Posts Tagged ‘www.rjdent.com’

My Father’s Garden: Fireworks by R J Dent

January 25, 2016

 

Sparklers_Pack_Night_by_2bgr8STOCK

 

 

Bonfire Night was always fun.

Bonfires are great and fireworks are even greater.

My father never bought lots of fireworks on Bonfire Night – there were never more than eight to ten in a box, but there were Catherine Wheels, Roman Candles, Fountains, Jumping Jacks, Bottle Rockets, Fire Crackers – and we always had Sparklers.

I don’t mean to sound churlish, but sparklers are not the most exciting type of firework in existence. You light them, wave them around, they fizz and sparkle for a minute, then they die. They’re the firework world’s equivalent to the mayfly. One great (or in the mayfly’s case, not-so-great) aerial incendiary burst, and then gone, done, nothing left but the inevitable fall… Read more…

 

 

 

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Losted by R J Dent

March 4, 2015

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We holidayed in Dorset that year. When I say we, I mean me – Luke; my little sister – Beth; my father – Oliver; and my mother – Katherine. Our parents drove our estate car from our home in Brighton to our rented holiday home in Dorset on an overcast day. It took us nearly three hours to get there. By the time we arrived, Beth and I were very tetchy with each other. We pulled into the driveway of our rented cottage and I was the first out of the car, looking the place over, checking it out for potentially interesting things to do, to see, or places to explore.

          It was a two-storey, three-bedroom stone cottage. There were four such cottages, and the one that was ours for the week was number four – on the far right end, and overlooking meadows and fields. It looked good.

          I was about to go off exploring, when my father called me back and insisted I help unpack the car. I ran back and forth, emptying things out of the car, carrying items into the cottage, putting them in the relevant rooms – making sure I did my bit to help. After being designated a bedroom, I stowed my stuff away in the wardrobe and the drawers, and looked out of the window into a flint-walled garden that looked interestingly overgrown – and which seemed to lead onto a meadow via a metal-banded wooden gate. Across the meadow I could see a stream overhung with willow trees. Beyond the meadow was a field, a small copse, and past that a path that lead towards the beach. About a mile in the distance I could see the sea. It was a slate-grey colour. Read more…

 

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R J Dent says: “I wrote Losted in a white heat. It took me five hours to write it. It’s one of my favourites of my own stories, despite its unpleasantness. One writer, whose criticism and feedback I respect, said  Losted was ‘beautifully written but ultimately so sad and nasty as there is no good left after that ending. Every person in the story is irrevocably damaged by what happens.’ It’s a review I totally agree with.”

Losted

Copyright © R J Dent 2015

 

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Huitzilopochtli’s Dying Thoughts by R J Dent

August 29, 2014

 

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Huitzilopochtli’s Dying Thoughts

 

 

I’ve got the Tamanaco and Paris

and the bright scarlet splash of Mexico’s

flowers and life and death in my blood-stream

 

My ice sculpture now wears a sugared skull

and stares at me with melting ibis eyes

from its nest of fading rainbow fragments

 

And by the waterfall, the hummingbirds

fly in reverse, sip calico nectar

and ignore the cocooned African moon moths

 

I shake the plateau with my screech owl’s scream;

at my groan, ghost orchid stems snap and fall

(they’ll end up lining some young osprey’s nest)

 

As I die, ice melts and waterfalls stop.

I’ll return to earth as a butterfly,

or as an eagle – I don’t mind which…

 

 

© R J Dent (2014)

 

www.rjdent.com

 

 

My Father’s Garden: Greenhouse by R J Dent

May 5, 2014

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Greenhouse

 

1: Frame

 

Several lengths of silver angle-iron had been in the garden for over a week before my father acknowledged their existence.

      – Ah, yes. I’d better put that together, he said cryptically, one morning.

      Later on, he’d assembled several lengths of the angle-iron into a cube-shaped frame.

      – What are you making, dad?

      – Assembling.

      – What are you assembling, dad?

      – A greenhouse. With a gable roof.

      – Are you going to grow anything in it?

      – No, I thought I’d leave it empty for years, and then knock it down.

      – Oh. What for?

      – Not really. I’m going to grow tomatoes in it. Read more…

 

 

My Father’s Garden: Greenhouse

Copyright © R J Dent (2014)

 

Follow R J Dent’s work on:

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My Father’s Garden: Summer House and Brewery by R J Dent

April 29, 2014

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Summer House

 

Once my father realised that my sister never went near, let alone into, the tree house he’d built for her, he decided to dismantle it and build a summer house instead.

          For the next few evenings, he very carefully disassembled the tree house and stacked all of the individual pieces against the shed wall.

          He then drew a plan of the new summer house. He used a piece of butcher’s paper and a wax crayon, and then explained the diagram to me.

          – It’s got a hexagonal back and sides and a flat front for maximum sunlight capture.

          I nodded, wondering about the ‘maximum sunlight capture’.

          Anyway, within a week, my father had built a summer house. It looked exactly like the one in his diagram, which ordinarily would have been a positive factor or a compliment, but which, in this case, was not.

          It was a wooden structure that looked a lot like a very large sentry box. The back and sides nodded at hexagonality; the front was two huge sliding patio doors.

          – It looks like a public lavatory, my brother said.

          – It’s a bit open-fronted for that, my father protested.

          – That’s why I said ‘public’. Read more…

 

 

My Father’s Garden: Summer House and Brewery

Copyright © R J Dent (2014)

 

 

My Father’s Garden: Caravan by R J Dent

April 28, 2014

 

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Caravan

 

There was considerable excitement in our family when our mother mentioned that we might be getting a caravan. We talked it up into something more than it was, so that when it finally arrived on our drive, it was something of an anticlimax.

          The caravan itself was a bit scruffy; it would need painting before it was ready for use.

          My father, as ever, was ready for the challenge.

          He and my mother debated the colour-scheme.

          – Beige is nice, my father said.

          – Dove grey is nicer.

          – Pale green’s quite nice.

          – Dove grey is nicer.         

          – Magnolia’s nice too.

          – Dove grey is nicer.

          – I think dove grey would look nice, my father said, but only if it’s contrasted with a brighter colour – something like maroon or lime green.

          – You can paint the roof maroon, my mother said, but the rest of the outside needs to be dove grey. Read more…

 

My Father’s Garden: Caravan

Copyright © R J Dent (2014)

 

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