Poem introduction

Sometimes poems that were never intended for children get adopted by them. This next poem is one such poem, and it's called 'A Small Dragon'.

A small dragon

I've found a small dragon in the woodshed.
Think it must have come from deep inside a forest
because it's damp and green and leaves
are still reflecting in its eyes.

I fed it on many things, tried grass,
the roots of stars, hazel-nut and dandelion,
but it stared up at me as if to say, I need
foods you can't provide.

It made a nest among the coal,
not unlike a bird's but larger,
it is out of place here
and is mosttimes silent.

If you believed in it I would come
hurrying to your house to let you share this wonder,
but I want instead to see
if you yourself will pass this way.

from Love Poems (Flamingo (HarperCollins), 1990), copyright © Brian Patten 1990, used by permission of the author.


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1The Race to Get to Sleep

2Curtains for Gran

3Cousin Lesley's See-through Stomach

4Uncle Ben

5Mr Dahl Supping Soup


7The Lion and the Echo


9The Daft Owl

10Miss Shush

11Someone Stole the...

12Burying the Dog in the Garden

13Mr Ifonly

14A small dragon

15The Nightlight


17The Rose Tattoo

18Geography Lesson

19The Minister for Exams

20Sleep Now

21Little Johnny's Confession

22Come into the city Maud

23Interruption at the opera house

24The Projectionist's Nightmare

25Blake's Purest Daughter

26The right mask

27Into my mirror has walked

28Angel wings

29Sometimes it Happens

30A blade of grass

31The Stolen Orange

32Song for Last Year's Wife

33Simple lyric

34Her Coldness Explained

35meeting again

36The Ambush


38The Armada

39Inessential Things

40How Long is a Man's Life?


Books by Brian Patten