David Lewis Paget
Hothead! - Poem by David Lewis Paget
They said he was always a hothead,
As a kid he’d scream and shout,
He got so bad, made his mother mad
That his father locked him out.
He couldn’t get in at the windows,
So wandered all night round the farm,
And by the time that his folks were fine
The kid had set fire to the barn.
On the day he got out of Borstal
He was just turned seventeen,
And the Warder James said, ‘Listen Ames,
Better keep your fingers clean!
There isn’t a future in anger,
And less of a future in crime,
So keep your head, though your hair is red
Or you’ll be back, doing time! ’
But any advice flew over his head
And headed on out to the stars,
For soon young Ames was making his name
Hanging in clubs and bars.
He never went home to his parents
For which they would say, ‘Thank God!
He got his genes from his Grandma Steenes,
And she was distinctly odd! ’
He had a passion for fire, would sit
For hours, and stare at the flames,
They said his eyes would be hypnotised
When playing his thermal games.
He’d light a match in a pile of thatch,
In a wood or a field of gorse,
Then watch the firemen put it out,
Well hidden away, of course.
They wouldn’t take him as a fireman,
They said he was up to his tricks
When they saw him next to the fire house
Lighting up piles of sticks,
Then Sheriff Bruce said he had no use
For a hothead in his town,
And put the word on the street; he heard
They were going to hunt him down.
So he hid in the Church’s belfry,
And up in the Town Hall clock,
Then sit and fume in that tiny room
Til he finally ran amok,
He broke in just about midnight
According to Fireman Tuck,
Who’d come from his farm, and raised the alarm
‘He’s stolen the Fire Truck! ’
Then fires broke out in the woodlands,
And fires sprang up in the town,
While the chief said, ‘Look for a big red truck,
It must be somewhere around.’
They called out the local constabulary,
They called out the National Guard,
And orders came from the top to say,
‘Go out, and hit him hard! ’
They cornered Ames in a one-way street
Where he couldn’t turn it around,
So he climbed on up to the top of the truck
And they finally gunned him down.
The coroner ordered an autopsy
On the body of Hothead Ames,
As the circular saw dropped his skull to the floor,
His brain had burst into flames!
15 March 2015
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