Michele Waering

Like A Child

I took short steps towards bright things I espied as a child.
Parental injunction: "Don't wander!" Hopeless, I sighed as a child.

Books. Captured me, freed me.
I was always occupied as a child.

Those days when wings opened, dreams of flying
through blossoms, through clouds wide-eyed like a child.

Gentle air on your skin, light light-fingered,
a cannot-linger place in which to abide like a child.

Then of course, Michele, there is the Perfect Word,
The Beautiful One who cannot be quantified, like a Child.


The Land of Green Ginger

Booma-lakka-wee. Booma-lakka-big.
Will floating islands slide up to the door? Can we
take the dog and cat to the Land of Green Ginger?

A-roonie intoned the jazzman; right-a-reenie
we improvised and laughed and giggled
and persisted waiting for the Land of Green Ginger.

SSSNAAAKE!!!! our mother shrieked. My brother
grabbed her vegetable spoon, gash-hammered
a coral snake. Protecting damsels in the Land of Green Ginger.

Split atoms hissed. We retrieved storm blown shingles,
drew hopscotch maps, saved phoenix feathers, stayed
on the lookout for the Land of Green Ginger.

Paper smoothed, crayons primed: who knows what the
last picture drawn might have been? A mushroom
cloud? Or the child's hope? The Land of Green Ginger.


I spent my childhood in the United States; this is one view from the mid to late 1950s. The Land of Green Ginger was a story shown as part of the television series, Shirley Temple's Storybook. The original book is: The Tale of the Land of Green Ginger by Noel Langley, first published in 1937.

Michele Waering spent her early years in the United States. She has an MLitt in Creative Writing from The University of Glasgow. Her work has been published in From Glasgow to Saturn; A Thousand Cranes: Scottish Poets for Japan; Envoi; The Interpreter,s House; Red River Review; World Haiku Review and The Ghazal Page. She lives in Renfrewshire, Scotland.