Thank you for the many letters and messages since my last update, with special mentions to the children from Oasis Academy in London and Wrawby C of E primary, who sent beautifully written letters and stories about Street Child, some of them asking what happens to Emily and Lizzie. I hope you’ve managed to find Far From Home by now!
Special mentions, too, to Aashma Goldfarb, Samarpreet Kaur and Kayla Pringle, all from Kirkwood School in Christchurch, New Zealand, who had all been reading Abela and sent me very thoughtful and enthusiastic letters about it. I do hope you like the new edition as The Girl Who Saw Lions and its amazing cover.
My star goes to Laura Potts for her lovely poem ‘The Nightwatchmen’, which I’ve mentioned above. I’m sending Laura a copy of The Girl Who Saw Lions.
Forever as the shepherd’s hook pulled up the dusk and ever-dark,
when far-off foxes coughed the frost and laughed that more must be,
beneath the dropping eyes of stars that fought that winter to the last
was always you and me. The storm departed from the sea; the war from we
whenever through the cold-bone blue of mist came you, chin uplifted on
the winds in wedding lanes we never knew. Until in this the airfield age,
with planes that screamed the world awake, we felt again the fist of truth:
sleeping in that infant rain stood one more crooked tooth. These the graves
that ever grew to guard the isle at night, the bones beneath them ballroom-bright
that fight the thunder and the tide, and bend and beg surrender to decline
their ebbing heads. And with the herrings overhead, remember this instead:
that somewhere as the embers fled, a minister took to his bed and only ever dreamt
the dead. Oh never will the waiting world forget the winters, blue-of-birth, that
never wake the sleepers here: ever in their slumbers at the first snow of the year.