Telling Tales

“We’ve got a pylon at the end of our garden.”

“Oh that’s nothing,
we’ve got a gasometer.”

“Well we’ve got
a weather research station
that’s manned by the Russians.”

“You haven’t!”

He hadn’t.

Graham was always wanting to get one better.
We all knew they were tall stories,
the kind you read in some Sunday papers:
‘Aliens stole my underpants’
or ‘Baby Nessies discovered in garden pond’.

But he never tired of telling them,
no matter what,
no matter how much we yelled or chased him,
he’d come back for more.

Daft really, you’d think he’d have learnt.

Like after a storm
with everyone saying:
“A tree blew down in my garden”,
or “We’ve lost the roof of our shed”.

Graham had to go and say
he’d half his house missing,
and when we took a look
there were only a couple of slates come down.

I don’t know why he did it,
he knew he’d be found out,
told off, ignored.

He knew the story about the boy who cried ‘Wolf’
but nothing made any difference.

He’d tell stories about his dad too,
where he worked, what he did.

My dad’s a stuntman, he’d tell us,
or my dad’s shooting bears in Alaska,

but when his dad left home,
Graham didn’t say anything.

© Brian Moses

With kind permission of the poet

Brian Moses lives in the small Sussex village of Burwash with his wife Anne, and a loopy labrador called Honey. He has been a professional children’s poet since 1988. To date he has over 200 books published including volumes of his own poetry such as A Cat Called Elvis (Macmillan) and Behind the Staffroom Door (Macmillan), anthologies such as The Secret Lives of Teachers (Macmillan) and Aliens Stole My Underpants (Macmillan) and picture books such as Beetle in the Bathroom (Puffin) and Trouble at the Dinosaur Cafe (Puffin). Over 1 million copies of Brian’s poetry books have now been sold by Macmillan. He is also founder & co-director of a national scheme for young writers administered by his booking agency Authors Abroad. Brian’s most recent books are; Spooky Poems (co-written with James Carter), a picture book The Frog Olympics and his childhood memoir Keeping Clear of Paradise Street, all published in 2015.

Brian also runs writing workshops and performs his own poetry and percussion shows. To date he has given over 3000 performances in schools, libraries, theatres and at festivals throughout the UK and abroad.