THOMAS AND THE DRAGON

A dragon came to Edenbridge
and wouldn’t go away.
Thomas saw it standing there
when he went out to play.

Above the roof, across the road
he saw, to his surprise,
through swirling smoke of red and grey,
two great big yellow eyes.

Then, further down the road he saw,
swishing angrily,
a green and scaly tail
which wrapped itself around a tree.

A long green snout above him
was belching tongues of flame.
The dragon roared, “I like this place,
I’m very glad I came.”

But Thomas cried, “You can’t stop here,
you’re scorching all our street.”
The dragon roared, the houses shook
beneath his stamping feet.

He lumbered off and roaring still
he went towards the town
and right there, in the High Street,
he had a ‘nice lie down’.

Young Thomas went to get his sword
then followed him to town.
He got there just in time to see
the dragon lying down.

A policeman tried to move him on.
“You’re on a yellow line.
If you don’t move on quickly,
you’ll get a heavy fine.”

The dragon roared, which scorched the buttons
on the policeman’s coat,
who gave a gasp and staggered back,
his hand clutched to his throat.

The heat was so intense, they sent
for soldiers with their guns
and the lady in the bakers
started cooking hot cross buns.

The soldiers fired their guns
although it wasn’t any good.
The bullets all bounced off of him,
well, Thomas knew they would.

He climbed on to the dragon’s tail
then ran along his back
and stabbed him in between his scales,
where he could see a crack.

“Get off my back,” the dragon roared,
“You’re getting far too rough.
You’ll never hurt me with that thing
because I am too tough.”

“You may be tough but I am clever,
just you wait and see.
Don’t worry, folks, I’ve got a plan,
just leave it all to me.

The people cheered and Thomas went
to fetch the fireman’s hose
and when the dragon roared at him,
he pushed it up his nose.

The fire was quenched with water
and turned the smoke to steam
while everybody clapped and then
the dragon gave a scream.

“You’ve put my fire out, horrid boy,
you’ve soaked me through and through.
I’ll never get it lit again
oh, what am I to do?”

“You’re better off without it,
now, you’ll have more friends, you’ll see.
In fact, if you were not so big,
I’d ask you home to tea.

The policeman had recovered
and was writing in his book.
“You’ve spoilt my uniform,” he said.
“You’d better take a look.

I’ll have to have a new one,
it will cost a lot, I think.”
Then, much to his surprise,
he saw the dragon start to shrink.

As Thomas watched with wonder,
there, right before his eyes,
that great big dragon shrank and shrank
to quite a tiny size.

“My mother warned me not to wash,”
the tiny creature said.
“She always had me dry-cleaned
before I went to bed.”

The people all were staring,
someone said, “He’s rather cute.”
And one small boy cried, “Look at him,
he’s changed into a newt.”

So, Thomas picked him up
and took him home to Hilders Lane.
He put him in a pond and
said he’d visit him again.

Each time he walks along that lane
and passes by that pond,
he stops to see his tiny friend,
of whom, he’s very fond.

© Marion Sharville

THE DOWN’S SYNDROME WARRIOR

A while ago, I visited a local centre for disabled people, some physically disabled and some with learning difficulties. They entertained us with an American Indian folk story, in dance. Some were in wheelchairs and a few on foot. I was touched by the obvious enjoyment and dedication and skill they brought to the performance.
One could feel how their self-assurance and self-esteem was uplifted.
I had to try to capture the atmosphere in a poem, hence:-

THE DOWN’S SYNDROME WARRIOR.

The music commands,
the wheelchairs roll.
Wearing a war bonnet
the lad steps awkwardly
on to the spot-lit floor.

Slowly approaching his Love;
seeing only beauty in the
lolling braided head,
he assumes the grace
of a fleet-footed Brave.

The forest beckons.
He runs, he hunts; collecting
trophies for the maid. he fights.

The enemy scatters before him.

In the torchlight
from the paper fire, she sits
fettered, eyes downcast.
Her handmaids wheel around her
until the music brings him back.

The God of Thunder applauds.

The Youth bows, straightens,
strides off…a warrior still.

THE BATH IN A CUPBOARD

I unlatched the door. Safe in the privacy
of a cupboard shaped to contain a bath
I slid into the inviting water
and closed the door.

Eyes half closed, I lay chasing fantasies,
my nine-year-old body detached
from my dreaming mind, which wandered to
far off places on imagination’s magic carpet.

This enclosed space was the only place
where, uninterrupted, I was free
to travel to other worlds,
live other lives.

The present did not exist until I became aware
of an intruder, the Peeping Tom
of Mrs Puschella’s sky-high tree
peering through the tiny window,
the shadows of its dancing leaves
intimately exploring the rapidly cooling water.

Time to step out on to the rag rug,
the blessing, the small island
in the sea of ice-cold linoleum
which stretched from my haven
to the door of the back bedroom.

© Marion Sharville

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