I chose this poem from a batch of outstanding poems submitted by the class of Cliff Yates. It's playful, funny, clever, and imaginatively laid out, but gains its depth from one fresh and accurate simile - porpoises really do look just like an old-fashioned bag-vacuum cleaner. They are plump, satisfied-looking creatures - I expect that Ruth is right, and that they do think that achieving porpoisness is a good reason for living.
THE PORPOISE OF LIFE
The propoise of life. according. to the law of porpoises
and looking like
a disused vacuum cleaner. dragged unwillingly
under the stairs.
Ruth Yates, aged 9, receives Two's Company by Jackie Kay (Blackie Children's Books). Submitted by Cliff Yates of Maharishi School, Lancs, who receives a set of Poetry Society posters. For Poetry Society events, ring 0171 240 2133. Please send poems to Kate Clanchy, The TES, Admiral House, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1 9XY