The Ballad of Grimly Moer

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The Ballad of Grimly Moer

Yon robin sitting on a branch

Looked with an evil eye

Surveying the entire ranch,

and spotted a beetle pie

He swiftly flew down to the spot

And boldly cocked his head

A hidden fox came at a trot

and on the robin fed

"You've swallowed me, " the robin said

"But I'll not stay for dinner",

and tickled foxies oesophagus

in an attempt to make him thinner.

A bark, a cough, the bird was free!

and fox was most upset

The robin, glistening in a coat of drool,

had foxies appetite whet.

He looked upon the beetle pie

But thought he'd rather not

Young Reynard with his slavering jaws

Ate the beetle pie instead.

You see the Cheery Dragon said

To busy bee Teaswill

If topic drift dont get you first

The simulposting will

It matters not for after all

It's nonsense isn't it?

Besides the plot's already lost

For Robin was a tit

smiley - tit

Too fast, too fast, so quickly past,

Who says there was a plot?

And thus the plot ran far away,

And thoughts of it were lost.

They searched on high, they searched on low

Who are "They"? Who knows?

Who cares! The crocodile remarked,

Calmly awaking from his doze,

He flossed his teeth with jungle vine

and frightened all the fish

Except for one that shouted out

"This fish will grant one wish"

smiley - schooloffish

"Just one?" the crafty croc remarked

whilst raising his eyebrow

"Half a loaf of wholemeal bread

and a side of Jersey Cow"

Shazam! the fish flicked all his fins

and as if from thin air,

A dandy sort in hobnail boots

turned up in a wicker chair.

His boots were clothed in lilac spats

Which looked a trifle strange

His head heaped with hundreds of hats,

which in height order he arranged.

He pursed his lips, spitting cherry pips

At truly awesome range.

The robin, aye, the robin came

And seized a cherry pip

And that robin (for 'twas the same)

fell over (its' leg was giving it gyp).

"Ye see me now," the Robin said,

the pip dropped from its beak,

"Without a friend", but with twisted head

the injured Robin felt too bleak

The dandy reached with languid hand

And drew the robin near

Then tied him up with tape of worm

And sat him in the chair

With languid hand he taped him up

And tied him really tight

Then 'neath the Christmas pudding tree

He settled for the night

smiley - xmaspud

The tree was lit with brandy flames

That never were put out

Until they called last orders

Down at the Tickled Trout

Colin the Carp (remember him?)

the fish that flicked his fins

Said "Serves you right, you silly bird,

Pay back for all your sins!"

"I have not sinned," the robin said.

Said Colin, "That's a lie!"

"I saw your beady little eyes

Upon that beetle pie!"

"It is no sin to want to eat!"

Cried Robin, in a rage.

"Of course it's not, but this pie's owned

By a great, wise, old sage"

"The Sage is old and the Sage is wise,

but alas I have eaten the pie"...

"That was your sin," young Colin said,

"For now the Sage may die!"

"For I am a sinful devil I will not bear the burden of the Sages

death... as my hunger was thus ended by the eating of the pie

so that I shall live..."

smiley - huh

He was so old, his beard of gold

All withered was, and dry

He looked to Colin, so 'tis said,

And calmly supped his tea,

The robin hopped across and said

"'Ere, save a drop for me!"

"You must replace the pie you ate,

Or else no tea you'll get"

Just then, a weathered face appeared

And said, 'Hail all, well met!'

"It is *not* well!" poor Robin cried.

"They'll let me have no tea!"

The stranger cried "Fear not small bird,

keep quiet, follow me..."

Where the stranger led, robin flew

And then before his eyes...

The stranger saw a passer by

and sipped upon his tea

smiley - tea

The passer by was quite a sight,

All green and grey and blue,

And pink and purple, brown and gold

All shades of every hue.

With twenty legs, a spikey nose

and three big swivelling eyes

And twenty arms, a big bald head

And feet of outrageous size.

The stranger's eyes grew large and wild

'What's in this tea?' he cried

"Why, something that will do you good -

A substance called bromide!"

The passer-by unzipped his fearsome suit

And peeling off, revealed

A batch of extra syllables

He'd previously concealed

"Alas!" Alarms rang in his head,

For now he was in trouble,

But meanwhile he spat out his tea

Which had begun to bubble.

"The fish that flicks with fiendish tricks

Will leave ye bruised and sore,

But I am the beast that longs to feast

On the fens of Grimly Moer."

he'd left his book at home, and so

he set off at the double

oh no! he said, alas alack,

i can't think what to do

The beast replied, "I ache inside,

I'm going to feast on you!"

the man replied, "now don't be daft!

i doubt that very much"

The beast reared up, and drained his cup

But the man he could not touch.

"Och eldritch man, that's if you can

Explain to me your power.

Most other blokes, no more than jokes

Would perish in the hour."

The man looked up, with glinting eyes,

And commenced to tell the tale,

Of chocolate and cheese and custard cream teas

The beast began to look pale

He raised his head and gurgled loud

those words that make milk curdle:

Give me a pint of rhesus neg..

And a hypodeemic nurdle.

From high on Grimley Downs there came

The crashing sound of thunder

And Eddie Waring came along

and played the up and under

The Fullback leapt clean out his skin

which crumpled to the ground

The Robin swooped and ate the skin

with a splurgy, crunkly sound.

Which caught the ear and chaffed the nose

Of a Splurgy Crunkling Hound

"A six line verse!" the hound did state

Angst written 'pon its brow

Twas meant to start the next verse but

It's of no matter now

"What nonsense," Robin then remarked,

The skin was gone by now.

Then through the air a wicker chair

Came flying like a rocket,

A languid hand reached out and put

The robin in its pocket.

The chair perhaps I should explain

Was not quite as it seemed

fashioned as it was, in string

in the shape of a greek trireme.

The wind blue high, the wind blue low

the Hound it sang the blues

and uttered derisive curses

at it's now spoiled blue suede shoes.

The robin from the pocket sang

Through swirling misty fog

This Crunkly Splurge is nonsense

You aint nothing but a hound dog

The bird flew low along the ground

And then flew ever higher.

The hound leapt up and ran to fetch

Two Great Balls of Fire.

smiley - starsmiley - star

Jerry Lee Lewis caught a snatch

of animalian conversation

and sat and penned his latest hit

that filled him with elation

The hound sped on and ever higher

the balls still out of reach.

He paused upon a nearby spire

And clung on like a leech

The robin feeling quite surprised

To see the flying hound

Said," That's enough of this weird stuff

I'm off to Grimly Ground."

The leechy hound slipped down the spire

And fell on a grassy patch,

And sniffed about on sharp look-out

For the Jerry Lewis snatch.

The trees were filled with goob-goob juice

and barked with gutteral howls

whilst singing low pitched sailing songs

lamenting lost tea-towels.

Whos' corners flapped in winds of old

And long forgotten days

When Grimleys grimbly Dodderman

Was laying out his leys

Where hounds may please to scratch their fleas

Among those breezes foul,

Which blow through Grimley's fetid swamps

And drench the tea-stained towel.

They parped, they snooked, they grundlebunged

and flibbered while they walked

grazing on the purple heads

of snaffling plants; long stalked

"Beware the grimbly Dodderman,

Beware the dismal Dodder,

Beware the beast of Grimley Moer

Whose tea-towels catch its fodder."

Beware the Beast who makes a feast

Of those who dare to stray

Too far from on the Grimley road

Or dawdle on their way

And should you care to stop and shop

In sight of Grimley Steeple

Be sure to mind your manners 'cos

Them's shops for 'local' people

smiley - weird

Local Shops for Local Folk

not stangers from afar

Peddaling queer, exotic fruits

Kept in vats of tar

With pickled fnibs and bootle bugs

So tasty when they're fried

And boxes tied with winkle string

With who knows what inside


Arose just then from Grimley Fen

A maiden fierce and fair,

Her eye was keen, her skin was green

And lilac was her hair.

"Tis my desire to gild the spire

Of yonder Grimley kirk,

Who'll be so bold to seek the gold

And undertake the work?

Who'd be so bold, my heart shall hold

Be they hero, knave or Turk."

Snarkle fruits in ganjong juice,

Parloony Scabbards thighs;

a deathly lot of tantric clopes

that bring water to your eyes.

"I'll gild the spire!" the dandy cried,

"But where to seek the gold?"

"That you must find," the maid replied,

"Before you get too old!"

Descended on the maiden who

So shocked by their descent

Immediately cashed a cheque

And paid a fortnights rent

The room was tall, about 4 foot short

so wide she could touch the sides

and furnished in an empty way

with salted fishes hides.

In there she'd wait while Dandy went

To find her stash of gold

She wrote to him on bits of cloth

In blood, or so I'm told

And watch out for the simulpost

Who's known to stalk these parts

And make a nonsense of a farce

And terrorise bold hearts

The Simulpost. The Simulpost.

A fearsome, swarthy brute.

With warts and growths of garlic heads

concealed in a floral print suit.

I think you speak of someone else

(you can see where this one's going)

That's not the simulpost you see

That's Lawrence Lewellyn Bowen

Yon Dandy started out the road

Upon his pony propped,

( While taking care his verse to pare,

All extra words he dropped!)

He hadna gone a hundred yards

When frothing from the east

With swivvely eyes, tis no surprise,

Came Grimley's dreadful beast.

Yon Dandy cried a snargly cry

And from his wicker seat

Drew out a fearsome gleaming glaive

That glowed with gloomy heat.

The Grimly monster grinned and growled

"I'll scrunch you, " said the beast.

"I'll not be killed, upon thy grilled

Three eyeballs will I feast."

He slew it once , he slew it twice,

He slew it three times more,

And looked to see if there was tea,

( The time was close on four.)

The monster thought, "I'll have a nap

And then began to snore."

"How dare this creature snore at me,

And it now five times dead.

I'll have no truck with such ill-luck,

I'd best cut off its head."

The dandy did wave his awesome glaive

Five times around his head

And with one stroke the handsome bloke

Struck off the monster's head.

The head rolled off along the lane

Guffawing as it went

At Dandy leaning 'gainst a post

His energy now spent

For as it came to rest at last

Its' wound was almost healed

And from what had been nought but blood

A new growth was revealed

The body lain across the way

Had grown a brand new head

And Dandy now faced two of what

He thought already dead

Now at this point you may begin

To think our Dandy beat

But Dandy didn't think so and

He sprang back to his feet

He had one final weapon left

For though you wouldn't know it

Beneath the outer layer was

A flippin' Vogon poet

He quoted from the Fnurbled Blog

He read from Nooblers Wick

He'd quote The Snockerty Friddle
That finally did the trick

The beast was beat it couldn't fight

Another battle bloody

The opposition was too much

The poetry too cruddy

"We* thought at least," bemoaned the Beast

"We'd get a bit of sleep,

But lethal Vogon poetry's

A blade that cuts too deep.

"Be on your way, young Dandy,lad

And take yer poems too.

If gold ye seek, yer up the creek

In a leaky old canoe.

"On Grimley fell, ye'll ne'er do well

No gold ye'll ever find,

But cross the sea to the Florgel Flea

And pray for a wind that's kind."

"The Florgel Flea? You're telling me!"

The other half exclaimed

And even though the poetry

Had left him badly maimed

He wished young Dandy all the best

And sent him on his way

With half a pound of jelly beans

And bags of curds and whey

With which to tempt the Fiddling Fish

Who otherwise might not

Be willing to assist the lads'

Pursuance of the plot


The plot grew thin as ideas got

quite thin upon the ground

Until, in a flash of recognition

they spied the oft mentioned hound.

It flew the ditch, it flew the pond

and landed: Oh the power!

Having the desired effect

that gravy has with flour.

The plot it thickened visibly

and all were sore amazed

their mouths did gape like startled carp

their eyes became all glazed.

A snorking sound did emanate

from twixt the hounds closed eyes

and strawberry flavoured muffins

started growing on its thighs.

The Fiddling Fish did leap and bound

Within the pearly sea

and it did chance to see

The Florgal Flea and old Dandy

"That Florgal Flea will be my bane

Unless I find some glue!

It bites my brain, I must complain

But I don't know who-to"

And yet, afore his plaint was out,

In courteous, manly fashion,

The Flea discerned "for gold you yearned?

I'll help you ease that passion"

( We mingle scenes by single means -

We wrap our spells in magic.

To spell our wraps springs snarley traps

And leads to verses tragic.)

The Florgal Flea, across the sea

Defeated many a seeker

Who hoped to hold its hoard of gold,

The braver and the meeker.

As tales are told, the hunt for gold

Is struggle, grim adventure.

But worth in part, a fair Maid's heart,

And a healthier debenture.

At the Maid's behest this fearful quest

Was undertook by Dandy,

So hound and all, unless he fall,

This plot should prove quite handy.

"But in return for helping you

complete this daring task

I am obliged to make you wear

this garish sequined mask"

The light did glint from sequin'd mask

his head was rent assunder.

A word that isn't used by all.

why not? You've got to wonder.

His jarkled head, his body strong

his visage cleft in twain:

he gargled with a farnstang grub

which helped to numb the pain.

"I feel confused," the Dandy said,

"This journey goes in stages,

The Flea still lies across the sea,

So who's been skipping pages?"

"It was not I" the robin cried,

"you've ignored me since the start,

and the fullbacks skin which I did eat

is mucking up my heart"

And so in maybe vain attempt

To set the record straight

The Dandy's yet to sail the sea

The Flea will have to wait

Or have I missed some vital point

It's very easily done

I popped out for a cup of tea

Some crisps and a cream bun

Returned to find a dozen verses

Maybe 'twas a score

And by the time I've written this

There could be even more

The dandy, dandied foppishly

and tightened up his britches

fashioned from the inner ears

of Grimley Moers worst witches.

His waistcoat glinted 'neath the sun

in hues most bright and splendid:

Mauve and pink and crimson red

and other colours blended.

The pose he struck was dashéd fair

his noble nose quite regal

was of such size it's no surprise

it housed the Antwerp Eagle.

It's wings so broad, its neck so sure

it's talons keen like mustard.

An odd adaption, all things said

as it only fed on custard.

The Grimley Beast, impressed at least

By creatures with big noses,

Said, "Dandy lad, you'll drive me mad,

Enough of all these poses.

"Tis time for thee to cross the sea,

And sniff out, like a beagle

The Florgel Flea's gold treasury -

So fly with yer Antwerp Eagle!"

The Eagle spread its brackly wings

And seized the Dandy's hair,

Then flew aloft through clouds so soft

They could line a robin's lair,

For it is not oft that clouds so soft

Are found on a wicker chair.

The robin, yes it's him again

He gets where water wouldn't

And many's the tale the robin could tell

Although perhaps he shouldn't

For this is not the time or place

For robin reverie

We want to know how things progress

With Dandy and the Flea

Well time had passed like wind

The way that time so often will

And Dandy and the Eagle

Came to land upon a hill

The clouds did waft, like candyfloss

around this awkward pair

who battled with cumulus

with derring doo and flair.

They soared on high and in the sky

they met a joyful throng,

of lilac livered lamputloofs

that wooed them with their song:

"Our garalled prown is langlyfree

our dunstrels wifely snared

yet ye who fly through clouds on high

are not so coarsely haired,

"your spandrels are not fluted like

the oxtrells bandy claves

nor are your waistcoats pocketed

or lined with muckletraves"

"Oh Lamputloofs, with eerie song

how bold you seem from here

but might I say the welly boots

you wear are mighty queer"

Now Dandy had been hanging by

His hair for many hours,

Whilst Eagle flew the worples through

Sustained by kitchly powers.

"I can't complain," young Dandy said

"And shouldn't make a fuss,

Our flight was mighty quick alright,

But can we take the bus?"

"You're plainly daft," the eagle said

"Your brains are turned to salad,

Where do you think we'll find a bus?

We're in an epic ballad!

"Tis time indeed we groaned to ground

I'm feeling in my bones,

We're due to meet a witchly waif,

Skilled with the runing stones."

The eagle left the lamputloofs

Upon their lilac couches,

And swept down through a different view

To where the Witchwaif slouches.

The Dandy dropped on grass, close cropped,

Before the Witchwaif's tube,

And watched amazed where glebberts grazed

As Witchy played the flube.

"I knew ye'd come, my glebskin drum

Foretold a sequined visit.

You're welcome here, pull up a gleer,

It's gold you're after, is it?"

Meanwhile a whingeing voice spoke out

"You owe me still my wish!"

The crocodile was speaking to

Colin the flicking fish

"You promised me a loaf of bread

And half a Jersey cow!

Instead I get a filthy beast

And Dandy in a row!"

"Go cool your hide" the fish replied

Sipping a glass of vino

"You should be glad that Dandy lad

Was not the dreaded Beano!"

Biffo the Bear began to swear

Lord Snooty cried "Come, come!"

The Bash Street Kids let down their hair

To the drum of Little Plum.

Then Desperate Dan appeared; a man

Of might and heavy-handed;

'Twas he foiled Minnie the Minx's plan

Of setting fire to Grandad.

The Robin ( you remember him?)

Said,"I'd have come back sooner,"

And thereon cockly bowled his head

"To sprondle this laguna.

"Tis hardly kind to stretch the mind

And cause the reader rages

Through parachronofunduli

That skip back seven pages.

"Still, nonsense is as nonsense does

When fiction's scientific,

And nonsense will be nonsense still

Though not so site-specific."

Meanwhile, across the blurgly sea

A Waif-witch wove her spell

And cast the runes midst thribble -spoons

A fortune for to tell.

"Young Dandy lad, things don't look bad

I'll tell you gladly news,

But you must prove your worth to me

And shave these bristley thews."

The runes were cast, he looked aghast

As Waif-witch bared her legs,

But set he to with razor true -

They soon were smoothe as eggs.

The Waif-witch sighed in deep delide

To see her legs anew.

"At the morning bell, I'll break my spell

And body-form for you!"

"Erm, Eagle," said our Dandy lad,

"Is this in proper order,

This shaving of a Witch's legs

Without a camrecorder?

"What if the Grimley Maid should hear

We had this mergile meeting?

With gold or no, she'll hardly glow

With pleasure at our meeting."

"Relax, young lad, it's not so bad

It was an epic tussle,

To shave those legs as smooth as eggs

You had to show your muscle.

You had to show the world you know

What's what upon a quest.

It seems to me, we'll find the Flea

At this Witch-waif's behest."

"As an aside", one writer cried

"should we put it to debate, or

can I propose we look about

for a skillful illustrator

"The lamputoofs, The Grimley Moer

the Dandy in his wicker

would put the Jabberwock to shame,

both sharper and much slicker."

"You cad, you knave, you boundrous tyke

how dare you drift off topic!

I know this is a nonsense rhyme

but I'm Monstrously Myopic

"You see these claws of gilded rusk

this eye of burnished steel

I've always thought they give a look

of terror, awe and zeal"

"Get back on track" the monster cried

"my walk on part has ended

my head now filled with thoughts of fame

my belly well distended"

Asides in rhyme are quite sublime

And back on track fair nifty

That was verse one forty-nine

And this is verse one fifty

The Witch-waif smiled, her heart beguiled

By Eagle's tasteful posture,

And played sublimely pon her flube,

Young Dandy said "I'm lost. Your

"Music, Waif, would griddle ice

Upon far Grimley's peak,

But beauteous tunes don't tell no runes,

Where bides the Flea? Pray, speak"

"Tomorrow when the Sun's awake

I'll give directions fair,

But first a night of strange delight

With me you both must share."

(Discretion here makes one thing clear

Things got to such a stage -

Well past a kiss to grungly bliss -

But not upon this page!)

The morning dawned, Young Dandy yawned

And stretched his sequinned sleeves -

After a night of strange delight

A Dandy rarely grieves.

He plucked the Antwerp Eagle from

Its nest inside his nose,

Within his chest, the yearning quest

Heroically arose.

He looked about the balrgly tube,

His eyesight largely keen,

He combed his quaif, but of the Waif

No vestige could ne seen!

then this i think i must not waste

I`ll settle for a cow

The Eagle's eyes, so worldly-wise

Scoured the skumbles round,

"I'm sorry lad, we've both been had,

The Witch-Waif's gone to ground."

"Then ground-wards we must promptly go -

No Witch will leave us beaten,

May I suggest, we first digest

These glebberts we have eaten?"

They seized their sizal digging spades

and set to work with zeal

barely having finishéd

their tasteless glebbert meal.

Yet through the day and through the night

and through the day once more,

they toiled and dug with ne'er a shrug

their callous making chore.

Four days they toiled without a break

except to take on water

Just the sort of manliness

one would hope to wed ones daughter.

And then and there they did espy

the witch waif with her kin

strutting her stuff in a leopard skin ruff

while holding her stomach in.

In unison the pair did watch

their eyes both wide in wonder

which was quite odd to all intents

as such sights make most chunder.

Far, far away, a Ventral Snaith

caught sound of witch-waif rocking

and donned it's Ventral Snaithish wear:

A fifteen denier stocking.

Galumphing like the Jabberwock

of Lewis C's invention

it strutted out a loathsome dance

defying comprehension.

It scuttled here, and mosied there

it hopped and skipped and bounded.

A pair of Zanthric Combilewraths

just stood stock still, astounded.

A voice arose betwixt their toes

Adressed the heroes twain.

"You've found us out, we're drinking stout -

You're seeking's not in vain.

"You'll need a Pleedrik Archibolt

To settle the Flergel's hash.

So hap we have one here that you

Can purchase now, for cash.

"Be sure it will most muckly kill

The Flea, or something bigger.

Tis lethal. NO! Don't wave it so,

Yer finger's on the trigger."

"For cash, oh dash, I've lost my stash,"

Wee Dandy hardly said it,

"I don't suppose you're one of those

Who handles plastic credit?"

"Anachronistic to the last!

I am a Waif-witch me, prince,

You'll pay your account, the full amount,

A legsworth full of sequins!"

But Dandy did as Dandies do -

His sequins were too precious -

He squares the Witch, pretends to itch,

The archibolt enmeshes.

He raised the latch and slipped the catch

Thus loading up the jigger.

Before she knew, the blarblies flew

As Dandy squeezed the trigger.

But Witches have their weirdly ways

And Waif's a tricksy hooer,

Poor Dandy could but stand and gaze...

The blarblies passed clean through 'er.

"It's impolite to share the night

Then try to kill your hostess!"

"But you promised me you'd find the Flea -

Then vanished like a ghostess."

The witchywaif just changed her gait

(her eyes were sparkling brightly)

and stated that it wasn't odd

in fact she did it nightly

and that she might have stayed in bed

if he'd been a bit more sprightly.

The party meanwhile, somewhat pooped

By the archibolt's retort,

Began again to buzz, the fuzz

Were circulating port.

For what's a blarbly blast to such

As the weirdly Witchy Waif?

More lifetimes than a Grangle Cat

She had, so she was safe.

Said Witchy Waif to Ventral Snaith

"What ails the Combile wraths?

I'm off to teach this Dandy lad

The joys of bubbling baths.

"His manners, for a Dandy chap

May not quite be the best,

But I gave my word, and undeterred,

I'll put him to the test."

"He's come to me cross the Beebly Sea

In search of Flergly gold,

And his hunting of that fearssome Flea

Is a story still untold.

"Another night of glib moonlight

I'll put him through his paces,

And as we frisk, and frool and misk

We'll see whose pulses races."

Good taste once more binds fast the claw

That would the scene describe,

(A version may be had, plain-wrapped

For a reasonable bribe!)

For Witch-Waif, Dandy, Eagle too

The night passed all too quickly.

A feathery night by glib moolight

That left them sore and prickly.

Quite soon young Dandy's rumbly gut

Was noisily needing filling,

"What chance of breakfast, Witchy-Waif,

With something goodly grilling?

"Not spam, nor spread, but toasted bread,|"

The Dandy stroked her wrist,

"With tea, and eggs, and rolls in bed

And honey," then they kissed.

The Antwerp Eagle promptly woke

And tumbled from the nose

Of Dandy, shedding feathers as

Their passions once more rose.

"Enough's enough of all that stuff,

We've got a quest to follow,

There's only so much purple prose

An Eagle's bound to swallow."

They broke their fast with a rich repast

(Repeated somewhat later )

Then tiptoed through the snorfling crew

Of zonkered rock spectators.

"Don't disappear, we have to hear

The rune-read re the Flea,

So Witch-waif please, I'm on my knees,

Speak now, be kind to me."

"Your manners have improved, young man,

As manners mannith make,

Pin back your ears and quell your fears

And my advice ye'll take."

You'll note the Witch's change of tone

As fits her weirdly role,

She'd shed her ruff of leopardskin

And donned a thong of vole,

And that was all she wore, she tore

A glim-dance round a pole.

"I see I see a fearsome Flea

I see a Flergal snout,

I see a Dandy, Eagle born

Climb up a water-spout.

I see I see a trembling tree

With roots like clibrous clooters,

I see a journey clewed with clouds

On horns that are no hooters.

I see I see, ( that's three times three,

My wirble needs a heater,

There's more to tell, to keep the spell

Put ten quid in the meter.)"

She spun, she flowed around her pole

She seemed a fleeting blair,

She shrieked and howled, while Dandy trowelled

The snakes flung from her hair.

Then Dandy, broke, said "Holy smoke,

Can someone spare a tenner?

I'll swap it for a sequinned sock

I brought back from Sienna."

But Antwerp, having Eagles eyes

Said, "Cut the crap and stock it.

Yon sleeping Ventral Snaith has dropped

A tenner from his pocket."

With cash in hand, you'll understand,

Waif-witch was re-empowered.

So on she spun, she'd scarce begun,

But still more snakes she showered.

Verse Number 200!

"I see I see dire perils three,

And three sea-crossings deadly,

You would be best to head out west

And sing a ghoulish medley.

Verse Number 200!

"I see I've seen an island green

All set about with gritches....

Well that's my lot, I'm feeling hot,

My sides are stung with stitches."

Then suddenly the Witch-Waif wailed

And turned a glarish puce.

A fritful rapture seized her like

A greasty gallows noose.

She trembled, gurgled, shuddered, shook

And to our lads' surprise,

A greenish smoke leaked from her teeth

Which buzzed like seethy flies -

No scurfish snakes, no pole-ish dance

No costly shrieks, no well-tuned trance

No glib agendas to advance

No ratled runes, no games of chance

No foetid cheeses made in France

No reeking rocksters all a-prance

No slurpid lip-gloss to enhance

No strangley yessicans, or can'ts,

No Slanserlotz with sword and lance,

And bulgey were her eyes.

"Beware, beware, the Flergel's Lair,

Beware the shipling Greep,

Beware the greenish body-hair

Of the Mercows from the deep.

Beware, oh woe, the ways you go

Are set about with peril,

Beware the snows, the Muddly flows

And a Warlock, name of Berril."

The Waif-Witch gasped and falling clasped

Young Dandy's wicker sprokkit,

With a gladsome eye she said, "Now, fly,

Last night was cool, don't knock it."

The Dandy stood enraptured

applauding with such fervor

that a power surge erupted and

didst overload the server.


the witchywaif declaréd

quite what it meant was anyones guess

but soon it was repairéd.

The Dandy doffed his Gnarlous hat

and bowed in admiration

"Your vole-skin thong" he drooled aloud

"gives untold tittilation"

Then Witchy gave another groan

"Oh no, she's off again"

The Eagle moaned, across his beak

There passed a look of pain.

"Beware the glare of Ellsi Dee,

Avoid the Hummock Heep,

Beware the slabrous Slimmereels.

Don't wake the Wuns That Sleep.

"Beware the poisonous Veeedy Yew

That grows in Flergle lands,

Beware the shifty Shub that seeks

Black gold 'neath desert sands.

"No, go, my Dandy lad, go fast

Before the news gets worse.

I'd hate to think you'd have to drink

Your Fate-cup with a curse!"

"Afore ye flea," the witchy cried

"I have just one request.

Pray let me know what's best to wear

neath this here old string vest"

The Dandy, halted in his stride

and turned his foppish head

"If I divulge said secret here

the Beast will strike me dead"

"The Beast, The Beast of Grimley Moer

it's hide of gnarléd Hartlets

it's Mangstel breath, it's flurtid teeth

and Spantrel-efid Shartlets"

"Oh please, oh please," cried witchywaif

"your little snookum beary"

"Get off the ground, you haggard wench

you're blubbing like a fairy"

It's ne'er too good to aim such words

at those with skills of magic.

One eyelid flickered from witchywaif

the outcome was quite tragic.

The Dandy lost his Dandy charm,

his waistcoat turned to butter;

his words, til now, so finely said

spewed forth in fetid stutter.

"Carshnag Fal doch, yurl snarking chamf

Coy rastnet fargle wastrelsh

Yap bovic tarth snoy lappik nat

wenk tarsingboil thiy feltish"

The evil wench, in putrid stench

raised high and evil cackle

and dandy's hereto silky skin

did boil and start to crackle.

You've got to take yourself in hand

No need for any chimicals

Admit this tale will have no end

And hie thee back to rimickles

Oh heartless fiend, oh callous imp

how dare you sleight this ballad!

Get thee back to the Rimickle track

or I'll serve thee up with Salad.

Once more the dreaded Simulpost

Makes correspondence fluffy;

Yon fetid stutter made me most

To snerdle in my coffee

And now this ballad threateneth

A Hardy growth as Laurel:

The fabled battling unto death

O'er-spilling into RL

The Witchywaif, the Crackled Dand

The antwerp eagle watchéd

As two of those who didst compose

their ballad long all squab'led.

"I say, I say" old witchy said

"that's really just not on.

We're the stars of this epic here

off you go! Be Gone!"


And so the tale of Grimley Moer

retained the ground of fore

and rambled on in a sim'lar way

as it had done before

Until that is we drift away

off topic again, once more.

But then, 'tis said, they westwards sped

To find the first green isle,

Arriving after sunset as

The Moon began to smile.

Our Dandy, scorched, and Eagle, torched,

Sought room for over-night,

And spotted, twinkling through the gloom

A fire, a welcome sight.

The fire was poked and fed by one

Whose like they'd never seen,

A scrawny, gangly bearded wight

With trews of leathery sheen.

He welcomed them with scarce a word

But for the occasional "Wow!"

He said, "This stuff is so far out

I'm through the cosmos now."

Our lads, though vexed were quite perplexed

At what his words might mean,

Resolving him to question in

The day, when sense is seen.

That night as Eagle snorely slumped

Within his nasal nest,

Young Dandy's sleep, devoid of sheep,

Permitted him no rest.

He heard their new companion who

Still gunkered by the fire,

Begin a song, bizarrely long,

He plucked his Lektro Lyre -

"A time there was, e'er time began

When all was dark and gloomy,

Across the face of empty space

A sign read "REALLY ROOMY -





Arose therein a pint of gin

And a trembling hand that held it,

And soon arose a scarlet nose

That sniffed the gin and smelled it.

Within the vasty vacant void

The being came in focus -

A drunken god, who waved his rod

In febrile hocus-pocus.

"Oh soddit," said the drunk divine,

"There's something I've forgotten.

An egg that's raw to soothe my craw,

This gin is cheap and rotten."

He slumpered down,and on his crown

A light-bulb briefly flickered,

"My head is whirled, let's make a world,"

He farted, belched, and snickered.

He waved his rod, and from its knob

There sprung a blazing stream

Of stardust, which he swallowed with

The gin, his eyes a-gleam.

He swelled, he grew, he quickly knew

He'd picked his cosmic clover,

He bloated, burst and roundly cursed -

His drinking days were over.

And out there spread from his scattered head

A dreamscape bright and starry.

Above, bright blue, with silvery hue,

Beneath, the void, all tarry.

Among the stars and galaxies

That spun in drunken rapture,

One small blue world serenely furled

With no idea of capture.

But gods are strangely jealous, yes,

They need tough wives to keep

Them partly sober through the day

And out of sozzled sleep.

So, jealously, another god

Who'd lost his invitation

And had gate-crashed the sad gin-fest,

Surveyed this new creation.

His name meant Dreadful Swallower,

The heavenly garbage cleaner,

And as gods went he liked to go,

But jogging kept him leaner.

He saw the stars and galaxies

Expanding like a bubble.

He said "This lot from that drunken sot

Can only lead to trouble."

He grabbed his cup and scooped them up,

And in one gulp he swallowed

The drunken god's celestial bods

Not caring what ill followed.

So to this day the starry way

Is dark. There is no question,

But heavenly hues and soulful blues

Are swallower's indigestion.

And everywhere there's friendly hair

And suits in stripes of pin,

You know you're with the servants of

The gods of Ori Gin."

The gangly youth, to tell the truth

Had pondered matters deep,

But better yet, a sure safe bet,

Young Dandy fell asleep.

And so he slept for days and days

- four score and 10 they say -

Until the Snarking Woltenbeast

did upon him stray.

"Wake up Oh crackled erstwhile Dand,

pray stir from your deep slumber

and let me sip the drink so cool

that sits there in yon tumbler."

The Dandy fellow, sleep filled eyes

did nod his crinkly head

and turned his back on the Snarkling chap

that stood there by his bed.

Bare half a sec had scuttled past

when Dandy, much more sprightly

kicked tumbler from the Wolten's hand

Good job he did, quite rightly.

"From whence did come this vestible

from whence the drink therein

Twas not within my luncheon box

provided by my kin"

"Two sarnies: one of ham, one cheese,

a pack of Pickled Onion

four sides of salted Chemling bits

one chocolate coated bunyon

"there was no drink to wash it down

no brew to ease its passage

but half a quart of Cardling fronds

and one litre of mollasage"

The Woltenbeast was struck quite dumb

its mouth did gape wide open

and twixt its teeth, a curious sight:

A Laundromatic token.

Once more the focus zoometh out

And greater gorws the damage

What's it about, this cosmic rout,

The Epic of Gil-Gammage?

Forsooth, forsooth, you are uncouth

tis not your place to curse,

didst though not read the tirle well

"... the longest nonsense verse"

Would never do to scuttle 'pon

the rocks of finite fiction

a ballad of such epic size,

such splendour and such diction.

The gangly youth,who had no luth,

Plucked at his flabbid lyre,

And sang a song, thanks be, not long.

Twould set no hearts afire.

"My Luvvis Drood

My Luvvis crood

My Luvvis sharply

Darkly shrood.

" I wish I saw

My Luvv delish

A-gangle liken

Lissom fish.

"My Luvvis Drood

My Luvvis lyood

My Luvvis carply

Harply nyood."

"Well dear oh dear," said Eagle, "Clear

It is he is no linnet.

Don't you long for the Witch-waif's flube?

This stuff is gharkly, innit?"

"Gharkly is as gharkly does"

the Dandy quipped derisive

Whatever 'twere the song did say

it sounded quite decisive.

"One thing at least, that Woltenbeast

Has now completely vanished,

That leaves us with this gangly bard

More polished off than spanished."

"Hi, guys," the Gangly Bard awoke,

"It's really cool to meet ya.

I thought you'd like my latest lines,

The tune's me favrit feature.

