Volcano Bag

Volcano Bag

Volcano Bag

I was listening to the radio and I heard about a woman who lived on the island of Monserrat in the Caribbean. Monserrat is a really one big volcano and a few years ago it erupted and people had to run away from the island. A few years later people started going back to the island. They didn’t want to leave their homes forever. The interview asked one woman who had gone back if she was worried about the volcano exploding. She said, no she wasn’t because she had her volcano bag. What’s that? the interviewer asked. And the woman said that it was a bag she had hanging by the door. In it were all the things she cared about, things that her mum and her grandparents had given her, and a lock of her daughter’s hair and things like that. And then if she heard the volcano grumbling, she could rush to the door, grab her volcano bag and head for the beach and escape.

I thought, wow, isn’t that great? And I thought about what I would put in my volcano bag. I’ve got all sorts of nick-necks and things I’ve kept since I was a boy – things like a little drawer from an old German money box I used to have. And a stone from the River Monow in Wales. And an old hat that my mother knitted. They would go in my volcano bag.

And then I thought some more, what if I had a volcano bag that was full of the things my parents and my brother and my grandparents had said that I wanted to remember, things that I thought were important or funny, or sad?

And what about special moments? It would be good to put them in too.

So, here’s a writing idea:

it’s your imaginary volcano bag.

And you can write about

a special moment that you don’t want to forget

something really important that someone said to you

something funny that someone said to you

something sad that someone said to you

some important ‘advice’ that someone gave you – that means some words that someone said to help you through life

a very special thing – some people call that a ‘memento’ that you once found or that someone gave you

maybe a special food that you really like – why? what does it taste like? who cooks it? or where do you get it from?

a dream – you could put in the bag a dream you once had that you would like to remember

a hope – something that you hope for that could happen to you, or your family or in your school, or community or in the world – or all of these.

(When I say ‘something’ – it could be more than one thing! And you can say who said it of course, because that makes it more interesting.

When you’ve got your list of things, you may want to shuffle them around a bit,

you may want to give it a bit of a rhythm. You can do that by repeating a phrase like:

‘I want to keep…’ or ‘I gather together my….’ ‘I want to remember…’

If you’re pleased with what you write, you can send it to me at MichaeRosenSpecial@gmail.com and maybe I’ll read it out on one of my live web chats on my YouTube Channel. The next one coming up is September 24.

If you’ve got some questions you’d like to ask me, you can do that. Send them in. Or requests. Or jokes. Or funny poems based on my ‘Down behind the dustbin’ poems or based on my ‘Hot Food’ poem. Just send them in and I’ll choose some to read out.


  1. Miss P 6 years ago

    I absolutely LOVE this ‘Volcano Bag’ idea!

    I’m thinking: photos, a watch from my parents (Graduation Day), the silver heart necklace I received the day I got the ‘all clear’ from cancer, a four-leaf clover a friend gave to me many years ago, my books with personalised inscriptions (especially ‘The Night Before Christmas’ with a poem from my mum on the inside cover), all of the special cards, poems & letters from loved ones that I have kept over the years… Oh, how special it would be.💫

    What an inspired idea. Thank you Michael!

  2. Chas 6 years ago

    I would put a little laptop with only a copy of the chocolate cake video. And an endless supply of chocolate cake.

  3. Christine Smith 6 years ago

    What would be in my volcano bag?
    A turquoise stone my cousin and I dug up in my Aunts garden, a knitted hat and baby dress belonging to my son and daughter, photos, my dad’s old book of poetry by Robert Burns, my recipe folder. Old cards for special occasions like our wedding, birth of our 2 children, special birthdays. My wooden decoy duck from Boston.

  4. Stefiee 6 years ago

    Really nice divergent thinking! If I got the bag, I would bring some food and wander with the old past memory, letting the life fade away without timing.

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