Poems by an eleven-year-old George Michael have been unearthed by an old school friend – and show his amazing lyrical talents were already blossoming.
Stunned Penny Ling, 51, came across the odes written by the-then Georgios Panayiotou by chance after rummaging through her 1974 yearbook.
She has kept her secret discovery under wraps for more than 20 years only telling close friends who were massive fans of the legendary popstar.
But she has now decided to release them as a tribute to the former Wham! member following his sad death.
The two poems “sounds in the night” and “the story of a horse” provide an insight into the young kid who went onto to become pop star George Michael.
Even at the tender age of eleven, George showed signs of a future lyrical genius through his use of rhythm, emotion and words.
It comes weeks after the singer was tragically found dead at his Goring-on-Thames home on Christmas Day after suspected heart failure, aged just 53.
Penny and her sister both went to school with Michael. Penny was a couple of years below and Penny’s sister was in a class with the singer’s sister Melanie.
Penny first came across the poems after her sister saw the Wham! superstar at an awards ceremony in the late 1980s.
It prompted Penny to browse through her old Roe Green Junior School yearbook where amazingly she stumbled across the two poems signed Georgios Panayiotou.
She said: “My sister had recognised his sister at an awards ceremony George Michael was attending, and came back and said ‘you will never guess who I met’.
“I think she got his autograph. At the time my sister was a buyer at Tesco and she got taken to the ceremony by one of her customers.
“When she told me, I then went to my 1974 yearbook and looked through it and lo and behold there were two poems from George Michael.
“The whole school was represented in the book. It was published once a year.
“The only people that know about it were friends of mine who were massive George Michael fans. I kept my yearbook locked away in a cupboard.
“For an eleven-year-old I think the way it’s written is quite complex. He was a couple of years above me.
“Back then we had the same teacher called Mr Ian Greenwood who taught creative writing. I wonder whether part of George’s significant writing ability stems from that class.”
Penny was a few years below George when they both attended Roe Green Junior School in Kingsbury, north London.
But she would go round to a friend’s house who lived close to George’s family after school to play childish games on an estate with other kids – where he would join in.
“The reason I remember him is he lived at the back of my best friend’s house in Burnt Oak London. The whole area was very multi-national,” she added.
“George Michael’s family were not the only Cypriots living in that community, it was a real mix bag.
“I lived the opposite end of the school catchment area. I would go round to friend’s house maybe once a month.
“She lived in a cul-de-sac and over the back was a bit of wasteland and sometimes we would play in the cul-de-sac if we needed a hard surface – George Michael joined in.
“We would play cowboys and indians, pogo-sticking – how long you could bounce on a stick without falling off – hopscotch, the usual kids games.”
“I probably knew him from about six to nine years old , so he would have been nine to eleven roughly,” added Penny, who now lives in Faringdon, Oxon.
“I found him to be one of these people to be reasonable quiet and studious. He absorbed what was going on around him.
“He was not a flash person or didn’t like to show off. He didn’t stand out as been exceptional or different. He was just like the rest of us.”
Sounds in the night –
Beyond the world of sight, there is a sixth dimension of sound, and in many cases, sound beats sight, and the reason?
Sight is blacked out by the night, and that is where sounds comes in.
It stands to reason that what you can’t see…. you can hear!
And the same applies for daytime, only in reverse.
In other words, what you can’t hear, you can see
And that is why I am turning the subject to night.
Now what I’ve forgotten to tell you, I’m sure something slipped my tongue.
Ah! Now I remember, you’ll never guess what I have to say to you…… I am blind!!!
The story of a horse –
Once there was a lonely horse, weeping on a stack of hay,
The gun was ready, the bullet was hot, the horse had broken a leg that day.
The dog was barking, the chickens were screaming, the cows were mooing, the sun was gleaming.
The farmer closed his eyes,
And dropped the gun, he hadn’t shot,
But the horse had run.
He ran through the streets,
With loud a sound,
And then he fell, upon the ground.
The townspeople said, that a horse that is lame,
Can never really be brought to the tame,
They said he was mad, that he should be slain
And never was he seen again.