"And help yourselves to breakfast too,

That's if you've got the munchies.

It's all biotic, rawly brown,

Except for the deep-fried crunchies.

"Oh, by the way, my name is Blay,

I'm hitching down to Glurry.

I'm going to sing, and also bring

Some bags of my 'special' curry.

Why don't I hang along with you,

I'm not in any hurry."


Chaiwallah you must harness all

The power in your possession

I sincerely hope you learn to cope

With your Grimley obsession

I see it rhymbles onward still

Its pace is quite alarming

The comedy hilarious

The fnurtage is quite charming

I had to give it up a while

The game became a curse

Now I even eat my dinner in

Four lines of rhyming verse

And for those who hadn't noticed

As this ballad grows more queer

That the full unabridged version

Can be found by clicking here

Meanwhile the Gangly Blay gave voice

To notes both fleet and flat,

With mind unsure, but motives pure

He warbled with eclat.

"Oh Snockerty, oh Snockerty,

You are so sorely missed.

We wondered at your absence,

We assumed you must be pissed,

"Like Bards of old, your weight in gold

Is far too low a price,

To pay to hear your rhymes so clear,

We'd sing them in a trice.

"Come back, come back, don't twist the rack

Of our anticipation,

We need your like to give a hike

To this our mad creation"

"Ere, wot was that?" the Eagle asked,

"A song I've never heard."

"Beats me," the Gangly Blay replied

"I didn't catch a word,

These things just pop into me 'ed

As though they just occurred.

And seriously, since last night's bash,

Me vision's somewhat blurred.

The trouble with that "Temple Black",

As sh*t goes, it's the turd."

This epic tale by now has reached

Of pages twenty four* (*A4, single column )

Do not despair, but write with flair

And give us twenty more.

Did we perchance a groan perceive,

Perhaps an angry roar?

For as we reach this present speech

Of pages four and twenty

We understand you may command

"That's quite enough, that's plenty."

And we may say, "Enough? That's tough,

This coffer's still not empty."

The time has come to show our cards

And make our drift quite clear,

An epic ballad, as a form,

May p'raps beguile the ear,

But should have lots of twists and turns

That venture far and near,

And inner tales, and hidden Grails,

And songs, and thongs, and beer,

And epic deeds that chill the blood

And make you shake with fear,

And lovers' needs, and prayers and pleads

That bring a salty tear,

Not mentioning the belly laughs

And a welcome change of gear,

And all of this pure nonsense is

And weirdly, squierdly quear.

And will we ever reach an end?

"No, no, lad, don't be frightened!"

Our wills we bend, we must commend

This enterprise enlightened

With turns and twists, and lovers' trysts

This tale moves on combining;

While truth insists, our world consists

Of *stories* intertwining

(Oh fartch! This is another post

Of philosophic cop-out;

I'm always haunted by the ghost

Of pass-the-parcel drop-out)


Then Dandy noticed Gangly Blay

Embroidering his trews

And sketching an arcane design

In cheerful reds and blews.

"What is this magic symbol made

Of stripes and stars like candy?"

"Oh that's," said Blay, who drewl away,

"A yankey doodle, Dandy!"

"What does it mean, it's lurid sheen

Must harness awesome powers?"

"Well, yeah, maybe. Now let me see,

I fink I'll add some flowers."

But Eagle snicked his beak and clicked

His claws, "We should be going.

We can't wait here till end of year

And winterly starts snowing."

Then seizing Dandy by the hair

He flew directly uppa

Thermal vent, while Blay, intent

On couture, made a cuppa.

He gazed up at the flying flesh

Of Dandy fast receeding

And said, "Oh wow, I wonder how

I'll draw that? What I'm needing

Is another spool of a colour cool

And maybe, edged in beading,

An eagle with the stars and stripes,

Ow sod, me finger's bleeding."

But Dandy squawked and crossly talked

"You nearly broke my neck! Past

Minding manners, you just might

Have let me finish breakfast."

But Eagle knew, his bones spoke true,

That if they went to Glurry

They'd soon be lost for daze and tost

About in a rain-soaked slurry,

Their Quest forgot amidst music hot,

And their minds would go all blurry,

Seduced by bubbling Scrumpees who

Would make their tongues feel furry.


Recumbentman your bicycle

Hid neatly 'neath the bonnet

I cant be sure or certain that

There's anybody on it

I used to have one like it

But exactly not the same

But met a man in a Transit van

Who redesigned the frame

But that's all in the past

you see I think of it no more

In fact I think of little else

other than Grimley Moer

I tried to write a rimickle

But didn't have the knack

I moved the lines about but

Accidentally put them back

Anything I did write came out

Filled with dandy robins

Now and then my fnarking pen

Would write a load of bobbins

So off I went to Grimley

Seeking out some inspiration

But what I found instilled in me

The deepest desperation

The Grimley village hall will never

Be the same no more

(Though some would say it hasn't been

Since nineteen fifty-four)

Since Colin caused a stir that night

By making his confession

And told the world about his secret

Underwear obsession

He's happy now he's got into

Miss Lily Loofah's knickers

But Grimley's still affected by

A curse on all its vicars

But there's a hope ( no, not the pope)

Some cheer to give the people

I hear some Dandy's on his way

With plans to gild the steeple

He set off many moons ago

To find a stash of gold

And had adventures on the way,

At least that's what we're told

I think maybe on looking back

There was no Florgel Flea

He didn't slay no beast

He overdosed on LSD

But then again perhaps I'm wrong,

That happens all the time

And history is altered for

The sake of further rhyme

All the same that wont explain

Why Grimley's gotten dark

Or why the style's become more like

'The Hunting of the Snark'


Beneath the cold and concrete slabs

Of Grimley Pollis station

Lives a long forgotten beast,

A vile abomination

In days gone by , I'm not sure why

'twas locked in there for good

It might have been for taking

Grimleys children for its food

Partly cow and partly sow

And partly politician

Long before it turned to crime

It was an electrician

It used to pilfer cables from

Its boss when times were hard

And sell them down The Tickled Trout

For fifty pence a yard

But anyway that's not to say

It matters to this tale

Except that this forgotten beast

Has tunnelled from its' gaol

Through all the tunnelling years

The Tickled Trout's where it was heading

Except through being crap with maps

He's surfaced now in Reading

Now Reading's not the sort of place

Where beasts are left to fnurtle

Apart from late at night sometimes

Outside the Purple Turtle

Where those who narkle poemly but fail to find a rhyme for it

Invent words of their own as if there wasn't any crime in it

And those who've lost the plot are wondering what Chaiwallah did with it

And those who say there is no plot say "shut up and get on with it"

And some who've had too much to drink and thought they'd got away with it

Then notice that the last six lines had all ended with it in it

smiley - alesmiley - alesmiley - alesmiley - alesmiley - alesmiley - ale

Within this screed we have agreed

The style is ballad form,

As editor, Ed must request

That you observe the norm

(As Norm would say, if Norm were asked

Or left his dismal dorm.)

Now, take a breath, for more or leth

My brain has had a storm.........


Our hero, ( you remember him?)

Last seen with Eagle flying

Was feeling somewhat cheated

As he missed the crunchies frying

And less than happy stomachwise

He thought, of hunger dying.

So when he smelled a barbeque,

A roasting smell like pig,

He said to Eagle, "Let's go down,

At least some lunch we'll lig,

"There'll be no soulful songs, with luck

We won't be forced to dig.

Is that a forest down below?

The distance isn't big."

Down dropt to trees, to trees dropt down

The Eagle and the Dandy,

And then beheld a grisly sight,

Less sweet than sugar-candy.

A dreadful Warlock poked a fire

On which was placed a griddle,

And round about a fiendish rout

With pokers poked the middle

Where chained there lay a Fid Dalleer,

But one without a fiddle.

"You'll play whate'er I say, all day

You mawkish mock musician!"

The Warlock ground his gritted teeth,

The Spannerdink Wisiscian

Had nothing much to teach a man

Of his sad disposition.

"You'll play in tune, or by the Rune

You'll put your life in peril,

And should you whinge, once more I'll singe

Your bum, or I'm not Berril."

But Dandy, honest Dandy was

At heart a noble sort,

And seeing the singey Fid Dalleer

Expleted a retort.

"I say, I say, now tell me, pray

How has this Fiddall earned

Such terrible opprobrium

His backside should be burned?"

The Warlock spun around in rage

His eyeballs gleaming redly

He snapped, he snarled, he growled, he gnarled

(Which meant he might be deadly.)

"You dare to interfere with me,

Berril the Warlock fearsome?

Nobody yet has faced that threat

But died, their end was tearsome."

"Excuse me," Dandy rashly said,

"But Berril is your name?

By Lootha's Lamp, that sounds so camp,

Perhaps you're on the game?"

At that the Warlock blew his top,

Blue-faced with bulging veins.

ZAP!!! Dandy Lad and Eagle had

Been strapped in magic chains.

"Now let me see," the Warlock sighed,

"Let's try some novel pains."

"Sleepers wake, the witch-fires freeze,

Get up and stop your snoring

Or I will nail you by your knees

Down to a parquet flooring."

With dreadful spells the Warlock tells

His minions to arise,

From bubbling slime and oft-watched crime

They swoop like swarms of flies.

"By Glibberith and Shinglepuk

I charge you, do my bidding,

Unblock the holes, stoke up the coals

And spread them on the gridding."

The furious furnace fiery fists

Grabble the gridding rails,

The iron glows, the bellows blows

Like wheezing Woggeltails,

While Dandy wails, his gob agape

And Eagle's courage fails,

"It doesn't look like he plans to cook

A brace of bruntling quails."

"It is my hunch, alas , we're bunched

Unless you know a prayer

That might persuade some gods to aid

Us now, though such is rare."

"Help," squealed shivering Dandy, "HELP,"

In purest coloratura,

"Is that a prayer?" the Eagle asked,

"I'd hoped for something surer,

This scene resembles something from

A print of Albrecht Durer,

The Fid Dalleer looks like nasty books

For tastes one terms obscurer.

The snerfling, gibbering ghoulies gan

To feed the fire with coke,

The grid glowed bright with hideous light

Suffused with greasy smoke,

"Your roasting," rasped the Warlock, "will

Not be, you'll find, a joke.

And that will teach you never at me

Your futile fun to poke."

"But don't you think we could just drink

A pint, and maybe settle,

This trivial slight, and say, "goodnight,"

With ale your thirst to whettle?"

"Don't try your luck, or think I'll truck

With trash. I am a Warlock.

Your fate is sealed, you'll be annealed,

There'll be no man from Porlock

Come knocking at my closet door

Or fiddling with the doorlock."

Just then there calls through cloudy palls

A voice of rusting thunder,

With flashing fire and portents dire

Of interstellar chunder.

The voice, 'twas of a deity

Who, balding, fat and fifty 1

Was nonetheless, we must confess,

At cursing less than nifty.

"Vile scumbag cease, or you will frease

In nether hellish regions

And face unpleasant torments

From dark dismal demon legions."

"Now wait a moment, who are you?

I don't remember asking

For help to grill this motley crew

Whose juice I'll soon be flasking,"

Said Berril snarling at the light

In which the god was basking.

"They called for help, and that's my job

Whatever I enables,

To interfere, or make things clear,

Or just repair the cables.

You'd better stop, and close up shop

Or I will turn the tables."

"Base Trishan god, for such you are,

Be sure, I'm an immortal,

So putter off, you sorry toff

And kindly close your portal."

"That's it then, mate," the god replied

And touched a key-marked arrow,

The Warlock simply disappeared

No swifter than a sparrow.

"Now listen lads," the god remarked

"Don't say you had no warning,

Remember what the Witch-Waif said

That rather sozzled morning?

"So I'll be off. Now who's the toff?

I've wiped the Warlock's pages.

I find these heavy wizard types

All fluff behind their rages.

Oh, here's my card, should times be hard

You'll find me under "Mages".

At that the roiling clouds unrolled

And down there coiled a setta

Golden studded biker's gear

'Na celestial Ambretta.

The god hopped on, revved up, was gone.

Our heroes felt much better.

The lads looked round, upon the ground

No trace of fire was seen,

No griddle, bellows, ghoulies, coke

No spikes, or chains, or pikes to poke,

No Fid Dalleer to jeer or joke,

Simply the forest green.

Just then a semi-quaver rang

Or possibly a minim

But Dandy care not for the sound

He'd still no dinner in him

The eagle feeling much the same

Was muttering faint curses

There's been no custard round here

For at least two hundred verses

But then again a quaver rang

Soon followed by a crotchet

And Dandy and the eagle thought

Perhaps they'd better watch it

And so they hid behind a tree

To wait and see what came

They thought they recognized a tune

But couldn't place the name

'Der der de derdler der de der'

Imagine it if you can

The dozy pair were hiding there

From a flippin' ice cream van

With 'Mind the Bairns' upon the back

A plastic cone on top

Though on these chilly forest nights

The business was a flop

He stopped and popped his head outside

And looked a little flustered

"Sorry lads but all I've got's

A choc-ice and some custard"

The eagle hadn't move so fast

Since fourteen forty-seven

Gave Mr Whippy all his cash

And said "I'll take eleven"

"It's odd" said eagle as he licked

Some custard from a talon

"We set out seeking gold but found

just yellow by the gallon"

"The games not over yet" said Dandy,

Choc-ice on his chin

"We've come so far and had such fun

Let's not yet pack it in"

A vision then appeared to Dandy

Fine and bright and golden

It made him stop, it made him drop

The choc-ice he was holding

The vision spoke of local folk

It spoke of days of old

Of candlewicks and fiddlesticks

And a stash of purest gold

"Young Dandy I've been watching you

You've had adventures many

Though must admit, I missed a bit

When I went to spend a penny

Nevertheless I must confess

You take me by surprise

The way ahead, it must be said

Is right before your eyes"

With that the vision was no more

And Dandy looked and saw

A map appear in front of him

That wasn't there before

A wondrous map like none he'd seen

With continents and oceans

And all the best of places marked

For buying magic potions

Rivers roads and mountain ranges

All were clearly labelled

And although some were quite hum-drum

Yet more were clearly fabled

Beneath the Murkled Mountains

Near the Grand Old Phallus Sea

Appeared to be the place where all

The bestest gold should be

"Let's not be rash" the eagle warned

"This all looks odd to me

You wouldn't want to gamble all

Upon a fallacy"

"You're right" said Dandy "who knows where

A wrong turn now may lead,

But here upon the back it says

This map is guaranteed

To lead you to that which you seek

Whatever that may be

From anywhere on Earth and for

A reasonable fee"

They take the map, without mishap

They cross another sea

A mountain range or two, they flap

Their wings of gallantry

The Eagle grasping Dandy's hair

Was now normality

But this time they've a Gangly Bard

Along for company

They cross a swamp, a ditch, a field

A wooden bridge or three

At last there stands to them revealed

The lair of Flaergal Flea

"Where did you get that extra A?"

They first astounded ask

"It just appeared" the Flea replied

"He's warming to the task"

Without a hoard of weapons, they

Feel suddenly a chill

They face their foe, they soon will know

Who will the other kill

"O Flaergal Flea" the Dandy starts

You've got the drop on us;

Shall we move on to other parts?

I think I hear a bus"

The Flaergal flea was ghast to see

In colour puce and gold

It towered over heroes three

'Twas legged a hundredfold

A stench emitted from its loins

That caused grown men to gag

And since its legs had fifty groins

It truly was a drag

Its eyes poured forth a fetid smoke

That bubbled as it blew

It made our knock-kneed heroes choke

And hurt their noses too

His back was wreathed in smaller fleas

And so ad infinitum

With nervous ticks about its knees

Trying their best to bite 'em

This gave the flea an aspect fierce

And manner unappealing

As one who dearly likes to pierce

His fellow's deepest feeling

The Eagle, Dandy and the Bard

Looked upward at him trembling

And casting glances heavenward

They thus began dissembling:

"What was that song you sang so long

With verses never ceasing

The universe's orijong

And matter much increasing?"

The Galgly Bard well took the hint

And with a slimy look

Began to tune his instrument

To get them off the hook

He tuned it to the Lydian

He tuned it to DADGAD

He tuned to every temperament

That ever had a fad

He begged his heavenly muse for aid

To tell the story true

Of that which could avert the blade

Now facing his small crew

The Lektro Lyre leaps into life

He plays his choicest riffs

Its accents mild cut like a knife

And echo from the cliffs

The nail he hits upon the head

He tells the Flaergal Flea

A sory to enlarge his head --

His Genealogy

"The mother of all fleas worldwide"

His ballad now begins

"Was the great god Puccino's bride

The lovely Wickerskins"

"They mated for a thousand years

And then two thousand more

And when the lady's time was come

Her brood began to pour

"Then first emerged the King of Fleas

Great Biter Blastigoon

Who sucked the blood from birds and bees

And monkeys on the moon

"There followed twenty thousand more

Fleas of the colour blue

Who straight went west, there to infest

The European crew

"Fleas of green were nextly seen

And fleas of brown and yellow

The greens attached themselves between

Each fish and his fish-fellow

"The browns infested ladies' pants

The yellow, sportsmen's jocks

Which gives a prance to those that dance

And spurs on fighting cocks"

The bard hits form; his song grows warm

He sees he's making headway

The Flea grows calm to hear the psalm

He lets himself be led 'way

At length his heart begins to smart

His breath begins to smother

The Bard approaches to the part

About the Flaergal's mother

"Oh never was a flea more fair

Her fame was universal

And all rojioced to see the pair

At their wedding-rehearsal

"They practised saying Yes I Do

Till none could fault their diction

And on the day the thing went through

Just like a work of fiction

"Thrice blessed be this noble pair

Thrice toasted till they gurgle

Most blest, to finish the affair

With their offspring the Flaergal"

At this the Flea is overcome

With floods of pent devotion

He shakes his head, he sucks his thumb

He shudders with emotion

He sits upon the stony ground

He cares now now who sees him

He open weeps; a strangled sound

And not exactly gleesome

The Eagle and the Dandy kiss

The Bard, and say "You've done it!

If we can get away from this

With any gold, you've won it!"

"You want my gold?" the Flea looks black

And all three bite their lips

And wish that they could take it back

As ever 'tis with slips

There's many a slip twixt cup and lip

As every epic shows

There's many a slip twixt cup and lip

And some betwixt the toes.

The Flea reared up in roaring rage

At mention of his gold,

Where once his hearts were warmed by song

His fury now was cold.

He reared up on his hundred legs

The lesser fleas were scattered

And bellowed with a blast that left

The rugged rocks there shattered.

He hopped, he leapt, his eyeballs swept

The land he looked for prey,

And Dandy and the Eagle thought

They'd quietly slip away.

But Blay, the Gangly Bard, who felt

His efforts should be paid for

Was too concerned to boot the loot,

Saw nothing to be afraid for.

Whatever stroke of luck had let

Him skip the missing pages

He'd brought his bag besides his Lyre

Ignoring Flergel's rages,

And "Here's your archibolt," he said,

"I've wanted one for ages."

There's many a slip, let's not be flip,

In poetry and prose,

Not hastely to conclusion do

We find an epic goes.

The Flea in furious anger hopped

About, in deadly dance.

Said Eagle, "Still, if we must kill

You'd better seize your chance."

So Dandy slipped between the toes

The Archibolt tightly grips,

Then blasted he from beneath the Flea

And seared its scaley hips.

In pinkish flame and purple pain

The Flergel downward drops.

Oh misery, technology

Had caught it by the chops,

And its frenetic dancing then

All of a sudden stops.

Its eyes grew dim, and rather slim

Became its hopes of living,

And though it gasps with breathy rasps

It didn't feel forgiving.

It spikey jaws, like several saws

Buzzed fast and with its sucker,

It sought amongst our friends to find

Some blood-rich hero tucker.

Twas far from dead, although it bled

And twitched upon the ground

While strangely from the Gangly Bard

There grew a groaning sound.

"Ere wait a mo, let's take this slow,

There's one thing we forgot,

We still don't know where Flergel's stow

Their gold, now he's been shot."

That this was a dilemma was

As plain to see as thorns

Upon a rose bush. They were stuck

Between dilemmic horns.

The Flea was incoherent, he

Was immune to their charms,

And that's a problem heroes face

When songs give way to arms,

And common courtesy's replaced

By wars and wild alarms.

So here you see three heroes, who

Are plainly somewhat stumped,

Unless into the Flea somehow

Some life could now be pumped.

The daylight dimmed, the full moon skimmed

Like milk across the sky,

The Flea stirred, weakly, wearily

And raised a bleary eye.

He thought he might a bargain make

He didn't want to die,

In this he was pragmatic so

He called the heroes by.

The Flergal Flea said "Not so fast!

Of last words don't deprive me

I haven't nearly breathed my last

And one thing can revive me:

Of purple sprouting broccoli

I need a loaded plateful"

This he demanded cockily

But added he'd be grateful

Now where would such a thing be found

Within this doleful ballad?

The heroes three all looked around

With aspects soulful pallid

And spied upon the desert ground

The healthy bowlful salad

The Flea called out, he gave a shout

He called the lads again,

"Oh sod the broccoli, come here,

And I will tell you plain.

By Wickerskink, you make me think

Of days when I was younger

And saucy floozey fleas would slake

For gold my sleazy hunger.

Come hither, wretched scrawny wights

Who pass these days for heroes,

Come here you skites, in sequinned tights

Your minds are full of zeroes.

I read your thoughts. I see the noughts

You think you'll make your millions,

You're feeling bold to feck my gold

And pack it in your pillions.

That's where you're wrong, so change your song

Unless we make a deal.

I'll give you gold, all you can hold

But first my wounds must heal,

The blarblies from your archibolt

Cause pains that are surreal.

By Blastigon, were you a flea,

You'd squeal at what I feel.

Some herbs I'll need, so go with speed

Across the Phallus Sea,

Pass round about the Water Spout

And find the Trembling Tree,

And catch a brace of slimmereels

And boil them to a tea.

I'll need some bright green whiskers

From a virginal Meercow,

And when you've got them you must bring

Them back to me somehow.

But that's not all, you'll have to call

On Shub, and Ellsi Dee,

They live beyond the Hummock Heaps

In distant Blaggerty."

"So still there's hope, just give 'em rope

They'll find a way to hang,"

The Flergel sniggered to himself

But felt a tiny pang.

He might just have to part with gold

To send these heroes packing,

Some coins atop a load of slop

Filled in some bags of sacking.

He growled and groaned some more, and moaned

And thought," Is that enough or

Should I play it up a bit?

They need to know I suffer."

But Dandy meanwhile shuddered, paled,

Aside to the Antwerp bird

Said,"Tis no dream, now what's his scheme?

Did you hear what I heard?

Unpleasantly familiar, eh

Was nearly every word!

Remember what the Witch-waif said

When she was in her trance,

And all the awesome warnings as

She danced her vole-thong dance.

If we do what this Flea suggests

We'll lose our shirts...and pants."

"I choose to use my pendulum!"

Intoned the Gangly Blay,

"And if there is a way to go

I'll ask it to display.

We need a simple yes or no,

It's sure to show the way."

He sat in lotus on the ground

And up his eyeballs rolled,

While from some inner crevice he

His pendulum unscrolled,

He lit a spliff, and puffed a whiff

(He never broke the mould.)

But Eagle meanwhile, secretly

To Dandy whispered, "Mate,

Let's quickly leave, as I believe

Bard Blay's in no fit state

To follow us. We're flying out

And he'd be too much weight."

"That's hardly fair," said Dandy then

"The archibolt he brought...

Without which we'd be dead by now

When Fergel Flea we fought."

But Blay said, "Lads, don't wait for me,

You have to travel west,

I'll stay and keep an eye on Flea

I think that would be best,

I'm feeling just a little spaced

I need a bit of rest."

So once again in Eagle's grip

Our Dandy took to air,

Though feeling less than happy with

This hanging by his hair.

The Flergel Flea looked up and watched,

The heroes he had tricked,

He crawled towards a Veedee Yew,

And though his conscience pricked

He knew if he could eat a leaf

His wounds would soon be licked.

He looked at Blay, ( who thought he'd play

His Lyre, and make a cuppa )

He looked at Blay, and sad to say

He simply saw his supper.


The night was fair, and through the air

The Moon serenely shone

Like Meercow milk through silver silk,

Our heroes both upon.

But then a blast of sound so vast

It shattered this sultry scene,

And a glaring light broke through the night

With a sharply focussed beam.

There spoke a voice, "My name is Joice!

What DO you think your doing?

Hanging about the sky like that,

Your heads must need re-gluing.

You nearly caused an accident,

You're lucky I didn't hit you.

(I'd put you in a jacket straight

If I had one to fit you.)"

Upon the sound our lads turned round

To gaze upon the sight,

So strange it seemed so freakish that

They both froze in her light.

A roundish vessel hung mid-air,

Partially clad with timber,

A pale pea-green, and inside seen

A lady, far from limber.

With eyes like beads, and dressed in tweeds

She looked distictly cross.

Her lips were pursed, she roundly cursed

And gave her head a toss.

"What are you doing, where are you from?

Speak up, you wretched tramps."

The Eagle and young Dandy blinked

In the light of her bright head-lamps.

"My name is Alidander Frume

And this is the Antwerp Eagle,

We're on our way from Grimley Moer..."

"Sit down, boy!" ( to her beagle.)

"What's that you say, from Grimley Moer?

Oh no, I don't believe it!

What brings you here? A quest, it's clear

But how will you achieve it?

My uncle lived in Grimley Toom

The parson of the kirk.

He trained the choir, rebuilt the spire.

It took a lot of work."

"But that is why we're on this quest

We seek the Flergel's gold,"

And then and there, at her behest,

Their tale so far they told.

"Look can I give you chaps a lift?

I'm going to Shipling Greep.

So you're a Frume from Grimley Toom,

Hop in, you need some sleep.

You must be tired, that bird you've hired

Needs treatment for his threep."

"This is the Antwerp Eagle, ma'am

And please, just call me Dandy.

He'll vanish now inside my nose.

For transport he's so handy."

"Remarkable, my dears," she said

"Get in, we must be going.

I find these referential gears

Can be so bloody slowing."

"Get down boy, really! He's quite safe.

That's Buggirduck, my beagle.

He's frisky when there's strangers near."

He'd tried to mount the Eagle.

Off with a jolt, like an archibolt

They shot through the midnight air.

Our heroes sleep till Shipling Greep

And awoke on arriving there.

Joice parked her heap. Refreshed by sleep

The lads looked out to sea,

Where sailing ships from exotic trips,

Were moored beside the quay.

"Porter, porter, anywhere?

(I need to see my shrink!)

Porter, porter, are you there?

(They've gone to have a drink.)


Egad Chaiwallahs on a roll

I cannot now disturb him

I could but write a line at most

Without a simulposting

And contradictions would abound

To complicate the thread

I could be feeding custard to

Someone already dead

So while our heroes travel on

Let's briefly leave them there

And take a peek, (for it's been a week)

At the one with lilac hair

And skin of green, she last was seen

In lodgings small and fishy

There she waits for Dandy who

She thought was rather dishy

For after all he risks his life

To gild her spire with gold

She also fancies being rich

Herself if truth be told

She's written to our hero now

Upon a daily basis

Informing him of local news

And problems that she faces

But how she gets the letters through

I hesitate to guess

Perhaps the robin flies them in

For her under duress

The Grimley Village Church

And Lavatorial committee

Have come to the conclusion that

Although its such a pity

There wont be funds available

To fix the twisted spire

Lest village loos be closed but

Consequences then be dire

So hurry Dandy find the gold

The coffers must be filled

While summer shines on Grimley

And there's still a spire to gild

The robin flew from neath her dress

and said, a bit embarrased

"Apologies dear maiden fair

but i was feeling harrass'd.

"The sheer amount of posting that

had happened o'er the weekend

had my brain to pulp reduced

and my powers weakened.

"as a result of lethargy

I misread Snockers posting

and understood it was your dress

was offering me hosting.

"I hope I didn't jeopardise

your chances with the Dandy

who I have heard it oft been said

is dashing and quite handy.

"The tricks he played with his sharpened glaive

were simply awe inspiring

if I were you I'd grit your teeth

his engines are all firing"

He's travelled far and wide you see

He's battled brave and bold

To help fulfil your spiral wish

To cover it with gold

Be wary though for someone else

Has told him job is done

And you may find him tempted now

To take the gold and run

"Go quickly now my robin friend

And fetch for me a carriage

I must seek out my dandy sprout

And so secure our marriage"

The robin flew and afore she knew

A carriage he'd procured

She paid the rent and off she went

The spire shall be secured

The carriage thundered onwards through

Suns early evening glow

The maiden hadn't realised

She knew not where to go

But whether she was on a brave

Crusade or masquerade

The driver cared not either way

So long as he was paid

They raced along the Grimley Road

Like horse drawn bats from hell

The keen-eyed, green skinned maiden

And her driver, named Miguel

But then all of a sudden,

and much to their surprise

they found themselves near Culloden,

but why they couldn't surmise.

They stopped the carriage near a stream,

Stepped down and surveyed the heather,

and by God it was a wonderful scene,

with bright radiant weather.

Miguel kept schtum throughout the trip

arméd with two pistols

drooling everytime he caught

an eyeful of her bristols.

The swarthy cad had all the skill

and manners and decorum

of a bleep bleep bleep bleep bleep bleep bleep

(this is a family forum)

The maiden fair, her flowing locks

ignored his wanton learings

well aware, as he was not,

of her patent killer earings.

But as they stood beside the stream

Good fortune did them bless

For nearby stood a sign that read

"This way to Inverness"

And Inverness was closer to

The eagle and the dandy

Than where they stood amongst Culloden heather

Which was handy

The maiden, slightly puzzled now

She'd fiddle and she'd fidget

Said "I shall find my Dandy yet

Or else my names not Bridget"

A tear appeared in space and time,

her words did scuttle through

and rent the Dandy's heart in twain

and his language turned quite blue.

It had been said, when he didst hatch,

that should he choose to wed

his wife should not be called Bridget

but could be called Bridgéd.

An oracle had seized his Ma

and spluttered in her ear

"Should this boy be ever wed

of Bridgets he must stay clear"

By chance in Inverness there lived

A crumpled little chap

Who was the very man, it's said

Who made the magic map

What force had brought them to this place

The maiden wasn't sure

She didn't even know a map

Was there, hers to procure

But there she was outside a hut

In darkest Inverness

Her green skin and her lilac hair

And purple velvet dress

A crumpled man came from the hut

Gave her a map and said

There seems to have been some mistake

This ones meant for Bridgéd

Poor Bridget, for she was forlorn,

her world had been split asunder,

and her heart from it's place torn,

as if for loot and plunder.

But as she sat outside her home,

Watching the stars in the sky,

She knew that she must roam

to distant horizons, where her fate did lie.

So on her journey she began,

Sometimes whistling a little dirge,

Sometimes a sad song she sang,

Always keeping to the verge.

The night wore on and the moon came out,

And still she kept to the road,

Avoiding the pub with the village lout,

And ignoring her heavy load.

She left the village, safe and sound,

And was soon in the untamed wild,

Passed the ancient burial mound,

And the air was pleasant and mild.

After a length she began to tire,

Her progress became painfully slow,

So she got some wood and started a fire,

And sat beside it, her face aglow.


Well, meanwhile back in Shipling Greep

Our hero, feeling faint

Was helping Joice unload her stuff

When his heart felt Brigid's plaint

(Her name with an "eye dee" is spelt

So with a "tee" it ain't.

There's all these different dialects

Which makes it fratefully quaint.)

The voice of Joice rings round the bay

A subtle as a shot

From an artillery battery

Twas breeding, was it not?

"Now where's that ghastly little man

Who's meant to meet me here?

He's sposed to take my buggy back

To my house in Windy Meer,

And no, I don't mean Buggirduck

You're coming aren't you dear?

No not like that, you beastly hound,

Don't stick that in my ear.

"We're booked to take the ship that sails

Out to the Western Isles

Where the Trembling Trees on Blaggerty's

A certain cure for piles.

They're quite the strongest and the best

By far, for miles and miles.

Now if you'd like to come with us

It would be jolly fun

A lovely trip upon a ship.

How are you off for mun?"

Well Dandy had a problem, he

Was somewhat short of bread

There was the hope of loads of gold

And so to Joice he said,

"I know we've hardly met, and that

But you have heard our tale,

I wonder if there's just a chance

Of credit, on the nail?

And you could of our services

As porters oft avail.?"

"Of course, my dears, don't say a word

And here's a quid on tick,

Now off you go and book a berth

But come back soon, be quick.

Now stop that Buggir, stop, get down.

Don't mind him, just a lick."

Eagle and Dandy strolled along

The quay to find the place

Where berths are booked, when someone hooked

And held them face to face.

It is an ancyent Marineer

And he hoppeth like a flea,

"Ere guv," he hopping said to them

"Spare us a bob for tea.

I know a tale to make you pale

Which I will tell to thee.

"I tell a tale to no avail

A tale of days of yore,

Of forrin ways that might amaze

If they don't make you snore.

Just come with me to yonder pub

We'll pop inside that door."

Now Eagle smelt a rat, his beak

Was twitching, as its wont

Was when there was a dodgy deal

It itched and told him "don't."

"Just push off, will you, hoppit, go"

He gave the wretch a shove,

Who held them tight with all his might

As close as a shrunken glove.

His breath was foul, his shrivelled jowl

Flapped in the harbour breeze,

His skinny limbs and his eyes so dim

Told of some grim disease,

His beard was lank and festering

His rags abuzz with fleas.

But Dandy said,"Let's hear your song,

I'll listen if you're willing

To give us just a verse or two

To earn an honest shilling."

The Eagle said, "You must be mad,

And anyway it's time

For us to book our tickets

For the ship, and onboard climb.

Why do you want to listen to

This aged wretch's rhyme?"

But Dandy did as Dandy does

And to the pub he went

Emerging some hours later found

His money was all spent,

The Eagle nowhere to be seen

And his favourite trousers rent.

He staggered to the harbour's edge

And over the side he puked,

His head was split, he felt like sh*t

His stomach had been nuked.

He badly needed Eagle but

Of him there was no trace,

Nor of the horrid Marineer

Nor of his evil face,

Which was a minor mercy, you

Might say, an act of grace.

Though feeling sad, it wasn't as bad

As it was soon to be,

A crashing blow then laid him low -

He was dumped into the sea.

He sank, he drank, but by his flank

A hook snagged in his belt,

A sailor stout then hauled him out

And another blow he felt.

"We've got you matey, no mistake,

Now listen here laddee,

You owe the pub a hundred quid-

I've paid, you belong to me,

So get used to the fact that now

You'll spend your life at sea."

The sailor led him up a plank

And onto the sailing ship,

He'd hoped to take, his voyage make

With Joice on a "jolly trip."

With heavy head, he felt like lead,

Our hero slowly followed

In purple pain he puked again

The seawater he'd swallowed.

But now the sailor led below

And forced him first to strip,

Within the gloom in the forecrew's room

Where he would have to kip.

