moss,
the keys to a house.
Under the brick warmed by the sun,
a cool worm.
Under the rock on a desert plain,
a thimble of rain.
Under the boulder dark in a field,
a Roman shield.

Under the pebble picked from a beach,
a damp niche.
Under the stone on a garden wall,
nothing at all.
Under the brick on top of a skip,
a school cap.
Under the rock where they buried the gold,
an empty hole.
Under the boulder sealing a tomb,
a room.

Under the pebble spied for a sling,
a gold ring.
Under the stone slung at a steeple,
a black beetle.
Under the brick on the country road,
a green toad.
Under the rock sheltered by trees,
brown bees.
Under the boulder blocking the ford,
a silver sword.

Under the pebble smooth as a bead,
a seed.
Under the stone black as a hat,
a rat.
Under the brick tied to the boat,
a note.
Under the rock south of the lake,
a snake.
Under the boulder high on the hill,
a skull.


Under the pebble sore in a shoe,
Under the stone in the wishing-well bucket,
a ticket.
Under the brick in a spring flower-bed,
a bud.
Under the rock in the waterfall,
a caul.
Under the boulder rolled in the cave,
poor Dave.

Under the pebble saved for a lover,
Under the stone about to be chucked,
Under the brick warming the sheets,
Under the rock anchoring a ship,
fish and chips.
Under the boulder obstructing the pass,

Under the pebble washed up by the sea,
a flea.
Under the stone on the teacher’s desk,
a test.
Under the brick in a prison cell,
a file.
Under the rock where the seagulls beg,
an egg.
Under the boulder aglow on the Moon,
a dish and a spoon.

Under the pebble safe in a pocket,
a locket.
Under the stone in Picasso’s gaze,
a Cubist maze.
Under the brick in a garden shed,
something dead.
Under the rock in the Punishment Block,
more rock.
Under the boulder in the Modern Art Gallery,
talented Valerie.


Under the pebble kicked in the street,
a centipede’s feet.
Under the stone skimmed on the ocean,
Under the brick on the flap of a tent,
Under the rock transformed by a wizard,
a lizard.
Under the boulder hewn like a throne,
a mobile phone.

Under the pebble used as a pawn,
a prawn.
Under the stone scraped with initials,
Under the brick marking the goal,
a mole.
Under the rock in the castle grounds,
a million pounds.
Under the boulder on the ocean floor,
a ragged claw.

Under the pebble cherished for years,
dried tears.
Under the stone at the end of the garden,
a pardon.
Under the brick at the edge of the pond,
a wand.
Under the rock in the heart of the woods,
stolen goods.
Under the boulder sunk in the swamp,
a lamp.

Under the pebble pawed by a kitten,
a mitten.
Under the stone silvered by ice,
Under the brick in the builders’ yard,
a pack of cards.
Under the rock in the cemetery,
a flask of tea.
Under the boulder next to the Nile,
a crocodile.


Under the pebble dropped by a girl,
a pearl.
Under the stone on the banks of the Mersey,
a red jersey.
Under the brick in the criminals’ den,
a golden pen.
Under the rock in London Zoo,
a sleeping gnu.
Under the boulder lit up by lightning,
somebody frightening.

Under the pebble placed on a dish,
a wish.
Under the stone kept on a shelf,
an elf.
Under the brick in the gardener’s hut,
a tough nut.
Under the rock in the wilds of Peru,
an Inca shoe.
Under the boulder out on the patio,
a pistachio.

Under the pebble sewn in a dress,
an address.
Under the stone in a hole in a tree,
a plea.
Under the brick holding open the gate,
a time and a place and a date.
Under the rock in the shady nook,
a poetry book.
Under the boulder rolled in a ditch,
a witch.

Under the pebble touched by a baby,
a daisy.
Under the stone in a cowboy’s boot,
a cheroot.
Under the brick from Ancient Greece,
a fragment of fleece.
Under the rock where the lighthouse flickers,
a mermaid’s knickers.
Under the boulder huge on the mountain,
an underground fountain.


Under the pebble worn by the weather,
purple heather.
Under the stone in the shape of a heart,
a dart.
Under the brick on the window-sill,
a glazier’s bill.
Under the rock tourists come and go,
talking of Michelangelo.
Under the boulder, hissy and fussed,

Under the pebble next to a thistle,
a whistle.
Under the stone kicked by a horse,
a purse.
Under the brick tethering a balloon,
a macaroon.
Under the rock where the ship went aground,
the drowned.
Under the boulder dragged by an ox,
a fox.

Under the pebble in a puddle,
a bubble.
Under the stone in a storm,
a corm.
Under the brick in the fog,
a frog.
Under the rock in the rain,
a drain.
Under the boulder in space,

Under the boulder next to the loch,
a rock.
Under the rock inscribed R.I.P. MICK,
a brick.
Under the brick, fossiled with fishbone,
a stone.
Under the stone, causing no trouble,
a pebble.
Under the pebble, caressed by a thumb,
another ant with a crumb.