Archive for February, 2014

My Father’s Garden: Mad Dog by R J Dent

February 25, 2014



– There’s a dog in the garden, my mother said. It’s acting very strangely.

          My father looked out of the window. So did my brother, my sister and I.

          Sure enough, at the bottom of the garden there was an Afghan hound. It was a red-gold colour, although its coat was dirty and scruffy-looking. Also, its legs were spindly – more so than is usual for an afghan.

          Something was clearly wrong with it; its mouth was dripping yellow foam and it was growling, whining and barking at nothing. Its eyes were constantly rolling, showing the whites.

          – Don’t go outside, our father said. It’s mad. It’ll attack anyone who goes out there.

          – What’ll we do? my mother asked.

          – For now, my father said, we’ll just keep an eye on it.

          – What’s it doing? my sister asked.

          – It’s staring at the pond, growling.

          – I wonder why, my mother said.

          – It’s probably just seen its reflection for the first time and has discovered that it’s ginger, my brother said. That’d certainly be enough to drive me mad. Read more…



My Father’s Garden: Mad Dog

Copyright © R J Dent (2014)


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Jeremy Reed’s e-books

February 20, 2014

Several of Jeremy Reed’s novels, poetry collections, short story collections and non-fiction works are now available as e-books. 




Available e-book novels include:


  • When the Whip Comes Down – a novel about De Sade




  • Isidore – a novel about the Comte de Lautréamont



  • The Grid – a novel about Marlowe and Shakespeare in the 21st Century



  • The Pleasure Château – a sadeian/gothic/erotic trilogy




  • Here Comes the Nice – a novel about the London Mod scene




Available e-book non-fiction titles include:


  • Delirium  – An Interpretation of Arthur Rimbaud



Available e-book short story collections include:


  • Red Hot Lipstick – a collection of erotic short stories




Available poetry collection titles include:


  • Nothing But A Star




  • The Big Orange Day




  • Exploding Into Colour




Jeremy Reed’s Amazon page is:

Jeremy Reed’s website is:

My Father’s Garden: Radio-Controlled Aircraft by R J Dent

February 13, 2014





On his birthday, my brother got a radio-controlled plane as one of his presents. It was something he’d wanted for a long time and he was very happy about it.

          – Wow, he said. It’s a ShinMaywa US-2. That’s brilliant.

          – What’s a ShinMaywa US-2?

          – It’s a Japanese short takeoff and landing amphibious air-sea rescue aircraft.

          Within minutes, the aircraft was out of its box, fully assembled and ready to go. My brother carried it outside and stood it on the path. It looked like a boat with wings. Each wing had a pontoon at the halfway point. It was big and it looked serious – and fast.

          – Doesn’t it need a runway? I asked.

          – Short takeoff and landing, remember?

          – Is it a boat or a plane?

          – It’s both. The Japanese use it for sea-air rescue.

          – Cool.

          My brother pressed a button and the aircraft started up with a hiccup and a steady bass rumble. The rumble turned into a deep buzzing sound, and the plane moved forward and took off abruptly.

          It climbed steadily through the air and for a moment it looked as though it were a real aircraft. Read more…



Radio-Controlled Aircraft

Copyright © R J Dent (2014)










My Father’s Garden: Wood by R J Dent

February 11, 2014



1: Woodpile


Behind the shed was the woodpile.

My father used to put any pieces of wood that ‘might be useful’ (which was every piece of wood he came in to contact with) on the woodpile. At the back, leaning against the shed wall were all sorts of doors: three interior doors, a front door, several kitchen cupboard doors, even a loft hatch cover. There were planks and floorboards at the bottom of the pile; stakes, posts and battens in the middle, and small pieces of dowelling and blocks and off-cuts on the top. There was also a plastic bag half full of wood chips and sawdust.

There had always been a woodpile. I never knew of a time, era or decade when there wasn’t a woodpile.

Very occasionally, my father would take a piece of wood from the woodpile and use it for some project he was working on. Read more…

My Father’s Garden: Wood

Copyright © R J Dent (2014)


My Father’s Garden: Scythe and Grass Hook by R J Dent

February 10, 2014

My Father’s Garden: Scythe and Grass Hook

 by R J Dent

mfg-sagh - rjd

Quite often I’d get asked (told) to do some gardening. I’d not chosen such a big garden (one hundred and one feet long by forty-five feet wide), so I didn’t see why I had to help maintain it. But I was made to do some work on it from time to time; enforced work that increased incrementally with my age.

      Anyway, one Saturday morning, just as I was making plans – deciding how I was going to spend my morning and afternoon, my father told me he wanted me to ‘cut the front lawn’.

      I was a bit miffed, but I realised that the front lawn was no more than a twenty feet by ten feet rectangle and most of it was clover. Half an hour’s work, I thought, which would leave me with enough time to go to the shop and buy my pop music magazine, sit somewhere quiet and read it, then use the afternoon for exploring and adventures.

