Don’t Try This At Home by Paul Lyalls


Start the beamer,

thrash the beamer,

smash it into the housing estate.

Wave to the helicopter,

I ain’t sick and I don’t need a head doctor,

it ain’t stealing when I take your car,

it’s just another form of drug with which

you’re not used to dealing.

My drug has more than highs and lows,

it’s got 4-wheel drive accelerator feeling,

I thrive on its buzz,

at last I’m alive, I need its rush

and you must know it’s never this

exciting on the paving.

Grand Theft Auto results in a nice long secure stay

at one of those high-walled government ‘resortos’.

At night I lie awake

and listen out for the sound stolen tyres make.

Just let me get at your steering,

so I can slam your family hatch

through its gearing

until I’ve floored my life out of the estate,

driven your car far away from all that I hate,

until I make it to some

distant woodland clearing,

where I apply the match and watch the flames catch.

In 2008 Paul was poet for the London borough of Brent and he performed at the new Wembley Stadium. He has two poems in the new Penguin a-z of children’s poetry. ‘Don’t try this at home’ is taken from his new collection Catching the Cascade. (

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