Spinning Away

red moon

Spinning Away

The sky cracked open

and I spun away

with whirling lights in my head.

The great bird beneath me

opened its wings

and flapped from

one fantastic place to another.

Moons sang and suns

danced in one wild, weird place,

while delicate frost touched trees

of rainbow hues in another.

The black bird opened its orange beak

and sang us onwards

until we came to a frozen lake.

Silver children skated its

myriad-coloured surface

and butterflies of sparkling ice sang:

‘’Isn’t this nice.

Isn’t this nice.’’

We journeyed on past planets

of indescribable blue

and shot up a waterfall

that roared and rushed into

valleys vast and mysteriously deep.

We came to a full, red moon

that was spinning and jigging to its own

private tune.

It smiled at the black bird and

waved at me before floating away

over a long, green stream

of ribboning bubbles and delicate spray.

Finally, the air turned wonderfully warm

while a billion waltzing stars

catapulted in exotic, endless display.

Then, down, down we planed

in a golden moment that

jetted us over a gleaming sea.

‘’Home again. Home again,’’

the black bird sang with me.

I was now on soft beach sand.

I turned around once and the bird

was gone, flying on to I know not where.

I lay down on the fine, fine sand and

held onto memory after mad, marvellous memory

as one wild moon after another

looked down and winked at me.

© Andrew Pender-Smith



The Spaceship Shook

pink planet
The Spaceship Shook

 It was suddenly midnight blue

and a light flashed through

the hitherto unreachable galaxy.

Mars, Jupiter and Neptune were fun

but travelling beyond the Milky Way we spun

out of control on the intergalactic highway.

The spaceship shook and veered to the right.

Before our eyes was the most spectacular sight:

a purple and green place filled with shooting stars!

Our hair stood on end as we dropped

between multi-coloured, popped-

open comets and angry-ganged asteroids.

We left our craft, clambered on a falling

star and went pink-planet exploring.

This was whizzing- wild alien territory!

A whispering breeze took us from planet

to planet as a cold, crystal blanket

of singing ice sighed and parted.

The planet’s floor was creviced and black.

Pale purple mountains moaned as a crater began to crack

open and we drifted to a satin lake.

We glided out into luminous night

in a boat of curious sight

and entered a most peculiar city.

Buildings rose and dropped and bopped around

as a billion silver people danced upon the ground

and waved while a vanilla river swept us away.

At last we came upon a catapulting star

that shrieked and shot us up, out far,

till we landed back on the now invisible spaceship.

In full throttle and changing gear

we began to steer

our way to earth.

From far, far off we thought we

heard the sounds of mirth,

of a billion silver people laughing.

But a little blue moon put out

its arms to dance with our craft

and we never did find out who laughed.

Instead, we clapped and we wept

for it had been fun

but we couldn’t remember

how it had all begun.

And we wanted to do it again,

and again, and again.

                 © Andrew Pender-Smith


This poem has been used as a choral verse in schools, appears in an anthology of the Speech and Drama Association of South Africa, and in a collection of poems called ‘Fantastic Spacey Racy Thing and Lots and Lots of Other Poems’ by Andrew Pender-Smith. Those interested in using the poem are free to do so provided full acknowledgement of the author is made. If you enjoyed this fantasy poem, you may enjoy ‘A Strange, Sweet Lullaby’ published on Green Monkey Publications on the 12th of February 2018.

With good wishes,

Andrew Pender-Smith



A Strange, Sweet Lullaby

sky-space-dark-galaxy (2)

A Strange, Sweet Lullaby

I was up in a mind-blowing

solar system, sitting on

an ice-blue dragon with

glittering, shimmering wings.

My mind was a new shooting star

as I sang in the star-spangled brightness

of a billion bauble-filled vistas.

Far to the left were peppermint moons

while right close by were

peach-coloured, cartwheeling butterflies.

The planets that spun and danced on their

way to distant, dazzling suns

were tiny and topaz and strawberry pink.

The dragon arrowed up, up, up into a

whole new place, and it glowed to the

tip of its tail before it sang in a resonant voice.

It was a strange, sweet lullaby that was

smooth and gloriously soothing.

The peppermint moons listened and

hummed a refrain to the constant streaming

of tinkling platinum particles.

Then we were no longer alone as dragon

after wing-flapping dragon was there,

each with a laughing child on its back.

Where we were going, I cannot say,

but that it was good to be there,

each happy child understood.

The Earth was barely a memory

and the vistas before us were warm

and utterly welcoming.

We put up our hands and clapped

as we sang.

Up, up we soared into

soft, streaming light.

And we never looked back!

Our faces, our eyes, and then

all of us bounced and beamed into

the billion bright baubles and we

each became one of them.

The dragons planed down.

They were going back to Earth.

And us?

We had found a new place

way beyond outer space,

and we were now beautifully

part of it all.

‘Transmogrified?’, ‘Transcended?’

call it what you will,

but we were still us and

also new again,

and it was an absolute thrill.