      Of course, it wasn’t that simple… Read more…


Scythe and Grass Hook

by R J Dent

Copyright © R J Dent (2016)


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My Father’s Garden: A Swing and Pink Gravel by R J Dent

February 10, 2014




1: Swing


          My sister had been pestering my father for a garden swing for months.

          – All my friends have got one.

          – Use theirs then.

          – It’s not the same, my sister wailed.

          – Why don’t I just tie a length of rope around one of the plum tree’s branches? my father said. You can swing on that.

          – Very funny, my sister said, flouncing out of the room.

          Her constant carping and pleading obviously prompted my father to do something about it, because a swing (of sorts) arrived one Saturday morning.

          I was first aware of it when my father carried an armful of long red metal tubes into the back garden. He unceremoniously dropped them onto a rectangular piece of mud, went off, and then returned with an armful of long blue metal tubes, which he dropped next to the red ones. He then went off and returned with two lengths of chain, a rectangle of wood and a plastic bag of things that jangled. Read more…



My Father’s Garden: A Swing and Pink Gravel

Copyright © R J Dent (2014)




My Father’s Garden: Stump by R J Dent

February 9, 2014



1: Indian


Just outside the kitchen door – about five feet forward, and ten feet to the right – was a plum tree. It was one of the best trees in the world, not just for its delicious fruit, but because it was good for climbing, with good hand and foot holds, as well as having some really great branches for swinging and hanging on.

After watching or reading a western, there was nothing better than tying a length of rope around one of the low, strong, almost horizontal branches, then having a mock-lynching, during which my hapless brother – now a desperate outlaw – invariably got hanged by an angry mob, led by me – now a just and fair frontier town marshal. I was always the marshal as I had the pistol, holster, belt and Stetson. If I ever lent the cowboy accoutrements to my brother, then I became a Native American, known back in those politically-incorrect times as Indians. Read more…


My Father’s Garden: Stump

Copyright © R J Dent (2010 and 2016)

Acknowledgement: A revised version of Stump appeared in the Summer 2010 issue of The Smoking Poet.

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My Father’s Garden: Wheelbarrow and Pond by R J Dent

February 9, 2014



1: Casing


My father’s wheelbarrow was in a bad way.

The wheel was wonky, there were holes in the barrow, the handgrips were missing and the legs were rusty and thin. It needed replacing.

– We need a new wheelbarrow, my father said.

The next evening, several items appeared in the garden. There was a large car engine casing, several pieces of aluminium tubing, two small stone mill wheels and four short pieces of heavy duty angle-iron.

My father was working with them in the garden.

– What I really need is a work-bench, he said, as he drilled several holes through the side edge of the engine casing. He then drilled two holes in each of the lengths of aluminium tubing.

– What are you making, dad?

– Something useful, he said.

 I knew he wouldn’t say any more, so I left him to it, and went and found my brother.

– What’s he making?

I shrugged.

– I couldn’t tell. There’s a whole range of bits. It’ll be heavy, whatever it is because it’s made out of an engine casing, some tubular aluminium and some angle iron.

– Anything else?

– Oh, yes; two small mill wheels.

We went out to look at our father’s handiwork while it was still light.

He’d been busy. The tubular pieces of aluminium, the short pieces of angle-iron and the stone mill wheels were all bolted to the engine casing. The engine casing was upside down, resting on the mill wheels and a couple of bits of angle iron. Two tubular lengths of aluminium were bolted along the side edges of the casing.

– What is it? my brother asked.

– What does it look like? my father responded testily.

– An engine casing with some metal pieces bolted to it.

– What else?

– Nothing.

– Yes it does. You’re not looking properly.

My brother went into the house and came back a few minutes later carrying a huge magnifying glass. He looked at the engine casing carefully. Then he looked at our father. Read more…




My Father’s Garden: Wheelbarrow and Pond

Copyright © R J Dent (2014)

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My Father’s Garden: Carpet by R J Dent

February 9, 2014


slow worm rjd

1: Carpet

My father had a piece of carpet he wanted to put on the rectangular patch of ground by the shed – the patch of ground which eventually became the site of the greenhouse. It was an old grey piece of carpet – a bit frayed at the edges, a bit worn, a bit stained. It had once been the living room carpet. Now it was to serve a new purpose, which my father explained to me.

      – If we lay the carpet on the ground, it’ll stop the grass and weeds growing… and it’ll make the ground soft.

       I nodded.

      – And that’s all we really need for the base, he said, some nice soft soil and no grass or weeds.

      And so he carried the roll of carpet out of the house and placed it next to the rectangle of ground he’d pegged and stringed. Carefully, he unrolled the carpet and stretched it out until it totally covered the rectangle of ground. My father then placed a brick on each corner.

      – That’ll keep the little blighters out, he said. Read more…




by R J Dent

Copyright © R J Dent (2014)


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