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 both of Dave’s Little Orange Books: The secret life of creatures and other poems and The girls in the queue and other poems.
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
What people are saying about The Secret Life of Creatures
5* – I am delighted with it …
The girls in the queue and other poems
What’s so Great About being Eight?
Mills and Boone
Good Luck Billy Groves
Breaking Up Again
Getting Nearer To The Time …
Life’s a Beach
Sir Edgar’s Eldest
The Curmudgeonly Manor Retirement Home
On Discovering a Word I Didn’t Know I Knew
The Paper Boy’s Tale
Love A Bargain
Mr Jason W. Truehat
More Front Than Brighton
Birds, Bees, Girls
Little Joe McFinicky
The Labours of Ron
The Girls In the Queue
The East Anglian Odyssey
The Mother of Invention
It’s A Bloke Thing
Whatever Happened to …?
Of Grave Concern
The Numbers Game
W.V.M. on the A40 near Denham
A Consumer Dilemma
Our Hero, Our Friend
The Sound of Music
The Norman Conquest
How Does Your Garden Grow?
The English Patent
The Ginger Bread Man
In the Mood
It’s a Historical Fact
It’s Another Historical Fact
Miss White and the Seven Mini-Miners
Run, John, Run
When Films Were Black and White
The Wedding Plans