Thursday, 1 August 2013

The Jelly Shoe

A poem for both my children...

Jellyfish scattered all over the shore, 
you were quite frightened that you would be stung,
clung to my hand while I carried your sister and carefully tip-toed across.

Your feet were bare,
Izzy had shoes (her favourite pair),
jelly sandals to replace those lost on holiday.

A red shoe lost in shallow water jumping, splashing game.

Which floated maybe far from land,
far from beach and far from grasp,
tossing, turning, rolling over, catch me if you can.

And maybe men in boats of fish,
gathered, pulled and heaved their nets -
groaned at sight of plastic shoe and threw it straight back in.

To the jaws of a shark in open sea,
who circled and circled and tried it for tea,
Took a bite - but didn't like - and spat the sandal free.

To be churned by a wave and then carried at speed,
storm clouds and currents and briskest of breeze,
Miles and miles and miles from here.

And later when high winds and blue skies were calm,
passed once again from the eye of the storm,
the shoe found itself in an ocean of stuff!

Hundreds and thousands and all far around,
everything rubbish and everything drowned,
floating and bobbing and ducking back down.

For in the Pacific there is such a place -
where everything plastic and everything lost,
gathers together and floats on the top.

(I don't think the shoe liked it there very much).

And being bright red caught the eye of a gull,
who dived to the surface and soared high above,
sandal in beak and away 'cross the surf.

But this sort of jelly is heavy and tuff,
dropped once again to the foam and the froth,
spied by a whale and then dragged close to home.

Caught in a swell and abandoned to float,
Almost - oh almost - washed right back to shore,
But then out of nowhere - was swallowed up whole!

By something wet and soft and cold,
something clear with tentacles,
some huge giant jelly blob!

So next time you are at the beach,
brand new sandals, safe on feet,
pebble, seaweed, sand to creep...

Keep your eyes wide, keep them peeled,
not for shark or whale or eel
something small with rosy glint...

Izzy's red shoe jellyfish!

For Izzy (who loves shoes)... 

...and Archie (who hates jellyfish but loves a bedtime story) xx

Prose for Thought


  1. Such a great story - I'm sure your wee ones love it! xx I really like the drawings too!

    1. Thank you - being a graphic designer pays off from time to time...

  2. What a really wonderful poem and I love the adventures that the shoe encounters - perfect for childrens stories. I can just see this in an illustrated book. Thank you for linking to Prose for Thought as always Helen :) xx

  3. What a great bedtime story! Will need to pick your brains on how you made the illustrations fit your story - did you find several and combine them w paintshop?

    1. Yes - elements from various illustrations combined using illustrator or photoshop. (I don't know paintshop) x

  4. how fantastic is this and what fab images :-) xxx

  5. I really enjoyed travelling with the sandal on its adventure. Just brilliant Helen. I've printed it off to read to Esme later. x

  6. Love it! What a great bedtime story :)

  7. What a lovely bed time story! I think you need to collect a few and do a book of sea stories...

  8. Have you thought of writing children's stories - there is such an other worldly way to your writing (including your brilliant short story)that it's perfect for children... and did you create those pictures? Lovely. This was a joy to read! X.

  9. Im going to read this story to my little guy at bedtime,it's fab x


Thank you so much for commenting - it really does make my day x