The Dirigible Balloon
Poetry for Children


Listen to Sarah read her poem ...
untended, abandoned but moored
to a tree, is Mermaid, a once proud sailboat
becalmed in the forest, brambled

to beehive, hosting nest lichen, mushroom
and aviary, stuck on her high keel, deep
in the rich loam and dreaming of the glittering,

mermaiding bright silver blue sea, her once sunlit
sails, yellow spinnaker in full wind pocket
splendour, hands to the mast, halyards rattling,

chasing down dolphins nosing her bow wave...

like a fairy tale ended,

a mermaid once landed is not free, and nor is a boat

that’s tasted saltwater, wind-chastened,
out of her element, greening
in ivy abandon, and losing herself to a tree.

About the Writer

Sarah Wallis

Sarah is a writer based in Scotland, with work published in journals cross genre, poetry, flash fiction and stage. She has x2 chapbooks out in the world - Medusa Retold @fly_press / Quietus Makes an Eerie @dancinggrlpress, with one due in May 2022 How to Love the Hat Thrower from @SelcouthStation. Her website is and she tweets @wordweave