Poem about CO by Samuel Spence

Death and CO

Upstairs, a family of four lay in their beds. Quiet filled the house.

For a long time the killer had patiently waited. Now, downstairs in their kitchen- silent murder was food for thought. He was sure to be never caught.

Like a vapour he slid under the kitchen doorway. Running cold dirty fingers against the walls always. His trade mark black marks. In the darkness of the hallway- he encountered red blinking eyes. Restless and alert -it was the smoke detector ready set to scream, protecting sleeping families.

The pair of eyes could only watch Paralysed, as the killer creeps up the stairs. He was in his element here.

Blink twice and he’s missed. The invisible criminal.

Often socially mistaken he’s tasteless.

Normally exhausted- fatigue always reported.

NHS caution: nausea, dizziness, distortion.


Like a sarcophagus mummys coughing in her sleep

Daddy is lethargic, can hardly move his feet

Children choke, like respiratory disease

Boiler’s yellow flame means combustion incomplete

Something must be wrong when the canary doesn’t tweet.


Carbon monoxide concentration is sending you to sleep.


By Samuel Spence

About the author

My name is Samuel Spence and I attend Dartford grammar sixth form. I enjoy short stories, spoken word and rap. I was emotionally moved when I heard about the carbon monoxide poisoning that occurred at Thomas Cooke earlier this year (note by Stephanie – deaths occured in 2006 but the inquest was in 2015), and I felt a compulsion to respond in a creative manner that could help raise awareness. The piece of work that I have attached is the result. I have tried my best to convey a sense of peril and a chilling reminder about the ‘silent killer’.

Thank you Samuel.


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