Imagination—An Infringement of Health and Safety Regulations
New health and safety regulations require pupils visiting streams to wear wellington boots and rubber gloves in case they catch diseases. (As parents of a school-age child we were actually told this last week.)
A boy had a bag of dreams. It was filled with Impossible ideas, annoying noises and dangerous dares.
The boy went to school. When it snowed outside, He peeked in his bag. There were: Snowballs and slides, Clouds made from breath and brilliant bruises. The door to the playground stayed locked.
The boy went to school, Where a tree stood alone in a field. He climbed inside his bag: There were: Handholds and hidden heights At the top, a whole class of views Was learning how to dream. But the tree was out of bounds.
The boy went to school, To do a project on rivers. He dived into his bag: There were splashes and screams, A nice new net and oodles of wet. Instead, They studied the properties of water And the real stream wept as it wound its way.
The boy was so angry, He emptied his bag And the rules blew away in a blizzard, Leaving only a lonely tree. For a dare, The boy leapt into the sky. When the snow melted, He dreamed up a river, And a dangerous horse That he rode all the way With a bag of dreams To the sea, the sea, The impossible blue-black sea. [End Page 96]
Andrew Fusek Peters is a children’s poet and novelist who has written and edited over 70 titles including Switching On The Moon; A Very First Book of Bedtime Poems. More information about Peters and his work is available at http:/www.tallpoet.com