        © Andrew Pender-Smith 2018

If you enjoyed this poem, you might like to also read ‘THAT’S FANTASTIC!’ by Andrew Pender-Smith. Click on the link to take a look. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B078HF378N



2018 – Happy New Year


Happy New Year to all those who have interacted with me on the Green Monkey Publications website, as well as to those who might have just come across this particular creative space for the first time. Sebastian de Ververt joins me and Craig Carden by saying:

Have de Happee New Year.

Have de fun.

Have de laughter.

Don be naughtee.

Well, not too much…

Take care. Stay healthee.

Keep swinging creativelee.

Frum Sebastian de Vervet,

everyone’s favourite jumpee monkey




Merree Christmas and de Happee New Year


Merree Christmas an de Happee New Year

Sebastian de Vervet says dat if you are
de one celebrating Christmas den
‘Merree Christmas’,
an den I’m tinking, tinking it’s also time for
de New Year.

I’m saying, ‘’Happee, Happee New Year.’’
Have some fun.
May de good times come.
Don be naughtee. Well, not too much…

I’m making special wishes for those
into creativity.
May you make your best work yet
be it painting, prose or poetry.

‘’Happee Happee’’

Sebastian de Vervet

Andrew Pender-Smith and Craig Carden of Green Monkey Publications say “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year” too.


A Gift for Life

reading-77167 (3)
A Gift For Life

To every mother and father,

and gran and grandpa, too.

Here’s an important message

that’s meant just for you.

If you want the child in

your life to get ahead.

You need to expand his mind.

You need to feed what’s in his head.

Read aloud to your child

every day of your life.

Read stories about anything,

even those that are fantastic and wild.

You’ll build his vocabulary.

Help him to think.

He’ll be able to visualise

and become very wise.

As readers are leaders,

help him become one, too.

Let him learn of this.

Let him learn of that.

Start reading him a story.

Begin right now.

Go adventuring.

Go exploring.

One word at a time.

Whether it’s prose,

or whether it’s rhyme,

you’ll give him a gift for a lifetime.

PS. I didn’t mean to offend.
I truly did not.

Don’t think of me as a beast

as this doesn’t come least:

If your child is a girl,

of course you’ll read just

as much to her, too.

 ©  Andrew Pender-Smith



Rhyming Answers Game


Rhyming Answers Game

A little lateral thinking can go a long way to encourage the mind to come up with new ideas. The ‘Rhyming Answers Game’ is a fun way to keep thinking fresh. I have used this with students of dramatic arts and English. The game always proves lively and entertaining, and it definitely enhances their abilities as thinkers and communicators.

In essence, they are asked to answer a question in rhyme. It may be one they come up with themselves or one that is given to them. Here are two examples:

Q. Do you like insects?


No, not really.

They have too many

Spindly legs and when

They move, I think they look

Mad and scary.

Q. Would you love to go to outer space?


 I think it would be amazing.

I would fly through the Milky Way

And do close-up star gazing.

I’d do flick-flacks all along

Jupiter’s glowing ring

And sing a rock song

I’d float way above every moon

And shout down to Earth ‘’I love

It up here so I won’t be coming back

Any time soon.


That’s it for now. Thank you for reading.       

As per usual, ‘’Happy Creating’’.

Andrew Pender-Smith

Please note: I first came across this game in a book called Party Games for Children by Mary Vivian.



Singing and Clapping

rocky beach

This attractive photo was used for the cover of ‘Singing and Clapping’  a story for children in the 7-9 age-group. ‘Singing and Clapping’ sees Linda the potato who loves everything pink, Sylvester the carrot with long purple hair, and Big Bruce the blue balloon share another adventure. The story is the second in the ‘Be Brave’ series. The first story is called ‘Floating into Happiness’. Both stories can be found on Amazon Kindle. 

Singing and Clapping  – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0765RB1QH

To find out how these three characters came into being, you can scroll down to visit an earlier post called ‘Creating Characters from Objects’. 

To those involved in the arts, ‘Happy Creating’.

Andrew Pender-Smith


Creating New Idioms



Colouring Your Communication – Creating Original Idioms

Say ‘Goodbye’ to cliché. Writers and speakers are often a big switch-off if they use idioms that have been overused. If you take time to create some of your own it will help enliven your communication, and help you be a more original voice. I have come up with three to illustrate:

He was as happy as a hungry dolphin in a sardine shoal.’ One of the most commonly used idioms for expressing great happiness is: ‘He was as happy as a lark’.

Instead of saying that someone is ‘as old as the hills’ I came up with: ‘She was as old as the first dinosaur’s mother’.

How many of you know the idiom ‘He was totally legless’? It means the man had far too much alcohol to drink and, as a result, couldn’t stand. To put it more prosaically, he was drunk. After a bit of thought, I typed out: ‘He was like a sad old goat trying to walk on ice’.

Now try creating your own idioms in different contexts. All the ones in common usage were once new. One created by you might be used by others and gain you some recognition in the process. Have a good time trying.

Andrew Pender-Smith