"You won't need those fey dandy clothes

Where you are going, sonny,

I'll pawn the lot ashore, though not

In the hope I'll make much money."

He laughed the kind of laugh they laugh

When things will not be funny.

"And in the meantime get your hide

Into these seamans' ducks

And in your head, just know you're dead

If ever with me you mucks.

I'll see you topsides right away

We've cargo yet to stow,

Don't linger here, I'll box your ear,

Get on, let's shift, now go."

Hours later Dandy fell down flat

His bed felt more like slates

So hard the boards, so loud the snores

Of his equally shagged out mates,

And scuttling creatures ran around

Their meagre supper plates.

The mice were here, the mice were there,

The mice were all around,

They squeeked and squalled and creepy crawled

Like boys on an outward bound.

Next day at dawn, no time to yawn,

The ship set out to sea,

Poor Alidander asked himself

"What will become of me?"

He staggers about, he feels the clout

Of the bosun's heavy hand,

He hauls on ropes, he hardly hopes

He'll live to see the land,

His fate is bleaker now, it seems

Than he could understand.

Much later in the morning watch

He looked back aft to see

If he could tell was Joice aboard

As she must surely be.

She'd show the Captain his mistake

And set poor Dandy free.

Beneath clear sky, the days flew by

No sign of Joice or beagle,

He worked and cursed, for what was worse

There was no sign of Eagle.

Then suddenly one night he woke,

The mice jumped off his toes,

He felt familiar itchings from

The nest within his nose,

And in the night to his delight

The Antwerp Eagle rose.

"Thank gods your here," at last, some cheer

He felt, he laughed, he sighed.

"I really thought you'd bought it, mate,

I thought you might have died,

Or had been caught in Shipling port

And plucked, and trussed and fried."

"No way, hosay, it's many a day

Since anyone bested me,

So let's just say, a slight delay

Postponed my trip to sea.

It's quite a story, that's for sure,

Is there anyone here makes tea?"

What e'er was said in former posts'

a mystery untold

more verses than the Kubrid Wrax

that told of knights so bold.

My morning brain, my sleep filled eyes

are daunted by the need

to catch up on what's going on

within this epic read.

The Ventral Snaiths, the lamputloofs

stand moaning in the corners

"If it were lip service only paid

you think you could've warned us"

"Apologies to fictions spawn

we have no guide to follow

and so there in this ballads past

you're destinéd to wallow."

"Fair dos" they cried and scuttled off

and stalked the reams of fiction

to see perchance there were away

to get back in inscription"

If e'er you chance 'pon reprints rare

and venture 'pon a Ventral

send my regards and offer him

a staring role more central.


Now while or hero toiled at sea

Without his feathered friend

The eagle sought out Brigid

But misread and found Bridge-End

But quickly back on track was he

And soaring through the air

It can't be hard, he thought, to find

The girl with lilac hair

He soared above the Whistling Wood

He soared above the Snickett

Swooped down on Grimley village green

Amidst a game of cricket

Enquiring of the green-skinned girl

He squarkled "Bloody 'ell"

When vicar told him that the girl

Had gone off with Miguel

The carriage co. were helpful though

Their records quite a mess

Could document delivery of

The girl to Inverness

With barely two beats of his wings

The eagle's halfway there

Half was enough for there below

Was she of lilac hair


You may recall a minor squall

In the very opening pages,

When the Robin downed a beetle pie

That was rightfully the Sage's?

This may seem insignificant

It wasn't so outrageous

But the Sage felt miffed, it was his gift,

His attention it engages

And like a niggling tooth that's loose

It's bothering him for ages.

This Sage was a minor deity

Who had been relegated,

Though very old, no longer gold-

Card, more like silver-plated.

He rarely scored, was rather bored,

He'd slipped right down the league

To the point where he was out of joint -

He mainly felt fatigue,

And it was many moons since he

Had danced the gonad gigue

(Which was to Fat Eeg's great relief,

It had been rough on Eeg.)

It takes him hours to get his powers

On line and fit to function

But he likes to hike on his chronobike

By temporal injunction.

The Sage's mate, ( Saint Appo Staight

Patron of Grimley Kirk )

He understands that rubber bands

Can get most things to work.

He helps the Sage get back onstage

And tinkers with his bike.

He can take it apart, AND make it start

The kind of mate we like.

Saint Appo's schemes come in as dreams

Inflicted on young Brigid.

Though his desires have lost their fires

He remembers times more rigid.

He is so old that lust for gold

Is the lingering desire

That does the deed, and hence his need

For gold to gild his spire.

[ OK, you think, he needs a shrink

Of a Freudian direction,

Is it not his fate to want to plate,

With gold, the Kirk's erection?

Is it Fate or Will, or just the Thrill

That motivates our choices?

You see, this tale with thoughts profound

Like Maytrickstoo rejoices.]

No matter now, suffice to say

He had motives for detecting

The wandering Dandy's whereabouts,

And Brigid's, for defecting.

This aged pair cooked up a hare-

Brained scheme, it took them ages,

To fire a chronofundulum

And re-access these pages.

If you're the kind who has the mind

That likes the scientific

I'm sad to say we can't display

Its plans, or be specific.

This strange machine cannot be seen

Until the patent's lodged,

But in the meantime it will serve

To keep our plot embodged.

[A chronofundulum, you see

Depends on "black-hole" physics,

Bending the Shwarzchild surface

With bi-temporal fluidics.

The space-time drag, as Penrose shows,

Depends upon rotation

By passing near the ergosphere

There's extra-time dilation,

A feature footballers will know

As "referee's off-station."]

The Sage limped over to his bike,

He kept it in the crypt

Of Appo's kirk, he gave a jerk

As the chronotaxis flipped,

"Good man," said Appo,"don't forget

To keep your trousers clipped,"

And into the suddenly opened void

The Sage serenely slipped.


Miguel was gone, she'd left him on

The road to Aberdeen

With a sixpence for his bus fare home

(He lived in Bethnal Green)

She needed all her pennies now

For to fulfil her aim

To get the map to work she simply

Had to change her name

She'd heard of one who'd do it for

Just two and six per digit

And once she'd got to Loughborough 2

She'd be no longer Brigit

The eagle told her all the news

Of Dandy and the gold

Of Witchy Waifs and Ventral Snaiths

Adventures brave and bold

She seemed to be on top of things

And as she had the map

Which soon should work its magic

Antwerp Eagle had a nap

He soon arose, put on his clothes

Although there weren't many

Just his hat and apron that

He'd bought in Abergavenny

"I must away with no delay,

Young Dandy needs assistance"

And in a jot he was but a spot

So far off in the distance

The maiden once in Loughborough

Must find the man named Bob

Who knows a man who knows a man,

The man to do the job

His name coincidentally

Was Alidander Frume

But just for business purposes

It was a nome de plume

He didn't come from Grimley

Or wear such dandy clothes

Nor did he have the Antwerp Eagle

Nesting in his nose

Nor did his cheek bones sparkle

with illuminescent paint

nor did his voice have qualities

to try a patient saint.

His feet were made of sealing wax

his ears were made of dough

though fearless as a fighter

he was too afraid of snow.

His knee caps formed from jellied Shronks

his navel cleft in cheese

the queerest sight in Grimleydom

by a number of degrees.

He wasn't hard to find at all

The maid was soon to see

The man himself out in the street

Conspicuous as can be

The dough-eared fighter, 'fraid of snow

Surrounded by small children

Who pointed, laughing at his shoes

And the gribbly fellow in them


Somewhere in the troposphere

A lonely voice is heard

But not perhaps by Brigid who

-How shall we spell the word?-

Was not so sad for now she knew

What ventures had occurred.

It wasn't heard by Dandy

Nor yet by Blay or Flea

Perhaps the only one who heard

It over the Beebly Sea

Was a deity called Mages

On his way to Trembling Tree.

"As one who hates the Fellbilg Ayts

And his defaulting glitches,

I'm keen to know what makes this so

Annoying. When one stitches

A piece of text, to copy next,

It reappears with features

Changed, your punctuation

Looks like spikey insect creatures.

It looks so bad and drives one mad,

You'd nearly eat your hat,

Because all your apostrophes

And colons look like that>>>–‘ "‘

A lonely voice, with little choice

But to get back online, he

Leaves the echoing words to fade

Out over the Beebly briney.


Now in this ballad do I sense

A startling lack of non?

It started out as nonsense but

It seems the non has gone

I don't know how it happened

It was there the other day

Perhaps the Ventral Snaith came back

And stole the non away.

Perhaps it wasn't stolen, maybe

It has merely slipped

Into a plot that's followsome

And worthy of a script

A hero here, a villain there

A maiden in a carriage

As long as she can spell her name

Correctly maybe marriage


Now meanwhile in the cybervoid

The Sage was meditating,

Essential discipline for one

Between whose knees vibrating

The crystals of the chronobike

Were time-and-space-dilating.

"Yon robin sitting on a branch"

At first hove into view,

"Oh buggrit," swore the aged Sage,

"Adjust the chronoscrew."

"Young Reynard?" No that's still not it,

Oh damn, the switch is faulty,

There should be seas and a blustry breeze

Where the air is clean and salty,

With basil-flavoured Ratted Wheel

And beer that's sweetly malty."

Try this, "The crocodile remarked

Calmly waking from his doze..."

Oh blast it all, I'll have to call

For help - well, so it goes."

He closed his eyes with weary sighs

And visualised a yantra -

Complex designs - his brain resigns

And hums a modest mantra.

At last a light, a sphere so bright

It dazzles, down a tunnel

Like whirling smoke, and a voice that spoke

Like water down a funnel.

"You called for help? No need to yelp,

There's something we can do?"

The Sage replied, "I can't decide

Quite how to adjust this screw.

I seem to keep appearing

In a scene that's out-of-view."

"Well, first let's see your license,

Is your time-tax up to date?

I see your lights aren't working

And you've lost a number-plate.

Quite honestly, I can't let you

Proceed in such a state.

Unless you make it worth my while,

We could negotiate?"

The Being looked the other way,

So from his pannier lid

The Sage slipped the equivalent

Of a psychic fifty quid.

"That's that then," said the Being,

"Now, what did you say you did?"

Suffice to say, by close of play

The chronobike got sorted

The Sage departed noisily

As space and time distorted,

And aimed to find the verse and rhyme

Where Dandy now disported,

So happy with the Eagle's news

That Brigid him accourted.

The problem with her name you see

Is in the final syllable

If it should be E D she would

Become so much more marriable

But as it is I D (or T)

The Dandy wont be wed

As explained in verse five hundred and twelve!!

His bride must be Briged

The rain it fell in verdant sheets

the ship was blown of course

[you doubtless will recall once more

a far preceeding verse]

Away, away across the sea,

away the ship did battle

fighting with the surly wind

and waves of unkempt cattle.

Some will ask, and ask they will,

wherefore does come such rhyming

Was it what crawled from neath the sea

enrobed in Jerdil slimy.

Was it what crawled from neath the craft,

far furlongs from the bottom

of this ever lenghtening yarn

where nonsense was forgotten?

The suns did rise through splendoured skies

it's bright vermillion brow

casting shadows 'bout like flies

across the vessels bow.

Four times she cast, four times they fell

the shadows to the water

perhaps the tackle should be changed

infact I think it ought'er.

This hasn't got a scooby doo

to do with what's been said

but someone's clearly nicked by brain

and with kippers stuffed my head.

with kippers stuffed inside thy head

then good sir that is no failing

for without thee there is no tale

and we would all be railing


So can we say tis settled now

The maiden asked of Frume

Is my name changed as we arranged

And may I rent a room

A place to rest my velvet dress

My lilac hair to iron

My skin of green has lost its sheen

I need a bed to lie on

There are no rooms to rent said Frume

The rooms have all been taken

But let me check the book once more

In case I am mistaken

He found the book in which he took

Requests and reservations

He scratched his chin for he found within

Perplexing implications

I've had a reservation made

For three weeks, maybe more

The name is Bridgéd Twiddlewitch

Whose chin now hit the floor

How could it be reserved for she

As was so clearly listed

For until twenty minutes since

The name had not existed

The look of shock upon her face

the crossing of her eyeses

barely threw the landlord who

was used to such surprises.

"Twas written in the tea he said

the leaves were set quite rigid

'Make a reservation for the name

Twiddlewitch, Miss Bridgéd'

"The stars were set in such away

implying reservation

for lilac hairéd, velvet robed

green skinned haunting maiden

"From omens of such clarity

'twould not be wise to argue

the fates decried this maiden fair

would be here full of virtue

"I even noticed in the dice

a ne'er do weller Spanish

but now we've got to the juicy part

it 'pears Miguel has vanished"


Meanwhile at sea the ship sailed west

And ever further west,

It swam the swells from mornings bells

Until the evening's rest.

The look-out scanned the scrolling waves

That wove the ocean's breast,

And vomited sporadickly

From in the fore crows-nest.

You may have wondered, what of Joice?

How come, all unprotected,

She'd left poor Dandy there to rot?

She thought he had defected.

She'd strode on board, the Captain roared

"Make way there for the Lady.

Excuse me ma'am," he used his charm,

"Pray step below, it's shadey."

She looked about, and sorted out

Her purse for what she needed:

Her ticket and a biscuit for

Old Buggirduck, un-leeded.

The beagle meanwhile lifts a leg

Agin the mainmast peedid.

The Captain looked on angrily,

The older sailors sniggered,

But carefully, behind their beards,

Or else they'd soon be jiggered.

The Captain was a tyrant and

He whipped his sailors witless,

But still one lash of Joice's voice

Scared him completely sh*tless.

"A charming hound, pure bred, I'm bound,"

He smiled though irritated.

"By Fluffybutts on Merdonutts,"

The Lady bluntly stated.

"Now time for me to go below,

Have someone bring my bags.

Come Buggirduck, it's beddy-byes."

A tail folornly wags,

And down the aft companionway

It's arse bedraggled sags.

Aside the Captain told the mate

"Just get that bloody harpfish

Down to her stateroom, lock the door.

Jump to it, man, and sharpish."

Joice never saw poor Dandy board,

Had no idea he'd suffered,

And once the ship left Shipling Greep

Sea sickness had her bluffered.

She stayed below with Buggirduck

And fed them both ship's biscuit,

Washed down with gin and ginger ale

And thought she'd watch the ship a-sail,

But praying they'd avoid a gale,

She didn't think she'd risk it.


A realm above the human realm,

The gods wear silks and satin -

The Indian ones speak Sanskrit and

The Roman ones speak Latin.

The Chinese gods speak Mandarine

The Cheezi gods speak Gratin.

The Greeks look down their noses at

The Romans, with remorse.

They find them slightly vulgar and

Their manners rather coarse.

The Chinese gods think all the rest

Are mere barbarians

Except for some, so very old

They're googolarians.

Gods feed on our emotions, it's

A fact that's little known -

Some feed on love, and some on hate

Some like the smell of bone

From reeking sacrificial fires

Or a burnt-out mobile phone.

The Celtic gods are garrulous,

Some think they talk too much.

Tibetan ones are tantric, up

To endless sex and such.

And then there's the Egyptians like

Osiris, Ra and Isis,

As they have gods for everything

They're useful in a crisis.

They also have some heavy ones

You wouldn't want to follow

The worst of these is Apophis

His job? Your soul to swallow.

Though some are quite aggressive, most

Are quite a decent bunch,

Though Aztec gods and Incas like

To eat a hearty lunch.

Perhaps he was unlucky, but

The aged Sage of Grimley

Hit a rocky part of space

Within a chrono-chimley.

That's sort of like a thermal is

To ordinary birds,

A place to glide, a place to slide,

Take Care! in other words.

The Sage was old and stupid, as

Surprise, they often are,

And just because they're aged

Doesn't mean they'll drive the car.

The Sage was quite forgetful, though

A Sage would never tell,

And just because they're aged

Doesn't mean they're wise as well.

The Grimley Sage was greedy, and

So mean you'd think him nuts,

And when it came to travel

He was chronic for short cuts.

Ah yes, you see his weakness. When

It comes to travelling time

The "chronic" is the adjective

Defines the paradigm.

He had in mind to try to find

The Flergal and its gold

Before our heroes got there

And before the trail got cold.

So no sooner had the Being Light

Turned off and slipped away,

The Sage hopped on his chronobike

And set his sights on Blay.

The parachronic chimley led

Him straight into the home

Of Venus and of Vulcan as

They called the pair in Rome.

The Sage looked far from pretty as

He tumbled off his bike.

"What DO you think you're doing here?

A drink? What would you like?

The Sage had studied classics, he

Was beaten well at school,

So he recognised their costumes,

And in this he was no fool,

He knew of Venus' habits so

He knelt and kept his cool.

"My gods, you must be Vulcan, sir,

You must be Venus, Ma'am.

Please do accept apologies,

I really meant no harm.

I think I lost directions, or

Just pressed the drive-disarm."

"I'm Aphrodite, actually,

Of course you know we're Greek.

We simply can't stand Latin, but

It's what the others speak.

They're all so frightfully vulgar

So the social circle's bleak.

My husband here, Hephaestos? No

He never says too much.

I know he looks, well, brutal but

He's got a tender touch,

A genius with his hammer which

Is really awfully big,

I'm sure he'll help you fix your bike,

Now, young man, shall we frig?"

The Sage was stunned, aghast at this -

"These Greeks are so immoral!!!"-

He'd quite forgotten how this pair

Enjoyed a jealous quarrel.

The chance of sex with Venus was

A treat to make you cry

But he knew of Vulcan's rages, he

Was not prepared to die,

He didn't fancy Vulcan's fire,

Still less to be a fry.

"You are too kind, Your Godessness,

I'm really not so young,

As humans go I'm ancient though

I once was quite well hung,

But I'm sure it's not for Sages

To play games the gods among.

"So thank you both so very much,

I'd better move along,

Your house is really splendid

And the decor is a song."

With that the Sage retreated to

The place his bike had dropped.

He wiped dust off a Venus bust

Against which it was propped.

But hulking Vulcan grabbed his arm

And pinned him to the ground,

"I seen the way youse eyed me wife

An if you sniff around

Our 'ouse again, I'll strip your hide

And eat it, every pound.

Now b*gg*r off, or Cerberus

Will show you he's my hound!"

The Sage leapt on the chronobike

Right there where it was dumped,

And prayed the starter wouldn't fail

Or if it had, he'd jumped.

"Who was that funny little man?

My darling, come back here,"

So Venus gently whispered in

Her Vulcan's hairy ear,

"Were we a little jealous, just

A teenzy bit, my dear?"

The Sage was lost, the warpweave tossed

The bike from side to side

"What's wrong with time?" his sorry whine

Accompanied his slide.

Within the dark, he saw a spark

A distant light appear,

First one, then two, but which god. Who?

He felt appalling fear.

The lights got bigger, huger still

Until, so vast in size,

He just about could now make out

They were two monstrous eyes,

And a long red tongue that downwards hung

Dripped blood on bloody thighs.

A belt of gleaming skulls was all

The dreadful Goddess wore,

A necklace made of bodies flayed

That seemed with death to pour,

And all the while, with a fearsome smile

She danced in blood upon the floor.

"Dhiro na sochati," she said,

"The wise man does not grieve,"

How come you fall before me, child?

Nay, stand, but do not leave."

"Gugg bruggle mudmum, sussuss erp,"

The Sage was lost for speech,

"What's that you say, you want to play

The game that I must teach?

You don't know who I am, it's true

And yet you play with time,

Observe my yoni well, you'll see

That all its flow is mine.

My name is KaliMa, young fool

And this is my instruction,

I bring all things to birth and death

In time, for all, destruction.

You have the choice of life or death

If you can face my cleaver,

Choose well, the prize eternal life."

The Sage did not believe Her.

He said, " I'm jjjust a mmmortal, Ma,

My lllife is nnnearly dddone,

By huhuhuman terms, I've lllived tttoo lllong,

Tttwo hundred, nu nu ninety-one.

But though it's vvvery kind of you

I think I'll slip away,

I hoped to trip through extra time,

I'll come another day."

"Wrong choice, wrong choice, you'll hear my voice

With every living breath

Now go you sorry, spineless wretch,

And look for me in death."

The goddess laughed, and like a raft

At sea, the bike was spun,

End over end, the Sage to send

Back where he had begun.

The timewarp whirled, his stomach swirled,

His head was left behind,

The flashing lights that splashed his sights

Dazzled and left him blind,

The terror of that fearsome laugh

Made mincemeat of his mind,

And yet some part within his heart

Said She had been too kind.

He felt some wealth worth more than gold -

The lesson She would teach,

But fear had jellified his wits

And left it out of reach.

"Oh blast and damn, now where I am

I haven't got a clue,

I'll try reverse, it's so perverse

It might just get me through."

There was a pop, a sudden drop,

He thought he heard some people.

"I'm growing old, it's far too cold,

Where's this? It's Grimley Steeple!"

And so we find the plot becomes

As gravy overnight

While those who seek the Flergal Gold

Increase, as well they might

A sage who may be lost in time

A dandy lost at sea

A maiden lost in Loughborough

And then there's Flergal Flea

Who may have died by now but

Then again he may have not

And wasn't there a Gangly Bard

Somewhere amongst the plot

Well morning sees the maid awaken

Much improved in form

Though everything about her

Seems to differ from the norm

Strange forces lead her here and there

She knows not where to next

The matter with the reservation

Still has her perplexed

But now her name is changed

The papers signed it's clearly legal

She's going back to Grimley where

She'll visit Aunt Wurpeegle

And also, now she's Bridgéd

Of the purple velvet dress

Strange things occur within the map

She bought in Inverness

"The road most travelled" someone said

"is strewn with Harxton Stridely

dressed in fluff and leopard skin ruff

- an item worn quite widely"

"Of what is this you speak old man

your ramblings are quite senseless

yet your weepy eyes, and whispy hair

leave me quite defenseless"

"I speak of that which is to come,

with monstrous teeth g'nashing

a beast so gnarled and scaralous

and only beat by flashing.

"Dandy suitors oft have fled

when in pursuit of maiden

have caught her with her robes pulled up,

haughty, free and brazen"

The maiden swooned, and blushed a bit

and something inside flickers.

"May gnashing beasts be struck blind by

the freshness of my knickers!

"Their stinking breath, their loathsome look

their claws so long and spikey

filthy, rotsome, heinous beast

spawn of parents pikey"

"Fair maiden don't upset the beast"

the wisened wrinkly stated

"to call it names will agravate

and leave it down - deflated."

Fair maiden, full of vim and zeal

didst sparkle in the gloaming

until the beast, through clearing came

snarfling loud and moaning.

They stood beneath the blazing sun

her tartan eyes met his

and witnesses did after say

you could hear the tension fizz.

The beast did snarl and drool a bit

and stumbled forward to her

with actions more than light'ning quick

she flashed her gleaming bloomers.


dna sdrawkcab gniwolf saw emiT woN

kcis gnileef saw egaS ruO

evag eh, delley eh, demaercs eh, "doog toN"

-kcik a, epoh pu, knits tuO

Drah ti dehcnup eh oS. gnihtoN. epoN

.kcirt eht did tahT. "!POTS. hcuO"

"POTS? Pots?" A Weary Voice was heard

Emerging from the crypt

Now Time was flowing forwards and

Reversal gear was tripped.

The voice was disembodied as

Befits the hidden hand.

Invisible Saint Appo

Didn't really understand,

At least the Sage was safely back

Though not the way they'd planned.

"Pots?" The Weary Voice went on,

"I guess you're not to blame,

But if you use my calling card

You'll get me just the same,

Now what is it you want from me?

Chaiwallah is my name."

"I'm sorry, August One," the Sage

Lay face-down in the dust,

"I didn't mean to call you, but

You won't be cross, I trust.

It's just that time went backwards and

I think my bike is bust.

So sorry to disturb Your Grace

I really shouted "stop"

I've had a rather taxing trip,

Completely o'er the top,

Whatever was responsible

It was, alas, a flop."

"Now listen hear to me, my man,"

Chaiwallah grimly frowned

"Your lucky you survived at all,

I could have had you drowned.

Alright, you really not to blame

When crap lands on your plate,

Except that in some fiendish way

That seems to be your fate.

You don't believe in karma, yet,

But that's your karma, mate.

I know what's in your mind you know

Be careful what you scorn,

Or a "sadder and a wiser man"

You'll "wake the morrow morn!"

Now I'll be off, you don't need pots,

But I must do some work.

I'll leave you here in Grimley where

I rather like the Kirk.

That's it, ta ra, pip pip, old chap -

Enough of cyber-lurk."

The Sage looked round and scratched his head

Then scratched his head some more,

So shall we leave him scratching then?

Let's not, he'd soon get sore

And writer megalomania

Is frankly, just a bore.

The Sage looked round and scratched his head

As we have said before,

And saw the gleaming chronobike

Still steaming on the floor.

Invisibly, Saint Appo then

Appeared beside the door.

"You're not still here? I thought you went

Just now to find the gold,

What's up? You've left your picnic box

Or the crystal-drive on hold?"

The Sage explained, though slightly strained,

His tale was still untold.

Observed, for safety's sake, at distance

By some pickle packers

Bridgéd had done the monster down

With spotless undercrackers

Gnurgling pools of retsnom lay

Where had occurred this flap

Relieved the maiden crouchéd down

To look upon her map

It started with a burbling

Which became a steady ffnong

A panel on the back explained

That nothing had gone wrong

It glumpered in the middle as it

Wurtled at the edges

Where there had been blank spaces now

Were roads and fields and hedges

Amongst the many places that

She'd never seen before

Appeared just one she recognised

Its name was Grimley Moer

Arriving on the village green

At seven forty two

She bumped into a Sage who stood

Admiring the view

While seated on a chronobike

She'd never seen its' kind

But paid it little notice as

She'd dinner on her mind

Grimley Moer, Oh Grimley Moer

Fair, barren marshy spot

from whence didst raise such nonsense

that it nearly lost the plot.

The dextrous use of made up words

the deft and skillful rhyming

seldom frequent simulposts

a master class in timing.

The Robin cried with joy for he

who'd got the ballad going

inspite - that is - of his walk on part

that kept him to and fro-ing.

Oh fraptuous day, calloo callay

come hear my beamish boy

eh hem, you're breaking copyright

with a Jabberwock decoy.

We do not need to beg and steel

nor pinch the words of others.

Theres nonsense 'nuff to do the rounds

from this doughty band of brothers.

On, on once more and on again

on, on 'cross Grimley Moer.

Where Dandy waits his maiden fair

- the green skinned knicker shower.

Aunt Wurpeegle is always pleased

To see her niece return

But this time Aunty W

Has quite a funny turn

"How can you be returning when

You didn't even leave?

You're still in bed," Wurpeegle said

"I simply don't believe"

Anhrondulous expultivation

Kept them from the stairs

Where they had sought to go to sort

The tangled time affairs

"Upstairs in bed?" The maiden said

"Can you be sure it's me?"

"Yes, yes my dear and now I fear

I may have burned the tea"

An old man on a chronobike

Reversed along the hall

"Don't go upstairs if you have cares

For anything at all!"

So where the story goes from here

I cant pretend to know

She's been to Inverness and back

And yet she's yet to go

She's standing in the doorway while

She's fast asleep in bed

These chronological conundrums

Could become widespread

What happens if she meets herself?

Who would know what to say?

Perhaps she could just smile and ask

"Well how am I today?"

One thought occurs to me that may

Just work, although untested

The one upstairs is Brigit while

The one down here's Bridgéd

The doppelganger stirred and rose

and drawing back the curtains

permitted light to come within

on a scene so far from certain.

She brushed her tooth and licked her brow

then flossed between her toes

then weighed down 'neath the weight of grace

blew long and hard, her nose.

Where she went from here was still

within the fates own lap

Whatever was the outcome though

there was no going back.

A Dandy fit, a Dandy fair

was bearing adverse weather

champing at his dandy bit

and straining at his teather

while pvc clad lamputloofs

teased him with a feather.

These kinky games, these on goings strange

were of a new dimension

that swore to break the language code

and muck with verb declensions.

For why, oh why, must those who write

make epics so distorted?

Simple answer, sure enough,

so Bridgéd can be sorted.

If she should meet herself therein

our plans of love eternal

would melt into a fiery pit

of nasty things infernal.

By making such a dreadful mess

an "other peoples problem"

it lets us skip right past it all,

in other words to rob them!

The Sage now did as Sages do

And got his act in gear,

He forward-thrusts the chronobike

Without a trace of fear,

( Just like young Albert when he poked

His stick in 't lions ear)

And ripples down Wurpeegle's hall

And finds his exit clear.

He was determined he would be

The first to find the gold

He has his eye on Bridged

Even though so very old,

Coz it's amazing when you're ancient

How your wealth can make you bold,

And many a busty Tecksan blonde

To an aged wraith is sold -

At least that's what the Sage now hopes

His future lines may hold.

But in another loop of time

A Power is still at work,

Who, like a Throne, all on its own,

Is quite a spiteful jerk.

He sees the Sage for what he is -

An old and dirty man -

Frustrating Sage's sordid schemes

Is now this Power's plan.

The Sage, of course, you will recall

Was once a minor god,

But mingling with humankind

He'd lost his soul, poor sod,

Half human, half immortal, he was

Neither fish nor fowl,

But hung around East Grimley

Never chucking in the towel.

We'll have to give him that, at least

He is a great old tryer,

And till he meets the Grimley Beast

We can't put out his fire.

And anyway, he may yet have

To help to gild the Spire.

A ripple in the fabric of

The multiverse occurred

And into it the chronobiker

Went without a word.

Such ripples in the fabric of

The cosmic towels tear

Peculiar pieces off the lesser

Cosmic underwear.

Suffice to say the Sage had been

Transported from the crypt

To Aunt Wurpeegle's feather bed

And back through minutes flipped.

Surprising he survives at all

With sanity unstripped,

But then like all of us you see,

This ballad has him gripped.

He probably enjoys the buzz

Of being skull-drunk tripped.


A game of cricket going on

On Grimley Village Green

Has been in play since Christmas day

In fourteen-seventeen

The Keeper of the Green is

Also keeper of the score

But he lost count one winters night

In eighteen twenty-four

But no-one seems to notice

And nobody seems to care

So long as no-one ever wins

It's boring but it's fair

Come rain or shine the game goes on

That's how its' meant to be

The umpire's even taken root

Beneath the Reeren Tree

The Reeren Tree's the tallest tree

In Grimley by a yard

It smells a little odd and getting

Up it can be hard

They used it as a lookout post

Because it grew so high

And people from around these parts

They call it Grimleys eye

Twas planted by the vicar

Back in sixteen sixty-three

There's always someone going up

The vicars Reeren Tree


The robin's seeking recompense

He struts about in rage;

It seems he has a gripe against

The mo-time-biking Sage

"That Sage can't tell his soup from sick"

He spits, with angry eye

"He's got the wrong end of the stick

About that beetle pie!

"He passes judgement over me

And won't let me forget it;

If he could find page one he'd see

It was the fox that ate it"

The night is fair, the Moon with flair

Shines down upon the sea,

Where the ship that holds our heroes trips

Like lice along the lee.

The Captain's crap but she, the ship

Is sweet as sweet can be.

Below the forepeak, in the gloom

The Eagle's catching breath,

He's flown from near by Loughborough

Or was it Inverneth?

Whatever, he's exhausted, weak,

Sea-sick and feels like death.

"You've got to get us out of here,"

Young Dandy promptly pleaded,

"And that before the morning watch

When starboard will be needed.

I don't know where Ms. Joice has gone,

My calls have gone unheeded.

I've heard she's in a stateroom aft

The purser feeds her beagle,

So maybe she could help us out..."

"Now, listen," said the Eagle.

"I've got to sleep, right now and deep

So get back in your bunk,

I'm up your nose, tomorrow 'spose

We leave, so pack your trunk.

"You haven't heard a word I've said,"

The Dandy muttered more,

"I haven't got a trunk, nor clothes,

As Joice says, it's a bore,

They took my stuff in Shipling Greep

Before you hit the floor."

The Eagle yawned, his head had spawned

A glorious velvet sleep,

Tomorrow there'd be time to tell

His tale since Shipling Greep,

Let Dandy know of Bridged's love

New blossomed, rare and deep.

"So what's your game, my lad?" the voice

That sailor's dread to hear,

The Bosun on his nightly round

Approaching from the rear.

"Oo was you talking to, just then,

You better tell me straight

Or you'll be on the grating with

The nine-tailed cat, old mate."

Of course by now the Eagle was

Asleep in Dandy's nose

And nothing could arouse him till

The morning sun arose.

"Me? No-one, honest," Dandy said,

You must have been mistaken,

I often mutter to myself

And sleep talk e'er I waken."

"I seen 'im, Bosun, talking to

Some strange exotic bird,"

The galley Cook gave D a look

Like treacle slowly stirred.

"I seen 'im, 'e must be a freak,

Or else 'e's bleedin' mad,

Let's chuck 'im overboard right now

'E'll bring us luck all bad.

There is no words for them 'as birds,

As worst as it can be.

The only thing to do with 'em

Is chuck 'em in the sea."

The Bosun, like a hurricane,

Swept down on Dandy's hopes,

"So let's us have a little chat

Before we ties some ropes.

Now, what's this bird that Cookie heard

And where's it bleedin gone?

It's either meat that's fit to eat

Or a bet to gamble on,

Well, either way we wants it now

So tell us quick, my son.

I'll count to three, believe you me,

I'll lash you to a gun,

And then you'll really wish that you

Had never shipside come."

"I can't explain, it's all in vain"

Thought Dandy feeling weak,

He tried to think of something but

What came out was a squeak.

"What's that?" the Bosun loomed so huge

His fists round Dandy clenched,

His piggy eyes showed no surprise

As Dandy gasped and blenched.

"Just chuck 'im overboard, go on,

I fink 'is bird's escaped."

"Nah, can't do that, he's got to work,

The Captain's got him taped.

Tomorrow morning, bring him aft

We'll hear what yarn he tells,

We'll find out what it's all about

This bird of his, or else.

The Captain should be interested,

He'll thrash him at eight bells."

Poor Dandy didn't sleep that night

Not even on his watch,

And from his bunk, he saw the hunk,

The Bosun, swigging Scotch.

Poor Dandy lay within his bunk

And contemplated Fate,

Which was rather finely balanced

Between hope and pain of late.

The grimey Cook, a sycophant

The kind who likes to lurk

Within a bully's shadow now

Made watching him his work.

"You've got it coming, mate," he said

And grinned a slimey grin

"Just wait until you're on the grate

And lose a lot of skin.

I'd say you'll get a score or two,

I fink the Bosun said,

He's chatted to the Captain

So you might as well be dead -

We don't like Jonahs on this ship -

Or else my name ain't Fred."

So what could poor old Dandy do

Within this karmic clinch?

For like most shanghai'd sailors he

Just couldn't swim an inch,

And Eagle couldn't help him now

Asleep. Awake? Well anyhow

They'd have him in a pinch.

