Little game, or: Thrill me

Perhaps it was the 

I remember the bus stop by
the brown field
Empty no man's land between the houses
with a couple of small

How old was I in second or
third grade? Nine years old I

Maybe eight
houses down from ours maybe
It's all so hazy

Those two small trees in
that dry, strange, empty space
unwanted, un
They were simply there, not
far apart from one another
teasing me with their 
purposelessness, their 

Perhaps it was

Sometimes, often even, I still
want to do the wrong
very wrong 

Things are so murky now
What was I thinking all those years ago?
Certainly as a boy all of my worst
inclinations were un

Fantasies consumed

I had super powers
Rules didn't apply to me
Nobody new about my secret 
identities, but
I wanted to brag to

Be appreciated

Life in 
my imagination was 

So exciting
that I simply had to tell the other boys
at the bus stop
to convince them that I had access to other realms
Supernatural control over the universe
Certainly over a little tree near the bus stop

Perhaps it

I summoned demons from another dimension
to burn that little tree little
by little
very early 
every morning, long before anyone normal awoke
I would watch flames born of comics pages licking
And when the lower branches began to blacken
noticeably with burn marks
I felt my secret

Feigning innocence, but speaking excitedly
about arson at the bus stop
and the possibility of alternate dimensions full of fire

All of the boys certainly mentioned the little
tree's gradual, daily destruction
at home, and I was too excited not to


I was so sure of my cleverness
Speaking, feigning ignorance, innocence, un
to my mother
Something terrible and strange is happening there
I said

There's an arsonist, I suppose, 
all we 
know is 
that the little
is being 
burned up slowly
What should we do about this?
What can we do about this?
What can we do?
What? So

was not my super power, or
perhaps my mother's super powers were stronger
despite the vastness of my imagination

She was awake long before anyone normal awoke
waiting for me at the door 
to another dimension, the portal
to powers and forbidden

I stood there a fool, holding some comics 
pages and matches, feeling revealed, stupid,
pathetic, un

Oh... Oh...


the thrill of it.

d’Verse open link night

For this ‘open link night’ at d’Verse, I’d like to share a free verse poem that I wrote last October. It’s based upon my memories of a true episode during my childhood when I was in 2nd or 3rd grade.

63 thoughts on “Little game, or: Thrill me”

  1. I love your story. I think we all have gone through similar at that age! Very well done.
    Looks like your burning bush didn’t materialize!

  2. The disjointed and the choppy rhythm really struck me as that of an 8 or 9 year old boy trying to come to grips with a secret… and he knows that it is wrong. Ang yet the thrill draws him back again and again! Wonderfully composed!

    1. Thanks, Grace; yeah… I had/have a very vivid imagination… and, apparently, so does my daughter… I often worry that she’s too much like me!


  3. Oooo,you didn’t really,did you. I used to pretend I could fly by jumping out of trees with a sheet tied to my shoulder’s. Or this really super hero,furtively dreaming in my day dreams. I was 9, we left England in 1966,I was 12, and Aussie Land is a larger stage for the imagination in which I was still indulging, even then. I didn’t give thought to being the Super Arsonist, I knew too much about Bushfire, and my father’s strap.

  4. Oh yes, ‘acting was not my super power’ – how well our mothers know us! So well written David – bringing childhood memories to life.

  5. Ah, the wild things that we did as kids. I enjoyed how you used your super powers to bring over demons from another dimension. And moms know us better than we realize ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. It’s nice to understand the name origin of your blog.
    I felt transported to that ‘world between’ of childhood. It thrilled and slightly frightened me because I remember that universe so clearly. A well-written piece!

  7. Wow..something very different from you or from anyone..I was very sympathetic to the tree, I must admit..but I too remember feeling I had super powers about that age..and in dreams I showed off to all my peers. that I could fly..just by tipping myself over backwards..I floated gentling to the ground. I guess when we begin to see the world as more overwhelming than we first thought.. is when we need our super powers to get us through those scary days. I enjoyed this David…I really admire your experimentation with poetic challenges too๐Ÿค—

  8. Hi there Ben, this is a pleasingly original write, which I enjoyed very much. You conjure much here very effectively and with considerable deftness…. Look forward to more from you…

    1. Thanks so much, Scott. That’s very kind of you.

      Please feel free to call me by my first name, which is ‘David’. The word ‘ben’ means ‘son of’ in Hebrew… and my father’s name was ‘Alexander’; this blog was created in his memory.


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