My young friend, the creative and talented Louis, gave me a list of words to write into a poem. His words are in bold and this poem is for him...
An Artist In Space
Wrapped in my space suit,
I am a Panda Picasso,
trying to sketch planet earth with my pencil.
So far, I'm doing a pretty good job.
Things look different up here than they do on the map:
Indonesia is a small bird bathing in the sea.
Italy doesn't look like a boot when it's upside down;
it is more like an alligator opening its great jaw.
Scandinavia is a piece of cheese on a fork.
That's pretty funny, I think,
and when I laugh,
my breath rushes past my ears
like a red tiger's roar.
There is no room for a lunchbox up here.
Instead I suck on sugar cubes
like a horse after a race.
Sometimes the whole of space
looks at me and twinkles a question:
- as if I have the answer,
as if I represent all the people who ever lived
and can reply for us all.
Apart from the sugar cubes, and my pencil,
the only things I carry with me are words.
Weightless, unaffected by gravity, and very satisfying,
I nibble on them whenever I'm hungry.
My favourite one today is "flabbergasted".
And so I sing it out into space -
- an answer to the question,
with a million tiny answers inside it
like stars packed into the galaxy's pocket.