Now aftwards, roughly fifty yards,

In stateroom number two,

Miss Joicelyne Vere de Speightall

Felt inclined to Take the View.

The night was dark, the ancient bark

Dripped slowly west, like glue,

The waning Moon, a silver spoon,

Tried hard to smile on cue.

"Poor Buggirduck, my darling boy,

You didn't like the dark,

How is his mum's poor beagle?"

Felt like a porbeagle shark.

For Buggirduck the heaving seas

The biscuits and the gin

Had strained his guts and bladder

And he'd had to just give in -

House training rules did not apply

A sailing ship within.

So all in all a little fresh

Air was, well, overdue.

So Joicelyne called the Purser

Who, uncertain what to do,

Said, "Sorry miss, your lock is stuck.

I'll have to ask the crew

To call the Carpenter. It's late,

It's nearly half-past two."

Miss Joicelyne de Speightall was

Well, made of sterner stuff,

She knew her rights, not shy of fights,

Enough was quite enough.

Besides this wretched little tub

Belonged, in part at least,

To seventh cousin Crunkleigh's

Company that traded East.

"Now look here, little man," she said

And rang the cabin bell,

"You'd better get the Captain

Or I'll have your job as well."

"I didn't have to come by ship,"

She called out frostily,

"I could have flown my buggy to

The Isles of Blaggerty,

Except the wretched Luddites there

Would throw it in the sea."

"As we will you," the Purser thought

"If gods are good to me."

So there, for now, we leave them

Sailing westwards in the craft-

One prisoner down forrard

And the other one back aft.

Poor Dandy feared the Bosun would

Soon strip his back of skin,

The Bosun feared the Captain might

Not let him on a whim.

The Captain feared Ms Joicelyne-

He'd met her type before,

Ms. Joicelyne feared nothing

But the trip might be a bore,


In Which is Reveal'd
Miss Joicelyne de Speightall's
Venerable and Ancyent Lineage.

The family de Speightall was

Well, nearly rather grand.

They'd been around for ages

And had once owned lots of land.

They'd trampled on the peasants, they

Had fought on either hand,

And built on all the nicest sites

Before such things were "planned."

Their coat of arms was crested

With a nasty vicious boar

Which was glaring at a unicorn

It did its best to gore.

Miss Joicelyne's late father was

Sir Percy, tenth in line,

Whose brains were frankly paltry

But whose profile was divine -

(That's if you like receding chins,

Expressions sub-bovine,

A sunken chest, a scrawny neck

And skin like Bordo wine.)

He knew his racing horses, so

His wealth was in decline,

Until they found, beneath the ground

A rather handy mine.

A shame it was located right

Beneath the ancient hall

"We can't be sentimental," thus

It met the wrecker's ball.

But commerce has advantages,

The world is run by trade,

And family alliances

Were planned for Joice, it's said,

Though Joice had other plans

She followed, unafraid.

The Speightalls married Buggirducks

Since near the dawn of time,

Another ancient lineage

Ennobled for its crime.

Along with breeding horses they

Bred daughters for the bed

Of any passing princeling who

Might keep them clothed and fed,

And then providing bastards

Who were soon ennobel-ed.

It's like a minor industry

(Now almost not defunct)

It kept the younger sons in funds

It kept their fathers drunk.

When Joice's turn came round to join

This venerable tradition,

She just refused, point-blank to play

Sir Percy roared "SEDITION!!!

"It's not as though you haven't had

Your choice of nice young men,

You'll marry as you're told, my gel,

And I will tell you when.

You'll marry who you're told, as well,

I've fixed the date, and where..."

His face went black, a heart attack

Dispatched him then and there.

Mama was quite distracted and

She lost a lot of hair,

But now she's in a special place

Where staff take such good care

To see she gets just what she needs

To keep her in her chair.

It sounds a little cruel? Well

Poor Joice just couldn't cope.

One can't keep dotty Mummy

Hobbled like a horse with rope.

She'd wander off all round the place

She might get hurt or scarred,

She might fall down the well

Beside the horse-trough down the yard.

Now Joicelyne lives cozily

Enough, when all is said,

In the gate-lodge where her ancestors

Had loved, and fought and bled.

She might be slightly lonely

But enjoys her private means,

The mine keeps trundling along,

She visits foreign scenes.

Dear Buggirduck's good company

And so's her cat, Pralines.

She's getting lots of local help,

She's handy with machines.

She's not a gel to trifle with

Nor has been since her teens.

As an aside, it should be said that

while open to flattery

she gets her thrills on lonely nights

from devices powered by battery.

In fact I'm not so sure at all

She feels that way. Of course

I may be wrong, I think that she

Is happiest on a horse.

Regarding matters conjugal

She is most likely chaste,

She doesn't have much truck with stuff

"Down there" below the waist.

Her energies to charities

And riding are displaced.

She's awfully fond of Buggirduck -

That doesn't mean to say

She'd ever do a thing with him

That wasn't normal play.

I have to say I see her quite

Distinctly, yes indeed,

As a woman over sixty and

A cylinder in tweed.


In Which the Aged Sage of Grimley

Discovers the Necessity of Pure Intentions.

Once more the Sage took to the air

Upon the chrono-bike,

Having realised intention

Was the way to chrono-hike.

It wasn't quite enough to think

"I'll go from from Ay to Bee,"

The mind should be exclusively

On target - Flergel Flea.

Well, that's what the Sage was thinking as

He flipped the retro crystal

And the chrono bike took off, unlike

A bullet from a pistol.

It made no sound at all, there was

A sort of gloopy plub,

But nothing to disturb the Grimley

Cricket, nor the pub.

You may have often wondered what

It's like to trip through time,

Pin back your ears and listen,

And as much as fits in rhyme

The Sage's chrono stages will

Now tackle the sublime.

Remember we are dealing with

A rather greebly sort

Who has lived through seven ages

Of the normal life, so short.

For most of that he's sat and just

Immersed himself in thought,

Except for odd appearances

In Grimley Circuit Court.

He's aged, and he's twisted and

He's greedy, none too kind,

But there's one thing that he knows and that's

The windmills of his mind.

He knows some other, stranger things

On which we'll drop the blind.

The chrono-bike ( yes yes, its there )

Slipped effortlessly down

Through transcendental levels

Past the purple and the brown

To where the inner eye beheld

The place where egos drown.

It is an inner ocean, and

So luminously vast

That the normal mind can't hack it and

Attempts to get out fast,

But here the Sage's skills paid off,

He surfed the waves he passed.

The chrono-bike's a surf-board which

If properly aligned

Allows the user's body to

Accompany the mind,

Which is why it must be focussed

And so accurately inclined.

If not, the rider's sanity

Will rapidly unwind.

The Sage, we know, has had some trips

Which almost came unstuck

He got back home to Grimley less

By skill and more by luck,

It's not much fun when you are run

Over by chrono-truck.

So now you get the picture and

The theory should be clear,

The Sage has got a modest chance

He'll land in some god's ear

Or else come back to Grimley Crypt

By way of blastomere.* (*embryo.)

He settled in the silence of

The interneural void

Where emptiness is endless and

The brain is unemployed.

He set his mind on impulse mode

And slipped the bike in gear

And found he'd spun the crystals round

And nothched them into fear.

The silence rushed into his mind

As solid as a rock,

That stretched beyond infinity

And had him in a lock.

The universe began to press

Right on his very skin

And he desperately scrambled

To recalibrate "Begin."

Awareness shrunk down to a spot

Within his absent soul

His mind was stretched, yet squeezed and pressed

Into a dead "black hole,"

Pure nothingness, the terminus,

A psychic vacuole.

"I'll be alright," he tried to think,

"If I can get some sleep,"

But yet some part of him still knew

He languished in the deep.

The chrono-bike now held him tight

And locked into that thought,

He spent eternities within

It, now completely caught.

"I'll be alright, " he tried to think,

"If I can get some sleep..."

And round and round, a dreary sound

This thought its course would keep.

And there he might have lingered

Frozen until time ran out,

If he had not been spotted by

A psychic talent scout.

The Scout was quite a character,

Not old, but not so young,

His hair was white and thinning but

His robes with gold were strung,

And his voice, the Sage thought later,

Sounded like an angel sung.

"You're stuck," the Scout said frankly, "Do

You need a push, or tow?"

The Sage was suddenly himself,

He said,"I do not know."

"What happened here? I slipped a gear,

I died? Was I in Hell?"

"Not quite," the Scout replied, "I think

You missed, it's just as well.

You're in a psychic limbo where

Your sort are often found,

That's why I come down here to see

If rock-stars are around,

I kind of like the music and

They sometimes come unstuck,

When hit by the equivalent of

A transgalactic truck.

I've artists, and musicians and

Some writers on my books,

And sometimes monks and sages who

Have slipped their psychic hooks.

They often stay quite briefly, then

Their bodies call them back.

But you've come on your chrono-bike,

That's harder to re-track.

So where is it your going now?

Come close and let me see.

Hmm, off to pilfer gold from some

Unpleasant Flergal Flea.

It's not my job to criticise,

But if you'll take advice,

You'll go straight back to Grimley Moer,

I've heard its very nice,

Specially at this time of year,

And cheap at half the price."

The Scout gave Sage a withering look,

Which seemed to say, "How sad,

That such a practised mind as this

Had gone so far to bad.

If only it were cleared away

He felt it would be glad."

"One thing you need to know, old chap,

If you must travel deep,

You need to keep your focus

And you need to get more sleep.

Your motivation matters once

You're down here on the edge,

And greed for gold you should have left

Behind you "on the ledge."

A parachronofundulum

Is what you think you need,

Success with that depends on your

Correct trans-psychic speed.

A chrono-bike will take you just

As far as you can know,

You've gone too fast, you've been outclassed,

So next time, travel slow.

The mind must just be left behind,

Or right where you would go."

The Scout said, "There, I've finished,

It's advice you may not like,

That's tough, I'm off." He mounted his

Recumbent psycho-bike.

"Goodbye," he waved and disappeared,

The Sage thought, "Now I've flipped,"

But next he knew, you're right, he flew

Back down in Grimley Crypt.

Perhaps you'd think the Sage would stop -

Don't underrate obsession -

And to his mate, Saint Appo Staight

He made this curt confession.

"I'm going to get that gold, if it's

The last thing that I do.

And then we'll see if wealth or charm

Has more the wit to woo."

(No, they weren't up in the belfrey

But then as a rhyme twill do!)

"To hell with psycho-potholes and

The trans-neuronal Scout,

I'm going on another trip

Or my name's not Kneezer Prout."

Saint Appo said, "Now look here, Kneez,

Perhaps a little rest

Before you go back warping which

Could leave you over-stressed."

"Let's face it, mate," the Sage replied,

"My fate's not Father William's.

I don't have his great fiftitude

Still less his great resilience.

I'm old, I'm old, I'm far too old

And this might be my chance.

So what if the grim Weppen-wheel*

Should spin me in a dance.

( By this* he meant the Buddhist truth

That whether it heals or hurts,

In love or strife, throughout your life

You make your just desserts.)

Now if the Sage had listened to

What Appo had suggested,

He might have heard that little hint,

And been more interested.

A Sage like him, though far from dim,

Should heed his intuition,

Its not for nothing gods pop in

Such gems of pre-cognition.

And so he'll soon be off again

Upon his lurid quest.

For now we'll leave him so his tea

Has time for to digest.


The Staight of things, so far, as seen by St.Appo,
Kneezer Prowt's Emmy Nongs Greeze.

"Now Dandy and his Eagle are

Far out, to sea, they say.

The Sage is quite determined he

Will trip another day.

The Flergel feels neglected

By most everyone but Blay.

In Grimley Aunt Wurpeegle is

More witchy than she shows -

Just what is her connection to

Her nephew Dandy's nose?

And Bridged waits, so anxiously

TO see if her removal

To unknown parts will soothe her heart's

Trings, meet with her approval.

And sundried Ventral Snaiths await

The call of destiny,

While Lamputloofs perch on the roofs

To watch the Reeren Tree.

The Robin, ( though not Colin ) still

Appears from time to time,

With words of peevish choler

Where they fit into the rhyme.

So all in all this Porgle Pye

Is mixed as mixed can be -

So that's correct as we expect

From Kwan Tum Poertree.

So don't complain if our quattrain

Should skip about in jumps,

It's quite like something Froydeeyan

That also comes in lumps."


Meanwhile, at Flea.

In some far corner of this

Madly twisted labyrinth,

The Flergal Flea attempts to hook

A hippy off its plinth,

But Gangly Blay, I'm glad to say,

Was dreaming hyacinth.

His mind's eye's seeing colours of

A swirling golden pink.

Which might have just a bit to do

With what he'd had to drink.

The Flergal Flea, in pain, as he

Still bleeds from blarblied hips

Just needs to chew some Veedee Yew

And then the Fate's coin flips.

Though huge in size, with umpteen eyes

And all those spikey legs,

He will expire beside Blay's fire

As sure as fleas lays eggs,

Unless of course he has recourse

To Yew-tree leaves. He begs:

"Come here to meee and you will ssseee

The ssort of ssightss you're sseeeking,"

( Remember it's a buzz-saw mouth

From which there's suckers peeking.)

A flea looks like a comma but

When lying on its side,

This one is just a mess of legs

In a puce and golden hide.

"Come here to meee, I wouldn't hurt

A flea," the Flergel lied.

Now Blay through tinted glasses looked

And they were tinted rose,

As several cups of mushroom tea

Had changed them, we suppose.

He tuned his lyre an octave higher

And reedily he sang

The sort of song the Flergal fears,

It felt some worried pangs,

And struggled yet again to get

Some Yew-leaves in its fangs.

But Blay was off his head again

Could hardly see the Flea.

He strummed his lyre, and heard a choir

Of Snaithley minstrelsy.

This soon gave way, it's strange to say

To notes that came out pink.

The music tasted choclatey

Blay had another drink.

"Oh man, like, wow, like far out now,

It's heavy Kyuwar Tea..."

Thereafter few coherent words

Were heard by Flergel Flea.

Some power entered Blay by force,

And took his vacant brain,

And speaking to the Flergal sang

This very odd refrain.

"Beware, beware the Toe-nib Layer

For it will steal your gold,

Before the Shubs close up their pubs

Your secrets will be told,

And in strange hands from far-off lands

Your corpse will lie, dead cold."

The Flea was not a bit amused

At what Blay seemed to sing,

"Come here you lout," the Fergal's shout

Tried Blay back down to bring.

Though stoned, the Gangly youth obeyed

And sat down near the Flea,

He smiles and smiles ( this really riles )

"Were you, like, calling me?

You've got to try this mush-tea, man,

It's really is good Kyuwar."

The Flea just wondered if he could

Get Blay's flesh on a skewer,

And, strengthened, get a Yew-leaf yet

That would provide the cure.

"Come closer, lad, I need a hand

A little help, that's all.

Just bring to me from that Yew-tree

A leaf.""Like, did you call?"

"Wake up, you wretched, brain-dead creep,"

The Flea was getting cross,

"Bring me a leaf right now, you hear?"

Blay couldn't give a toss,

He was in quite some other space

And knew it was no loss.

He smiled and mumbled vaguely as

He vainly twanged his lyre

The Flergal Flea just wished he'd drop

The damned thing in the fire.

And there we see both Blay and Flea

Beside the dwindling flames.

Blay falls asleep, while from the deep,

The Flea drags charming names.



A knock on Aunt Wurpeegles door

Reminded one and all

That the ballad was proceeding as

They stood there in the hall

Wurpeegle peered around the door

A voice said "Air Hair Lair"

She flurbled with enwrimplement

And patted at her hair

For there stood Thomas Terry

He'd come looking for a room

This one time friend and confidante

Of Alidander Frume

"Good heavens Madam, do you know

What's happening on your roof?

I couldn't help but notice

You've a flock of Lamputloof!"

"And may I say how well you look

This fine and frimbly day"

Twas then he spotted Bridged and

Said swarthily "I say!"

Within a half a minute he'd

Resolved to ask her out

For pints and pickled wigglets eggs

Down at the Tickled Trout

Now those of you who are well versed

In ancient Grimley lore

May realise you've come across

This Terry chap before

While taking part in Grimleys

Never ending cricket match

He disappeared one morning

As he ran to make a catch

Some thought he'd fallen down a hole

Some thought him lost in time

While others thought it more to do

With a life of petty crime

In truth it had much more to do

With how fast he could run

When confronted with a baby,

Its' granddad and his gun

The baby now was seventeen

The granddad was long gone

And Terry had returned,

His former life to carry on

Well to cut a rather long aside

Down to a verse or four

He gave Wurpeegle sixpence for

A room on t' second floor

A lamputloof came down and settled

On the window sill

And Thomas Terry would not be

Alive if looks could kill

"I know you're after Bridged"

Said the scrawnilicious bird

T.T. replied "and you sir

Are a vermillicious twerd"

A twiddle of the moustache,

A bucketful of smarm

And Thomas T and Bridgéd

Are walking arm in arm

Across the village green and then

Along the Barking Beck

She'd said at first she wouldn't go

But then thought 'What the heck'

They end up in The Tickled Trout

And drink a lot of ale

A tactic Thomas Terry didn't

Think would ever fail

Then later on when Bridgéd went

To powder her green nose

In walks Bridget Twiddlewitch

In identical clothes

A lamputloof appears behind the bar

And wags a claw

"I said that this would happen,

I seen it all before"

Well anyone who ever saw

An Ealing comedy

Can picture the commotion

And confusion there would be

When Thomas Terry turned and met

The Bridget with a T

And if he understands it he's

A better man than me

She's gone from being mildly drunk

And pleasant company

To stone cold sober, not impressed

By smarmy Tommy T

"What's wrong my dear" he asked her

Like he wanted to be told

"My love has gone across the sea

To fetch me Flergal Gold"

"Gold you say?" said Thomas,

His instincts kicking in

And he sidled up beside her as

She took a swig of gin

"Flergal Gold at that you say,

Oh my, oh my, oh my!"

He put his arm around her,

She punched him in the eye

He woke up minutes later and he

Felt a little queer

Perhaps from lying on the floor,

Perhaps from wearing beer

Bridget by now had vanished,

But Bridgéd had returned

Comically unaware of the

Advances she just spurned


Somewhere far away in the Western seas, a two-masted
topsail schooner sails

ever Westwards towards the
Western Isles in general, and Blaggerty in particular.

You'd think that mutual suffering

Would bind a crew together,

A ship needs every man to man

The ship in stormy weather.

You'd think that mutual misery

Would bind a ship's crew tight,

And with a flogging Captain you

Would think such thoughts were right.

But on this ship, the Patrix Spants

The crew were skulking, broody,

And toiled away like worker ants

For fear of Captain Groody.

Not one of them but felt the lash

When tied up to the grate,

Laid on by Blog the Bosun while

The count was kept by Mate.

As surly and morose a bunch

As any of the sort,

Except for warrant officers

They'd been shanghaied in port.

Three were Bleegit Islanders

Tattooed from head to toe,

Two Blaggerts, two Gloweegeeyans

Whose tails were white as snow,

And a pair of deep blue Slunkies

With six eyes all in a heap,

Not to mention poor old Dandy

And the dross of Shipling Greep.

So all in all the ship was not

Exactly overmanned,

But such the ways in sailing days

As profits would demand.

Her hold was full of "Flergal gold"

For such some called the cargo,

A stinking pit of old birdshit,

Guano from Dillargo.

She also carried opium

When in the China seas,

And, rarely, stateroom passengers

For quite outrageous fees.

Whatever could be made to pay

Was what the owners shipped,

And any corners they could cut

Were well and truly clipped.

So Captain Groody drove his men

And drove the ship as hard,

And if a sailor crossed him he'd

Be hanging from the yard.

The word soon spread,"That Dandy's dead,

He'll dance the Bosun's dance,

He won't survive a flogging, sure

He hasn't got a chance."

The dawn came rough and windy but

The Bosun was intent

That Dandy would explain just what

His secret bird-talk meant.

He came below the forepeak and

He told the Galley Cook,

"Just keep an eye on Dandy, whiles

I tie him to this hook."

Meanwhile back aft, Miss Joicelyne

Had woken bright and early,

She wasn't in the best of moods

Indeed she was quite surly.

She hammered on her stateroom door

Until the Captain said,

"For gods' sake let that woman out

Her noise will split my head."

The Purser then unlocked her door,

"Oh look, it's fixed," said he,

"The Carpenter's just done the job,

Now would you like some tea?"

Miss Joicelyne cheered up at once

"That would be nice," she said,

"I've not been feeling awfully well,

I'd like some buttered bread,

And something for poor Buggirduck,

It's ages since he fed."

"We'll have some fun this morning ma'am,"

The Purser's grin was slick,

"A crewman's crossed the Cap'n and

He's going to get the stick."

"What do you mean?" said Joicelyne.

"I mean he will be whipped,

He's brought illicit livestock on,

They warned him when he shipped,

At least I think that's what he done

Unless my mem'ry slipped."

"Well, discipline you have to have,

It's like a horse to me,

You must insist on order and

I'm sure that's true at sea."

"You're right indeed,"the Purser said,

"The Captain would agree."

At eight bells sharp the Captain stood

Beside the poop-deck rail

While Dandy was dragged aftwards -

How he felt his courage fail.

Just then Miss Joicelyne emerged

And at her heel the beagle,

And what a time, as eight bells chime,

Out from his nest popped Eagle.

"That's im, that's im, that's what I seen"

The Cook was so excited,

"Good Lord, where have you been, dear boys?"

Joice also sounds delighted.

"What's that on board?" the Captain roared

"We're s'posed to have a floggin."

The Bosun said,"That bird is dead

Or else my name ain't Bloggin."

Then Buggirduck embraced his leg,

"Who let that bleedin dog in?"

The Eagle meanwhile flew aloft

And said, "Make no mistake

There's been a little mixup here,

But now that I'm awake,

I do suggest we stop and talk,

We all can profit make."

"But why's my young friend Frume tied up?"

Joice asked the Captain then.

"Well one, he owes a hundred quid,

And two, he's jinxed my men,

And three, he's brought that bird on board

It should be in a pen.

Now kindly take your dog below

Don't bring him up again."

"You listen here to me, my man,

My cousin owns this ship.

I won't be spoken to like that

So frankly, watch your lip."

The Captain quailed, it was the voice

It touched some hidden button.

He blenched and looked at Joice in dread,

No spring lamb she, but mutton.

There's one thing that the crew enjoys

More than another's floggin,

It's seeing Bully Groody topped,

It even tickled Bloggin.

"Untie my friend, young Frume at once,

I'm sure that debt's a fraud,

As for his friend the Eagle, well

He flies, that's not on board.

And all this talk of jinxes

Really is a load of rot.

Now send the tea, for my friends and me,

And please make sure it's hot."

"Ahoy, ahead, the spout, we're dead,"

The lookout from aloft

Yelled out, "About, quick put about!"

"You see," the Bosun scoffed.

"Quick, chuck the Jonah overboard,"

It was the Cook that cried,

"What nonsense," Joicelyne remarked,

"Oh yes?" the Mate replied.

"All hands, wear ship," the Captain roared,

"Now madam, go below."

He felt secure, now he was sure

A storm was going to blow.

"Untie that man at once, " he said,

"We need all hands to haul,"

The bows were turning slowly round

When racing came the squall,

A screaming wind with rain and hail

And water like a wall.

The dreaded spout came tearing down

A whirling spire of water,

A mountain on the move, it seemed,

It hit the ship and caught her.

The ship was spun and whirled, the sky

Was nowhere to be seen,

And under the mountain sailed the ship

Into a world of green.

The mighty wave breaks over her,

And on her beam she lies,

And somewhere way down wind

A rather battered Eagle flies.

The waterspout flew on, blew out

And soon the ship had passed,

The sails all hung in tatters from

The broken splintered mast.

But still the hull was floating and

The storm gave way to calm,

The Captain looked about him in

A state of mild alarm.

Too few, too few, where was the crew?

The wave had swept her clean,

But Dandy, who was not untied

Remained where he had been.

Had Joicelyne been safe below?

She's nowhere to be seen.

But then the Captain hears the voice,

The voice so sharp and shrill,

"I really shouldn't drink so much

In think it makes me ill,

Come Buggirduck, let's see what's up,

That was a nasty spill."

And after her the Purser came,

Looking past his best,

And in a while, blown back a mile,

The Eagle came to nest.

In which our Bedraggled Heroes finally
catch sight of the Hummock Heaps, and The Island of Blaggerty...........

The Captain wasn't given much

To superstitious stuff -

"You makes your own good fortune, or

You don't, that's it," he's tough.

But as he looked around him ,he

Felt Jonah'd right enough.

For he, the Purser, Dandy and

The Eagle were the crew

(Apart from Joicelyne ) so what

On earth was he to do?

The ship was slowly sinking, for

The spout had split her bottom,

And guano mixed with water made

A stench far worse than rotten.

He swore and cursed the lousey luck

That had him rrightly skewered.

The stink of birdshit-slurry gave

New meaning to in-sewered!

Joice looked around the wreckage and

She said,"That's quite a mess,

It looks as though we're sinking now."

The Captain muttered, "Yes."

But, happily the longboat was

Still fixed onto the deck,

Undamaged by the broken mast -

The rest was all a wreck.

"Untie that man," the Captain sighed,

Remembering that he

Now only had the Puser left

To cut young Dandy free,

To help him right the longboat

And then get it in the sea.

"Don't worry, " Joice said cheerily,

"Just leave all that to me."

"Well, what we're going to need of course

Is food and water too.

So run along now, Purser dear,

Just see what you can do."

The Captain looked at Joiccelyne

And felt a spark of hope,

"There isn't anything with which

That woman couldn't cope."

And she meanwhile saw Dandy smile

As she untied the rope.

"Now what a bore, and no mistake,

How do you feel, my dear?

No broken bones I hope, now help

Me get you out of here."

The Antwerp Eagle meanwhile was

High up above the sea,

"There's land on the horizon, and

It's not so far," said he.

The Captain said,"The Hummock Heaps -

The big one's Blaggerty.

So you're the talking bird that caused

The problem with the Cook!"

But Joice remarked, "Enough of that,

We've not much time. Now look -

This Eagle could air-lift us all,

Of course, just one by one.

The rest wait in the longboat,

Well? I'm sure it could be done.

We'd better get that longboat launched,

So hurry, that's the thing."

The Eagle said," There's just one catch,

I think I've sprained my wing."

"Well then, we'll have to row there,

I'm quite handy in a boat.

Look lively Captain, Dandy, let's

Just get the launch afloat."

The sun was shining on the sea

The storm had blown away,

The ship just slowly gurgled as

It slipped out of the day.

The Purser and Miss Joicelyne

The Captain, Dandy too

Were rowing. Eagle kept the watch,

The beagle watched the view.

And then they heard from far beneath

A mournful sort of "Mblmoooooo."

( You see, it came in bubbles.)

"It's a Meercow," Captain said,

"Pull hard, if it capsizes us

We might as well be dead."

Another bubbly "moo" arose

And then another four,

And thick and fast they came at last

And more and more and more.

Don't tell me, but you've heard these words

Writ somewhere else before.

And then a huge and hairy head

With whiskers gleaming green

Emerged beside them as they rowed,

Across the soupy scene.

It gloopled at them blearily

From large and soulful eyes,

And whiffled through moustaches

Of a truly splendrous size.

"We need a whisker," Dandy said,

"Quick, grab one while you can."

"Well, thanks a lot," the Meercow said,

"Just watch yourself, young man.

"You think I've nothing better on

Than spend me life at sea,

Just so some paltry pirate can

Take souvenirs off me?

You want a Meercow whisker?

Well you'll have to pay the fee,

I've got three kids at home to raise

That doesn't happen free."

"That's typical," Miss Joice remarked,

"Like everything these days,

There really are no standards left,

It's all about what pays.

When I was young a person was

Just pleased to be of use,

But now it's all political,

There's always some excuse,

Or else pay compensation to

Some wretch that you refuse."

"I'm sorry, miss," the Meercow said,

"It's solidarity,

You start by giving bits away,

There'd be no end, you see,

And then where would I find meself,

What would be left of me?"

The Captain said,"What's this about?

Who said that we should cease?

What do you want a whisker for?

Just leave the cow in peace."

"That's Meercow, thank you all the same,"

The whilgey beast intoned,

And blurbled at them slurpily

While looking slightly stoned.

The Eagle meanwhile circled round

Behind the monstrous head,

The landed right on top of it,

"Now listen up," he said,

"We only want one whisker and

I'm sure you have a spare few."

"Get off me head, those claws are sharp.

You're messing up me hairdo."

"Why don't we trade," the Eagle said,

"So it's a deal, I'd say,

One whisker - I won't gouge your eyes

And eat them now, okay?'

"You've got a nerve, what you deserve's

A damn good thrashing too,

Get off me head, right now, you're dead,

Hold on and I'll drown you."

The Eagle swooped and snipped a hair

And flew away at speed,

The Meercow, who was not so bright

Followed the Eagle's lead.

"Just wait until my husband hears,"

The Meercow plunged and burbled,

"You'll pay , you'll see, you'll cop it, creep,

You wait till you've been Meerbulled."


Now if our games with words and names

Should chance to bore you rigid

You're welcome (most!) to skip this post

About the name of Bridget

Her sorry fate she contemplates

Its contravention sternest

"What's in a name? They're all the same

I might as well be Earnest!"

Now Brigid was a deity

Before St Patrick came

And sold the modern verity

That all gods are the same

And only three - the Trinity -

Deserving of the name

He had no place for godesses

So she became a saint

The Gaels were so magnanimous

That they made no complaint

Her day's the first of February

When Spring begins to paint

Most water was polluted then -

They gave their rivers hell -

Pure wells that Patrick didn't claim

Are called "St Brigid's well"

In Gaelic she is Brighid

Contracted now to Bríd

And Breda, Bride (for breeding)

Breege, and Budge, and Butch indeed

(She may to Brenda yet extend,

A case I will not plead)

What's in a name? They're all the same

In mankind and divinity

They stuff a can of gods, a Pan-

Theon, into a Trinity

And even there they try to pare

It down; I think it rather

Uncommon, rare, unheard of: where's

A Church of God the Father?

So Brigid took demotion

Saintliness is now her station

And even more she yields the floor

To Mary in her nation

But after the invasions

Of the Danes and then the Norse

The Normans and the Saxons, still

Survives St Brigid's Cross

And every February the first

In Ireland, East to West

Her star of woven rushes

Still adorns the chimney breast

So there you have her analysed

Down to the smallest digit

And if mayhap I've left a gap

You're welcome (most!) to bridge it

Now Bridgéd and herself Bridget

Are both one and the same

Desynchronised chronology

Must be in part to blame

A misplaced fluctuation in

A transdimension flux

Flipped neatly on its axis

Turned around and said 'time sucks'

And things which once flowed smoothly

Now were sucked into a stew

Of almost but not quite exactly

What they're meant to do

Not far away on Blaggerty

A million miles from here

A solitary pair of three

Heard things they could not hear

A terrifying gentle rage

Of distance drawing near

Fell up through the horizon into

Murkiness quite clear

Torrential floods of almost nothing

Dripping up the side

Of things so short yet far too tall

So narrow, yet so wide

The long and short of all of this

Is Bridget's gone to bed

And Bridgéd's on her way back home

Pi$$ed out of her head

While Thomas Terry too is feeling

Slightly worse for drink

Though neither quite as drunk

As they both let the other think

He wants to know some more about

This talk of Flergal Gold

While she would like to know how he

Knows things she hasn't told

Once back at Aunt Wurpeegles house

She goes up to her room

And hears her own voice calling out

To Alidander Frume

Thomas, hearing shouting coming

Through his bedroom wall

Comes out to find Miss Twiddlewitch

Still standing in the hall

"Whatever's this commotion

That raised me from my bunk?"

"Perhaps I may have drink a lottle

Mere than I had thunk"

How she'd locked herself out from

Within needs understanding

But she fell asleep in a drunken heap

Right there upon the landing

When she woke next morning

She just could not recall

The voice from in her bedroom

Or sleeping in the hall

But Thomas Terry lay and scratched

The chin within his room

And muttered once more to himself

"Alidander Frume!"


Somewhere beneath the Sea, an irate Meercow
is telling her Meerbull all about it.

Unlike his whiskered missus, the

Meerbull is smooth of face,

A fact that missus meercows use

To keep their men in place.

It's useful when you've lost your keys

And need a bull to blame,

As Missus Meercow likes to say,

"You bulls are all the same.

You're lazy, you're forgetful and

I wonder if you're blind.

It's obvious to me you've only

One thing on your mind.

It's eat and eat, then eat some more,

And then you go on eating.

You never take the time to tune

Our Gulf Stream central heating.

It's wander here, and wander there,

Whatever way it pulls,

No wonder I'm demented coz

You're just a load of bulls.

And then when we are finished

Having meercalves, and we're wrecks,

That's when you roll up in the night

And say you're on for sex.

By which time we're all skinny, worn

Away to bones, no blubber,

And you're off after something young

And plump, and try to rubber."

So this is what our Meercow felt,

She went back to her bull,

And said, "Wot you been doin',

Last I saw, that bin was full.

Have you just gone and eaten all

My favourite green slime???

You're just the blubby limit, you

Just do it every time!

Now get up off your bony bum

And do a job for me -

There's a bunch of proper tossers

In a boat right here at sea.

One of them's a feathery git,


He nicked one of me whiskers just

When they was nice and glistening.

You 'aven't heard a word I've said.

Wot did I say? You looser.

You sit there all the time just like

Some vegetable woozer.

Now go and sort that lot, you hear,

And don't come back for tea

Until you've drowned the lot of them,

Or you'll get hell from me.

Poor Glubby ( well his name was all

In bubbles, but that's near )

Reluctantly, it must be said,

Got off his bony rear,

And just for luck the nearest calf

Got clipped around the ear.

"So, where's this boat then, Mlubbles, and

Then what am I to do?"

"I told you, blobhead, drown the lot,

The captain and the crew."

"But what if they've got weapons? They

Just might have a harpoon..."

"O blubby hells, I'll go myself

You sorry old blubboon.

You're so pathetic, aren't you, eh?

Coz all you do is eat.

A wonder you ain't eaten both

The flippers off your feet."

Alright, alright, I'm going now,

Just give a bull a break."

He wobbled slowly westwards with

Her bubbles in his wake.

"Now don't forget, you drown the lot

And.."..."Don't stop off for slimes...

Blah blah, I've heard the silly cow

Say that a thousand times.

Well blubber it, a whisker? Is

She mad or is she mad?

She's lost one blubbing whisker, now

Just what makes that so bad?

Oh blob the boat, I'll catch them up,

And then I'll sort them proper.

So let's just have a little slime,

A blue-green algae plopper.

Allo there, Wublub, you all right?

You coming down for slime?"

"Yeah, Glub, 'ere, 'ow's it goin mate?

So how is things in grime?"

"Oh, can't complain, the cow's insane,

But aren't they all? Wot's new?

She wants me to sort out some scum.

You fancy coming too?"

