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Adaptation of Oliver Twist (part 2)

Frank E Gibbard

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Frank E Gibbard

Dickens plunged readers in the blood chilling,

Cathartic icy moment of hot blooded killing;

Nancy’s murderer we know is on the loose,

A step or two ahead of a hangman’s noose.


Sikes possessed a dog he often kicked and hit,

A cussed beast that fought him back and bit;

Bullseye bolted off and quit his brutal boss,

Nasty Bill so cruel to him will come to rue his loss.


Meanwhile Oliver’s true past is now revealed,

A crucial fact of his birth was long concealed;

The father who sired him was a gentleman

Whose other son, by his wife, has a secret plan.


A male sibling has tried to find Oliver for years,

Scared to lose his estate and fraught with fears

That he may have to share great expectation;

Pre-soap operas this rivals them in complication.


Oliver’s step-brother and Fagin were in league,

But Mr Brownlow cottoned on to their intrigue;

He got this man called Monks to spill the beans,

Brownlow resolved to save Oliver by any means.


On Nancy’s death the Law was hot on Sykes’ trail,

The populace too who thought him beyond the pale;

A crowd whipped up to a fury follow Bullseye’s tail,

And in a frenzied melee close in on the fleeing male.


The story of Oliver Twist a mix of grief and pleasure,

Writ in shades light and dark in fairly equal measure;

Novels like real life have scenes to bury or to treasure,

Heightened for dramatic effect, lightened to reassure.


This story dear reader in short has nearly reached a peak,

Please read on if conclusion or closure you should seek;

So far Agnes his mother died and Nancy is no more,

Oliver is still at risk of Fagin should he beset his door.


A local bull terrier known as Bullseye face deep in a leather boot,

Bill Sikes, shaking the stricken leg, crying : “Off you bloody brute!”

On a London street below if privy to a high town pigeon’s eye,

Clattering pell-mell over cobbles a rabid mob mid hue and cry.


The locals have followed the lead to the quarry right up to his lair,

Fatefully the dumb creature summoned the impromptu posse there.

Up up went the collective growl: “There he is, it’s Nancy’s killer!"

A backwards scowl and Sikes was gone. It’s de rigueur in a thriller.


Now a hullabaloo, where’s he gone? Who knew? Has he got away?

But Sikes emerged, the large throng surged, above all saw the prey.

On a warehouse roof, none needed proof, a guilty man was perched,

A cowardly cur, all might aver, they each would have gladly birched.


The foul fiend leaned, towards a hoist careened, an overreaching grope,

With a desperate lunge, Sikes took the plunge and fouled upon a rope;

His neck was strung up by chord normally hung up for baskets of fruit,

Just dessert folks said, with this villain dead, hanging did certainly suit.


..... to be continued (nearly finished, if still with me thanks, Frank)

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Once again, a brilliant re-telling. Have you been watching the New Dr. Who? Did you see season 2 (I think) where Rose and the Dr. Meet Mr. Dickens? Ghoulish fun...



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Wow, I enjoyed such lyrical piece!

"Words are not things, and yet they are not non-things either." - Ann Lauterbach

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Frank E Gibbard

Thanks DC Joel and Tony for commenting. Yes DC the new episodes of the Doctor are class. Frank

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Much enjoyed, Frank. Worthy to read, and to write.


Thank you for sharing.



The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth - Jean Cocteau

History of Macedonia



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Hello Frank,



You set the right pace to capture the twists and turns in Dickens tale.



a hangman's noose

is so evocative of Oliver's world as is the brutality and pitiless cunning of Sikes.



Most admirable how you've revived this classic story in this poem.










Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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