In November 2019, I had the pleasure of interviewing children’s author Becci Murray, who had recently published her book, Billy’s Brain Booster Juice. Earlier this month she released a children’s poetry book – subtly entitled, ‘Don’t Wear Your Knickers on Your Head (and other very serious poems about really important stuff)’, which has been a long time in the making, and this is what she told me about it.
“I’ve written humorous poetry for as long as I can remember. Some of the poems in Don’t Wear Your Knickers on Your Head have been used by a children’s theatre company in West Sussex. The others have just been lurking on a memory stick for twenty-odd years, so I decided to spend some of my isolation time polishing them up and illustrating them.
The title poem, ‘Don’t Wear Your Knickers on Your Head,’ is one I wrote for my nieces when I moved away from my home town. I used to email them poems as a way of keeping in touch when they were children.
I’d like to share my favourite poem from the book with you. It’s called ‘Toenails’, and it’s about my brother’s feet. Brace yourselves – it’s high-brow stuff.”
You should see my brother’s toenails.
Our mum says they’re uncouth.
She says his left foot’s grown so hard
It looks more like a hoof.
My brother says his toenails
Are a proper bleedin’ triumph.
Our mum says he should cut them off
And donate them to science.
My brother, he was sleeping
When our mum took off his slippers.
She said, “That’s it! I’ve had enough!”
Then went to fetch the clippers.
The clippers broke.
She grabbed the tools.
She started with the saw.
She cried, “Oh, happy, happy day!”
As each nail dropped to floor.
My brother slowly rubbed his eyes
And gave a tired grizzle.
He woke to find our mother stood there
Brandishing a chisel.
She said, “That’s just for starters, son.”
Her face was fierce as thunder,
And eyeing up his waxy ears
She went to fetch the plunger.