"Why not? Alright, let's have some slime,

A quick one, then we goes.

'Ere, 'ave you seen that plump new calf

Who's serving down at Blo's?

I fancy givin her a rub,

She needs a proper bull,

Your missus int'rested at all?"

"Naah, sez she's past her pull."

"Well, 'ere we are, allo my blub.

We'll not stay long, OK?"

So by the time they'd finished there.....

Our lads had rowed away.


TT could see how things could be

Aligned to his own ends

For Alidander Frume and he

Had once been quite good friends

But first he must see Bridgéd as

Some things need sorting out

That little indiscretion of his

Down at the Tickled Trout

Bridgéd was not at breakfast

She wasn't in the hall

It seemed that Bridgéd was no longer

Anywhere at all

In fact she's out on Grimley Green

Studying her map

And still a little puzzled by

That Thomas Terry chap

Meanwhile the early riser

Bridget's riding on the Moer

She's been out on her horse (called Sage)

Since shortly after four

She'd hardly slept a wink all night

And stumbled out the door

Just after tripping over herself

Sleeping on the floor

"Ahoy there Bridget!" called a

Lamputloof from in a tree

"What's the craic? Girl watch your back

Beware of Thomas T"

The lamputloof then raised a hoof

And with it scratched his knees

And Bridget heard "fnar fnerd"

She spoke no Lamputeese

Meanwhile on Grimley Green Bridgéd

Has figured out the map

It's just like any normal map but

Normal maps are crap

Compared to this one anyway,

It tells you what you need

Not only that, this magic map

Is easier to read

It says along the bottom that

'This map will show the way

To what it is you're looking for'

What more need any map say?

And in the very centre of the map,

Next to the fold,

A vision of the Dandy and beneath him

Flergal of Gold!


Somewhere in the depths of, well, somewhere, maybe the crypt of St.Appo's Kirk, Grimley Green, Grimley Moer, Grimley under Grime.

The Sage ( who's not a horse ) is

Still determined he will find

The Flergal's gold ( that isn't dung )

He hasn't changed his mind.

He's very highly focussed, and

So very high in fact,

He hasn't noticed Bridged-et's

A quantum double-act.

That shouldn't be a problem as

The physics tells us that

A bi-located particle's

As normal as your hat.

Our tale is philosophical

In many special ways

And gives a clearer picture of

The "real" than most these days -

Not that the real is found "in reel"

Since Newsreels went outdated,

And reel to reel is quite unreal

It is so antiquated.

The science here is cutting-edge,

Be careful of your fingers,

And as we've seen, in Grimley Green

Fate waits for one who lingers.

The science, yes, it's cutting-edge,

We sail the multiverse

Enlacing the Oretickkal

With strings of the perverse.

When space is both your unny-yun

(Albeit, finely sliced )

And it's your sage as well, you know

The stuffing's underpriced.

Throw in some time, and stir it well,

The plot begins to thicken.

(Are you confused? Well, so am I

And I am no stuffed chicken.)

Back to the Sage ( who's not nerb),

The aged Kneezer Prowt )

He's had his tea and almond buns

He knows what he's about.

Once more upon his doughty steed

The Sage ( who's not a norse )

Prepares to venture into space

Time-warping there, off course.

He's learnt his lesson from the Scout

( Of the Recumbent bike )

He's set his mind on charity

Which Scouts will have to like.

A tricky thinker is the Sage,

He thinks he's got it sussed,

Now finally he'll go for gold,

He'll go by gold or bussed.

Once more he throws a wary leg

Across the chrono-bike

And risks his all if he should fall

Into the Stygian dyke.

His mind's still on the Flergal, well

He has to have a point

Where time gives way to space or else

He tumbles out of joint.

But now he settles slowly and

He sets his thoughts to "kind,"

And hopes this time the labyrinth

Will save him from his mind,

But its got to travel with him,

And "it's got to travel blind."

The air within the Kirkly crypt

Ripples and twists and groans,

For time is very hard indeed

On Grimley's ancient bones,v

And many a bone is buried here

Within these ancient stones.

("Get on with it," St.Appo says,

Addressing his prayers in hope,

That somewhere there is somebody

Who hasn't lost his rope.)

The Sage has disappeared again

Within his chronobule,

When suddenly the truth arrives

In shades of deadly cool.

The truth, of course, is that his heart

Is pulsing still with greed,

Forgetting intuition that

We said he ought to heed.

What is this place devoid of grace

Wherein he finds himself?

It is the prison he has made

In lust for Flergal pelf.

But strange to say, he's not alone

There's others of his kind,

For warping out of time and space

Goes on "time out of mind."

A dreadful thirst, by the far the worst

He's known is what first hits him,

And hunger then to the power of ten

Comes in and tightly fits him.

He looks around, a charnel ground

As far as mind can think,

Slaughter, slaughter everywhere,

His eyes too dry to blink.

His head is filled with dreadful groans

Some his, some not his own,

And everywhere his hunger leads

To earth as dry as bone,

And everywhere his thirst impells

To drink a draught of stone.

He looks around, what source of sound

Reveals the noise of pain,

The other hungry ghosts, like him,

Are sucking stones in vain.

With bodies huge as houses and

With necks as fine as thread,

They wish intensely, oh they wish

That they could just be dead.

The only food or drink they find,

The rarest type of toke,

Is when a prayer is said for them

And sent with incense smoke.

The Sage looks down and tries to frown

But finds he is too weak,

He tries to call, his throat's too small

He finds he cannot speak.

And every breath, a firey death,

Scalds as he sucks it in,

He wishes each would be his last,

And fears each must begin.

And though this place seems empty space

It's packed with teeming souls.

Each ghost feels its own craving most

Like blazing icey coals.

They drift within their dismal din

Like deep-sea spider-shoals.

Then in that space a thread of grace

A line of golden light,

Tis holy smoke ( and that's no joke )

So sweet, but yet so bright.

Each hungry ghost now tries to feed

And soothe its ache so tight.

The Sage's eyes, to his surprise

Begin to blink once more,

To his delight the golden light

Seems somehow to restore

His memory, and mind returns

Back to the space-time shore.

The thread is golden as his dream

But now his dream is freed,

The gold he sought is just a thought

Which follows the light-line's lead.

Beneath the realm of Hungry Ghosts

There lies the Toe-nib Layer,

Where nothing is quite as it seems,

Although it seems so fair.

It promises the earth but then

Its deals are less than square,

And here the liars close-packed lie

While Toenibs through them tear.

The Sage held to the golden thread

And now was moving fast,

Relieved to find he wasn't dead

Despite the hells he'd passed.

The chrono-bike was humming too

The crystals brightly glowed,

It felt as though it seemed to know

Its way along this road.

Another sound was heard around

The bike's melodious thrum,

A reedy voice that pierced the void

"Aum Manee Pemmay Hummmmmmmm."

The golden thread was now so wide

It seemed more like a highway

And down its tube the biker flew

( But didn't do it my way!)

"Aum Manee Pemmay Hummm" again

The reedy voice intoned.

You've guessed, it was the Gangly Bard

And he was really stoned.

"You see," he told the Flergal Flea,

"You've got to have compassion,

Like, all these needy wars and greed,

Are really out of fashion."

"Aum Manee Pemmay Hummm," he sang,

"The mantra of Chenrayzee,

You've got to sing it all the time,"

It drives the Flergel crazy,

As does the pall of sweetish smoke

That makes the evening hazey.

"Aum Manee Pemmay Humm," once more

"I'm chanting it for you,

It's sending healing vibes, you know,

They're really good, it's true.

It's sending vibes to every realm

Where beings incarnate,

From gods, who pride, to ghosts who hide

Where angry demons hate."

"Aum Manee Pemmay Humm, go on,

It's good for humans too,

It's good for animals as well

And Flergel Fleas like you."

And suddenly the Gangly Bard

Brings space-time to a point,

And into this uplifting scene

Sage tumbles out of joint.


In Which the Sage has visions of Flergal Gold

If you think Blay was bothered by

The Sage's odd emergence

(From a plume of smoke, by chrono-moke

In temporal regurgence )

Then I must say, you don't know Blay,

Whose brain cells were no vergence.

If something could be smoked or sniffed

Or swallowed, then Blay took it,

And though he's nearly sixty now

He doesn't really look it.

He's very thin, with waxy skin

His hair is long but grey,

A damsel with a dulcimer

Is not our Gangly Blay.

Twas no surprise that fore his eyes

The chrono-bike, plus sage

Had rippled from his megaspliff

Onto his psycho-stage.

In truth he hardle noticed them

Amongst the other visions,

The Mushroom Tea still meant that he

Faced different indecisions.

He sort of knew that chanting through

This time of night was good,

He sort of felt the fire might soon

Be needing some more wood,

He sort of thought the Flergal ought

To not be given food.

So when the Sage appeared to him

He merely wondered how

This vision seemed a bit less

Dream-like, so he warbled, "Wow."

The Sage was made of sterner stuff

And though he was surprised

To find at last he had arrived

He had at least apprised

Himself he was alive, although

He wondered was he cursed,

An eon spent among the ghosts

Before from hell he burst,

But ever since he left their realm

He had a raging thirst.

A pot of tea was simmering

Beside a glowing fire,

What more could any traveller need

Or a thirsty throat require.

He took the cup and filled it up

He drank the warming brew,

And then he poured a couple more

But felt it was too few.

"Aum Manee Pemmay Humm," sang Blay

Still gazing at the Flea.

He hadn't really seen the Sage

Had joined their company.

It takes a while, but soon the smile

That comes with Mushroom Tea

Spread right across the Sage's face -

And then he saw the Flea.

Now Kyuwar Tea is potent stuff

The Sage has drunk a lot,

Three cups full to be quite precise,

He'd drained the entire pot.

He hadn't eaten in an age

At least that's how it feels,

The brew suffused his brain like glue

And round the fire he reels.

You'd think with all the years he'd spent

In matters psycho-mental

That he could cope, not lose his rope

When things went transcendental.

He saw the Flea - by now the tea

Was really taking hold,

He saw the Flea - a mystery -

A vision all in gold.

Around him Flea, the fire, the trees

And Blay were shimmering, bright,

And up his spine, there flowed like wine

A wave of fierce delight.

He wept, he moaned, he sighed, he groaned.

"Aum Manee Pemmay Humm,"

Blay chanted on. The Sage was gone,

Or psychikly, had come.

The scene around him rippled gold

With sparkling brilliant points

Of jewelled light, it filled his sight

And jellified his joints.

He sank in silence to the ground

Lost in a golden world.

Within his mind he now reclined

In bliss serenely furled.

Wave after wave, a happy slave,

He surfed the Ekkstar Sea,

Completely lost, but no storm tossed

His cup of Kyuwar Tea.

Wherever it flowed, the gold still glowed

A heavenly transporter,

His fingers seemed to feel like silk

His body felt like water.

His mind poured out and round about

The forest seemed to sing,

Until no Sage remained on stage

Just bliss in everything,

Each living form was deva-borne

Within a dancing ring.

How long he stayed within this glade

Of heaven, he couldn't tell.

An eyeblink? Ages? Now the Sage is

Noticing a smell.

At first it seems part of his dreams

Of golden paradise,

But then a slightly jarring note,

A noise like buzzing flies.

A hissing voice cuts through his joys

It says, "Come here to meee,"

At last the Sage has reached his goal,

The golden Flergal Flea.

"Come here to meeee," the Flergal Flea

Was running out of breath,

His blood still oozed, but he refused

To go and greet his death.

"Come here to meeee, you see that tree

It's calle a Veedee Yew,

One little leaf brings such relief,

I only need a few."

But to the Sage it takes an age

To summon thought, or move.

As Blay might say, "He's far away

In his celestial groove."

To him the Flea a vision seems,

A swirling golden nest,

Of shining lines, all intertwined,

Perhaps a place to rest,

Whatever, it's connected with

The warmth within his chest.

"Keep well away from him," now Blay's

Voice echoes through his head,

"That Flea's so heavy, into meat,

Go near him, you'll be dead.

A bummer, isn't it? You know,

Like, heavy, man," Blay said.

"I've told him, like, that meat is bad

For health, and karma too.

Ten days brown rice would clear his lice,

It's what he needs to do.

I think he said that broccoli

Was something he could chew."

The Sage just smiles, and miles away

The stars are smiling back,

Within a gleaming silken sky

That glows a golden black.

"He's really spaced," Blay grinned and faced

The ever-dwindling fire.

He watched the Flea, and sung, off-key

"I'm going to take you higher."

So there we have three bodies all

Spread out upon the ground,

The night was deep, and from their sleep

Soon came a snoring sound.

Except for the Flea, whose misery

Was grim beyond belief,

Then a gentle breeze blew from the trees,

A single Yew-tree leaf.


Concerning Blaggerty, the Isles of the Hummock Heeps,
the inhabitants thereof,
the arrival therein of
Dandy, The Antwerp Eagle and the other Survivors of
the Tragick Wreck.

The Norn Narsh live on Blaggerty

And there they harvest blag,

Then mix it up with "Flergal Gold"

And sell it by the bag.

The mix is widely recognised

By gardeners world-wide,

Though really rather Narshty

It is every gardener's pride.

To harvest blag you must be tough,

It's shovelled from the bogs

And dried, when it's not raining,

On huge piles of burning logs.

Now Blaggerty, as islands go

Is very big and green,

But years of burning trees have left

A less than treeful scene.

So Blaggerty deserves its name

"The House of Baldy Head"

Though some dispute this meaning -

It means "Stunted Flower," they said.

The Norn Narsh are invader stock

They came in dragon ships,

And to this day a dragonspeak

Of Blaggish haunts their lips.

They celebrate their conquest with

Strange rituals and songs -

They march with their umbrellas

As they wear their thimble thongs,

And blow their mighty Meerwolf horns

While beating monstrous gongs.

The Norn Narsh skin is yellowish,

And blister-pink their eyes,

Adapted to survive beneath

The leaden Blaggert skies.

To say it rains a lot around

The Isles of Hummock Heep

Is just to state the obvious,

The Blaggert rain's a .

It sweeps in like black curtains

From the ocean further west,

And when it pours the deluge dumps

For days without a rest.

So Blaggerty's not visited

By many touring folk -

"A holiday on Blaggerty"'s

An Oksi Morun joke.

Except of course for those, like Joice

Who come to get "the cure,"

Or else like Captain Groody they

Do trade in Blag manure.

But every now and then the clouds

Themselves must feel the strain,

They take a brief vacation

Where they're not required to rain,

And being clouds, they tan their backs

While basking o'er the main,

And all the water that they dumped

Goes gurgling down the drain.

[You may have noticed, in our tale,

The Weather's part is small,

But Weather told the Union Gods,

And we have heard their call.

Of course the dreaded Waterspout

Was central as you like,

But Weather has served notice that

It's ten percent, or strike.

We've spent a lot of time , it's true

On weather, but you see,

That's just because the Weather spends

So much time on Blaggerty.]

The Norn Narsh came to Blaggerty

So very long ago,

They feel that they belong there,

Others say it is not so!

The one's who mostly say it say

That they had got there first,

And the Norn Narsh are a burden

By which they feel accursed.

The earlier arrivals ( known

As Noshner Liss, by Narsh )

Are usually referred to as

"Those blaggy Neetif Arsh."

The Arsh themselves feel bitter

As they live among the trees

Which Narsh cut down for burning but

Which Arsh use gainst disease.

Both Narsh and Arsh-folk worship all

The fickle gods of Weather,

But Arsh wear thongs of woven wool,

The Narsh wear thongs of leather.

The Narsh say gods like Sacrifice

And Unremitting Toil -

The Arsh say gods like Bliski mixed

With pure Trembling Tree-oil.

The Narsh say gods meant men to work

And sweat away their sin,

The Arsh say gods forgive you when

Your drunk on Bliski-Jin.

The Narsh say working cleans the soul

Like water boiled in kettles,

The Arsh say suffering does the same

And roll around in nettles.

So the Narsh live in the Blagbogs

And the Arsh live in the trees,

Yet Arsh-Narsh loathe the Weather which

They worship on their knees.

But one thing they're agreed on, and

For this they'll join and fight

If there's one thing that they really hate

It's inlanders from Blyte.

But long before the Narsh and Arsh

Arrived on Blaggerty,

The Slimmereels had learnt to live

Half out, half in the sea.

Invisible at night-time, not

Much easier seen by day,

The Slimmereels ate everything

That didn't run away.

They slithered through the boglands and

They slimmed along the shore,

They tried to slide up in the trees

But found it just too sore.

Some say in times of yorest yore

The Slimmereels could fly

And took peculiar pleasure slimming

All around the sky.

Whatever, they had come to earth,

But being very small,

Although they slide around so fast,

They're not so fierce at all.

But catching them's a science, so

Precise, it is an art,

And Slimmertea's world famous

As a tonic for the heart.

A few miles eastwards, out to sea

Our heroes still are rowing,

Though Joice is resting for a bit

She's watching where they're going.

"One comes here every year, you know,

One's done so since a child.

One wishes it would not rain so

But then, it's awfully mild.

One comes to see the Trembling Trees

In bloom, and drink infusions.

The bark heals blood and roomerticks

And piles, cuts and contusions.

We don't believe in Slimmereels,

That's all a quackster's yarny,

One's never seen a Slimmereel,

We don't believe there arny.

Well, Sli Ma Ree's a place, you see,

The "Mountain of the King,"

Though some say it's "The Way of Dance,"

In songs the Norn Narsh sing.

Depends whom one believes, of course

Traditions always vary.

One scholar chap we know maintains

It means "The Way of Hairy."

But hairy what, he didn't say,

Perhaps an airy-fairy."

The Captain and the Purser groaned

While each heaved on an oar,

They knew the Joices of the world

They' d heard it all before,

They knew their Meerbulls too, and thought

"One better get to shore."

Now Dandy was still rowing, and

The Eagle would have too,

But wings are not designed for that,

And so he mainly flew,

Of course the sprain made him refrain

From lifting - as one knew.

"We're almost there chaps, steady now,"

The voice cuts like a knife,

But still the Captain, wistfully

Thinks, "She'd be a good sea-wife."

The Purser thought, "I wonder if

There's Blaggerty night-life?"

The Meercow whisker now resides

In Dandy's shoulder bag,

But Joice's views on Slimmereels

Have made his shoulders sag.

While rowing he's had time to think

About his long-term goal,

And Antwerp Eagle's news of Bridget's

Fired him like a coal.

He must complete this venture

And return to find the Flea,

Then he rowed no more, they hit the shore,

They'd just run out of sea.


Many days further East, as the ship sails,
and the Eagle flies.

The Yew-tree leaf was tired and old,

That is in tree-leaf terms.

Indifferent to Fleas and gold

But compost to the worms,

Indifferent to all belief

Its apathy affirms.

Retirement from the tree was brief

It knew, but then, so what.

It merely sought from light relief

And a final resting spot.

Could it have known its starring role

Within this epic lay,

Would it have clung on to its branch

Or rushed into the fray?

Whatever, things would shortly change,

Twill die another day.


That Patrix Spants had floundered

Deserves another mention

Even if a knowing nod

At Wallah's the intention

But in The Grimley Chronicle,

Respected through the ages

For the speed of the reports with which

It fills the shipping pages

The headline 'Patrix Spants Down'

Beneath it 'All Hands Lost'

Caused little consternation

Despite the lives it cost

They'd toyed with 'Patrix Pants Down

While Full of Pigeon **it'

Whilst betting all their wages that

They wouldn't run with it

But no one knew our heroes were

Aboard the stricken boat

So turned the page and read that

'Lamputloofs Claim Right to Vote'

From Grimley Moer, the low refrain

of Lamput Suffrage sounded

and all that bore fair witness to it

were sore amazed - dumbfounded.

The low pitched squeals, the orange groans

the marmite flavoured whining

a plethora of flavoured sounds

upon which all were dining.

Four fair Froots were footling

Far from Finstrels flange

Forming futile finestrals

from feebrile Frickish Fronds

What ho, what ho, the Froots did sing

What ho, what ho once more

We are the Froots that clean the boots

of those that cross the Moer.

"Oh Froots of Loomb" for twas their name

"Thy footwear cleaning service

while stout and sure and mighty fine

I don't think we deserve it"

To spurn a Froot is not a thing

the wise would e'er consider

as lesser men have oft gone home

with Lilac coloured liver.

And hence the reason Lamputloof and Froot

do live together

The Lamputloof is nigh immune

from Frootkinds shortened tether.


In which Bridget must face up to herself.

Bridget in another life

Would have been an inventor

Thought Mr Trev Verbayliss

After all the tools he'd lent her

Grubic snips and Fnooby grips

A hacksaw and a blade

Ammers, spanners, flimmer-flammers

Pencils and a spade

All the while he'd no idea

Just what the girl had made

And just as well for if he had

He'd rightly be afraid

Through many nights in Grimley when

She ought to be in bed

She'd been on the allotment and

She'd built a flying shed

Although at first a flying shed

Might seem a bit of fun

Bridget herself was unaware

Of quite what she had done

For though in part this shed was made

From driftwood and the like

The power was supplied by a

Discarded chrono-bike

Now Bridget knows in Grimley there

Is something going on

And not the game of cricket either,

Something twice as wrong

She first became aware of it

On Tuesday late at night

The night she took the flying shed

Out for its' maiden flight

It seemed to work as well as any

Flying shed should do

It flimmered and it flammeréd

Just as she'd meant it to

She'd flown it up to Grimley Peak

And twice around the green

Then back to the allotments

And nobody had seen

That was the night she'd had the dream

Of going to Culloden

She often had peculiar dreams

But that one was an odd'n

But not as odd as this night as

She went back to her shed

She thought she'd find it empty but

She found herself instead

Now theories abound about

Such bi-located particles

And Bridget would have panicked

Had she ever read the articles

She might have panicked anyway

Had she been able to

But both her and herself just stood

Not knowing what to do

Contrary to the current thought

On matters such as these

She didn't turn into a plate

Of macaroni cheese

Nor fall into a never ending

Cycle of despair

The first thing that she said was "What

Have I done with my hair?"

Now unbeknownst to either of her

Neither were alone

For Thomas T. had followed when

Bridgéd had left her home

That something odd was going on

He didn't have a doubt

And watched her from the very tree

From which he now fell out

What he saw before him now

Was frightening him rigid

He stuttered B...B...B...Bridget

And she answered, "No it's Bridgéd!"

Confusion levels high already

Then went through the roof

When Aunt Wurpeegle came along

And brought a Lamputloof

Bridget panicked first, and she

Dived into the shed

And Bridgéd being Bridget had

The same thought in her head

Quick as lightning Thomas T

Was in there with the pair

And seconds later Bridgets shed

Was hurtling through the air

But not before Wurpeegle and

The Lamputloof were in

The Lamputloof was chanting

And Wurpeegle swigging gin

The first thought either Bridget had

Was anywhere but here

And chrono-bike technology

Took them to the pier

While simultaneously landing

On the lawn and roof

Of Aunt Wurpeegles house amongst

The flock of Lamputloof

And all the while still hurtling

Round the lighthouse and the church

From side to side of Grimley Green

The chrono-shed did lurch

Well by the time Bridget (as driver)

Gathered up her thoughts

They'd been to seven cities

Forty towns and several ports

Twas then she made the big mistake

And wished she'd stayed in bed

And was, with Aunt Wurpeegle

All the others, and the shed


The last we heard, the Yew-tree leaf

Would "die another day,"

It's time has come ( now pricks my thumb )

Its crucial part to play.....

The Yew-tree underneath whose boughs

The Flergal Flea now lies

Is not your normal Yew-tree,

But a Veedee Yew, whose eyes

Were firmly focussed on the Flea,

And also on the leaf

The Flea now hoped to eat, to heal.

Well, that was its belief.

The other Yew-tree, not the one

Where Blay and Sage now sleep,

Is the mighty Flergal Ewe-tree

On which grow the Flergal Sheep.

The Veedee Yew's not furry, it's

Not very nice at all.

Its leaves are deadly poison, just

A nibble, humans fall,

They writhe and thrash and froth a lot

Before their final call.

( The Flea for certain knows about

The Veedee Yew's effects,

His motives when he asks for leaves

Are evil, one suspects.

He knew the Veedee Yew would stun,

To say the very least,

The one who gazed upon its face.

Was that his chance to feast? )

But Flergal Flea's aren't human

And to them the leaf's a balm,

It heals them if they're wounded and

It soothes them, makes them calm.

Of course the Flea's a carnivore

But some veg does no harm.

The Yew-tree leaf that drifted down

Was almost out of reach,

But with a final effort, Flea

Thought, if he pushed with each

Of his undamaged legs, he'd get

It, then, he thought, he'd teach

These human louts a lesson - he

Would drain them like a leech.

A mighty heave, he groaned aloud,

Blay meanwhile softly snored,

Flea reached the leaf, and sucked it up

And felt a bit restored.

The leaf was rather brown and dry,

As leaves age, it was old,

But just enough, the Flea was tough -

Now, who wants at his gold?

But still, his hips were damaged, what

He needed was a meal,

His suckers itched, his feelers twitched

"And hungry's what I feel...

But maybe first I just should have

Another Yew-tree leaf.

Yes, one or two, perhaps a few,

Or four, or more, a sheaf?"

Yes, Veedee Yew addiction is

A problem for the Flea,

It's something that the suckers

Feel they have to have for tea.

Between the Flea and his Yew-tree

The chrono-bike still lay,

He didn't understand it, but

That it was in his way.

He still was barely mobile, but

If he could somehow stand

With the chrono-bike to lean on

The leaves would be to hand.

This plan proceeded painfully,

Until he hit a hitch,

Or, more precisely, on the bike

He hit the Retro-Switch.

The bike hummed into action, and

Time rippled deeply green,

The space-warp opened eagerly

Into this sylvan scene.

In other words, the forest was

Ripped open like a packet

Of Granny Grimley's Grunkle Crisps -

You should have heard the racket.

Old Kneezer did, it woke him up

From dreams of golden bliss

In time to see the parting Flea

Blow him a parting kiss.

Well actually, that's not quite true,

The Flea was most annoyed,

This instant chrono-travel was

Not something he enjoyed,

And he still felt fiercely hungry as

He vanished through the void.

The Sage, that's poor old Kneezer Prowt,

Looked on with mouth agape

As the forest quickly stitched the rent

That let the Flea escape.

Escape is maybe not the word.

Whatever, Flea had left:

The forest, Blay, the Grimley Sage

Of chrono-bike bereft.

The Flea was gripped by hunger and

His hunger drove the bike

Through unimaginable scenes

The kind that Fleas dislike.

Do Fleas discern eternities?

How does Flea space-time flow?

The Flea's temporal vision is

A thing we'll never know.

Suffice to say, no matter what

Flea felt when chrono-flipped,

In real time he's hardly left -

Then lands in Grimley Crypt.

"You've changed," St.Appo's ghost remarked,

He thought the Sage returned

From yet another fruitless trip

With nothing gained or learned.

The Flea, fresh out of chrono-hell

With vicious hunger burned,

And honestly, he felt a meal

The very least he'd earned.

"You've really changed a lot, you know,

But did you find the gold?"

The mention of the word, and Flea

Was raging uncontrolled.

The Flergal Flea is very cross

Though hopping mad he's not,

He's hungry but his hip won't hop

Where it was archi-shot.

And there he lies, his monstrous size

Within the crypt near fills it,

He waits for any living thing

To come - he hopes he kills it.

The aged Sage is stranded

Very very far away

De-fused, confused, but still amused

By Kyuwar tea, and Blay.


Not far from Grimley Kirk there lived

Down Gurgalumfers Lane

Mister Arri Dootherby

And his dear wifely Jane.

Arri was the verger and

The gardener for the Kirk,

Though very old and fond of drink

Devoted to the work.

Each day he poddled up the lane

And tottered through the Close

Though less because of frailty

Than swigs of "Gribblers Rose"

(So called because its awesome strength

Was equalled by its "nose.")

He whistled warblingly but well

Despite his lack of teeth,

And talked to any listening plant

Or recent graveside wreath.

From house to Kirk was not so far

Two hundred yards or so,

But each day Jane said, "Wrap up well,

Coz you just never know..."

On this occasion she was right

Perhaps more than she felt,

The cards the gods threw Arri were

The strangest he'd been dealt.

The morning was quite chilly as

He shuffled up the lane

He drank some extra wrapping

As he had a cold again.

He wasn't feeling strong or he'd

Have gone by Tickled Trout.

He might nip down at lunchtime

When he'd turned the hassocks out.

He wobbled through the graveyard,

Said hello to passing grave

And wondered where he'd start today,

The transept or the nave.

But first he had to get his broom

And dusters from the crypt,

So down the steps he stumbled and

The key in 't lock he slipped.

Apart from Kneezer, Arri was

Alone in Grimley Green

In that he heard St.Appo, whom

He hadn't often seen.

He turns the key, and lifts the latch

And pushes wide the door,

Gropes for the switch, turns on the lights

And gasps at what he saw ---

The ghastly Flea, all vastly gold

Full length upon the floor.

The Flergal Flea was dazzled by

The sudden burst of light,

But brunch and tea had come for free -

He lunged with all his might,

Though rather thin, this humanoid

Would slake his thirst just right.

The Flea was slightly handicapped

By crippled rear-end hips,

Or else poor Arri'd been impaled

And sucked through Flergal lips.

The Flea however, only thought

About his burning need

For blood at any cost, and so

Forgot the chrono-steed.

The temporal anomaly

Was still between his legs,

And, yes, he hit the Retro-switch -

Again - that fried his eggs.

While Arri gazed in wonderment

The golden sight upon,

A ripple in the warp of time

And blup! The Flea was gone.

"I'm gettin far too old for this,

Or else that Gribblers Rose

Is gettin stronger nowadays,

That must be it, I spose."

He shook his head and with his sleeve

He wiped his dribbly nose.

Few people at the Tickled Trout

Believed what Arri said -

Talking to St.Appo's ghost,

His flowers, and the dead!

So when he said he'd seen a Flea

Of blazing golden red

That filled the crypt, they simply laughed

"He's rat-arsed, off his head."

Now at the self same moment with

The bed, the shed and all

Bridgéd just back from Loughborough

Was standing in the hall

And Thomas T arrived and knocked

Upon Wurpeegles door

So briefly there were two of everyone

And Bridget, four

A Bridget and a Bridgéd is

Enough for any shed

And one Wurpeegle swigging gin's

Too much I would have said

So tis with some relief we see

The shed away once more

Upon its random travels out

And over Grimley Moer

Leaving one of several Bridget's

Lying in her bed

Puzzled by the sudden disappearance

Of her shed

Whilst in the shed itself Bridgéd

Has now assumed control

And takes her place up front

Behind the chrono-shed console

She finds the steering easy

It goes just where you wish

She swoops down on the High Street

With a flourish and a swish

A young lad selling papers on

The corner of the street, is

Astounded by the flying shed

Which knocks him off his feet

Then at a window on the side

The face of Thomas T

Who buys a Grimley Chronicle

And gives him 50p

Then once again the flying shed

Is off into the air

And at the helm the keen-eyed, green-skinned

Girls with lilac hair

Amidst all this confusion

Misadventure and mishap

Bridgéd has just remembered that

She has a magic map

Remembering the words of someone

Back in verses old

The Flergal Flea is where to be

When seeking Flergal Gold

She wonders how hard can it be

To get to in a shed

And wonders if she should have made

A flying bed instead

Well peering at the map she finds

The flea is in the middle

And there is where the shed now lands

Within a chrono-riddle

She stepped outside the shed to see

Not more than six feet distant

A flea upon a chrono-bike

Which vanished in an instant

Spontaneous non-absence of the

Shed has woken Blay

Who simply mutters, "shed?"

For want of something else to say

Spontaneous non-presence of the

Flea has left a gap

Within the possibilities

Of Bridgéd's magic map

And still none of those in it know

The truth about the shed

They think it merely flies in lines

From A to B or Z

So progress could be random

Or even non-existent

Especially when existence

Is, these days, so inconsistent


The meeting of the owner with

The editor in chief

Of Grimley Chronicle had fallen

Quiet with disbelief

From every part of Grimley the

Reports were coming in

Of flying garden buildings

With peculiar people in

'Aliens in flying shed

Absconded with my hat'

And 'Flying sheds have wrecked my life'

And many more like that

But simply 'Flying Shed's the line

With which they chose to lead

And that's what Thomas Terry sees

When he sits down to read

"How many of these did you build?"

He asked Bridgéd and Bridget

"You realise it's made the news

How long d'you say you've flown it?"

Bridgéd said "just the one" as Bridget said

"About a week"

Then, "Do they have a picture?"

And then, "Can I take a peek?"

The paper told the tale of how

They'd terrorised the town

And many other places too

For many miles around

"It's flown by seven headed beasts

Who peer out from the shed"

So Mrs Wrimpley-Gussett, 82,

Of Grimley said

And just a day or two before

They came and took a cat

From off the mantelpiece of Mr

Lardybobbins' flat

At this point Aunt Wurpeegle pops

Around the door to see

Can anyone supply her with

A lovely cup of tea?

She's met with raucous laughter

Both from Blay and then the Sage

Who offer her some Kyuwar Tea

To drink, despite her age

A lamputloof, Wurpeegle, Thomas T

And Bridget doubled

Along with Blay the Gangly Bard

And Sage who's looking troubled

All gather in the shed for tea

And pass around the pot

And very soon between them they

Have drunk (and smoked) the lot


Not far from all this broo-har-har

- four inches, barely more

A strawberry flavoured yoghurt

sent him spinning to the floor.

Alas alack, a rip has torn

into times fabric fair

and a line of two from Benny Hill

have since got stuck in there.

Ernie and his milk cart fast

Trigger was his horse

and two tonne ted from teddington

his enemy of course.

Quite what they're doing in this thread

is open to debate

but more additions to the pot

will the reader make irate.

"Get thee hence behind me Ern,

and you can bog off too

Ernies from a different rhyme

same thing goes for you."

Two Tonne Ted, just stamped his feet

and slowly turned his back

and drew his coat around himself -

a dirty flashers mac.

Ernie slinked off to the sides

and joined the swelling throng

"Why are we waiting" belted out

- the standard school boy song.

"Alright alright," the authors cried

"we've drifted from the plot.

Not that you've complained til now

you bl**dy fickle lot"

And so we're back to where we were,

that little interlude,

was brought to you by "Snarglebark"

discerning nonsense food.


