Paddling by Featured Poet: Alicia Hayden

For Annie

Yellow boots, and a mackintosh;
With a hood slightly too big,
and sleeves slightly too short –
Her prized possessions.

And then it rains.

The delight on her face,
As she peeps out from under her hood
and sees the growing puddles.
It is her time.

And like a duck to water,
she runs from the house – and jumps…!

Paddling has never been a toddler’s thing.



Poem ‘Paddling’ and drawing ‘wellington boots’ by Alicia Hayden, Rain before Rainbows 2020


I am an award-winning poet and artist from North Yorkshire, with a degree in Biology from Oxford University, and a love of wildlife and the natural world.

I think it is important to use creative writing and the arts to showcase the beauty of nature, and why we need to protect it; and this inspired me to create and self-publish my first, illustrated wildlife poetry book “Rain before Rainbows” in 2020, of which 50% of profits go to the wildlife hospital Tiggywinkles. 

My poem “Leopard” won WWF’s My True Nature under 18s poetry competition in 2011, and my poem “Vulnerable to Extinction” won Prickles & Paws’ poetry competition of the same name in 2021. I was awarded the inaugural Ingrid Beazley Award for winning the Human Impact category in David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation’s Wildlife Artist of the Year 2021, for my piece “When the Whale Sang”, which accompanies my poem “The Whale’s Song”. 






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