Beyond the Garden #3

One morning in his neat little cottage

at seven thirty, his usual time,

he was contentedly brushing his teeth

up and down, the recommended way,

the recommended number of times,

when he smelt smoke.


He opened the window

and looked across his perfect little garden.


And saw


The jungle on fire, fierce crackling,


choking smoke drifting over rose beds


His cheeks glow with the heat


Appalled, he hears the rumble of a stampede of creatures,

feels his whole being vibrate as they burst from the trees,

smash his neat little privet hedge,

hurtle through the hydrangeas,

crash through the chrysanths,

and disappear


He feels their fear, and he feels it too,

the primitive fear of elemental force

The jungle is on fire

The jungle is on fire.

Run run run.


The shed, his beautifully kept, tidy shed

bursts into flames


Don't panic, he says to himself

and runs

in his nice blue striped jimjams

for the neatly coiled garden hose.


Barely able to breathe,

He sprays the cottage,

He sprays himself,

and sprays the cottage again.

Standing, surrounded by steam,

he thinks -

So it wasn't a dream.

I am

an arsonist

◄ Beyond the Garden #2

Emotion ►


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winston plowes

Sun 6th Feb 2011 10:49

Aha, a more dramatic episode this one with a strange twist at the end. Despite being stated was it a dream? Win reading on

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Elaine Booth

Tue 25th Jan 2011 23:47

These poems are just great, Dave. And it is so true that much of children's literature is very dark indeed. I can imagine these poems in a beautifully illustrated book with rich, lush colours.

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Laura Taylor

Thu 20th Jan 2011 10:48

Cynthia - if Roald Dahl and Philip Pullman can do it, so can Dave! They both wrote dark and subversive tales for children, and kids loved them (and adults). Can work two ways I reckon.

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Jules Clare

Thu 20th Jan 2011 09:13

Fantastic story, fantastic ending

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Andy N

Thu 20th Jan 2011 08:24

good fun, dave.. cynthia raises a interesting point about marketing thou as i felt the first two were crossover material, this is a little darker, but i still enjoyed it!

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Wed 19th Jan 2011 19:36

I don't feel the originality in this one quite so much as the others, bits and bobs, yes, but too close to excessive 'pitter-patter' for me. I would tighten it up. I certainly don't think this is children's book material as I find the ending quite dark in a very adult way.

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alan barlow

Wed 19th Jan 2011 19:11

firstly might a i add woohoo :D

secondly not at all what i was expecting but an excellent addition to the trilogy thus far i wholeheartedly agree about the kids book comment

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bernard shelton

Wed 19th Jan 2011 10:53

agree with above comments, good un

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Laura Taylor

Wed 19th Jan 2011 10:18

Dave - I am loving these tales. If you continue these, they'd make a cracking little book for kids I reckon.

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