Johanna Boal lives in Beverley, East Yorkshire, England and work for the local council as a librarian. She writes poetry and children’s stories. She is a published poet in anthologies, online and read over the radio. Her children’s book was long listed in the Sunday Times Newspaper and is currently been reviewed.She is a member of the Poetry Society and Society Of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
Ode to Pete Seeger (1919-2014)
Born Manhattan, middleclass privileges but
A living to be made, you did the best you could
With a tin whistle in your mouth, banjo on your knee
The piano, ukulele, guitar, mandolin
All waiting for their turn to make the tune
Singing protest songs and American folk
Giving hope through the power of a song
Vocal about hammers, little boxes, wimoweh.
You said- ‘Let’s look ahead’,
Through the spirit of a song, we shall overcome;
When Americans took land from Native Americans,
Enslaved the blacks, McCarthy years and blacklisted
Europe conquered the world, Hitler, Genghis khan,
Stalin, you called him Big Joe Blues.
Who’ll sing about Snowden, The Banks,
Syrian refugees and the current environment crisis?
Your White Feathers Captivate Me
Imagine, an urgency of running to you, to go over,
Whilst I close my eyes and put my hands through
The puffed up chest, to feel those feathers, to stroke each quill
And know, when I gently rub your long curved neck
The softness I will feel, like petals from newly spring flowers.
Fancy, my fingertips touching a tough but good-looking surface
My close-up eyes inspecting the black and orange beak.
Picture this, all the time you were in the water
Floating to and from the banks, it was your reflection
That mesmerised me to do the things I wanted to do.