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Yet in spite of his poor health, Stevenson wrote two collections of delightful essays between and Jekyll and Mr. Hyde , a story in which physical change in man symbolizes moral change; Kidnapped and The Master of Ballantre , two excellent and widely read stories of Scottish life; and two collections of poems, A Child's Garden of Verses , familiar to many English-speaking children, and Underwoods Stevenson's works earned him great popularity because of his clear and careful style, and his extraordinary power as a storyteller.

In , Stevenson went with his family to Samoa in the South Seas, in search of better climate for his still declining health. The people there loved him, and looked up to him.

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They named him tusitala , taller of tales. Stevenson died of apoplexy in , when he was just 44 years old. Sixty Samoans carried his body to the top of Mount Vaea, where he was buried.

Dmitry Karshtedt. All rights reserved. Poetry Lovers' Page is going through renovation. Please stay tuned for new and exciting features. He comes and sees me on certain nights, other nights he wanders the woods.

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Be bear like. I can see you being bare as you wander — eyes like reservoirs gleaming at trees, at weather, at colours that spin in your dreams. I wait for you. I wait in our cave. I wait in bed, coiled in sheets and red linen. My hand touches the spaces you made before you left for the hills. Behind the house a single stark tree, cherries still ripe though it is mid-winter. Bletched fruit on bare branches ooze like a cut thumb, each drop in slow motion falling onto hard soil. Inside in a silent kitchen, on a metal table, apples curdle in a handmade bowl; mulched bills ferment on varnished pine.

In the garden, past the pond, the tree stretches like spilt ink, over-tall, bent back, to eye a yellow crescent crisp in a fold of cloud. Black night glass reflects back the dead centre of a pupil. Blood drips from the mouth of the house. Blood floods the dry seas of the moon. On the stained-glass window of the empty hall red flecks fall, become ice as hail chimes angular to grey pebble-dash and dripping blood begins to take a form: of a red-ice-child-creature, gleaming like a ruby standing silent at the wind-opened door.

The storm glowers behind the outline like a tiger. It roars but she cannot hear him.

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You are not there to listen for her. The hallway is an empty blue. Books rattle in their case. Outside she stands like death. The door closes in her face. Where are you? Are you asleep in bed upstairs or running breathless down the street? Are you away in a cottage in the woods or on a moving train, window patch-black smacked with yellow?

Are you underwater, swimming through the last swathe of the tide? Are you listening for wolves at the back of your mind? Yes, where are you? O Mother has gone missing, she has gone to ground I sing abandoned at the outskirts of the town. O Mother has gone missing, she has gone to ground I sing a shining knife in hand.


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O Mother has gone missing, she has gone to ground I sing full-voiced with the choir of the land. In the garden, the tree flinches, scratched by rats, the storm sifted from the watercourse; small muscular movements smatter on a shield of dark. Cherries gone, turned to child, who crouches on the front step, red-ice-storm-creature as bloodied as prey, silent as an unknown song. As the snow comes along, the tree sighs and bows and stretches again, under-tall, copying the hill, bends down.

In the house, on the living room floor, a wool rug turns to water, small boats sail to wind-fed shores. Blood floods from the dry seas of the moon. Are you underground, in the cellar or soil hiding in the mulch and leaves? Are you rooted in the dirt or rolled up in the rot, heart beating slow, lost light in your eye? Are you un-become, laid bare in the last light of winter sun? In the kitchen the tap drips a slow red drop onto stainless steel clouded with washing-up sods.

White light filters in through an open window. Outside the garden heaves in wind; one breath. A figure runs along the alley, a child or fox but closer, starry red, her bright face at the glass. The tree paws the soil like a horse, a branch turning over loose earth with a sway, a lilt, a whip, a crack but only as far as its roots will allow. What is the spell that holds them still? And the rats run to the river and the dogs run to the river and the chimneys spark like kindling. From far west flickers a firestorm through the town, soot and smoke, sea buckling in distance, a hot avalanche across frost-crested rooftops.

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The red-ice-blood-creature waits on the doorstep, listens for a high pitched wail from the garden; fat of a song. The tree is whipping hard against the fence, it cannot run. Branches stacked one on one form a shield. The fire comes. The house raises its head, tips back its neck. In the hall a vase falls south, a ship in a storm.

Empty glasses smash their silence inside the kitchen cabinets. A knitted doll tumbles down stripped wood stairs.

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And underneath in foundations bricks plough down into sandy earth like a rudder and the bow of the building turns for the river. The roof flips like a flag and the whole house dredges through the molten earth which parts like waves, splitting the garden wall, tarmac road.


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Inside the schism, tree roots hang like curls. In the wall of mud, each frond turn, forms a human face, oval-shaped, which calls out, Where are you? Fire on the horizon crumples church-towers as the red-ice-blood-creature starts to drip and ooze, a snowman after snow has gone, warmth scythes the sides of her small girl shape and becomes a spring, a stream, a brook, a tidal river shifting mud and roots to form a gorge with wooded sides; through leaves two red figures run, girl and woman, each a ruby mark amongst a basalt green.