In Books, Poems

In this new book by award-winning poet Andrew Lansdown, limericks and haiku jostle with rhymed verse and free verse to bring to life crazy critters, odd bods, fantasy worlds and the natural world. Allsorts is a collection of all sorts of poems that all sorts of people will find as colourful and sweet as a packet of liquorice allsorts.

The final 70 pages of Allsorts include personal observations from the poet about the poems in the collection, a comprehensive glossary of poetic forms and techniques, and a set of seven indexes identifying the poems that employ these different forms and techniques. These pages will prove an invaluable resource for anyone who wants to learn more about the poet’s craft, including students, teachers and aspiring poets.

Five Poems from Allsorts

Grandma and the Mouses

Illustration: © Susan Lansdown

Our grandma grouses

about the mouses

in people’s houses.


She says, ‘It’s not nice

to let weeny mice

run about the hice!’


‘Yes,’ we says, ‘it’s news—

they gnaws and they chews

and they does doo-doos!’


‘Get us a cheese trap,’

says Gran with a clap.

‘Let’s give ’em a snap!’


She knuckles her hands

and we understands

the whacking she plans!


Oh, thinks us, what luck!

Our Gran’s got more pluck

than piglets in muck!


‘Yippee,’ says we, ‘yip!

You’ll get a neck-nip,

meece, unless you skip!’

© Andrew Lansdown

Illustration: © Susan Lansdown

Clever Blowfish

‘Look at me, Daddy,

I’m being a bubblegum!’

cried bubby blowie.

‘You’re such a clever fish, son,

but be careful you don’t … burst!’

© Andrew Lansdown

The Elephant Who Lost His Tail

The elephant who lost his tail

requested one more in the mail,

for he’d seen an ad

in brochures he had

of a Pachyderm Spare Parts Sale.

Illustration: © Susan Lansdown

The elephant who lost his tail

was riding the surf on a whale

when the postman came

and left to his name

a parcel as long as a rail.


The elephant who lost his tail

returned from the sea when a gale

infused its great force

into a white horse

and kicked him ashore like a pail.


The elephant who lost his tail

felt handsomely hearty and hale

as he ripped the pack

the shop had sent back

by return and registered mail.


The elephant who lost his tail

cried aloud with a woeful wail.

‘My hopes are all sunk!

They’ve sent me a trunk!

They ought to be bunked in a jail!’


The elephant who lost his tail

refused to give up or to fail.

He whittled the trunk

and wore it with spunk

fixed fast to his bot’ with a nail

© Andrew Lansdown



Illustration: © Susan Lansdown

Stretched like a lion

in the sunlight on the lawn—

the children’s rabbit.



Yellow almond leaf,

get back to your twig before

the white rabbit comes!



Autumn smorgasbord—

the pet rabbit tries a plum

then an almond leaf.

© Andrew Lansdown

Limerick on a Long Nose

There was a short man whose nose

extended right down to his toes.

While walking a track

it caught in a crack

and stretched out as long as a hose!

© Andrew Lansdown

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