Not long after Dave signed the contract for TSL to publish his work, on 6 December 2016, the night the final proof arrived from the printer, Dave passed away. He never saw his work in print.
In addition to writing all the poems, Dave also drew the pictures which illustrate the book. Other drawings of his can be found on the cover of Michael’s Magic Motor Car and in Rhys’s adventures. Dave was a member of Phrase Writers in Hillingdon where he shared his many talents. It was thanks to group members that the book was able to be published – they transcribed and edited Dave’s poems when he was too ill to do so.
I never got to meet Dave and only ‘knew’ him from friends at his writers’ group.
As David explains in the Introduction to his Little Orange Book:
My writings and drawings came about with the need to occupy my time when retirement arrived. Having no intention of aiming for a Booker prize or becoming a Poet Laureate, I wrote because it amused me to do so.
One day however, I found a reason to dust it all off, tidy it up and see what I could about turning it into cash. I decided to become a fundraiser for a charity that, initially knowing little of it, I had reason to gain firsthand knowledge of the valuable and much needed work they are involved in.
I am supporting Macmillan Cancer Support and all profit from my work goes straight to that caring organisation.
Most of the stuff within is light-hearted, a bit silly sometimes, and now and again has a twist at the end. I have included very few serious poems and there are a couple of brain teasers (not at all easy) to test your little grey cells.
Please support Macmillan Cancer Support by purchasing Dave’s first Little Orange Book: The secret life of creatures and other poems.
There is a second in the pipeline in accordance with his wishes.
The secret life of creatures and other poems
is split into three parts, Part 2 being a little more serious and prose-like than the others.
When Bella met Lenny
Big is Beautiful
The Suburban Fox
That’s Me in the Shellsuit
Really Rather Fabulous
Part Two: Our Soldiery
The Family Have Been Informed
Within the Sound of St. Bartholomew’s Bell
Part Three: The Secret Life of Creatures – continued
Ian’s Plea to Janice
A Mother’s Son
The Last in Line
The Plaintive Cry of the Goldfish
For a taster, here’s some of WHEN BELLA MET LENNY
She loved to swim in waters dark and muddy,
For Isabella was aquatic to the point of genius,
She longed however for a pal or p’raps a buddy,
Did the large and rather heavy, lady hippopotamus.
A problem then had blighted this poor lasses life,
You see, Dear Isabella was, in size, enormous,
She doubted that she’d ever gain the title wife,
So convinced was she her chances were quite dubious