The Making of Goose at the Gate

I have always loved and read poetry. And in my teenage years I was so inspired by Dylan Thomas’s Under Milkwood, that I decided to go into teaching. It’s the power and beauty of words, the shimmer and delight of rhythm and imagery that sings in my heart. Today I even read Emily Dickinson, John Keats, T.S Eliot and Dr Seuss!

My nickname has been Goose for a long time. My eldest son who is 39 still texts me messages to Goose. I have grown fond of it and it’s a part of me so when I sat down to write a collection of poems for my grand children, the title, Giddy Goose, Goose at the Gate and Guzzling Goose came to mind. I chose the middle one. There are 40 poems, 4 for each grand child. It’s my hope that their parents will read aloud to them, finding the ones that match their name. As cousins, they will also recognise the others.



From Silkworms in My Shoebox for Sam to Springtime Elephant Song for Audrey, this collection came together during the Covid lockdown. “I had a lot of fun making this book and many of the poems are best read aloud to appreciate the pace and rythmn. Some are a little nonsense like There’s a Croc in my Ear to more emotional ones like Feelings for Shia Rose. For the adventurous, there’s a poem called Voyage Across the Sea for Riley illustrated with a beautiful make- believe bed boat, sails and diving dolphins. Margeaux Davis has captured a light, child-like scene across the sea with soft watercolour paints.


Food features too, with Pancakes on my Plate and The Dinosaur that loved Yogurt.

Things that Dance is a poem that shows “midnight owls hooting and tooting, spinning and grinning their way to the moon.” Watch out for Mozzies Bite, with “attack, whine, mozzies on my foot” and Hamish and his Mouse, a rhyming poem of 4 lined stanzas. Poet Marg Gibbs loves the way language and imagery can bounce off each other, such as the lines from Butterfly Flutterby, “muttering by, flipping high, whispering small sighs.”





It was great to test out my collage skills, cutting and pasting painted papers. ( My Dog is Surfing above) It brings a vibrancy and unique style to a poem. And it was bonus to discover Margeaux Davis who lives in NSW and works in a tiny studio cabin in the garden. At one time her son gave her some ideas for one of the  drawings..

From Octopus Boy, Surf’s Up, to Friends, Goose at the Gate has a poem to tempt your little ones.

The age range I have targeted is from 2-10, yet all who love language and nature will find something to enjoy.

It sells at $26.99 on my website, HONK! HONK!


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M.J. Gibbs
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