The Invention of Flight

Where is my pant-seat?

It’s fifty feet below –

I’m soaring high, and left it

down there in the snow.

Perhaps you think that

what I say is trite,

But I’m Clement Ader,

I think I just invented flight!

© Lis Goodwin 2016

We’ve all heard about the Wright brothers, but did you know others flew first? Look at Clement Ader’s flying machine from 1890!


Wowser. Here’s what MentalFloss has to say about him:

“French inventor Clement Ader distinguished himself as the first to develop stereo sound, among his many engineering innovations. He was the first to achieve self-propelled flight, with a batwing aircraft powered by a steam engine. His first flight was around 50 meters, on October 9, 1890, a full 13 years before the Wright Brothers! He then designed a better flying machine that reportedly flew 200 yards in 1892. A public demonstration in 1897 apparently ended badly, and Ader lost his Department of War funding.” (source)

So that was my inspiration from today’s challenge ‘Fifty‘ – I hope you enjoyed it!

Best wishes

Lis Goodwin – your voice coach

The other poems of Spike Milligan

We often think of Spike Milligan as a joker – a humourist. This poem is a good example of his nonsense verse for children:


‘What is a Bongaloo, Daddy?’
‘A Bongaloo, Son,’ said I,
‘Is a tall bag of cheese
Plus a Chinaman’s knees
And the leg of a nanny goat’s eye.’

‘How strange is a Bongaloo, Daddy?’
‘As strange as strange,’ I replied.
‘When the sun’s in the West
It appears in a vest
Sailing out with the noonday tide.’

‘What shape is a Bongaloo, Daddy?’
‘The shape, my Son, I’ll explain:
It’s tall round the nose
Which continually grows
In the general direction of Spain.’

‘Are you sure there’s a Bongaloo, Daddy?’
‘Am I sure, my Son?’ said I.
‘Why, I’ve seen it, not quite
On a dark sunny night

Do you think that I’d tell you a lie?

Spike Milligan

Here’s another, read by me:

But then I am reminded how many emotionally deep and intense poems he also wrote, which are far less often read. This one is just one example:

When I Suspected

There will be a time when it will end.
Be it parting
Be it death
So each passing minute with you
Pendulummed with sadness.
So many times
I looked long into your face.
I could hear the clock ticking.

Spike Milligan

It’s good to remember that he was more than his most popular poems.

Best wishes

Lis Goodwin, your voice coach

Ethics for Everyman – a poem by Roger Woddis

Throwing a bomb is bad,
Dropping a bomb is good;
Terror, no need to add,
Depends on who’s wearing the hood.

Kangaroo courts are wrong.
Specialist courts are right;
Discipline by the strong
Is fair if your collar is white.

Company profit ‘soars’,
Wages, of course ‘explode’;
Profits deserve applause,
Pay claims, the criminal code.

Daily the Church declares
Betting shops are a curse;
Gambling with stocks and shares
Enlarges the national purse.

Workers are absentees,
Businessmen relax,
Different as chalk and cheese;
Social morality
Has a duality-
One for each side of the tracks.
Roger Woddis was born in 1917, so it’s interesting to see in this poem of his just how things he saw at the time he wrote it are just the very same today. Sad but true!

Best wishes

Lis Goodwin, your voice coach


Giles the Mola mola – a poem by Lis Goodwin

mola mola.jpg

Mola mola, your name must be Giles,

but I bet you can’t say it, even less with a smile.

When you say your name, it must sound like Thilthes,

as you while away your days in the sea, Mola mola.

© Lis Goodwin, 2016 All Rights Reserved


Mola mola is the Latin name for this fish, known at the ocean Sunfish. There’s a great video and more information in the article linked below, and I quote:

“A video captured by divers off the coast of Portugal shows a rare up-close encounter with a massive Mola Mola, which dwarfs the humans that swim alongside as it moves slowly in for a selfie. 

For a fish that appears to have just half a body, Mola Mola can grow to enormous dimensions.

These unusually shaped creatures, also known as ocean sunfish, are the heaviest bony fish in the world, and can weigh nearly 5,000 pounds.”

You can read more at the Daily Mail (click!) Please note the link is for the Daily Mail which is a site which is best viewed with parental supervision.

Question – how many grams in a pound? Do you know?

Best wishes

Lis Goodwin, your voice coach

Goodbye S.S. – a poem by Spike Milligan

Go away girl, go away
and let me pack my dreams
Now where did I put those yesteryears
made up with broken seams
Where shall I sweep the pieces
my God they still look new
There’s a taxi waiting at the door
but there’s only room for you

Spike Milligan

Spike Milligan is mostly known for comedy, whether playing his part in the Goon Show, or in his nonsense poetry, but he had a deeply soulful side to his nature, and poured out emotions in some of his works which might surpise those who haven’t read beyond his lighter works.

Best wishes

Lis Goodwin, your voice coach

GARDASIL?! – a poem by Sandy

Come here dear little children
Now you’re nine years old
We want the very best for you
So please be brave and bold

When you get this little jab
It’ll give you some pain
But it’ll be so good for you
Tho’ it might affect your brain

It gives your little bodies
Such a healthy feast:
Aluminium and histidine
Some virus strains and yeast

There’s polysorbate 80
But we don’t mind at all
The nurses here will catch you
If you do faint or fall

There’s borax which kills cockroaches
No joking, it is true
But the experts have told us
That it surely won’t kill you

There are many thousands
Of side effects we hear
But we hope that you’ll be lucky
And have nothing to fear

In fact nobody knows
If the jab will prevent
Any type of cancer
In any event

Some medical experts
Do in fact declare
That the jab may give you cancer
And they don’t know if it’s rare

We really want some grandchildren
When you become mature
The jab may make you sterile
Tho’ nobody is sure!

