Books & Poems

Books & Poems

Rhyme has been a life-long love of mine. One of the first books I remember reading as a child was Roald Dahl's, Revolting Rhymes and one of the first poems I remember learning and excitedly reciting to my parents was Spike Milligan's, Sardines and I've been writing my own terse verse ever since. I was delighted to become the youngest person in the UK to win the United Press National Poetry Award for my poem, A British Heart, which pays tribute to the men and women in our Armed Forces and I remain very proud of the fact that the poem is used by The Household Cavalry at fundraising events for their Operational Casualties Fund and for the Royal British Legion.

My first children's book, Nana's Knickers became a best-seller in a number of bookshops and Amazon and won the NHS Trust Word On The Ward book prize. I hope to publish my next book, I Just Cannot Draw A Dinosaur later this year followed by, A Camel, A King And Some Carrots in early 2023.

A British Heart

Down beats the drummer’s hand to lead them on their way.

Faultlessly they march in line, no single stride astray.

Immaculate from head to toe, this military perfection;

These highly polished men, today in personal reflection.

With heads held high and shoulders back, they carry him with pride;

Their ally and their friend, who on the battlefield had died.


The English breeze caressed the air and dried the springtime dew;

As children watched in wonder at the draped red, white and blue.

He was just a boy himself, yet the job had made him older.

To most he was a fearsome sight, an armed and dangerous soldier.

But to his doting mother, who now numb forever more;

He’d always be her tender son, snatched from her by war.


The streets were lined with mourners: those he knew and had not met;

There to do their duty and whisper, “We shall not forget”.

He spent his life in service, to his Country, to his Queen;

He gave his life for freedom, a better future, now unseen.

The essence of a British heart: proud and brave and loyal;

Returning home to peaceful rest, within the British soil.

"A brilliantly composed, aptly poignant and deeply moving poem that has quintessentially captured the solemnity of a repatriation ceremony and what it is all about".

A C J Jelinek, Household Cavalry

(L to R) Word On The Ward Book Prize presentation at Alder Hey Children's Hospital, booksigning at Lingham's Bookshop in Heswall as their best-selling children's author, one of my many visits to schools up and down the country promoting literacy and providing creative writing workshops for KS1 pupils. 

"We all enjoyed reading it and I felt that the quality of the rhyme and the illustrations were both very high."

Alison Keeley - Booktrust

"It's great fun and romps along at a terrific pace, Nico is clearly very talented."

Rona Selby - Andersen Press

"We love the book, Nana's Knickers, it's fantastic! It's such fun and the illustrations are wonderful. It's the most popular book on the ward!"

Irene Axon - Alder Hey Children's Charity

"Nana's Knickers is the best selling children's book that we have ever stocked"

Linghams Bookshop - Heswall

"Wow, this story really packs a punch! It's a jolly, calamitous read that moves along at a very neat pace. The character of Nana is very humorous and I really enjoyed the way she speaks and the way that Nico has written her."

Maria Tunney - Walker Books

"It's a good title, and as we know knickers are always a winner. The scansion is consistantly good which is itself surprisingly rare, I find!"

Suzanne Carnell - Macmillan Children's Books

More from my collection...

A Woman Of Easy Virtue


Her face was hid like a gibbous moon, behind the feckless bounder.

I’d ransacked half of Soho ‘til eventually I found her.

Canoodled in the corner of a joint near Leicester Square;

I recognised her raucous laugh and erogenous flowing hair.

Uncouthly quaffing coups of fizz, the philtre that he gave her;

I smiled with grim delight to know this moment I would savour!

I made my way between the brutes all bragging of their Porsches;

The air so dense with self-important scent it made me nauseous.

Her face jerked up with eyes a-wide like a dog expecting treats,

But all I had to feed this bitch was knowledge of her deceits!

Her cheeks transposed like litmus as she heard my words of acid.

To both of our annoyance the young cad remained quite placid.

"There was a time a gentleman would stand up for his lady.”

He calmly cocked a snook and sniped, “She’s hardly Marcia Brady.”

This received a soaking in the subjects’ Champagne Charlie;

And nearly found a fist upon the nose he’d fixed on Harley.

And as her tears welled up within those eyes I once thought pure,

I felt a tinge of sadness as I turned towards the door.

She was once a woman whom I truly loved and cherished.

Feelings, so emphatic, with perfidiousness had perished.

So listen when I warn thee of the one who’s sure to hurt you,

And never give your heart, my friend, to a woman of easy virtue.

When I Awake


When I awake on dreary days,

I lie a while and softly gaze,

Upon the beauty next to me;

The prettiest girl there’ll ever be.


Cocooned within these sheets of cotton,

Worries of the world forgotten;

Replaced with thoughts of summer skies,

And feeling, still, the butterflies.


Your lips a delicate soft delight,

That smile and make the darkness bright.

And eyes that when they meet with mine,

Reflect your soul’s eternal shine.


I stroke your warm and tender skin,

That shrouds your beating heart within.

A heart, I pray, that beats for me,

As mine shall always beat for thee.


When I awake on dreary days,

As you remain in dreamy haze,

I smile and thank the Gods above,

As once again I fall in love.

The Girl From Sporange

(To be read in a Scottish accent)


I fell in love with a girl from Sporange,

Her eyes were blue and her hair was orange.

We met on a train coming back from Dundee;

I sat on her sandwich, she sat on my knee.

Skin was pure white, like a summer’s day cloud,

Her bosom was ample, crested and proud.

She came from a bloodline of fisherman long,

T'was shown in her hands and her delicate pong.

She rode on her bike selling salmon and shrimp,

And thanks to no saddle she walked with a limp.

On Christmas Day’s eve, a kiss did I slip her,

Then gave her a goose; she gave me a kipper.

I went to her father, old Angus McDougal,

A pallid old man, both doomsted and frugal.

Asking permission to marry his daughter,

He looked at me like I’s a lamb to the slaughter.

“Aye” groaned the fossil, “But when will it be?

From Monday to Sunday I’m working at sea.”

Perfect, I lied, we shall wed on your trawler.

T'will be quite a squeeze but the cost will be smaller.

This news met with anger as she felt I was skimping.

"You expect us to marry while my father keeps shrimping!?"

"The day will be perfect", of that I assured her,

And this she believed the more whiskey I poured her.

The day came along with an overcast greeting.

The sun said hello, but its presence was fleeting.

We convened at the harbour and boarded the vessel

Admiring the buffet laid out on a trestle.



As I stumble along life's perilous path facing up to all and sundries,

I'll always do my best to laugh, and wear some nice clean undies.

Sardines by Spike Milligan

A baby sardine

Saw her first submarine:

She was scared and watched through a peephole.

"Oh come, come, come,"

Said the sardine's mum.

"It's only a tin full of people."