Hi, my name is Alys Jackson and I'm an author and poet

based in Adelaide, South Australia.

My work has been published in books, magazines,

anthologies and online.

Mixed-up Mountain

Beached high upon a mountaintop in a sea of winter green

there sits the oddest vessel. It’s an ancient brigantine.

The sailors gone, the story lost of how it ran aground,

this ship is not abandoned for by others it was found.

High within the crow’s-nest an almighty din is heard,

and if we take a sneaky peek we’ll see the strangest bird.

A parrot-fish is flying high, flapping scaly wings,

screeching at an angelfish as angelically she sings.

A spider monkey, green and red, is swinging from the rigging.

Eight arms are very helpful when you’re trying out your skipping.

Inside the ship, a dragonfly is firing up the barbie,

while zebra finch is racing home in a very mixed up Derby.

He’s neck and neck with seahorse who then gallops round the bend,

it’s very close but zebra finch just flies by in the end.

Clownfish entertains them all by juggling under water,

then a fearsome act performed by tiger moth and daughter.

For today’s a special birthday for someone rather swish.

The Queen of mixed-up mountain is the lovely lionfish.


Book Week 2020 Challenge

In 2020, the Book Week theme is Curious Creatures, Wild Minds! There are so many curious creatures in the books I loved as a child. I’m remembering The Lorax by Dr. Seuss and how about the wonderful Gruffalo?!

In my poem Mixed-up Mountain, I had fun with real animal names like the parrotfish. In the poem I imagine a fish with a parrot’s head. I even created a couple of silly images like the one below. 


What is the challenge?

Your challenge is to create your own mixed-up creature. Use your imagination and go truly wild. 

  1. Tell us something about your Curious Creature. Where does it live? What does it like to eat? Is it fierce or timid? Is it huge or tiny?
  2. Now draw a picture of your Curious Creature. Perhaps draw it in its habitat.
  3. Lastly, give your Curious Creature a name. Can you think up a believable scientific name or a fancy nickname? 

Don’t forget to upload your Curious Creature picture through the Children’s University portal for a 30 minute stamp in your passport.


The CBCA is a wonderful organisation that brings children closer to the books they already love. In their own words;

The Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) is a not for profit, volunteer run organisation which aims to engage the community with literature for young Australians. The CBCA presents annual awards to books of literary merit, for outstanding contribution to Australian children’s literature. 

Each year since 1945 the CBCA has brought children and books together across Australia through CBCA Book Week. During this time schools and public libraries spend one glorious week celebrating books and Australian children’s authors and illustrators. Classroom teachers, teacher librarians and public librarians create colourful displays, develop activities, run competitions and tell stories relating to a theme to highlight the importance of reading. You will often see parades with students dressed as their favourite book character.



16 thoughts on “Mixed-up Mountain

  1. Dear Alys,

    I love how you took animals and made them into the literal meaning of their name. I never would’ve thought of that. In all of the poems that I’ve read of yours, your imagination has flown far and wide and this is a prime example of that. When I was younger, I always thought that poetry was some boring form of writing. However, after reading all these imaginative poems I have been inspired to write poetry on my own and have a bit of fun with it.


    • That’s a really great observation, Chomilka. I think my imagination is close to being slightly crazy at times 😉😁 I’m so glad to know that you are going to try some poetry of your own. It can be such fun. I must admit, I wasn’t always a fan of writing poetry but the more you practice the easier it becomes so don’t ever give up!! Alys 😊

  2. Dear Alys
    I liked that poem. It was cool how mixed up animals. My favourite was the lionfish.
    The poem made me laugh.

    • Great to hear, Thinara – Oh my goodness, I had no idea there were so many mixed-up animals until I started writing this poem!! 🐡🐟🐠 Alys

  3. dear alys,
    this poem was GREAT!🧐🧐🧐 I really like the way you did this poem about lion fish.
    p.s can you please do a poem a elephant 🐘🐘🐘

    regards Tirath.

    • Oh my goodness Tirath, I must do a poem about an elephant – I promise that I will start thinking about one this week. 🐘🐘🐘🐘🐘 It will be my challenge!! I am so glad you liked this poem. Mixing up animals was a lot of fun. Alys

  4. Hi Alys,
    I liked the way you described all of them in your poem. It was a great poem and I enjoyed reading it. You are a genius.

    • Wow, that’s a great comment. I shall make myself a GENIUS badge and wear it everyday 😁😁😁. I’m glad you liked the poem. Alys

  5. Hi Alys
    I loved this poems and I loved it because you used a lot of rhyming word and a lot of hilarious sentences.
    I was just wondering if you could tell me how did you come up with this wonderful poem and how long
    did it take for you to write this poem?

    • Hi Tiaana, I think I came up with this poem because I was reading a book filled with crazy illustrations of plants with faces. It just got me thinking about mixed up animals. It took me a couple of months from start to the finished poem, but it was great fun trying to come up with rhymes and funny sentences 🙂 Alys

    • Thank you Vinuk – It’s nice to know that you enjoy poems that use rhyming words. They are lots of fun to write, too 😄 Alys

  6. Hi Alys,
    I liked this poem and how in this poem and in all your other poems you use you imagination.
    And in this poem you used your imagination to create a new animal and make up what it did.
    Also the words you use.
    One last question, where did you get this idea from?


    • Goodness me, I’m not sure where I got the idea from, Japleen. I must start to write down where and how I get my silly ideas so next time I can answer you! I’m glad you enjoyed it though. Did you know that all those animals are actually real? There really is a spider monkey – although it doesn’t have eight legs 😆 of course…and a lionfish…English is such a silly language. Alys 🙊🐠

    • Thank you Nuwin. This poem was a lot of fun to write. I really wish I could draw some of the animals…Alys

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