The lamputloof was first to fall

They're sensitive you see

Especially to things like

Best Bobhope and Kyuwar tea

Wurpeegle wasn't far behind

(She'd been on gin all day)

Which left a pair of Bridgets, Thomas T,

The Sage and Blay

Now while they're high on Kyuwar tea

They have a bonding session

A giggling fit or two and then

A quick game of 'Confession'

Thomas T confessed he knew

Dandy in days of old

And that he came along to get

His hands on Flergal gold

Bridgéd began to tell the group

A secret from her past

But Bridget wouldn't let her

And so the turn was passed

To Sage who told them stories of

His travels far and wide

"And just to make it interesting

We'll have a shilling on the side"

While Bridgéd is enthralled by all the

Wacky Sagely tales

The other Bridget giggles

As she paints her fingernails

Wurpeegle and the lamputloof

Are in a crumpled heap

Beneath the control console of the shed

Fast asleep

Now lamputloofs don't dream at all

As very well you know

And not without good reason

As what happens next may show

Wurpeegle on the other hand

Is in another world

Where cups of tea can set you free

And she is just a girl

Old ladies dreaming of the past

You'd think could do no harm

But this ones in a chrono-shed

Next to the switch marked 'ARM'

She sleepily turns over muttering

"ahhmm-nahhmm-nahhmm"and "psssshhhhh"

And no one even notices

The shed give out a 'Whoosh'

And no one even notices

They're in Grimley once more

And no one even notices

It's sixteen sixty-four

And no one even notices

The pretty Grimley view

Until the window smashes as

A cricket ball flies through

Thomas T falls to his feet

While shouting out "Great Scot!"

Just as a voice outside the shed

Was shouting out "Great Shot!"

The vicar's running over shouting

"Watch out for my tree

I say, you there, do please beware

Don't harm my Reeren tree!

I planted it a year ago it's

Doing rather well

Where did this beastly shed come from?

And what's that funny smell?"

And all the while Wurpeegle

On the floor, she slept right through

A smile upon her ancient face

Who knows what she's up to?

Well I for one suspect we'll know

Before so very long

But first let's see them realise

How badly things are wrong

They step out of the shed to find

Although it's Grimley Green

It's not a Grimley Green that either

Bridget's ever seen

Wurpeegles house, The Tickled Trout

And even Grimley Steeple

Are there alright but so are all

These unfamiliar people

And over there's, the umpires chair

And there's the village hall

But see, the vicars Reeren Tree

Is very, very small

And everywhere looks clean as though

It's had a coat of paint

"It's Grimley Green alright" says she

"But my Grimley it aint!"

On aunt Wurpeegles doorstep stands

A woman with a pan

She hits it with a spoon and shouts

"Come get it while you can!"

From round behind them comes the sound

Of two small children running

They turn around and there they see

There's two small children coming

"Last one there's a frimbly frump"

Says one girl to the other

And in the shed, Wurpeegle stirs

And says "I'm coming mother!"

Then suddenly it's evening and

They're in the Tickled Trout

The beers so cheap it's doubtful that

We'll ever get them out

A bloke called Ben is telling tales

About the Beabie Sea

And though the pub's the pub

It's somehow not as it should be

Then through the door a woman comes,

The woman with the pan

Except this time she has no spoon

She hits it with a man

Behind her are two little girls

The ones they saw before

Now Aunt Wurpeegle's whimpering,

Still sleeping on the floor

"D'you notice something really strange?"

Bridget said to Bridgéd

"We've gone from green to Tickled Trout

And never left the shed"

And sure enough the shed was right

Behind them as they stood

The most bizarre contraption made of

Chrono-bike and wood

And how they got it in the pub

The landlord wants to know

But before they cannot answer him

It's time for them to go

The pub dissolves into a garden

Luscious pink and green

And all agree they never saw

A more beautiful scene

And still the shed is with them

Aunt Wurpeegle on the floor

And Bridget wants to leave,

She doesn't like this any more

She wanders round the garden,

Still followed by the shed

And then she's in her bedroom which

Someone has painted red

A shout comes from outside the room

"Wurpeegle!" someone roars

"Get down here at once young lady

Come and do your chores!"

A whimper from the shed turns out

To be Wurpeegle waking

As white as white, she's had a fright

Wurpeegle's clearly shaking

If anyone was half equipped

To figure this mess out

Old Kneezer was the geezer

It was Prout without a doubt

His chrono-trips would be the stuff

Of legendary tale

If anyone would listen after

So much Grimley Ale

He'd thought about it early on

But simply couldn't see

That any of them understood


It would explain so many things

Though how, he couldn't see

One thing of which he's certain is

That Bridget holds the key

The shed's another part of it

He recognised the ripples

That time manipulation always

Causes in the nipples

And though it seems a random way

To take a chrono-hike

It isn't any worse than his

Non-present chrono-bike

* * *

Wurpeegle's feeling flustered

And scared out of her wits

Not that there was far to go

She readily admits

"There"s something not quite right"

She says, "The house looks somehow wrong"

Bridgets agreed that they had felt

The same thing all along

"And who" she asked her aunty

"Was the woman with the pan?"

Wurpeegle, turning paler said

"That's what they called your gran,

But she's been dead a hundred years

Perhaps it's even more

I must've told you all about

Your grandma's pan before

She'd whack it with a wooden spoon

To call us in for tea

And if we weren't in quick enough

She'd whack your ma and me"

Well now it was both Bridgets' turn

To turn a shade more light

Which being green already

Didn't show as much at night

The girls they'd seen on Grimley Green

Out playing with each other,

One had been Wurpeegle so

The other was their mother!

* * *

The Sage was telling Thomas T

The trouble with time travel

"Too much alliteration and

Your superstrings unravel

But if you take a blender

Then throw in a ball of string

That's what's happening to time

Each time we use that thing"

"Thing, you say?" (This came from Blay,

TT just shook his head)

"The thing I mean is this machine,

This potty potting shed!"

Whilst Potting Sheds with avine wants

concerns me not one wit

I'm well aware of all the tools

now homeless for a bit.

The Strathing Blades, the Lam-ching Cleats

The Frankel Sheeting Chad

Just sit there, neath the blazing sun

going slightly mad.

Their leader, a broken watering can

stood high upon a plinth

speaking in his usual style:

flattened vowels and limp.

"We weally should be tweated

wif a modicum of 'spect

be oiled when we're uséd

and weplacéd wen we're wecked

"Abuse of garden implements

weally is a sin

I'd wather spend my dyin days

wustin' in a bin"

"When our accomodation

is so transmogrified

as to leave us in the open

and to through the ether ride

"Ones got to ask the question,

better now, right at the start

does it really have our welfare

pole position in its heart"

"It can't just up and leave us

at that moistened bints behest

it leaves us feeling lonely,

undernourished and depressed"

"We'll raise ourselves an army

hell we've got the fire power

we'll take that b*tch to pieces

in just short of an hour"

And so the tool rebellion

gathered strength and raised a troop

of fighting garden toolage

in a fearsome warrior group

They Marched on high, they marched on low

they who witnessed turnéd pale

and were swallowed by an empty shoe

having tampered with the scale.

And so this little episode

trundles to a close

rotting in a nonsense pit

wedged up the Dandy's nose.

"We used to hide from mother in the

Shed out in the garden"

The Sage and Thomas both looked up

And said "I beg your pardon"

"They'd not invented sheds back then

There must be some mistake,

And after all the woman is

As nutty as a cake

Wurpeegles having none of it

"We hid in here I swear!"

She opens up a cupboard

And finds herself in there

"I told you so, I told you so!"

She shouts out in elation

She's obviously unaware

Of any implication

While all the others stare in shocked

amazement at each other

She opens up another door

And out pops Bridget's mother

The Sage now understands (in part)

Why things aren't what they seem

But doesn't know they got there via

Aunt Wurpeegles dream

So now we have two Bridgets

And her Aunt both old and young,

And mother, eight who has a daughter

Not quite twenty-one"

"Excuse me" spluttered Bridgets

"But we're younger than we seem

The last time either counted

We were only seventeen!"

As time was warped and twisted

and confusion reigned supreme

- like the waking look of someone

who has had a crazy dream -

the assembled banks of readers

open eyed did start to scream.

"There's nonsense, and their nonsense

but this tale it makes no sense

must you keep erring from the path

where is our recompense

"we've stuck with you through thick and thin

we twisted when you twisted

are any of the things we've seen

going to be vis'ted?

"The Ventral Snaiths they rocked up once

The Dandy's done a runner

from where we stand this nonsense

has got up and done a runner."

"Calm down, calm down, there's more to come

the rhyme has barely started.

Call this lot the "Background chat"

This train has not departed.

"You mean to say" came the refrain

"You've spent the last x leds

luring us here to the start

from the comfort of our beds"

"It's not all bad, it cannot be

as dire as how you state it

once the flow of sh*te does start

it's real hard to abate.

"One the bit, between your teeth is held

and nonsense flowing

it's best to just go shut your eyes

keep nonsense verse a-blowing

We don't have the foggiest

where this tale is going."

"To think it started out so well

with legions all subscribing

now we're three addicted sorts

who can't think of retiring"

The Ventral Snaiths are like Ringwraiths

Except they're mostly belly

They fix you with a piercing stare

That turns your knees to jelly

If one of them should chance to come

And visit your wee cottage

Don't think you'll get away with some

Small talk and mess of potage

For Ventral Snaiths have appetitites

That hanker after blood

And when they fix you with their eyes

They fix your hash for good

A sound unclear assails an ear

That's Alidander Frume's

"Beware the Ventral Snaiths, my dear"

The voice of Berril booms

"For Ventral Snaiths have appetites

On human flesh they're hooked

And once they get you in their sights

You'll know your goose is cooked"

Disgusting are their appetites

They seldom chew, just swallow

And now it seems they've taken bites

Out of our dear Chaiwallah smiley -

And where is Snockerty? we ask

His friddle he's not plying

And Ekki steps not to the task

Where are they lowsome lying?

The plot unravels as we sit

Awaiting new material

We cannot keep our grip on it --

Help! This is getting serial!

It may all seem confusing

But there's still a common thread

That ties together most of those

Who lurk within the shed

With Alidander Frume and

The eagle, brave and bold

Despite so much distraction

They're all seeking Florgal Gold

Except for Aunt Wurpeegle who,

Both young and old alike,

Would not know Florgal gold from a

Recumbent chrono-bike

And also Bridget's mother who

At only eight years old

Would rather have a bag of sweets

Than some old insects gold

So, two are young and two are ancient,

Others in between

But what's the great significance

Of the number seventeen

Apart from being almost nearly

Not quite twenty-one

Or thereabouts I'd have to say

There's virtually none

But in a long forgotten verse

Somewhere within this song

I do recall on Grimley Green

A game was going on

Thomas T had disappeared

While running for a catch

And after but the briefest search

They'd got on with the match

He'd met a girl in Grimley at

The Tea and Turnip dance

She offered him her turnip,

He offered her romance

The turnips and the dancing

Had driven them half wild

She gave him her fruit salad

And he gave her a child

Nine months later on her father

Loaded up his gun

And Thomas Terry soon found out

Just how fast he could run

The point you see, is this, I thought

Perhaps you all should know

This happened here in Grimley

Roughly seventeen years ago

Or maybe in the future

They're easily confused

Especially when your time can be

So easily re-used

So here we have two maidens

Who both are seventeen

Their mother who is eight years old

And similarly green

They never knew their father

Their mother doesn't yet

At least that's what they think,

My god how twisted can this get?

I think you know what's coming

Concerning Bridgets father

His name is Thomas Terry

Or T.T. if you'd rather


The Sage and Blay and Thomas T

Take turns to guard the door

While once again Wurpeegle goes

To sleep upon the floor

This time she dreams about the place

They went the other day

Where they had met the Sage and drank

That funny tea from Blay

And sure enough the shed returns them

To the very spot

Where Sage and Blay sit by the fire

While passing round the pot

The Sage is by the window

It's his turn to stand guard

He sees himself outside the shed

With Blay, the Gangly Bard

He sees his bike go missing

Ridden by the Florgal Flea

He sees the shed arrive and sees

Them all drink Kyuwar Tea

He now begins to formulate

His new theory of time

It's not a linear thing you see

It moves in lines that rhyme

And if the lines should double back

And cross themselves somewhere

It isn't necessarily

A dangerous affair

Though mightily confusing it can

Be from time to time

(Excuse the pun), it can be done

So long as things still rhyme


Meanwhile, far to the West, on the eastern seaboard of Blaggerty.

The shortboat scrunched upon the sand

With just a gentle hiss,

How rarely does a voyage end

In seas as calm as this?

Our heroes gaze around a cove

Of picture postcard hue,

The sea is golden blonde on blonde

The sand is dylan blue.

"You see, my dears," says Joicelyne,

"This really is too charming.

There's nowhere quite like Blaggerty."

Her joy is near alarming,

Well if her voice cut flesh as well

Her charm might be disarming.

As Dandy shipped his oar and looked

At his bleeding blistered hand,

Buggirduck scrambled from the boat -

He shat upon the sand,

And Antwerp Eagle gazed upon

This strangely forrin land.

The rolling hills were deeply green

For rain and lack of trees,

The turquoise beach was backed with stones

Polished by golden seas.

Some scruffy long-haired red-faced sheep

Stood round on spindly legs,

Marauding magpies clattered by

To feast on scavenged eggs.

Some distance off a donkly brays -

A shattering raucous roar

Halfway between an unoiled wheel

And an ancient creaky door.

Black spots of scrawny cattle watch

The breezes slowly pass,

While chewing blandly on the cuds

That soon will bless the grass.

And here and there are cottages,

Some painted blue, some white

While gorse, cowslips and buttercups

Give bursts of golden light.

Some distance down the along the shore

A wizened figure sleeps,

He rests from forking seaweed

Into vast and smelly heaps.

A horse is tethered near the man

Beside a battered cart,

It nibbles at the seaweed, lifts

Its tail in foetid fart.

"It's wonderful here, don't you think?"

Joice strides along the strand,

"Helloo, wake up, you silly man,

We need a helping hand."

Yes, Buggirduck, who's keen to help

And takes his mistress' tip,

Sets to and gives the aged sleeper

Just an ankle nip.

The ancient weeder slowly stirs,

Yawns, staggers to his feet.

Then scratching, "High bite yay?" he says,

An accent far from sweet.

At once without a pause for breath

Joice brings him up to speed,

"But horse and cart for transport now

Are what we chiefly need."

The weeder's in no hurry and

He's got his load to do

His sleep has been disturbed by Joice,

His mood is souring too.

Suggesting they might like to pay

He says, "Tayen quod," to Joice

Who thinks it quite outrageous

Though they really have no choice.

She turns on Captain Groody who

Is wilting from her voice.

Now Joice is not the kind of gel

Who likes to have to wait,

She hates to make appointments, then

Find someone makes her late.

That sort of thing is guaranteed

To make her, well, irate,

And even, possibly, to get

Her in a frightful state.

"Oh Buggirduck, don't eat that stuff,

You are a filthy beast."

What with the storm and sinking ship

Her Eeeteeyay's increased,

She thought she'd be in Blagerty

A week ago, at least.

"This ghastly little man wants ten

Quid just to hire his horse!

It can't be far, say half an ar,

We'll go to Hoan of course."

Our heroes all are hungry, tired

And cross and rather wet,

And, Joice apart, think horse and cart

The best deal that they'll get.

The weeder's paid, the course is laid

And soon they are in Hoan,

And drinking thick black foamy pints

Of Snoggerday's home-grown.

The story of their meeting with

The dreaded waterspout,

The shipwreck and the meercow soon

Is spread the town about.

Old Snoggerday himself drops in

To join them at their meal

And having heard the details says

The quest is quite unreal.

"Thurs Flargal goold uv monny kanes,

Ond mowest of thammuz crop,

Thurs eel and Noshner bodder

On thurs other kanes uv slop.

Utz meenly odvertaizen mon

Who coll thungs "Flargul Goold,"

But Flargal Flay crop uz the baist,

Ur soo Ay hov ben toold.

Cullarct anuf gooarno ond

Thayen faind yersailves a bayer,

On thayen ye'll bay som rayel goold

On thayen ye'll geld yer spayer."

"Now I suppose you're going to try

And tell me Slimmereels,

Are something we might try to catch

By torchlight in the fields?"

Joice has her views, she won't refuse

The things she enjoys as "Arsh,"

But her beliefs have limits, go beyond,

Her judgement's harsh.

Old Snoggerday, whose name is Frod,

( You've guessed, it's short for Froddle,)

Knows Joice's sort, he's undismayed,

He finds her type a doddle.

[But here, dear reader,( still awake?)

To spare your brain and mine

The Norn Narsh accent take as read

And then we'll get on fine.]

"Indeed the Slimmereels are real

We dry them out for teas

And sell them as a tonic

Which we ship all overseas."

"I've never seen one live," says Joice,

"I think it's all a myth,

The shrivelled things in Slimmertea

Are strands of pootle pith."

Just then the gloom of Snoggerday's

Is split by the opening door,

A burst of sunlight enters with

A couple of people more.

"Good Lord," says Joice," how splendid,

Look, it's two of my best friends.

That's Major Frankleigh Orphul-Grough,

Amazing what luck sends,

And Lady Ann Tuwer-Peagill too,

(She paints the local hens.)"


Meanwhile back in Grimley Moer

In Grimley Moer across the street

Just past the Tickled Trout

Another pub supplies the grub

And booze for Kneezer Prowt.

It's dark and squat and smoky

And it isn't very big,

But clients find it most "discreet,"

It's called the King's Earwig.

No moerish dancers enter here,

No fiddle, reel or jig,

It's serious drink for serious men

Who gather in the "Wig."

There's little happens Grimley-side,

But give it half an hour,

And it's well chewed by "Earwig's" crew

Then swallowed with their sour.

So in a beer-stained corner where

The floor is damp and sticky,

A serious gent sits by his pint

And juggles concepts tricky.

His name is Steeve, "I don't believe

In all these Golden Fleas,

Yer askin me, it's plain to see

They've got the gold disease.

To fleece a Flergal of its gold

You'd have to be half mad,

That's if there was some, which there ain't.

The whole affair is sad.

But listen , Squidgey , (that's his mate )

Suppose they had some luck

And stumbled on some real gold,

They'd need a chrono-truck.

It seems to me with all these sheds

And bikes bin tearing time,

We might just sneak a ripple in

And help prevent a crime.

Oh yes, my friend, we'll offer help

We'll bring the transport here,

Coz gold's so heavy, innit, eh?

That's one thing we'll make clear

And oops, there'll be an accident -

The gold? All gone! Oh dear.

The thing you've got to do, you see,

Is twist the chrono-frame,

Syntactic epithelial torsion's

How we play this game.

You know, my son, we play our cards

And keep them out of sight,

We might just score a good deal more

Than yer average break-in, right?"

"Yeah right, mate, Steeve, another pint?"

Now Squidgey's thinking hard,

Not easy when your massive head

Is mainly filled with lard.

"Why don't we just wait here until

They come back with the loot,

And thump them, scarper with the gold

Stashed in our chrono-boot?"

"No way," sez Steeve, "you can be sure

There's going to be a fuss,

They'll come back heroes and the Mayor

Will tour them in his bus."

"His bus? Wot's that, a kind of cart?"

Squidgey correctly asks.

"You'll see, my friend, there'll be one when

It does some rhyming tasks.

Well, anyhow, like wot I said,

We can't leave this too late,

We need to snitch that chrono shed

And surf a chrono-gate.

We'll find this Flea, or I'm not Stee,

You heard about the crypt?

Wot Arri saw I reckon was

A golden flea wot flipped

When someone left a warp ajar

And something chrono-slipped.

I ask you, what do people think -

The crime-rate should be double?

They leaves their time-warps open-wide,

They're asking for some trouble.

There's too much rumour buzzin round

And something's going on.

So keep your eyes and ears skinned.

It's your round mate. I'm gone."

"One for every life you've lived,

how many is that, now?"

How many lives? He cried in vain.

One or two I'm told

The fact remains

The heating's off

And the Earwig's getting cold.

Post 394 was answering

Post 1 - the very first!

It's just such chronoplicity

That haunts our multiverse

Ahem! A little finger slip!

I wasn't prophesying -

I meant to write 'Post 349'

But still may not be lying

So back to our fair cruiser

The story must return

It's cock-er-ney for boozer

a fact you all should learn

Somewhere in a clearing amongst a forest of Veedee Yews, in a location rather far away from Grimley, some rather confused brains are attempting to sort out the chrono-confusions.


The Gangly Blay has hung out, man,

In many a lurid scene.

His philosophical position

Is, "It's all a dream..."

His brain cells, every one of them,

Glow gently in the gloom,

With interesting chemicals

They hasten to their doom.

He's had some trips, some heavy ones

But still he comes back singing,

His eyeballs red, his tongue like lead

His eardrums faintly pinging.

This latest one's been quite a ride,

At times quite close to heaven -

With hues of glittering Flergal gold

And dusky damsels seven.

(Well, counting double Bridgedts and

An Aunt Wurpeegle too,

With sometimes double vision...

It's a discombobbling view!)

But through it all Blay gently falls

On clouds of psychic pink,

Topped up by pots of Kywar Tea

And teasing pot to drink.

By chrono-bike or chrono-shed

His setting has been scrambled,

His loss of grip a normal trip

Compared with some he's rambled.

The question is, where is he now

And has he chrono-cloned?

And has the Grimley Sage, old Prowt

Now lost the bike he owned?

And is the Flergal Flea still lost

In some dark Bardo realm,

Still starving, flying through his dreams

With hunger at the helm?

Let it be said, no chrono-shed

Can throw these hounds off-scent.

Their hungers drive them ever on

The quests of their intent.

So Gangly Blay comes down at last

Amidst some slight confusion,

But, nothing fazed and unamazed

He says, "It's all illusion...

"Like, nothing's really real at all,

Except, like, where's my stash

Of Kyuwar Tea? I need to deal -

I'm running out of cash."

He'd hoped that Glurry Festival

Would get his money sorted,

If people paid him twice the price

For Tea, for what he'd bought it.

And there he'd also hoped to sing

(These dreams that roost at dusk!)

And at the very least someone

Might pay him not to busk!

The problem is with chrono-flight

And a chrono-cloning shed,

Can a real stash be lost in dreams

And real blood be bled?

So there he sits beside his fire

Uncomfortably sober,

But wondring how a Bridgedt might

Look if he could disrobe her.

Old Kneezer Prowt, the tripped-out Sage

Is still asleep, and snoring,

With lurid dreams and golden schemes

Awaiting more exploring.

Both he and Blay, we have to say,

Have come to the conclusion

Their only hope's the chrono-bike

To sort out this confusion.

The bike , of course, has not returned,

The Flea is still astride it.

Whatever realm his hunger seeks

The bike finds, he must ride it.

At the Tea and Turnip dance

In Grimley, you remember?

When Thomas T. met Bridgets mum,

A very active member

Of Grimley Village Green and

Lavatorial committee

Who'd just returned from visiting

The Bogs of Nodnol City

She made the modern flushables

Sound really rather grand

And love began to blossom

By the turnip burger stand

It carried on behind the stall

That sold the pickled Fnibs

Which don't taste much like chicken,

More like sweet and sour spare ribs

And by the time the dance was done

He'd offered her his ring

She took a swig of turnip wine

And stuck her finger in

Then shortly after Bridget reached the

Grand old age of three

Her mothers head was knocked off by

A falling laver tree

The ring passed to Wurpeegle

Who wore it on elastic

Tied round her waist, tucked in her pants

Secure, but somewhat drastic

It's been there nearly fifteen years

Between the folds of skin

Her taste for Fnibs in glum-glum sauce

Have tucked it further in

Now as she sleeps upon the floor

Of Bridgets flying shed

And slips back into REM

The ring goes through her head

Watching from the window, Sage

Now sees the strangest sight

Not the strangest ever but

The strangest yet tonight

The sky, a mottled grey is dotted

Here and there with flowers

He wakes up Blay to take the watch

He's been awake for hours

The pair of them look out in awe

They're in a deep, dark valley

Thickly overgrown in places

Damp and somewhat smelly

I've never seen this place before

The Sage admits to Blay

(Well if you had you wouldn't tell

Is all that I can say)

Perhaps we shouldn't dwell too long

On what now greets their eyes

For those who've followed from the start

It comes as no surprise

Wurpeegle doesn't know she drives

The shed while she is sleeping

And those awake don't realise

At what their eyes are peeping

They're not in Grimley any more

Nor are they in Northants

Must I really spell it out

They're in Wurpeegles pants

But soon the dreamscape changes

And moves on from the view

Of Aunt Wurpeegles' undercarriage

Into something new

New but no less worrying

The next thing that they see

One hundred feet from head to toe

A giant Thomas T.

The Sage looks on dumbfounded

And Blay looks on aghast

But the beast is too preoccupied

To see them drifting past

He's talking to a woman

They vaguely recognise

Of course it's Bridgets mother though

They don't yet realise

The watch the entire story

Of the Bridget family tree

The little girls from Grimley

The smarmy Thomas T.

And now I see Sir Spankmunki

Has joined the balladeering

Be careful with the chrono-stuff

Beware the dodgy steering

It starts with just a line or two

And next thing it's a verse

At first it's simply silly

But soon gets more perverse

Whatever he was like before

He'll soon be much, much worse

Dear reader, if you feel confused

Then join the merry throng,

This ballad gets no shorter

It's already rather long,

And characters are doubled up

And cloned ( can that be wrong? )

Here's hoping that your stayingpower

And tolerance are strong,

For even Blonde on Blonde is not

A match for Grimley's song.

The Bridgedts have been multiplied

(I'm all at sea - how many?)

While Sage and Blay are mushrooming -

They'll soon be two a penny.

So just relax, and let your mind

Forget all past insanity,

This psychedelic soup is Aunt

Wurpeegle's dream of vanity.

And if you're feeling somewhat vexed

At all the twists and turns

Spare thoughts for the poor writers as

Their midnight candle burns.

We've no idea what's coming next -

It's "He who posts last learns."


Elsewhere, on a chrono-bike...

Who knows what fleas can comprehend?

But this one's anthropoid,

He speaks the local language

And we know he is annoyed,

He's now at screaming point for food

He hasn't yet enjoyed.

The retro-switch had chrono-flipped

Him to and from the Kirk

But now his hunger is so strong

Intent begins to work.

His Flergal mind is full of thoughts

Of anger, hate and greed

Which drags him down the Toe-nib Layers

At transgalactic speed.

A mind of pain, desire and rage

Inhabits deepest hell,

But add to this a Flergal thirst

For human blood as well.

Imagine then a desert waste

Which doubles as a pit,

While is as well a dungeon cell -

The Flea detested it.

Tis Pretaloka, here below

The dreaded Toe-nib Layer,

Where wrathful demons dunk the souls

Of those devoid of prayer.

And over all and wreathed in flames

Is Yama, Lord of Death,

Whose mirror shows these angry souls

Their thoughts at dying's breath.

Bodies, bodies, everywhere

All seemingly alive

And yet, though ceaselessly they're slain

They somehow still survive.

Some bodies lay, their tongues staked out

While teams of oxen drew

Hot ploughshares over them, or cut

Their bodies halfway through.

Still others lie and frozen cry

Their hearts enshrined in ice,

While others roast like clinkered toast

Devoured by fiery lice.

Some sorry souls are sawn in half

While others feast on fire.

Each one receives what it believes

Is its true heart's desire.

With raging thirst the Flergal burst

Into this dismal scene,

Where lakes of blood became his food -

He sucked the platter clean.

To demons he is one of them

A blade to match their swords.

To humans he's one horror more

Heaped on their hellish hoards.

At last, within his mind at least

The Flergal's slaked his thirst.

His gold comes back to haunt his thoughts -

He fears the very worst.

Fear that his gold is plundered

Now drives him back again,

Back on the chrono-bike which sits

In the crotch of his seat of pain.

Fear that his missus (well , of course,

Like Grendel, he'd a mother,

And has a missus, strings of kids

Each hungrier than the other...)

Fear that his missus might not be

Too pleased he's late...again

With mangled legs, a swollen gut -

A lot left to explain.

Fear drives him now, that much is clear

He's on the chrono-bike,

He's said farewell to the nether hell

It's time for the homeward hike.

Within the chronotactic loop

He's spent eternities

But in balladic linear time

He's only skipped some teas.

A rippling plub! He's back once more

Beneath the Veedee trees.

The morning came and Gangly Blay

Both stirred and shaken, rose.

He's feeling much more "real" than

Is normal, we suppose.

His stash of Kyuwar Tea has gone

He feels distinctly worried,

A most unpleasant feeling when

Your brains, like his, are curried.

He rootles in his pockets where

He's sure he has some pills,

Just something for his headaches that

Will level out the hills.

He's not a happy camper and

He's feeling hungry too,

The fire's a heap of warmish ash

So what is he to do?

He prods the snoring Kneezer Prowt,

He says,"Like, wake up, man,

The fire is out, we need a light

So get up, if you can."

He finds a crumply battered pack

Of baccy in his bag -

It looks like dried-up donkey dung

But is "Old Shurling's Shag."

"Oh no, like, where's the papers, man,

This really is a drag,

Have you a straight? I'm gasping mate

I really need a fag*."

* Our TransAtlantic readers need

To note here that this word

Is slang for cigarette and no

Sex preference is inferred."

But being a resourceful type

Where his addictions bit,

He found a scrap of tinfoil wrapped

Around some crumbs of grit

(Just what of didn't matter, he

Could roll it for a hit.)

But still no light! One soggy match

Dissolved within his hands,

The other broke, and that the last -

Just then the Flergal lands.

Has time been warped and 'torted?

is your brain a gooey mess?

Are you fighting with the strange desire

to leap up and confess

"I was the second gunman

on the grassy knoll that day

Twas I that fired the fatal shot

that wiped out JFK"

Have chronobikes and replicas

of people that you've met

melted down your frontal lobes

and left your earlobes wet.

Do Ventral Snaiths and Dandy's

leave you feeling strangely strange

do you shriek and bark at postmen,

have you got a touch of mange


The Nonsense persons choice

Cure hemaroids and scurvy

and inspire a sexy voice.

One dose is all it takes to cure

all ailments ever known.*

*Disclaimer: any statements here

are vastly overblown.


In Tablets - easy swallow -

or diamond-edg'd suppositories

predominantly hollow.

Available from pharmacists

and reputable retailers

but can be bought from anyone

especially ex-sailors.


Purveyors to the Queen

Free of added flavours

so you know where they have been.


They taste of owt but dirt

but must be pretty good for you

as bleedin' eck they hurt"

At Posting #362, Perhaps A Brief Recap is Called For

For those who fear the plot is lost

Perhaps a brief recap

May help provide the missing links

And so avoid mishap

Our female lead would like to gild

The spire of Grimley Kirk

And Alidander 'Dandy' Frume

Took up the task (the berk)

He left to find the gold required

To fulfil Brigit's wish

And once he'd gone, the green-skinned one

Decided "He's a dish!"

But Dandy in his early years

Was warned by some old git

That never ever should he marry

One who's named Brigit

So she went off to change her name

From Brigit to Bridgéd

In case the Dandy fancied her and

They could then be wed

There's those who think she hasn't got

A thought within her head

But then we find she's gone and made

A crazy flying shed

She made it fly, don't ask me why

The clever little tyke

But doesn't realise she powered it

With a chrono-bike

Which means, in simple terms that

Anyone can understand

The hyperfrumblic-gelignation

Fnertles on demand

While at first sight the shed looks $hite

It's really quite sublime

It flies in lines from A to B

But also flies through time

She's tied the world of time in knots

With shedding to and fro

And on the way she's picked up several

People she should know

She's travelled through a thousand years

But still she doesn't know

She only has to think about

A place and there they'll go

For starters there are two of her

One Brigit, one Bridgéd

Her Aunt Wurpeegle came along

But should have stayed in bed

She accidentally flew the shed

Way back into her past

And further incarnations of

The family amassed

Wurpeegle (age unspecified)

And also age of eight

Along with her twin sister who

May well be quite irate

As soon as it's revealed that she

At such a tender age

Is mother to two Bridgets

But ire could turn to rage

When it becomes apparent that

The smarmy Thomas T

Is Father to the Bridgets

Who knows? Perhaps we'll see

There's Sage who's odd, a former god

Again, his age unknown

He's also on the trail of gold

He wants it for his own

His chrono-bike got stolen by

The injured Florgal Flea

The Flea's the foulest creature

And he has the gold you see

Another element in this

The shed menagerie

Is Blay the gangly bard, supplier

Of the Kyuwar Tea

And just in case you needed more

As if that's not enoof

Somewhere within the potty shed

There lurks a Lamputloof

Meanwhile the hero of the tale

Is Alidander Frume

Who keeps an eagle in his nose

For cum-pnee I assume

They set off seeking gold you see

To gild the Grimley Steeple

And have since then encountered some

Extraordinary people

Intentions at the outset were

To steal the Florgal gold

But shot him just before the secret

Location was told

He bargained with them for his life

He told them how to save him

And Dandy being Dandy

Was daft enough to believe him

So he and Antwerp Eagle

Went off to find a cure

For dying flea thinking that he

Would give them gold for sure

But if you like to take advice

Then take this bit from me

Trust anyone you like except

An injured Florgal flea

He would have eaten Blay for tea

And flossed with Sages beard

But sat upon the chrono-bike

And promptly disappeared

So Dandy and the eagle may

Be on a pointless quest

Return alive, should they survive

To find an empty nest

Miss Joiycelene de Speighthall has

Become a useful friend

If not for her young Dandy may

Have met a watery end

Now last I heard, he and the bird

Washed up on Blaggerty's shore

Chaiwallah's back from holiday

So soon we should hear more

Perhaps the Sage will formulate

A plan to steal the shed

But then he still likes Bridgéd

And he might have her instead

Blay's too high on Kyuwar Tea

To think of such a plan

He'd rather roll another

And hey.......chill out maan

Wurpeegle? She's as loopy as

A loop of loopy things

And still has trouble with the shed

And flying without wings

That said, she is the one who gives

The flying shed directions

And takes them all on fearful trips

Through her dreamscape projections

The Sage has more or less caught on

And should be watched quite closely

He could resolve some problems here

Or multiply them grossly

And now as Blay is brewing up

And stirring up the pot

I see the flea has reappeared

To further twist the plot

Recap Ends

Meanwhile, at Flea.........


The Flea has his agenda now

His hunger's satisfied,

Although his core "pulicity"

Can't simply be denied.

(Pulex is Latin for a flea

We murmur in aside.)

When Dandy set off westwards

Leaving Blay and Flergal's scene,

His quest was for some Slimmertea

And Meercow whiskers green.

The thought of these ingredients

Makes Flea drool like Niagra,

They'll make some rhomboid puce-pink pills

Of pulicoid viagra.

The Flea has sort of promised that

If these things were provided,

He'd be prepared to part with gold

Or show where his kind hide it.

Of Dandy and 'twerp Eagle one

May ask, "Has it occurred

To wonder if the Flergal is

A pulex of his word?"

But what all this amounts to is

That on the Flea's return

He toppled off the chrono-bike

Still dazed from after-burn.

He's not as fiercely hungry but

His hips are still in pain

And so far his attempts at cure

Have largely been in vain.

One shrivelled little Yew-tree leaf

Has not been quite enough

For more than temporary relief -

His rear is feeling rough.

He sees the twitchy Gangly Blay

Is groping for an ember

Amongst the ashes of the fire -

To like his fag, remember?

