By our back garden wall sits a black compost bin.

Would you dare lift the lid?  Would you dare to look in?

    Inside you might see a monster’s fierce eyes.

    No?  Changed your mind?  Oh you’re ever so wise.


Just step over here.  Can you now hear him chew?

He’s chomping and chewing his dinner all through.

    Now stop and then listen.  Well, what can you hear?

    Oooh, a very loud burp, but you’ve nothing to fear.


It’s dear Old King Compost who lives in this bin.

He has round, yellow eyes and a large hairy chin.

    Deep down in the dark, sitting there all alone,

    Lives this ugly old monster upon his big throne.


He dines upon fruit peel and rotting old greens.

They’re gobbled up quickly - his plate is soon clean.

    Look!  Father is throwing him green garden waste.

    All that grass and those weeds have a wonderful taste.


He doesn’t go shopping and of course never cooks.

There’s no time in his life for toys or good books.

    He won't even wash or comb his long hair

    And why should he worry what clothes he will wear?


Each day of his life is spent gnawing and crunching;

A nap after dinner then back to his munching.

    As he does a good job, we will never complain.

    Good Old King Compost.  Long, long may he reign!


Copyright on all my poems

The Woggaldy-Woo Mickledy-Me



By Josie Whitehead

Story Poems 2 Poor Wandering Man Old King Compost - Heading The Coloured Umbrella

POINT OF INTEREST REGARDING THIS POEM:  Professor Yunsheng Jiang from Shanghai, China, wrote an article in a leading Chinese newspaper about having discovered my poems.  Oh, it was a very long and, to me, flattering article, but I will always think of him when I think of Old King Compost.  No, he doesn't resemble him in any way but he wrote in his article: 'Josie has a great capacity to generate images and her keen poet’s eye finds stories in many unusual places, eg in a compost bin:  'Old King Compost'; in Google's 'Poor Wandering Man'.  Even an umbrella becomes a story in 'The Coloured Umbrella'.  Unusual characters which live different lives to the rest of us regularly pop up in the poems.  There is the Woggaldy-Woo who lives in a tree in Peru and the much loved invisible friend Mickledy-Me.,   I do hope you find these poems and enjoy them too. Josie

See my note below