Solo travel

19th July 1996 at 01:00
Mum you needn't have worried one bit.

I travelled fine, fine, solo. Carried in steelbird-belly of music shows.

I ate two passengers' pudding twice.

Nibbled nothings nutty and chocolaty.

Sipped cool Cokes. Over mountain after mountain. Over different oceans. Over weird clouds, like snow hills, pillars, with trails of straggly shapes, drifting, searching. And strangers talked.

Germans going on big-fish hunt.

Italians to ride glass bottomed boat.

A Dane to do snorkelling. Then Mum I hopped from steelbird-belly, among roasted people of a palm tree place.

Welcome to Jamaica, voices said.

Whole family hugged me. I felt rain falling hot showers. I knew the exotic arrivals collected up would be on beaches, naked.

Steel bird stood there shining to carry on come-and-go migrations.

By James Berry

James Berry is a winner of the Signal Award for children's poetry. Bloodaxe Books recently published Hot Earth, Cold Earth, his collection of poems for adults

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today