A sober Blay's a different sort,

No longer on cloud nine,

He's really desperate for a smoke

And thus inclined to whine.

"I need a light, like, really badly,

Sure you have no lighter?

A match would do, just one or two..."

His tone somewhat up-tighter.

"You're asking me, a Flergal Flea

To furnish you with fire?

You're dumber than you look, vile man,

You must have slipped a wire.

But pick me please some Yew-tree leaves

And we might have a deal.

My hip's on fire, if you desire

The heat's intense, come feel..."

Like Gangly Blay's, the Sage's

Presence in the chrono-shed

Was part of Aunt Wurpeegle's fit,

A warple in her head.

One wonders at the relevance

Of Kneezer's Prowtian scheme

That links him to young Bridgedt's aunt

And dumps him in her dream.

Enough to know, as Kneezer Prowt

Awakens from his sleep,

The Kyuwar Tea is in his pants

Whose pocket's dark and deep.

Unknown to him, of course, alas

And quite unknown to Blay,

But Kneezer's looking starry-eyed

And strangely blown away.

"It's all gold, really," now he says,

He quite ignores the Flea,

"I've seen it all, it's simple, just,

It's been revealed to me."

"Yeah, cool, man, really cool, " says Blay

(He's heard all this and more)

"But have you got a lighter, like,

I've asked you twice before.

The Flea's come back, he's off the bike,

He says his bum's on fire,"

And, whispering in the Sage's ear,

"He might not now expire.

I think he had a feed somewhere

So maybe we'll be told,

If we give him some Yew-tree leaves,

Where we can find the gold.

I really need some cash, you see,

My stash of Tea got tossed,

Some creep has nicked it, obviously,

It can't have just been lost.

Like I was really happy, man,

Before our paths got crossed.

It must be heavy karma that

I picked up on the way,

I'm going to do a pilgrimage

Or I'm not Blaydon Krey.

We'll get the chrono-bike and then

We'll take a hop to Glurry,

With just a little gold we're fine

But we will have to hurry.

The Festival at Glurry will

Be over in a week

I need to score a weight or more

To keep me, so to speak."

Old Kneezer Prowt, the Grimley Sage

Looks at the Flea aghast

Still reeling from the visions of

The very recent past.

"It's all pure gold, you've got to see,"

He's rambling on to Blay,

Who's less than charmed, the embers are

A heap of ashy grey.

"I'm going to try the Flergal's rear,

I've got to have a smoke,

Just keep an eye on him and shout...

His suckers are no joke."

"It's all so beautiful, and gold

Is everywhere, you see,"

The Sage goes on, but Blay has gone,

"Just keep an eye on me..."

The Flea now eagerly awaits

He can't believe his luck...

If he can get some Yew-tree leaves

Then Blay is out for duck*.

...TransAtlantic Footnote...

A duck* within this context's not

A Chinese meal for heroes,

But simply in a cricket score

A way of saying zeroes.

*** While in an alternative, but closely related time-layer ***

They don't have any baccy

They're out of Kyuwar tea

But Sage has just explained to them


It's hard to put in ballad form

Even the basic principles

As nearly all the words you need

Have far too many syllables

But many simple diagrams

And scratchings of the head

Have helped them understand what's going

On outside the shed

Though maybe 'understand' is just

A bit too strong a word

Wurpeegle and desynchronology?

It's too absurd

But Bridgets, Blay and Thomas T.

See things a little clearer

So maybe now the Florgal gold

Is just a wee bit nearer

The little girls from Grimley Green

Are playing by the shed

When a big log from a laver tree

Knocks off a youngsters head

"Well bugger me" Wurpeegle says

"That happened once before

or was it in the future

I just cant tell any more"

She told the tale of Bridgets mum

And showed them all the ring

As Thomas T turned white and started

St.. st..stuttering

The truth was out and Kneezer Prowt

Passed him a glass of water

He drank it not, for he was shot

By his duplicated daughter

Well as there were two Bridgets

And both felt much the same

They chrono-shedded back in time

And shot him dead again

Now while they're in the mood for sorting

Out this tangled mess

They pop along to Grimley Green

To get a change of dress

They find the smell of rotten flesh

Throughout Wurpeegles flat

So travel back another month

To retro-feed the cat

They leave Wurpeegle and herself

In Grimley safe and sound

She's far too old and young for all this

Time-travelling around

With things a bit more simplified

They come up with a plan

And Blay cranks up the shed and tells it

"Take me to my man!"


Blay says he's never early

He says he's always late

He says the first thing that you learn's

You always got to wait


It seems quite clear what's happening here

(Within constraints of verse -

Albeit of the nonsense kind -

You've chosen to immerse

Yourself, and risk your sanity

Departing in a hearse... )

Is a perfect exposition of

Our temporal Multiverse.

Of course it is confusing and

It's bound to get much worse,

Uncertainty's the principle

And quantum is the curse.

Whatever, it allows us all

To multiply the plot,

The characters, the incidents,

Confusing, is it not?

As readers you may think we should

Be taken out and shot,

And that this nonsense ballad

Has become a load of rot,

Tough titties if the writing's crap

Coz it's the best we've got,

You like it, or you lump it or

You smiley - bleep the blooming lot!

Don't try to stop the balladeers

When they are running "hot,"

The doggerel is everything--

This is their working slot,

Which sees our tees are fully crosed

And every eye's a dot.

(What is this moron on about,

You heard, I asked you, "What?"

The poor man's brain's gone down the drains

Which leaves us in a spot,

Our else they've gone canoeing with

The Lady of Shallot...)

Alright, confess, it's all about

Untangling the knot

Of mad desire to use the entire

Supply of rhymes begot,

(Like Edward Lear before us with

The late Akond of Swat)

Upon a whim of cherry gin

Or Kyuwar Tea-strained pot,

Enough! My rhyming rectum tells

Me it's past time to squat,

And anyone still reading this

Risks a cerebral clot,

As now we've had eighteen of these

Lines rhyming on the trot.

OK, let's call a halt and all

Pour out a soothing tot,

Though not enough to be accused

Of acting like a sot,

And then retire ( if not expire )

To some sweet somnial cot.

My rhyming reputation reels

From this unseemly blot,

And risks comparison with Will

MacGonagal, the Scot.

Alright, alright, I'm dribling like

A nostril oozing snot

And should be let retire on

Adnan Kashoggi's yacht -

I shouldn't mind if I could bring

(In Dublinese ) the "mott."

I'll stop at once, I hear you say

"It's time for the garrotte..."

Like Marie Antoinette before

They caught her "sans-culotte,"

And guillotined her as her bulb

Burnt out its final watt.

Amen, the end. I now intend

To quit this quaint gavotte.

***End of long, tedious and unhelpful ASIDE***


There's trouble brewing in the shed

Since Bridget shot her dad

And though they don't yet know it

Things are looking rather bad

A bullet passed through Thomas T

And lodged itself between

The proto-fadget cylinders

Which drive the Krono-ScreenTM

It blocked the hyper noodle flip

Which broke a twiddle switch

And now the pressures got so high

The shed could blow to bits

Two Bridgets are asleep in there

So is the Grimley Sage

While Blay has gone to see his man

His man is up on stage

His name is Yip Yahoodle and

His band The Way Hey Hey

The sound is bloomin' awful but

It's heavenly to Blay

He's gathered ninety seven pounds

And forty seven p

He found it in the pockets of

What once was Thomas T

The band does one more encore

Then make their way off stage

Blay quickly does a deal and then

He's off to find the Sage

Of course he's tried a sample so

He's nearly off his head

"Like, hey can someone help me,

Has anyone seen a shed?"

"I think it's over there mate" said

A very helpful bloke

Who points in the direction of

A big black plume of smoke

Almost unrecognisable

And coughing by the door

The Grimley Sage is in a rage

Like no-one's seen before

"The shed's as good as useless

I think we're stranded here

Unless you know where we can find

A good desynchroneer"



Remember Steeve (and Squidgey) who

Drank pints in "King's Earwig,"

A hustler and a petty thief

Intent to "make it" big?

As luck would have it, Steeve's just scored

A chrono-truck, his mate,

The heavy, Squidgey's "borrowed" it,

And drives it through the gate.

"Not here, where everyone can see!

Quick, park it round the back."

Behind the Wig the truck is hid

Beneath a barrel stack.

"Perhaps we'll do a trial run

To check it's going right,

We'll need to scarper sharpish

So we'll try it out tonight."

A gibbous moon shone down upon

The Earwig's barrel yard

As Steve and Squidgey took their truck

Along the road less tarred.

"I've set the chronotaxis dial

For max, just half an hour.

Let's go for gold, and have a roll,

Let's test this crate for power."

We've seen that chrono-travel is

Determined by desires,

And Steeve is single-minded in

The goals that gold inspires.

So add to that the brutish strength

That Squidgey brings to bear,

And yes, you've guessed, they quickly sped

Down to the Toe-nib Layer.

Beneath the realm of Hungry Ghosts,

Not quite in Preta Hell,

The Toe-nib Layer awaits all those

Attracted by its smell.

A smell of money quickly gained,

Fresh promised by the hour,

A smell of lies and cloudy pies,

The spinners' webs of power.

A realm of hustling bustling crowds

Who seethe like streaming ants,

Each crawling up the other's back,

Hands in each other's pants.

The hordes arise like summer flies

From maggots on a corpse.

There is not one among them but

His mind in Toe-nibs warps.

And over all the Toe-nib beast

Presides with glittering eye,

And gleaming teeth. His suit beneath

Adorned with a silken tie.

The Toe-nib Beast has tentacles

That reach into the soul,

With golden dreams and get-rich schemes

That leave you on the dole.

He promises new life, new hiope

Alike to rich and poor,

He feasts on power, he'd soon devour

The folks of Grimley Moer.

Vast promises the Toe-nib layer

Holds out, but none are kept,

The Toe-nib Beast prepares his feast -

It seems his world has slept.

Throughout his realm, who holds the helm?

Who steers the ship? Confess,

It's almost anyone who serves

By simply saying "Yes."

He cares not what he says or does,

The lies flow fast and free,

So long as all obey his call

"Bend down and worship me."

"I am the Beast of Toe-nib Layer,

My wish is your command,

Your worship is my reason why

I rule throughout this land.

You've had your say, now I hold sway,

Do you not understand?

Mere mortals cannot comprehend -

My vision is too grand."

Upon his throne of polished bone

He feeds upon hot air,

As his illusions all expand

To fill the Toe-nib Layer.

Tis those who spin for Toe-nib win,

They make the bad seem good.

Tis no surprise down here that lies

Are all the Toe-nib's food.

One day he'll say, "No war, no way,

Our path is pure and true,"

You'll find the next on some pretext

It's "War is overdue."

Again he'll promise "health for all"

And guarantee to spend.

But strangely after many years

Things still aren't on the mend.

The Toe-nib Layer, no place of prayer

Holds countless suffering souls

Condemned to ever-downwards dig

But long to quit their holes.

With cities wrapped in endless grey

Of concrete wrapped in glass,

The countryside a mist of spray -

Insecticidal gas,

While agri-businessmen decide

What can or cannot pass.

This then placeby chrono-grace

The chrono-truck brings Steeve.

"This joint looks grim, let's change our trim,

I think we oughta leave."

They look around, their thoughts are drowned

By all the diggers' noise,

They see no gold, just lives on hold

At work that none enjoys.

With flashing lights, and lurid sights

That hypnotise the dwellers,

Each in its dreams of Toe-nib's schemes,

Each trapped within his cellars.

"This is no place for you and me

Like, here, who could we trust?

No place for honest crooks my friend,

It's back to Wig, or bust.

A good thing that our chronosynch

Has limits on the dial,

To spend more time would be a crime

You could say, it's a trial!

Just hop in, Squidgey, time to go,

Implode the chrono-core,

This place is grim, I'd rather swim

Back home to Grimley Moer."

Far to the West, in the quaint hamlet of Hoan,
( as near to a throbbing metropolis as the island of Blaggerty boasts )


In Snoggerday's Select Lounge Bar

Within the private snug

Our heroes down a rake of pints

Of Froddle's foamy drug.

We'll take as read the rapturous

Reunion of the Major

And Ann with Joice,( you have no choice

But brevity, I'll wager.)

"Dear Foggy, do sit down," says Joice

(His nickname by initial)

"We've had such strange adventures

So a drink is beneficial."

She tells the tale of Dandy's quest

Which leads, perhaps to gold,

But via hunts for Slimmereels

She feels they won't behold.

She orders drinks from Snoggerday

Who's leaning on the bar,

His eyes are misted as he hears

Some singing from afar.

The Major feels a need for gin -

Surrenders to the urge -

Because the Local Talent sings

A truly dismal dirge.

"Maay lorv uz lake uh raid raid ruse

Thot's gort thuh fongle rort,

Shay thunks thut Aim en lorv wuth hor,

Ay thunk thut Ay um nort.

Maay lorv uz lake uh croddet cord

Stok un thuh wole-bunk slort,

Thuh pudden ain wuz swaydest sain

Thuh pollen ait wuz nort.

Maay lorv uz lake uh wand mushane

Volkonnik worzer fortin,

Shay cyornt cumpleeyin, tyworz neezil peeyin

Thut brudda bate or portin..."

By now Joice has had quite enough

Of local culture's charms,

And downing yet another pint

Takes Buggir in her arms.

"What is that ghastly noise," she asks,

"That made poor Buggir howl?

It's quite upset you, luvvyducks,

That neetif music's foul."

"It's really such a dreadful noise,"

Opines Tuwar-Peeghil, Ann,

"A frightful voice, a boring tune,

A ghastly little man.

I couldn't understand a word,

I wonder just who can?"

"What's this I hear," the Major asks

And glares at Alidander,

"You're here to hunt for Slimmereels?

Good Luck," he shouts with candour.

"Believe you me, I've hunted here

At least since forty-five,

I've fished, and beagled, shot the lot,

Whatever looked alive.

The Snargle and the Widget and

The Brambly-coated Squeezle,

The Triblib and the Flothy Lob,

The Brivvet and the Treezal.

But Slimmereels don't come to bait,

Too small to hook or shoot.

You have to find a Trembling Tree

And dig them from its root.

That's if it's mating season and

The Moon is waning too.

I saw some once, not far from here

But only caught a few.

The locals make a noxious mix

Which takes a week to brew,

Of Triblet dung, and Snargle blood

All simmered in a stew.

They daub it on the Trembling Trees,

And catch them in the glue.

But that's not sport, if things are caught

In traps, or snares and such -

No hooks, or flies, or bullets, so

I don't enjoy it much.

It's not the killing, don't you see?

Of course things have to die,

But only after hours of skill

In handling your fly,

Or with a really cracking shot

To catch a bird up high."

"Oh really, Foggy," snortled Joice,

"You don't think we believe

A word of what you said just now,

I'm laughing up my sleeve!

Quite frankly, Frankleigh, it's a joke.

You've seen a Slimmer Eel?

You must have bin rat-arsed on gin,

Agreed, Ann? They're not real.

It's all a myth, it's pootle pith

They dry for Slimmer Tea."

"It damn well ain't, though I'm no saint,

No lies, believe you me,

I've caught them with my own bare hands

I know what I can see.

Your Slimmer Eel's a slippery chap

Invisible by day.

You have to dig for them by night,

They're luminous on clay.

Don't let them near the water though,

They'll quickly slim away.

I've hunted out in Inja too

Before I came back West,

We shot from backs of Lerrafumps,

The female ones were best.

I'm sure I've told you, haven't I

About our Muggler hunt?"

Both Ann and Joice say "No," but sigh

And keep their smiles out front.

"We'd flog a native Wolly till

His back was quite a mess

( Some murderer, condemned of course,

If he would not confess!)

We'd stake him out by moonlight,

You could hear the bugger howl,

And wait until some Mugglers came

Upon their nightly prowl.

Of course yer Wolly screamed a bit,

He thought his number's up,

Best thing for catching Mugglers

When the Mugglies are in pup.

It's pretty hard to see them when

They slither through the scrun,

But human blood's what brings them

So you wait there with your gun.

Except for poor old Wolly who's

Now yelling for his life,

You've got to keep it quiet or

You'll scare the Muggli-wife.

They prowl in families, you see,

The female's dangerous too,

If something threatens pups she'll charge

And make quick work of you.

But with a well-trained Lerrafump,

(The driver too needs skill)

To shoot a Muggler on the hunt's

A jolly decent thrill,

And if it gets your Wolly first,

That's one less Woll to kill.

It's not as though the world would miss

Another Wolly less,

Surprisin' too how many Wolls

When "Mugglered" will confess.

I used to work for customs once

Far out in eastern Raj.

We had a jolly song we sang

While boating on the barge.

I don't remember all the words,

(The memory's kaput)

But the chorus went like this, let's see,

Come on chaps, tap a foot...

Oh, we ain't afraid to look for loot

Wherever it may lurk,

So on with your latex gloves my lads

And let's get down to work,

Oh oh,

On with your latex gloves my lads

And let's get down to work..."

"Oh really, Foggy, that's enough,"

Said Ann," I'm feeling faint.

It's time we had some supper

And tomorrow I must paint.

A lovely little woman here

Wants me to draw her chicken."

And there for now we'll leave them all

Give plot a chance to thicken.

Beneath a rocky outcrop to the

North of Grimley Moer

There lies a miners hut with just

One window and a door

A wisp of smoke curls skywards

From a hole within the roof

And gathered round the hole for warmth

A flock of Lamputloof

Inside is an inventor

A certain Mr Dee

His first name being Andipan

He's brewing up some tea

He doesn't live alone, he has

A wife and daughters three

Elsie, Ellie and Ellesse

His wife's named Fiddledee

His daughters names commemorate

Inventions that were his

There's quite a lot, a clot he's not

In fact he's quite a whiz

And how can they all live within

A tiny miners shack

It isn't always easy

You have to have the knack

A spatial disproportioniser

Beam or two as well

They're rather neat, they make your inter-

-nal dimensions swell

They're very good for getting jam-jars

Free from stuck-on lids

And also one good reason why

They gave up having kids

To step inside the shack is like

You stepped into a hall

Of cavernous proportions

Though from outside, very small

With absolutely no sign of

What's going on indoors,

Inventions to amaze the eye

On each of seven floors

Those who've read the Bible are

Familiar with Ezekiel

Well what he saw was Andipan Dee

On his Chrono-Bicykiel

He's currently at work on something

Which could change his life

A remote controlled devolumiser

For his darling wife

He's reached the point where nothing works

Without a cup of tea

And only then if brewed up to

An adequate degree

He pours a cup and takes a sup

And sits back in his chair

And runs his fingers through a shock of

Albert Einstein hair

He bought it at a boot-sale once

Whilst in Southend-on-Sea

Upon his chrono-holiday in

Nineteen eighty-three

Just then, upon a screen appears

The face of Elsie Dee

And Andipan Dee chuckles at

His little iron knee

"I've got someone to see you

Shall we come up father dear?

Some friends of mine in need of help

I thought I'd bring them here

It's been a blast in Glurry

I wish you could have come

Although I know you don't like how

Commercial it's become"

"Come in my dear it's good to hear

You had a lovely time

We'll go back if you like when I

Have fixed that bike of mine

And who is this you've got with you

They look a dodgy bunch

The old one looks as if he's had

Some dynamite for lunch

And that one's obviously stoned

I hope he's got some skins

I need some inspiration and

Oh look, these two are twins!

"What seems to be the problem

Explosive it appears

Come in, sit down and have some tea

You must be tired my dears"

A warmer welcome never was

On offer anywhere

But all that they could do at first was

Simply stand and stare

"Like man I've seen some weirdness

Yeah, but this is just the biz

From outside it appears to be

Much smaller than it is"

"Ah yes you see we used to have

A tiny little flat

But spatial disproportioniser

Beams takes care of that"

"I'll take your word for that" said Blay

"D'you mind like if I smoke?"

"Of course not, make yourself at home

I'm partial to a toke

But first come here, give me your gear

Expose it to the beam"

And soon enough Blay's got the biggest

Piece of Bob he's seen

His chin it hit the floor, his eyes

Had never been so wide

"That's so far out it almost comes

Back in the other side!"

They spend a pleasant evening

In Andipan Dees home

Surrounded by newfangled things

In plastic, steel and chrome

Bridget picked up some silver disks

And asked him "what are these?"

"A present from the future dear

They're Bukka White CDs"

She looked at him as if he had

Just stepped out of a rocket

He took the disk and put it in

A gadget from his pocket

He set the thing in motion

And put it in her hand

And Bridget sat and listened to

"A Promise True and Grand"

She'd never heard its' like before

Her eyes filled up with tears

"Of course it wont be written yet

For many, many years"

Next he played her "Parchman Farm"

And then "These Walkin Shoes"

And now she's quite a fan of

Mississippi Delta blues

Who's that yonder coming down

A coming down the road?

It looks like Maggie Campbell but

She's walking much too slow

The Sage is glad to have someone

With whom he can converse

In words of seven syllables

Though maybe not in verse

They talk of transdimensional


And disencrumbulatory

Tri-polar concubation

Then Andipan said "Blay please stay

Exactly where you are

He went into another room

And fetched back his guitar

"I don't suppose you ever heard

A Scrapper Blackwell song"

The blankest look upon Blays face

Told him he wasn't wrong

"He's coming over later for

Our weekly Thursday jam

He'll not be born for years but he's

Much better than I am

I met him in the future on

A holiday you see

He faked his death and came back here

In nineteen sixty-three"

And so they spend the evening talking

Laughing, playing the blues

And smoking Andipan Dee's never

Ending doobie doos

They make plans for tomorrow when

They'll try to sort the shed

Meanwhile Miss Elsie Dee makes up

For each a comfy bed

That night in bed Blay gets a visit

From Miss Ellesse Dee

Who shows him things a man of his age

Usually doesn't see

Good grief this ballad's gone down paths

I never did expect

I don't think I should tell you what

The pair of them did next

Suffice to say Ellesse turned Blay

Into a happy chap

He'd always fancied Ellesse Dee

Available, on tap

The Bridgets slept in Ellie's room

And had a girly chat

They all got rather friendly but

We wont go into that

So Blay awoke a happy bloke

With Ellesse Dee to thank

The Sage, who slept alone had gone

To bed and had a........think


Oh dear oh dear, where have we gone,

A drop in moral tone!

It makes me feel this ballad's

Sinking like a cliche-ed stone.

Of course it's bad enough that Sage

And Blay have bilocated,

They're also still back east with Flea

As earlier was stated.

But nonsense is the driving force

Behind the Multiverse,

Uncertainty's the principle

That sanity's dispersed.

Amen to that, this ballad has

Become a big black hole-

The centre of a galaxy

Upon a cosmic roll,

No light escapes its gravity

Which takes an awesome toll,

No dark escapes its levity

The hooks are in your soul.

A lesson in depravity?

That's not, I think, the goal,

No lessons here for pauper, peer,

For pedagogue or prole.

It's just that bits come on like fits

Or fish in shimmering shoal,

And burn within the fevered brain

Like incandescent coal.

Meanwhile we've seen a Witchy Waif

Gyrate upon her pole,

We've seen how Steeve and Squidgey

Scarpered in a truck they stole,

We've seen poor Arri drunk at dawn

Sit twitching like a vole,

While blinking at Flea's golden light

Like some sequestered mole.

And now young Ellsie Dee,( with both

Her sisters,) like some troll

Dwells in a cave her father's made

While Ma was out to foal,

And Ellesse Dee ( I had to laugh

At that, 'twas very droll )

Has pickled Blaydon's battered brains

Unravelled like a scroll,

Though how she did just what she did,

Discretion, on the whole,

Prevents us ever finding out

(The censor thus cajole.)

No, moral standards aren't the ball

This ballad aims to bowl.

So here we go again upon

A sort of rhymer's stroll

To drag up every rhyme we can

(The gilding on the bole )

Perpetuating dreadful verse.

Forget the grassy knoll,

A silver bullet's needed here

To pin this oarsome thole.

Alright, I won't compound my crime,

They'll grant me my parole

If I can only halt this foul

Infernal farandole.

If silence is a virtue, I've

Long lost my aureole,

With every vestige, (if there was,

A trace ) of self-control.



Dear Reader, if you've read all this

From title page to here,

You may remember Witchy Waif,

Whose warnings were quite clear.

She weirdly warned of all the things

Our Dandy lad would meet,

From Veedee Yew to Trembling Tree

To Meercows on the beat.

Not least of these was Ellsie Dee -

One wonders what's in store,

As both have lived in Grimley, have

They never met before?

Or does some dreadful secret lie

Within their mutual past?

We may find or, or we may not,

But it won't happen fast.

Far to the west our heroes still

Are sheltered in the pub,

A hunt for Slimmereels awaits

As does the fearsome Shub.

Far to the east the Flergal Flea

Still aches within his bones

To get to grips with Sage and Blay,

Or if not them, their clones.

And Grimley Kirk will need some work

Before they gild the spire,

Poor Arri's not recovered yet-

Some help he'll have to hire.

And as to which of all the Bridgedt's

She of lilac hair,

I'm so confused, ( OK, amused,)

But driven to despair.

There may well be a path to see,

An exit, leading where?

Well anywhere the story goes

Does anybody care?

When lost, choose roads you do not know

And they will take you there.


"I sez to him I sez I saw

A monstrous golden Flea,

Right there in 't crypt, I nearly slipped

I could have sprained me knee.

One minute it's as large as life

Next minute, whoosh it's gawn,

One moment crypt's all normal like,

Next like some golden dawn.

I wasn't drinkin, honestly,

Well just a little nip

To keep the cold out of me joints

And ease me gammy hip.

Some damn great monster, all of gold

It could of been a crab,

The size of it, all legs and claws

It tried to make a grab,

It nearly got me leg, then voom,

It's gone, like drink on tab."

"I know, you've told me more than once,

You saw a giant flea.

I told that Mrs. Peegle too,

And she told Mrs. Dee.

Come on now, Arri, there's a dear,

You've done an awful lot,

It's time to tuck you up in bed,

Your cocoa's nice and hot.

Untie me apron, would you, love,

I can't quite see the knot.

You heard that flying shed again?

The noise! They should be shot.

I sometimes wonder bout some folks

Is here in Grimley Moer,

They never used to be like that,

They're stranger than before.

You 'eard about them Bridgets when

You're down at Tickled Trout?

You mark my words, there's trouble there,

They'd better all watch out.

And as for that old Thomas T,

How dare he show his face,

The way he used to carry on

It's simply a disgrace.

I don't know what we're coming to,

Not like when we was small,

There's just no standards nowadays,

There's no respect at all.

Oh Arri, look, you've made a mess,

Your cocoa's down your vest,

Well, keep that one for morning when

You clear the magpie's nest.

And when you've done the chimney you

Must go up on the roof,

I heard that scratching noise again,

It must be Lamputloof."

Perhaps the plot may now have got

More twisted than intended

But nonsense is as nonsense does

No matter how extended

And as for common sense I think

It long ago descended

Into a far less rigid form

Of something rather splendid

And if at any time you find

Your rhymes become expended

Log on to rhymezone dot com

It's highly recommended

But anyway the Sage and Blay

Left Fleasville long ago

When Flea had nicked the chrono-bike

While both were on the blow

That's when t'flying shed appeared

With two Bridgets inside

Wurpeegle and a Lamputloof

Were just there for the ride

And Thomas T expired when he

Was shot some time ago

Then Bridget being Bridget went

Back for another go

So know as far as I'm aware

(Which isn't far this morn)

There's only Bridget left in any

Bi-located form

But if you had a plan for Blay

And Sage back east, flea-side

It can be done as well you know

With a simple bike/shed ride

A nod, a wink and half a blink

They can be on their way

Delivered back to face the flea

They'll have to anyway

Whatever you've in store for them

Chaiwallah I must say

You're probably going to make yourself

Unpopular with Blay

"You cad, you bounder. You confess

You stole them in their sleep,

And dropped them in a dungy crock

Both flatulent and deep!

Nay, tish and tush, by shove or push,

There'll be no compromise,

Both Sage and Blay are chrono-cloned,

Here's mud in both your eyes."

Thus gods aren't slow, as well we know

To argue re the fate

Of their pet champions who fight

Within some martial state.

Oh topless towers of Ilium!

Oh topless girls of Troy!

What boots it if the gods make war

Your lack of luck enjoy.

In vain your prayers are heard by those

You basically annoy.

Go build a wooden horse, or hearse -

Devise some puny ploy,

To drag the brave Achilles from

The buttocks of his boy,

Let's face it, when it came to love

The Greeks were far from coy

(Although it seems they hated beans

Both haricot and soy,

As farting led to loss of soul -

The wind from hoi polloi...

It seems that cabbage was OK

Both leafy and Savoy.)

Relax, we're nearly through this fit

Excess of fun may cloy,

The end's in sight, your tunnel's light

Your sinking spirit's buoy.

Relax, have some masala chai,

Recline on your charpoy,

Let not despair your courage wear,

Your tolerance alloy --

(The hours slip by, and so must I

Find regular employ,

Instead of hunting words like some

Demented old Borzoi.)

Lo! far horizons beckon us--

The balladeer's convoy--

We'll leave these shores of pointless scores

And hail the plot, "Ahoy,"


Not far from Grimley, cross the Fen

About a coupla miles,

A tall forbidding tower-house

Looks down but seldom smiles.

About the house there hovers a

Perpetual full moon,

With howling wolves and ancient graves

To amplify the gloom.

A place of mists and morbid trysts

Where spectres shun the day,

And from the ground a dismal sound

That grumbles neath the clay.

Tis said that here were witches burnt

Alive in firey trials -

The house of Grimley's grimmest folk,

The much feared Rankenphialls.

They're not from Grimley really, though

They came in days of yore,

Most Grimley's think they should go back

To where they were before.

Tis here the dubious Dr.Rankenphiall

Engages in "research"-

They say that dreadful creatures

From his dingey dungeons lurch.

So Grimley tends to blame him when

The harvest's hit by drouth,

They blamed him for last year's attack

Of Blovine foot and mouth.

They mutter darkly pointing at

Antennae on his roof,

And say he made the present plague

Of rampant Lamputloof.

"You'd get a few, say one or two

Most years but not a score,

It's all because them Rankenphialls

Came here to Grimley Moer."

They'd burn him out with torches

But the Fen's too deep and wet,

And nobody's quite found the time

To burn the Rankens yet,

And anyway as doctors go

He is the best they'll get.

There's many a Grimley daughter

Grateful for the doctor's help,

And many a gran who thanks the man

Who's healed her hip with kelp.

He's quite a pleasant fellow if

You take the time to know him,

And don't mind that his skin is green

And just so faintly glowin.

His brains are singlemindedly

On hunt to find the cures

For mild senility and gout,

Conditions he endures.

What if research requires a corpse,

Or two, or three, or four?

No wonder such things are hush-hush

In pubs in Grimley Moer.

Of course there's those that thinks they knows

What's up in Ranken Hall,

But Steeve and Squidgey clam up when

They get the doctor's call.

The doctor and his daughter are

The only Rankens seen,

Although there's an assistant who

Is Ranken's go-between.

But poor old Rogi doesn't like

To go to Grimley much,

The children there make fun of him,

But stay well out of touch.

With just one eye, an extra nose,

And needing two ears less,

He's not what anyone would call

A Rankenphiall success.

The doctor's worked so hard on him

To bring him back to "normal,"

But what to do for Rogi? He

Makes sure his suit is formal.

There's those who say his daughter's fey,

Some outright, "She's a witch."

They say she glows from head to toes

And swims without a stitch!

The few who've met Ms. Lucy May

Tell quite another story,

It may not be so strangely strange,

At least it's not so gorey.

She's nature's child, who young, ran wild

No Mum to entertain her -

While Daddy worked she often lurked

In lab, where he could train her.

So now that she's grown up and free

To wander as she pleases,

She's studying as well to cure

The more obscure diseases.

In Grimley Fen she hunts for plants

(She fears no Grimley Beast!)

And on such an occasion saw

Our hero heading East.

Being smart, but shy, she didn't try

To contact Alidander,

But thinking of his mighty nose

Her heart's inclined to wander.

In Grimley Town the word's around

Of Alidander's quest,

And Rogi's told Ms. Lucy all

He knows, at her behest.

Like many a scientist she is

At heart a true romantic

And eagerly awaits a man

Of passion fierce and frantic.

Of course dear dotty Daddy works

So hard, it's just a crime -

She doesn't socialise a lot,

She doesn't have the time.

So sex is a phenomenon

She thinks that she enjoys,

She needs to do some more research

She needs to find some boys.

She wonders what her chances are

Of finding love some day.

Will Alidander win her heart?

Who knows but Lucy May.

Too busy studying her plants

And Grimley's insect life

To go a-courtin, let alone

Become a Grimley wife!


Back East, some days from Grimley

As an Antwerp Eagle flies

The Flergal Flea still sits in pain,

But can't believe its eyes.

Remember it's got hundreds -

That's a lot of disbelief.

It thought that it was winning

(But still aches for pain relief...

Its Archibolted hip's unhealed

Despite the chrono-bike,

On blood it's fed, but still its head

Feels like a missile strike.)

It can't believe its eyes because

One moment it's been hearing

Old Kneezer Prowt and whiney Blay,

Next thing, they're disappearing.

The temporal anomalies

That plague its life increase,

Not helped by wayward chrono-bikes

Between its battered knees.

In fact, the Flergal Flea now thinks

(Unusually for fleas)

It might be suffering from some kind

Of psychopule disease.

But there's the chrono-bike, it's still

Just gently humming, beached.

Behind him too, the Veedee Yew,

Its leaves as yet unreached.

The sun is up, its face all washed,

The fire's a pile of ash,

When suddenly he hears a voice

Say "Soddit, where's my stash?"

A ripple in the scenery

As space-time tears, and then

The Grimley Sage and Blay are back

Beside the fire again.

The Sage has had some heavy trips

Within the last few days,

The episode in Bridgedt's shed's

A parting of the ways,

Another abberation when

From sanity he strays,

A vision in a tea-cup, or

A Kyuwar Tea-strained haze?

He reaches in his pocket as

His nose begins to drip,

And feels the pack of Kyuwar Tea

He took on that last trip.

He pulls it out, to Blay's surprise,

Delight and irritation,

Prowt is perplexed, while Blay is vexed,

Demands an explanation.

"I don't think I'm being paranoid

But, like, you stole my stash,

I told you man, I have a plan,

I need it for some cash.

You really wrecked my head, you know,

I just don't need the worry,

So give it back, I'll take the bike

And go on down to Glurry,

From here to there, an hour or two,

So come on, got to hurry."

But Kneezer Prowt is still far out,

His vision still is golden,

Caught up in this new world of bliss

Ignores the bag he's holding.

"When minds are freed, the gold we need

Is everywhere, you see.

We don't need these material things

Not even Kyuwar Tea!"

But Blay is in no mood for this,

He's still not had a smoke,

And Prowt's new rosey vision seems

A rather paltry joke.

"Just give me back the pack, OK?

We've all been there before..."

