Lucky Strike by Jeremy Hooker

Returning from a raid,

just missed the tower

where, over the West Door

the Wild Man with oak leaves

wound round his body

faces the Dragon

wreathed in vines.


Crash landed at Church Farm,

ploughing itself in,

churning up the loam.

Two crew dead.

The Flight Engineer

periodically revisits

the old country, resuming

his portion of the pasture.


by Jeremy Hooker

from ‘Debris‘ a sequence of poems


Mary Mary Makebelieve by Jean Kenward

Mary Mary Makebelieve

kept a dragon up her sleeve:

when she’d been despatched to bed,

gave it supper, so she said.


‘Oh,’ her Dad and Mum would cry,

‘Mary! What a dreadful lie!’

Nothing she could say or do

would persuade them it was true.


Mary Mary Makebelieve

posted titbits up her sleeve:

anything that she could find,

crusts, and bits of bacon rind,


Anything that it would take –

buttered toast and birthday cake.

And that dragon grew and grew…

as you might expect it to.


Strong, it grew, and even stronger.

She could cover it no longer,

for it simply poked its head

through her jersey. Things were said.


‘Mary! What is that you’ve got?

It’s a DRAGON, is it not?

We don’t want such creatures here.

Make it – make it disappear.’


Mary tried… but Mary couldn’t.

(Was it, do you think, she WOULDN’T?)

Anyway, the dragon stayed

making everyone dismayed.


Till, at last, they all agreed

it was REAL. Then, indeed,

it rose, and slashed the roof, and rent

a ragged gap, and ROARED, and WENT.


Mary Mary Makebelieve

keeps a hanky up her sleeve,

now. She is discreet and shy.

Only, sometimes, in her eye


You can see a sort of green

shimmer, such as might have been

if a dragon were about.


One day, she might let it out.


by Jean Kenward

The Sick Young Dragon by Derek Stuart

‘What can I do?’ young dragon cried.

‘Although I’ve simply tried and tried,

It doesn’t matter how hard I blow,

I can not get my fire to go!’

‘Open your mouth!’ his mother said.

‘It’s no wonder!’ Your throat’s not red.

Your scales are cold. You must be ill.

I think you must have caught a chill.’

The doctor came. He looked and said,

‘You’ll need a day or two in bed.

Your temperature’s down. No doubt,

That’s the reason your fire’s gone out.

Just drink this petrol. Chew these nails.

They’ll help you to warm up your scales.

Just take it easy. Watch TV

You’ll soon be right as rain, you’ll see.’

Young dragon did as he was told

And soon his scales stopped feeling cold.

Hee sneezed some sparks. His face glowed bright.

He coughed and set the sheets alight.

‘Oh dear!’ he cried. ‘I’ve burnt the bed!’

‘It doesn’t matter,’ his mother said.

‘Those sheets were old. Go out and play.

Just watch where you breathe fire today!’

by Derek Stuart