Tall And True Short Reads

A Better Poem

Episode 82 (13 November 2023)

“Roses are red, violets are blue, I spend my day, thinking of you.” Davey reviewed the poem in his exercise book. “Thinking” is what you did at school. It wasn’t romantic enough to attempt Mission Impossible with the girl of his dreams. That’s it! “I spend my day, dreaming of you.”

A Better Poem

Show Notes

Season Four: Episode 82 (13 November 2023)

A Better Poem is a short story from the Tall And True writers’ website, written and narrated by Robert Fairhead.

Read the story on Tall And True: https://www.tallandtrue.com.au/fiction/short-stories/a-better-poem

Podcast website: https://www.tallandtrueshortreads.com

Support the podcast: https://supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-reads

Buy Robert’s short story collections online:

Story Insight

A Better Poem was my July 2023 short story entry for the Australian Writers’ Centre’s Furious Fiction monthly writing challenge. The brief for July was:

  • Each story had to include a CHILD (16 or younger) as its main character
  • The first sentence had to contain two colours
  • And the story had to use the words BUMPER, PRIZE and IMPOSSIBLE.

The beginning of the first line, “Roses are red, violets are blue”, popped into my head almost immediately, satisfying the second item in the brief. The childish poetry and the need for a young protagonist transported me back to my awkward pre- and early teenage years when I discovered girls and passed notes in class.

So once again, I drew on my memories and imagination to write this story, which I’m proud to say was longlisted for Furious Fiction July!

A couple of other points of interest:

  1. The title was initially Stirrings until I changed the last sentence on a final edit, ending with Davey’s promise to ask Elizabeth out again and “to write a better poem”. A light bulb went off in my head, and I retitled the story, A Better Poem.
  2. The story I submitted to Furious Fiction was missing a word in a key sentence (despite dozens of proofreads AND using a grammar app): “Roses are red, violets are blue, I’d really like to go the Fair with you.” Did you spot it? It should be “… I’d really like to go to the Fair with you.”

Of course, I spotted the missing “to” the next day! Oh well, I’ll follow a friend and fellow writer’s advice in future and use a pencil to point at every word as I read them aloud.

I hope you enjoyed my school days tale. You can read A Better Poem and all my short stories, blog posts and other writing at TallAndTrue.com. You can also buy my short story collections from the Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, and Kobo online bookstores — links are available in the show notes.

The next episode of Tall And True Short Reads will be in your podcast feed shortly. In the meantime, please check your feed or the podcast website for earlier episodes from all four seasons, and follow or subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite podcasting app — doing so helps me share my storytelling.

You can support this podcast financially by making a small one-off or regular donation via the Acast Supporter Page.

Finally, please tell your family and friends about Tall And True Short Reads and the Tall And True writers’ website.

Podcast Theme and Sound Effects

Royalty-free music from Pixabay.com: Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 ‘Pastorale’ – IV. Rondo. Allegro ma non-Troppo, performed by Karine Gilanyan.

Sound effects licensed under Creative Commons 0 from FreeSound.org:

Production Notes

Tall And True Short Reads is produced using Audacity.

Podcast episodes are recorded in Sydney, Australia, on the traditional lands of the Gadigal People of the Eora Nation.

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Support this show: https://supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-reads.

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