Walking through the backwaters of the ol’ neighbourhood I literally stumbled over a leafy landmark. So I sat back on the grass and recalled days of rash deeds, youthful foolishness and pure dumb luck.


My young bro had a best buddy, Carl ‘Crazy’ Miller,
This singular boy did not possess one single scintilla
Of simple common sense the Maker bestows on mankind;
Carl could be big trouble, but very little troubled his mind.

Carl was a prospective member of the Punch  Bunch-
The kids who only went to school to share your lunch?
By the time Crazy had attained the heady age of eleven
‘Twas obvious he wouldn’t be heading to Varsity, or heaven.

Anyway, down at the dead end of desolate Ingoldsby Street
The long promised demolition of a fine old fixture, complete;
The barn-like Theresa Green Home For Refined Retired Gentlefolk
Finally lay laid waste, ‘neath the shadow of a high and mighty oak.

My brother and Carl, being at that tender age-
Before girls turn one’s head and hormones rage,
Before teenage hi-jinks result in serving hard time-
Saw a tree sat on now public land, and free to climb.

Previously protected behind a palisade ten feet tall,
Its private land and croquet lawn, now turned over to all,
Carl’s eye beheld that crazed glint of the devil-may-care,
This oak would be Carl’s Everest and my bros nightmare.

Up a handy branch Crazy sprung, with a single bound,
With simian agility up he swung, foregoing safer ground,
Monkey see monkey do, my bro followed, but slowly, in kind,
Leaving those below looking up at bro, pale, dragging behind.

Halfway up bro heard the sound of dry wood snapping
Followed by Carl plummeting past, arms crazily flapping,
My brother followed Carl’s progress aaaaall the way down
Waiting for one stout branch to stave in Carl’s thick crown.

As a switch took a swatch of Carl’s curls it dawned on him
That if he hit this tree they could both lose a healthy limb-
Now the blood curdling uncontrolled bladder loosing scream,
Oh- did I mention this tree was perched by a tinkling stream?

This body of water was contained by a concrete culvert,
But wherever Carl chanced to land had to bloody well hurt,
Came the sound of a splash and his pals dashed out to aid him,
Amazingly, Crazy landed in water and, miraculously, could swim.

He waded out of the chill waters, shivering but safe, Christ be praised,
All gathered gazed on amazed, yet Carl looked imperturbably unfazed,
A bump on the noggin, a broken fingernail, but not one broken bone,
I’d say Carl had the luck o’ the devil- but he’s known to look after his own.


6 thoughts on “Walking through the backwaters of the ol’ neighbourhood I literally stumbled over a leafy landmark. So I sat back on the grass and recalled days of rash deeds, youthful foolishness and pure dumb luck.

  1. I’m tempted by Lucy and her Horror house flash fiction ,but whenever I sit down everything turns to rhymes. Just the way my ‘mind’ ‘works.’ But I might try. Nothing to lose, but I do like the structure of poe, errrr -doggerel verse.
    This story is 100% true, no need to embellish the truth here. Must’ve been a thirty foot drop into a thin stream of water.


  2. Thanks, it does remain fresh to me. I must ask my bro- who has moved to Ohio now, after living in the hot and arid West for a spell- if he knows what happened to ‘Crazy Carl.’ Last I knew it seemed like he was heading towards more dodgy decisions and a dodgier future. Sometimes you look at a life unravelling rather than unrolling. Theres a certain sad inevitability…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I would’ve commented much sooner
    But I’ve been busier than a deaf piano tuner
    Looking for a job in the field of my choice
    And making my pitch until losing my voice.

    So, while I recover, I have the time
    To check out your poem, so too the rhyme….
    And, while dumb to say, it’s a relief to find
    That though I’m deaf, I’m still not blind.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hope the time that you’ve afforded
      Results in a job that’s well rewarded
      I’m sure if the phone rings loud and clear
      Promise of employment would be music to your ear.

      Liked by 1 person

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