I don’t know who Sandy is, but I found her poem on a site which is a treasure trove for health information. Here’s the source link (Click!)

As a former complementary therapist, I am naturally against injecting poison into people – a health body resists disease, and the toxins in vaccines are only ever going to reduce human health and vitality, making you more suseptible to illness – often chronic.

If your child is due for vaccination, please check out this site the Billion Toddler March for Survival (Click!)

I know this is a controversial issue – I know it’s a powerfully polarised debate. However, please don’t be like this poor mother, I quote:

“Four years ago, Shannon Delaney (17), a committed cross-country runner and passionate GAA player, received her first HPV vaccine at school in Mullingar, Co Westmeath.

She was given three doses of the vaccine over a six-month period.

Her parents, Caroline and Patrick, thought it was “a good thing”. The family stress that they are “not anti-vaccination”.

Shannon and her three younger siblings have all had their shots, including the BCG and MMR, with no adverse side effects.

Looking back, her distressed mum describes the consent form as “the worst thing I’ve ever put my signature to – it has ruined Shannon and has left our family in turmoil”.” (source)

Her regrets are shared by many parents who trusted drug manufacturers and doctors to know what is best. Parents MUST educate themselves and secide based on the evidence what is right for their child and their family.

Best wishes

Lis Goodwin, your voice coach

Blue Ice – a poem by Lis Goodwin

blue ice

Did nature form you?

Were you always meant to look this way?

Are you an act of God, or did ten thousand hands

– warm, patient hands –

shape you and sculpt you

for me?

Lis Goodwin © 2015 All Rights Reserved

I have looked at these pictures – you can see more here (click!) – and wondered at their beauyy. These ice caves are found in Icelend. As you’ll see from the article they are in a place called Snaefellsjokull, and I thought you might like to know how to pronounce that! So here it is:

I hope you enjoyed this post!

Best wishes

Lis Goodwin, your voice coach

A Moral Alphabet (Excerpt) – a poem by Hillaire Belloc

D: The Dreadful Dinotherium he
Will have to do his best for D.
The early world observed with awe
His back, indented like a saw.
His look was gay, his voice was strong;
His tail was neither short nor long;
His trunk, or elongated nose,
Was not so large as some suppose;
His teeth, as all the world allows,
Were graminivorous, like a cow’s.
He therefore should have wished to pass
Long peaceful nights upon the Grass,
But being mad the brute preferred
To roost in branches, like a bird.1
A creature heavier than a whale,
You see at once, could hardly fail
To suffer badly when he slid
And tumbled (as he always did).
His fossil, therefore, comes to light
All broken up: and serve him right.

If you were born to walk the ground,
Remain there; do not fool around.

E stands for Egg.

Hilaire Belloc
Notes: The Dinotherium is a real fossil (obviously no longer with us!). He looks like this:
dinotheriumIt is thought that they resembled our modern day elephants. You can read more here:
The word graminivorous relates to what it ate – break the word down into gramini, and vorous – omnivorous animals eat a broad range of foods, carnivorous animals eat meat, and graminivorous animals eat grass (which are of the botanical family Gramineae).
I hope you enjoyed this poem with notes!
Best wishes
Lis Goodwin, your voice coach

Igloolik – a poem by Lis Goodwin

This is a slightly nonsense-style poem I wrote, but it’s fun and teaches youngsters some interesting facts at the same time – double win!




The people of Igloolik¹

are having none of it,

resistant are they to our pleas.


The people of Igloolik

are stuck to their homes!²

Their tongues, they cannot be freed!


The people of Igloolik

would not hear our cries,

“Thun-u-thut” they shouted, whilst stuck.


The people of Igloolik

are proud of their ways –

proud citizens, they are, of Nunavut!³


By Lis Goodwin © 2015 All right’s reserved


¹Igloolik is a real place! You can read about it here:

²Igloos are a type of traditional house built of firm snow blocks, and used by northern native peoples, although not today. It you were to lick something that frozen you could actually get stuck! So don’t try licking an igloo! Modern Inuit peoples still call their homes igloos, even if they are not made of snow. Read about igloos here:

³Nunavut is one of the territories of Canada. Territories are like states, or as we would say in the UK, counties. You can read about Nunavut here:

I hope you enjoyed it!

Best wishes

Lis Goodwin, your voice coach

Tableau At Twilight – a poem by Ogden Nash

I sit in the dusk. I am all alone.
Enter a child and an ice-cream cone.

A parent is easily beguiled
By sight of this coniferous child.

The friendly embers warmer gleam,
The cone begins to drip ice cream.

Cones are composed of many a vitamin.
My lap is not the place to bitamin.

Although my raiment is not chinchilla,
I flinch to see it become vanilla.

Coniferous child, when vanilla melts
I’d rather it melted somewhere else.

Exit child with remains of cone.
I sit in the dusk. I am all alone,

Muttering spells like an angry Druid,
Alone, in the dusk, with the cleaning fluid.

Ogden Nash

Notes: The word ‘bitamin’ is a nonsense word intended to rhyme with ‘vitamin’ – in the traditional pronunciation, the ‘vit’ part would rhyme with ‘bite’. This is because vitamin is short for ‘vital amine’

Coniferous refers to something which bears cones – normally it’s trees which are coniferous, bearing cones:

I hope you enjoyed this poem with notes!

Best wishes

Lis Goodwin, your voice coach