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

He Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven – a poem by W. B. Yeats

HAD I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

William Butler Yeats

I like this poem very much – we all have dreams – hopes, as yet unfulfilled, which are part of the human condition.
Best wishes
Lis Goodwin, your voice coahc

No Master – a poem by W. H. Davies

Indeed this is the sweet life! my hand
Is under no proud man’s command;
There is no voice to break my rest
Before a bird has left its nest;
There is no man to change my mood,
When I go nutting in the wood;
No man to pluck my sleeve and say —
I want thy labour for this day;
No man to keep me out of sight,
When that dear Sun is shining bright.
None but my friends shall have command
Upon my time, my heart and hand;
I’ll rise from sleep to help a friend,
But let no stranger orders send,
Or hear my curses fast and thick,
Which in his purse-proud throat would stick
Like burrs. If I cannot be free
To do such work as pleases me,
Near woodland pools and under trees,
You’ll get no work at all, for I
Would rather live this life and die
A beggar or a thief, than be
A working slave with no days free.

William Henry Davies

Another great poen from W. H. Davies – I hope you enjoyed it!

Best wishes

Lis Goodwin, your voice coach

The Hermit – a poem by W. H. Davies

WHAT moves that lonely man is not the boom
Of waves that break against the cliff so strong;
Nor roar of thunder, when that travelling voice
Is caught by rocks that carry far along.

‘Tis not the groan of oak tree in its prime,
When lightning strikes its solid heart to dust;
Nor frozen pond when, melted by the sun,
It suddenly doth break its sparkling crust.

What moves that man is when the blind bat taps
His window when he sits alone at night;
Or when the small bird sounds like some great beast
Among the dead, dry leaves so frail and light.

Or when the moths on his night-pillow beat
Such heavy blows he fears they’ll break his bones;
Or when a mouse inside the papered walls,
Comes like a tiger crunching through the stones.

William Henry Davies

W. H. Davies is one of my absolute favourite poets – a master of description. I hope you enjoyed this poem!

Best wishes

Lis Goodwin, your voice coach

Three Tongue Twisters!

These are great fun!

Something in a thirty-acre thermal thicket of thorns and thistles thumped and thundered threatening the three-D thoughts of Matthew the thug – although, theatrically, it was only the thirteen-thousand thistles and thorns through the underneath of his thigh that the thirty year old thug thought of that morning.

by Meaghan Desbiens

There was a fisherman named Fisher
who fished for some fish in a fissure.
Till a fish with a grin,
pulled the fisherman in.
Now they’re fishing the fissure for Fisher.

Betty Botter bought some butter but, said she, the butter’s bitter.
If I put it in my batter, it will make my batter bitter.
But a bit of better butter will make my bitter batter better.
So she bought some better butter, better than the bitter butter,
put it in her bitter batter, made her bitter batter better.
So ‘t was better Betty Botter bought some better butter.


What do you think? They certainly get you paying attention! You can find lots more here: Click!

Do you have a favourite? Share it in the comments!

Best wishes

Lis Goodwin, your voice coach

More About People – a poem by Ogden Nash

When people aren’t asking questions

They’re making suggestions

And when they’re not doing one of those

They’re either looking over your shoulder or stepping on your toes

And then as if that weren’t enough to annoy you

They employ you.

Anybody at leisure

Incurs everybody’s displeasure.

It seems to be very irking

To people at work to see other people not working,

So they tell you that work is wonderful medicine,

Just look at Firestone and Ford and Edison,

And they lecture you till they’re out of breath or something

And then if you don’t succumb they starve you to death or something.

All of which results in a nasty quirk:

That if you don’t want to work you have to work to earn enough money so that you won’t have to work.

Ogden Nash

This poem is kind of true! The world of work might not be much fun for many, but I think one of the greatest endeavours in life is to find work which you enjoy.


When we love what we do, we give it our all, and enjoy simply doing a job well.

Best wishes

Lis Goodwin, your voice coach

Quickstep – a poem by A. S. J. Tessimond


Acknowledge the drum’s whisper.
Yield to its velvet
Nudge. Cut a slow air-
Curve. Then dip (hip to hip):
Sway, swing, pedantically
Poise. Now recover,
Converting the coda
To prelude of sway-swing-
The drum-crack’s alacrity –
Acrid exactitude –
Catch it, then slacken,
Then catch as cat catches
Rat. Trace your graph:
Loop, ellipse. Skirt an air-wall
To bend it and break it –
Thus – so –
As the drum speaks!

A. S. J. Tessimond

This poem reminds me of hip-hop lyrics, it’s punchy and has rhythm and a beat to it.

I hope you enjoy it!

Best wishes

Lis Goodwin, your voice coach

Can you help?

Having had to change career suddenly earlier this year due to my previous work as a therapist actually making me ill (!), I have had to hit the ground running whilst still trying to heal – it’s not easy, as you can imagine.

So I’m in need – and money is scarce. I don’t want to go onto government benefits even though I’m entitled to them – I want to work! Can you help? Would you share my blog with friends and family? I’m looking for clients – aged 10 plus. Lessons are half an hour a week (or you can book 45 minutes – adults sometimes prefer that), and can be booked daytime or evening – obviously mostly they are after school. They are booked in blocks of ten – a term at a time – but you can start anytime you like. I work through school holidays too, for those who prefer that.

Lessons start at £17 each (that’s if booked as a block of ten).

It’s hard to build a business in a recession, but I believe in what I’m doing – knowing how it helped me tremendously. At a time in my life when I faced being bullied daily, it lifted me out of that, and created a confidence I so needed. The benefits have stayed with me, of course – my lessons were worth every penny.

Would you take a moment to share a blog post, or a video? To tell your friends about me?

That would be awesome, and I’d so appreciate it.

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


The Setter Sweater Store – a poem by Kenn Nesbitt

This is a great poem, and fun to read. It’s a great way to introduce the idea of tongue twisters, and encourages clients to think about meter and measure of their voice, in order to speak clearly and not just race through it as some kind of speed challenge!

I hope you enjoy it!

You can visit Kenn’s website at

Best wishes

Lis Goodwin, your voice coach