Though Blay's quite happy high, when down

He finds the Sage a bore.

The Sage looks at him pityingly,

Blay's starting to perspire,

And says,"You really don't need this,"

And chucks it on the fire.

"You're all the same, just what's your game,"

Blay dives to save the bag.

The fire is out, but still he shouts,

"Like, really, you're a drag."

His hippy cool has vanished though

He's slightly less uptight,

The stash is back within his pack

The future's looking bright,

So now to risk the Flergal Flea,

His fag still needs a light.

Back on Blaggerty


In Snoggerday's the Major is

Just getting into stride.

The others are all hungry and

It's getting dark outside.

The Captain and the Purser have

Already slipped away -

A sunken ship's no little slip,

The cargo gone astray.

The Antwerp Eagle, silent now,

But better for a drink

Is looking hard at Lady Ann

Whose name has made him think.

"Of course, " says Joice," we've lost the lot,

The luggage all went down,

But let's not pause to count the cost,

At least we didn't drown."

(Poor Dandy's sequinned suit was sold

Way back in Shipling town,

So he's still stuck in sailors' ducks

Worth all of half a crown.)

"Young Alidander and his bird

Will come and stay with me,"

Says Joice,"I've got a cottage here,

It overlooks the sea."

"Your Slimmereel," the Major drones,

"Is quite a slippery chap,

He's very small, and very fast,

And very hard to trap.

He makes a bait that's hard to beat

For catching Flothy Lob,

The Flothy's can't resist him

So he's really just the job.

It's quite like off-shore fishing but

The fish are in the sky,

And in this case it's not the bait

But prey that's on the fly..

You mount your Slimmeereels with hooks

(Of course, you fish by night )

And cast them out when Lob's about

(They glow, a damned fine sight.)

And then you wait, your rod kept straight,

Until a Flothy plunges,

Give him a yard, and then strike hard

Just as the Flothy lunges.

Now this is where the fun begins,

Your playing him in air,

The great thing is, keep clear of trees,

You'll break your tackle there.

An adult Flothy's wingspan can

Be seven feet or more,

The really big chaps sometimes haul

You up, right off the floor!

I hooked one once, a massive brute

Wingspan a good ten feet

He hauled me up, the line just snapped,

He dropped me in the peat.

Yes, Flothy Lobs are damned fine sport,

Though not much use to eat,

We keep the pelts, and not much else,

There's very little meat.

You'll find some hard core Lobsters here

Fishing the bogland beat."

"Talking of meat, dear Major lets

Go back to our hotel,"

Says Lady Ann," and this poor man

Is looking quite unwell."

"Amen to that," says Joice, "Come on,

We also need a wash,

You're staying at Dunraving's Legs?

Oh good, it's not too posh."

Beyond the murk of Grimley Fen

A yellowish fog arises

From Ranken Hall, a smoggy pall,

The Doctor brews surprises....

Good grief, dear god, The Cracken wakes

the Ballad stirs it's loinage

"spare an old, decrepit rhyme

some of your smaller coinage?"

"Unhand me grey beard loon" he cried

"I'll not your hardships further"

And prompt upon the fellow set

with a 6 foot iron girder.

What bearing does this have upon

The Rhyme of Grimley Moer?

Stop your whinging, 'orrid lot

it couldna gone much slower

The Kraken cracked, the Cracken kraked

But still we're none the wiser,

And Missus Cracken said as much,

For which we can't despise her.

What has this all to do with tales

Of grimmest Grimley Moer?

Not much, or rather less, methinks,

Than bogeys on the floor.

What boots it then, ( if then it boots,

If boots be had by then,)

If utter nonsense takes its toll

Of Grimley's Rhyming men?

A torrid toll, a horrid poll

Of many rhymesters falling,

Where cyber-chrono-funduli

Have seen their lyrics stalling.

Fear not, brave audient, stay close

(If audient there be )

For Grimley Moer was off on hols

Beside the golden sea.

And now refreshed, ( no less confused,)

We haste we hope to heal

The breach in Grimley's twisted tail

And further twists reveal.

You're feeling jealous

coz I beat you to the fly!!


A lovesong for Miss Ellsie Dee.

Miss Ellsie Dee, you've come to me

Your manner softly meek,

Some call you flat, not I, I find

You lissom, slim and sleek.

Long have I gazed on Veedee Yew

Whose form was squarely deep,

Whose after-image baked my brain

When I went off to sleep.

Oh Veedee Yew, you're gone, tis true

Your colours glowed so bright,

Though radiant, tinged with gold, you singed

My eyes with dazzling light,

And seared your presence in my skull

When I worked late at night.

Miss Ellsie Dee, you've come to me

A present, a surprise,

So join with me and let us see

How quickly Moer-time flies.

Your sister, Ellesse, crossed my path

So many moons ago,

When I was but a boyish lath -

So much I didn't know.

But with desire, my mind afire

In visions universal,

I gazed at death, but held my breath,

As life is no rehearsal.

For Ellesse Dee revealed to me

Things that should not be seen

Unless your mind is crystal clear

And sweet as a mountain stream.

Yes, Ellesse Dee revealed to me

Things that one should not know

Unless your soul had wings of light

And flew as angels flow.

And Veedee Yew, you saw, you knew

I'd gaze until my legs

Were wobbly and my weary eyes

Were dusty deep-fried eggs.

But Ellsie, slim and tightly trim,

You'd melt proverbial butter -

Your charms I find another way,

( A thought too dark to utter )

Your sweet wide face has made a space

For much more desk-top clutter.


After a considerable hiatus....

Welcome back to Blaggerty.....


The Moonlight drips in dampish drops

Upon the silvery bog,

And round the groominous Trembling Trees

There strolled a gauzey fog.

A fog that knew a thing or two

A fog that picked its teeth

A fog that couldn't wait to sink

Into the bogs beneath.

A fog so tired, a fog so mired

With misty foetid breath,

A fog that felt its hols were due

A fog bored half to death.

But still it swirls and dankly curls

Unfurls its slithery fronds

And twists and turns through glades and ferns

And waves its watery wands.

As fogs go, it went nowhere fast

But lingered oe'r the land

And oe'r was what it felt indeed

( Though oe'r as yet unpanned.)

(Well, after all, it's been a while

And Grimley's Moer or less

Defunct! How can that be? You smile.

You've missed it? No? Confess.)

This fog has quite a job to do -

First presence back on stage -

A scene to set, a flame to light,

An audient to engage.

On then, the fog has caught its breath

( It might have rather not )

And did a bit more swirling oe'r

A night designed for death.

Yea, zooks and zoonds and palmy froonds

This stuff is getting grim,

So grimley onwards grind the grime

Mayhap we'll think or thwim.

And through the fitful fog there oozed

A cumbrous poling punt,

With Joice, the Major, Dandy too

( Vomiting oe'r the front.)

The Moon shone down on Blaggerty

Through gaps between the rain,

It shone upon the Major and

It did not shine in vain

As he showed Alidander where

The Slimmereels were slain.

"Just here among the trees,you see,

Beneath a rotting twig,

Between the shoots, among the roots

That's where you have to dig.

Young Shaymus here, he knows the spots.

They shrink when Shay's about.

Look lively lads, jump to it now,

Let's dig some Slimmers out."

("Young" Shaymus was not quite so young,

Most reckoned eighty-five,

But then "Old" Shaymus passed the post -

One hundred, still alive,

And reckoned Shaymus junior still

Too young to learn to drive!)

Though Alidander, frankly was

Quite thrilled, at last to hunt,

To catch some Slimmereels and not

Just vomit from the punt,

He'd walked for miles across the bog

In boots the Major lent,

Thigh waders, rubber, rubbed his toes,

As blisters came, and went.

[The Antwerp Eagle, sensibly,

Declined the midnight walk,

The night was foul, he soothed his soul

With Ann Tuwar-Peeghill's talk.

They had so much in common, strange,

One human, one a bird

(If magical and feathered,) and

Her Ladyship, well furred.

The Eagle, as we know, was vain,

So we might like him less,

But Lady Ann was quite enthralled

By tales of his prowess.

A bird of legendary strength

Who's flown our hero miles,

Who changes size, who squeezes thighs,

While Lady Ann just smiles.

Enough, this brief digression looks

Like stroking under par,

It's time to get back to the bog

Before we go too far.]

The fog looked on, and yawned and thought,

"This must be after hours,

I'm off, I need a pint, and sleep,

I've had it with these showers."

"Well thanks a lot," the rain was peeved,

"It's not like we've a choice."

"I hate the bloody weather here,"

That comment came from Joice.

"Now pipe down, all of you, and dig,"

The Major took control,

But Dandy felt too sore and leant

Upon the punting pole.

His quest at last was near its end

Once through the Slimmer-hunt,

He'd fly with Antwerp Eagle back,

And Flergal Flea confront.

The gold would then be in his grasp,

Thence back to Grimley Moer,

To gild the spire, his heart's desire

For Bridget/d to the fore.

There's many a slip twixt cup and lip

(Which has been said, we know )

There's many a slip, so now, let rip,

What dice the fates may throw.

We're back on track! Now for the crack!

The tale we daily follow!

Hence, bards of yore! Hail Grimley Moer!

Chaiwallah, bate them hollow!

And Ekki too, let's hear from you

And Friddle of the Snockers

And virgin balladeers that feel

Temptation knock your knockers!

You're welcome all, pass on the ball

Who cares where plots may lead us?

This is the mighty Multiverse

With one or two keen readers.

And so, as summer slithers up

The trouser leg of winter

Balladeers return to whip

The ink out of my printer

Welcome back, now what's the craic

In Blaggerty and Grimley?

Many moons have passed and I

Recall it only dimly

The strangest visions briefly glimpsed

Through Grimleys famous fog

A cry comes down from o'er the moer

'Go read the mega-log'

Something 'bout a robin

And nasally nested birds

Giant fleas and rerentrees

And non-existent words

But through the mist there comes a fist

With tattoos on the knuckles

And weeks of rehab go to waste

As resolution buckles

The fist stops short of Friddles nose

Re-focuses and then

Unclenches slowly to reveal

The Balladeering Pen!

Chai you thug, you've pulled the plug

The floodgates falling open

I see a time where all things rhyme

Is this for what you're hopin'

Talking birds, you mark my words,

Will send you round the twist

You'll all be rhyming in your sleep

In days, if you persist

Call Balladeers Anonymous

I'm falling off the wagon

But if your ales this Grimley tale

Go on then, mine's a flagon

And lo and lo, the ballad reared

as a phoenix from the embers

scaring those who weren't aware

and exciting all the members.

Oh Grimley Moer, Oh Grimley Moer

from whence have you returned

we thought you'd left us in a ditch

companionship quite spurned.

Oh Grimley Moer, Oh Grimley Moer

Pray tell where dids't you go?

I took a break, dear Grimley spake,

rolling in fresh snow.

You are quite daft oh rhyming type

you'll catch yourself your death!

I am inanimate you fool

not run on blood and breath.

Good point, old fruit, good point indeed

so why'd you tell such porkers?

Such brazen lies enough to turn

me right of breakfast snorkers.

Old Grimley spake, it's good to see

you're thoughts are still so lucid.

Simmer on a gentle heat

until it's half reducéd.

Make sense, make sense, you will confuse

the newbies hear to listen

shiney, sparkly Gangloid Ploots

who bathed in gob they glisten.


Alas, alas, it came to pass

Like bludgers from a blossum,

A bunch of balladeers emerged

No longer playing possum.

Whence came these grisly grunting wights

With hours, nay days to kill?

What sought they in this nest of words

What darkly devious thrill?

Come down, foul fogs oe'r seething bogs

Infest my mildewed brain,

Repaint this mind as ballad-blind

And flush sense down the drain,

Help me, defect clear intellect,

Imbued with Grimley's stain.

(Let's face it folks, no time for jokes

Where else in modern lit

Can readers find verse of this kind,

And free, folks, every bit?!!!)

Roll on vile verse, but zip your purse,

You'll spend no time in thought,

Whatever oozes, nothing loses,

It's not your soul you've sought,

Nay, rather that falls rather flat-

It's what the devil bought.

Does this make sense? In some past tense

One might have understood,

These aren't our ways, not nowadays,

You catch my drift? Oh good!

"On then, and onwards, ever on,"

Anon, I think, I quote,

Unless it's Shakespeare,( or else me

Just pushing out the boat.)

Okay, gratuitous and grim

Some truly vacant verses

Here yield a mine of ballad rhyme -

( This balladeer rehearses,

Perhaps its just a subtle call

For psychiatric nurses.)

Oh dammit, ballad metre's struck,

Or rather, killer metre,

My demon smiles, I'll go for miles

Like some demented cheetah.

Enough, it's tough, the going's rough

It's time to pull this plug,

The muse is hot, it's time to plot -

The tale once more my drug.

The muse is hot, she's in her spot,

Deep in the grave I've dug.

Well who'd have thought we'd have such sport

Back then when May was young

When from two harmless nonsense lines

This mighty monster's sprung?

And who'd have thought we should, or ought

To exercise restraint?

Some tried, but promptly were defied,

A modest trip this ain't!

Let rip, let's flip, and firmly grip

The poison pen that's proffered,

Once more let's spring the rattletrap

Undam the torrent coffered.

[And here's to all intrepid folk

Who face the challenge dread,

Of joining in to write anew -

Four thousand lines unread

If bravely swallowed at a gulp,

(Print out and read in bed)

Will bring you up to story-speed,

Reveal the bride you've wed.]


The keeper of the green in

Grimley Village, for his tea

Has cooked a plate of fatty eels

And drowned them in grey vee

But as he eats he's overcome

By all the grease and feels

That it would be much nicer if

He had some slimmer eels

He stroodles to the window

And throws open the catch

Then chucks the plate of fatty eels

Upon the cabbage patch

Within the merest morsel

Of a hint of half a sec

A lamputloof has left the roof

And sucked them down his neck

No sooner had the final globs

Of grease and grey vee gone

The lamputloof was heading for

The roof it had been on

It landed high on Grimley Spire

Its' own roof it had missed

For lamputloof who eat grey vee

Get very, very pi$$ed

Unsteady as it was it slipped

And caused itself great pain

When in a vain attempt to stand

Stood on the weather vane

It pierced the skin and broke his shin

And snagged his woolly vest

And centuries of pointing North

And South and East went West

It made a brief and welcome change

To point a little higher

Then vane and drunken lamputloof

Both slithered down the spire

On Blaggerty the sulky fog

Sloughed off its midnight coat,

It sniffed the sniff of one well miffed,v

As sour as trousered stoat,

It sniffed the sniff of mackerel stiff

Well-rotted in a boat,

The sniff of odious odours from

Old ordure half afloat.

Which is to say, the fog dispersed

And left the scene to rain,

And rain it did, twas Blaggerty,

The Moon shone on in vain.

"See here now lads," the Major bawled

"Dig fast, dig deep, dig there.

Just what the devil are you at?"

Poor Dandy felt his glare.

Poor Alidander felt the wrath

The Major dished to duffers,

Though feeling like a month-old sock

Young Dandy digs, and suffers.

He blamed it on a rotten pint

He'd downed in Snogger's snug,

It felt as though the universe

Had just pulled out the rug,

Of course it could have simply been

A Blaggertitian bug.

So what? His supper mainly lay

Diced carrot in the punt,

And digging now for Slimmereels

Felt like a rare affront.

But shirking work was not a thing

The Major would allow,

So Alidander grabbed a spade

And used it like a plough.

He swung it high, he dug in deep,

"The furrow followed free"*

He'd catch the Slimmereels asleep

Beneath the Trembling Tree.

[*This line courtesy of S.T.Coleridge ]

But now, dear audient, a pause,

Come follow me a while,

And see this scene, so treely green

Beneath the sylvan aisle.

Behind the wooded facade lurks

The realm of Slimmereels,

Where much that isn't edible

Still ends as Slimmer meals.

Down deep and dark the hungry void

Avoids the vacuum state

By manifesting Slimmerstrings

Upon the cosmic plate.

Who knows but maybe stuff of stars

Finds birth within their guts,

How else could Lamputloofs exist

With bunions on their butts?

For Slimmereels are merely thoughts

Dreamt up by nightmare gods

To take the place of an ancient race

Hatched out of peaceful pods.

(What lies beyond the cosmic pond

But limits of belief?

Tis my belief that limits this

Next line to spliffs of kif.)

"Well, fanks a lot," 'twas Keif that spoke,

"I didn't ask to be

Included in vis ludicrous

Attempt at poetry."

"Don't worry, mate, you're out, it's done

You'll not appear again,"

The disembodied voice returned

To Blaggerty and rain.

The wilted cabbages of fate

Shed withered leaves like scurf,

As Alidander and the gang

Still ploughed among the turf.

"Look there, there's one," the Major shouts,

"Look lively. Where's your net?

That's it, now drop it in the jar,

It could be all we get."

The Slimmereel still softly glows

And wriggles in the glass,

It seems to Alidander like

The eons slowly pass.

"There's something strange about these eels,

Some magical dimension,

They seem to be and yet you see

Their space as an invention."

"What's all that rot?" the Major scoffs

"It's just a glowing eel,

There's no damned mystery, my lad,

The bloody things are real."

"In all my days," Joice sings in praise,

"I never thought I'd see

An actual Slimmereel alive

And here on Blaggerty,

I was so sure it was manure

Scraped off a Trembling Tree."

Young Shaymus, quietly meanwhile

Had filled a jar with eels,

And knowing that a tip was due

Now squatted on his heels.

"I say," the Major caught his eye,

"You've cornered quite a stash,

Should be enough for Dandy here,

I'll pay you now, in cash."

"God help us, no sir, not at all..."

He took it in a flash!

Meanwhile where was the Flergal Flea?

I could read up back-numbers

Or else I simply could decide

He's eating sea cucumbers

Crisp Quentin cries "Oh no he's not!"

The crowd roars out "Oh yes,

He is!" and suddenly we find

We're in another mess

"He's certainly not eating mine!"

-And what's your name and number?

"Crisp Quentin, at your service, dear,

Best known as C. Q. Cumber."

The Flergal pays them scanty heed

He munches through his plateful

Of sea cucumber, broccoli

And stuff both vile and hateful

The purple sprouting broccoli

Imported straight from Blenheim

Restores his flagging energy

And fills him full of venom

On matters fell his thoughts do dwell

Assault and battery

To those who pulled o'er his eyes the wool

Of blinding flattery

The first was Alidander Frume

A dandy to his heels

Who's labouring in Blaggerty

To dig up Slimmereels

The second a heraldic bird:

No heron, tit or seagull,

On flags unfurled known to the world

As Anto, the Antwerp Eagle

The third was he who who cruelly

Deceived and hurt him hard

With smoothest tongue his praises sung

'Twas Gangly Blay, the Bard

(Mal stumbles onto the scene

more than a little late

Quickly adds some brackets in

so he doesn't aggravate

He's confused, and tired, and very dazed

and he's lost an awful lot

of the dazzling web that makes him amazed -

that twisted knot, the awkward ol' plot

Would anyone like to perform

a summary for this man agog?

He shot his load while ago

and can't be arsed with the backlog.)

What, try and summarise all that?

They'd have us up for libel!

It's infinitely easier

To summarise the bible!

But still there is a box of tricks

To bring you up to date:

--The tidied text--it's great!

The Snockerty has edited

It conscientiously

But just so far it must be said

It's reached Post 333

The backlog is your only hope

(If hope there be in Grimley)

The plot's so thick your legs will stick

If you don't read it nimbly

The force of law in Grimley Moer

Is Sergeant Andy Pluvvet

He likes to keep things fair and square

(Some tell him where to shove it.)

He likes to keep things fair and square

His tees are firmly crossed,

No lurking dots are left uneyed

Or in the clink they're tossed.

Yes, Sergeant Pluvvet treads the beat

His truncheon in his hands,

His heart is large, "Just call me Sarge,"

( Don't ever call him Ands...)

He treads his beat down Strokecatt Street

Goes past the morgue, and smiles,

Ignores the corpse Steev barrows out

En route for Rankenphialls,

Because the Doctor, after all,

Is treating him for piles.

He keeps the peace, does Sarge, at least

He tends to keep the pieces,

Whatever petty felons give

As tips for their releases.

As coppers go, he's not so bad

As good as Grimley'll get,

Less of a scourge of criminals

He's more of a scourgette.

In Grimley Moer he's on his own -

The station's underfunded-

He cannot clamp the chrono-shed

Although he's often wondered

Just where young Bridgedts got it from,

Its engine must be plundered.

For now we'll let him wander on

His moonlit quiet stroll,

He greets the girls of Strokecatt Street

(They could be on the dole )

He says they should be home in bed

They differ, on the whole.

Yes, Grimley has its seamy side

It has is secrets dark,

It has its kirk, its gilt-free spire,

Its cricket and its park,

It has its flock of lamputloofs,

It has its lonesome lark,

It has its graveyard's empty graves

Where Rankens left their mark.

It has its modest pawn broker's

As loan as any shark.

The moon that drips on Blaggerty

Beams down on Grimley Moer,

An atmosphere of taut suspense

Attends that distant shore.

But round behind the Tickled Trout

The sergeant taps the door,

Which opens to reveal a body

Sprawled upon the floor.

Along comes the sweetie smiley - monster

Any jelly beans on this thread

She looks around and sniffs the ground

then eats smiley - donut and smiley - stoutinstead

The lamputloof in free-fall

Was dizzy with the pain

Of separation from the roof

Attached to weather vane

The agony of broken shin

Was nothing to compare

To being reunited with

The ground and what stood there

The knight in armour and his horse

Who waited there by chance

Conspired to break its fall, and neck

And then there was the lance

Which entered at the bottom

And left via the eye

Passed fatty eels along the way

But that was by the bye

The knight who'd drifted off to sleep

(He'd been so very tired)

Awoke to find his lance was broke

And the lamputloof expired

His suit of armour tainted with

Half eaten fatty eels

Which slithered through the chain mail

Just imagine how that feels

The Pig and Pickled Onion in the

Nearby town of Sprattle

Challenged Grimley people to a

Fancy dressing battle

They take things very seriously

In Sprattle as you know

And kept an eye on Grimley

Undercover, incognito

Bizarre historical characters

On every corner stood

Although not very good at it

They did the best they could

Napoleon Bannoffertee

Was in the Tickled Trout

But Bob the landlord rumbled him

And chucked the bugger out

He might have got away with it

If only he'd been smart

But he brought a cardboard cut-out

Of his ship, 'The Custard Tart'

In which he'd sailed around the Cape

Of Gorgonzola Cheese

And managed it a whole two weeks

Before the Japanese

Frank the forty-second lurked

Upon the village green

But being eight foot tall he didn't

Stay for long unseen

And so it was that Finkle sat

Upon his horse that night

Until the lamputloof came down

Upon him from a height

He'd come to keep an eye upon

The vicars preparations

And happened to be caught in

Lamputloffal complications

The vicar had intended to

Go as the witchy waif

But got the pattern wrong and looked

More like the Ventral Snaith

This caused some consternation when

He kept the costume on

While checking out the monthly

Grimley Grab a Gran-athon

But when at last the day came for

The costume challenge ball

The vicar wasn't even in

The running, not at all

The Sprattle folk put on a show

Of which they could be proud

One bloke came as a football match

His mate came as the crowd

Another as the Tower of Glob

On which the Fettled Snape

Had kept his wife, who lost her life

In trying to escape

Lord Peregrine of Gedditon

Came as the Mole of Woe

Chaiwallah was on holiday

That week so couldn't go

'Just as well' said those who still

Recalled last years event

He brought the flippin' house down

Though it wasn't his intent

He turned up as Vesuvius

And really stole the show

When he burned a dozen choirboys with

His pyroclastic flow

Those present wont forget how he

Erupted through the door

And molten lava marks can still

Be seen upon the floor

But Sprattle folk mean business

This year they want to win

They've told the doorman no-one

Dressed explosively gets in

They've got themselves a ringer

This time they cannot fail

The costume is quite perfect

In every detail

The Flergal Flea's a winner

You cannot fault the skin

The head, the legs, the stinking breath

Is all quite genuine

Perhaps too realistic

For Grimley village hall

This Flergal Flea-like costume

Is no costume at all

Meanwhile, in the back room of the Tickled Trout, the full force of the Grimley constabulary bears down upon serious crime.

Sarge Pluvvet has a nose for crime,

He says it makes it itch.

He's gazed upon life's faded

Corduroy without a twitch.

So many years of duty passed,

Too long to contemplate,

Long years in which he's had to scour

The dried-on egg of fate.

He's suppered off life's greasy spoon

He's known the stress and strife

That go to bake the charcoaled fat,

The crusted rim of life.

The body stretched upon the floor

Beneath his bunioned feet,

Lies flat as kippers on a pan

But doesn't smell so sweet.

"Ullo, ullo, what's going on?"

The sergeant flexes knees,

"Wot's this lot then, a bleedin' corpse

From Rankenphiall's deep-freeze?"

He looks around the motley crew

In Tickled Trout's back room,

Not much to see but nurtured pints

A-twinkle in the gloom.

His itchy nose says "murder" but

Some doubts began to niggle,

Not least because the body on

The floor began to giggle.

"Alright, that's quite enough," says Sarge

"You've had your little joke."

He prods the bod recumbent with

His truncheon, just a poke.

"Get up my lad, explain yourself,

Don't waste my precious time,

As far as I'm concerned a hoax

Is still a serious crime."

The body on the floor, of course

Just titters like a rattle,

Unused to pints of Trout's best ale -

A visitor from Sprattle!

How else can Grimley Moer be sure

To win the costume battle?

"I'm sorry son, I've 'ad me lot,

I'm throwing you in't clink,

Next time you come to Grimley you

Must have much less to drink."

Regarding Flergal Fleas.

Now, far away from Grimley in

The Veedee Yew-tree wood,

Our Flergal Flea lies bleeding

So he's feeling far from good.

His rear end is a smoking wreck

Since Alidander shot him.

One dried up yew -tree leaf is all

The medicine he's got him.

His trip upon the chrono-bike

Did nothing for his mind,

His thoughts of Prout and Gangly Blay

Are anything but kind.

He needs a feed and Yew-tree leaves

To put him back in shape

And were it not for Dandy's quest

He'd hazard an escape.

But still he lingers hoping that

Our heroe's quest will just

Bring back his flea's viagra teas

To re-ignite his lust.

He knows his missus hopes the same -

She's feeling somewhat p****d,

As mothering more pulicettes

Is high upon her list.

The Gangly Blay meanwhile is still

Intent upon that smoke

But catching fire from Flergal's rear

Is not his kind of joke.

The aged Sage, old Kneezer Prout

Looks on through golden specs,

His vision of the world remains

A psychedelic text.

Meanwhile all three of these now feel

A little schizophrenic,

Their doppelganger chrono-shedding

Induced a state of panic.

Not least because it now appears

The Flergal Flea has doubled

A time warp leaves him Grimley-side.

Surprised he's feeling troubled?

It's bad enough his wounded arse

Is wrecked beyond recall

Without his having to appear

In Grimley's costume ball.

But nonsense is as nonsense does -

(You heard this line before?)

And logical development

Long since went out the door.

Suffice to say, the Flergal Flea,

The source of Flergal gold,

Is one of several of his kind

Cast from the pulic mould.

"Pulex aureus" is the name

For golden flea in Latin,

A gracious carriage for a bug

As any bug has sat in.

Though fleas don't mind from where they suck -

Blood is their "mother's milk",

The blood is good from man or beast

Neath satin, wool, or silk.

The problem for the Flergal is

It's grown so very huge -

A decent meal is less a suck

And more of a deluge.

(In eastern parts for Buddhist fleas

There can be some confusion,

Material things are generally

Condemned as a delugion.)

And Missus Flergal must be fed

And all the Flergalettes -

No wonder than the Veedee woods

Is no safe place for pets.

Now Missus Flergal wants more kids!

What is a bloke to do?

You thought the Flergal evil, yes?

Look at his point of view.

He well may plead it's human greed

Has put him in this state.

And he thought all our heroes were

A meal upon a plate.

They'll steal his gold, they steal his crap.

It's time to emigrate!

Good grief you mean there's but one flea

How does he procreate?

And then of course he's zipped about

In time a bit of late

Perhaps he's bi-located as

So many seem to be

Thanks to the clot who broke the 'plot'

Oops, sorry, was that me?

How will his offspring feel when they

All come to reproduce

And have no choice but siblings

To choose from, that's no use

But this of course is Grimley

And nonsense lies within

And nonsense does exactly what it

Says upon the tin

Who ever said there's but one flea

Amongst the Veedee Yews?

There's Flergal, kids and missus,

If you want to pick and choose,

Biology supposes that

He must have had a dad,

A mother too, and so on back

To the prime pulic lad.

He probably has siblings too,

Coz single's far too sad,

So there's a cozy family

To make a flea feel glad.

Are all the Flergal's monsters or

Is only one that size,

So big that Alidander couldn't

Quite believe his eyes,

As he ran between those myriad legs

To archibolt its thighs?

Come off it mate, this ain't a text

From school biology,

The Flergal's quite as flexible

As any fantasy.

It gets a bit confusing, though,

For those who haven't read

Each twist and turn the story took

As down each lane we led

The hapless nonsense reader

Who must now begin to dread

That this tale is never ending

Stuck inside a chrono-shed.

Or maybe it's much worse for them

Who've followed every word -

That's if they haven't quit because

It's simply too absurd.

Whatever, it's enough to say

The Fergal's where he's needed

And if that sounds like nonsense, then

We know that we've succeeded.


Further Insight into the Law in Grimley

Now Missus Robert Pluvvet is

Devoted to her Sarge,

She loves a man in uniform

Whose truncheon's rather large.

She likes to keep it polished

So she oils it every day,

She has another one for spare

When Robert is away.

She polishes his buttons too

His helmet and his boots,

She likes some rough and tumble though

She squeaks, "You men are brutes."

She would have had a soldier, but

In Grimley there are none,

So she settled for a copper knob

"He's red-haired, so's our son!"

They've had a string of children, not

Surprising when you think

There's not much else to do at night

If hubbie doesn't drink.

So when Bob's done patrolling

And he's clamped the chrono-shed,

She makes a cup of cocoa and

She takes him off to bed.

"It's time to snuggle down," she says,

"It's time to rest your feet,

There's nothing at the day's end

Like my Bobby on the beat."


You may have wondered why we choose

To dwell upon the law?

It paints a fuller picture of

The life of Grimley Moer,

And anyhow the Sarge and Dandy

Crossed paths once before.

Our Dandy is well known in Grimley

As you may suppose.

He's stylish, he's good-looking and

He's got that awesome nose.

On him both Lucy May and Bridget

Pin their yearning hearts.

Who wouldn't, he's a hero, he's

A man of many parts.

He flies around the district

In his famous wicker chair,

Supported by an eagle with

Its claws clamped in his hair!

Twas on such an occasion that

He fell foul of the law,

When a pile of Antwerp Eagle poop

Fell foul upon the floor.

He was down at police station

For a license for his chair,

When a truly noxious odour

Permeated Sarge's air.

The Antwerp Eagle shuddered and

Turned livid sickly green,

Apologized for farting, but

It smelled no less obscene.

And then disaster happened as

He lost his self-control,

Embarrassed Dandy, who just wished

He'd dropped it down a hole.

But Sergeant Pluvvet said to him

( With monumental tact,)

"You can't dump that lot here, my lad.

That's an ill eagle act!"


Each time the Flea gets broccoli

He straight away rejects it

He seems to contradict himself;

Can this be his complexit-

Y, or varying authorship?

(Shame, reader who suspects it!)

Since Flergal got the chrono-bike

He's done some chron-biking

To past and future realms he

Has done his share of hiking

And has his choice of when and where

Is to his greatest liking

So while he's here he's also there

In fact he has arranged it

To spend eternity just where

He most enjoys. The strange bit

Is that he's settled on a time

We've seen him in already:

Where Gangly Blay laid down a rhyme

And told with straight face steady

The Flergal genealogy

(Where did he learn the lore?)

His Lektro Lyre accompanied

Wtih licks and chords and more;

The Flea, he simply lapped it up

His only wish--encore

From now the Flea is shadowy

A fleeting presence merely

His dodgy continuity

Keeps changing aspect queerly

And that is why from verse to verse

His broccoli is hateful

Or suddenly quite the reverse;

And now he has a plateful!

To chomp and chew the Flea sets to

He puts it through his juicer

His visage too, which had turned blue

Becomes a few shades pucer

Then strange to view he turns into

A Hollywood producer:

"My name is Hughie Q McHugh!

What can I do for you, sir?"

The earth had fallen silent

Not a ripple shook the sea

At Grimley Moer the people slept

In front of their TV

And Slimmereels lay limply on

The shores of Blaggerty

Will Bridged/t fall a victim to

The wanglings of TT?

Will Alidander Flume achieve

Heroic destiny?

And what will happen next

To the unstable Flergal Flea?

Has chrono-biking put an end at last

To history?

Are hootoo folk all unsubcribed

From this great lunacy?

Or will it all come back again

And haunt them three times three?

We're near ten thousand lines, ain't that

Enough for you and me?

I'm getting sick of doggerel, and

I'd like a cup of tea

Not chai, not dreaded Early Grey

Not friddled Snockerty

Not Ekki-thump, not jasmine green

Not tips of P or G

Lapsang Souchong, black, not too strong

Would suit delightfully . . .

Yet over all a feeling rose

Of some impending dread

Of tales that rumbling to a close

Once more come to a head

Like some foul beast, its hour come round

Emerging from its bed

And will great curses soon abound

On him who woke the thread?

Alas for that complacent fool

Who fancies monsters sleep

When all they do is bide their time

Emerging from the deep.

A grimley world indeed is that

Where Grimley Moer is lost,

And grim the fate of those upon

The seas of Grimley tossed.

But grimmer yet the fate of those

Caught up within this tale

Upon whom Fate has warmly spat

Fat gobbets in a pail,

As warm and soft as balls of ice

Are cold in storming hail.

Who speaks of Grimley Moer in jest

Insults a potent drug -

The balladeering sickness which

Ain't easy off to shrug,

(no more than writing doggerel,

or finding a faulty plug.)

So back to Blaggerty for now

With no unseemly haste,

There follow therefore several lines -

For now a light foretaste.

"Beware the Slimmereels," she'd said,

"Beware the Trembling Trees!!!"

Young Alidander wondered what

She'd meant by words like these.

His quest, as we have seen, at length,

Has led down twisted ways,

Enough to scramble Dandy's brains

And leave him in a daze.

And strange the days he's passed as he

Has sought the Flergal gold,

And strange the ways the Witchy Waif

Had put his life on hold.

Let's face it, what's the lad to do

Divorced from his wicker chair,

Thrust far away from Bridgedt

With her sumptuous lilac hair,

And tossed about by flaccid fate

Like frisbees through the air,

Or marbles spinning on a plate -

Twould make a man despair.

Last seen he held a jar of eels

Young Shaymus had secured

And to their eldritch midnight glow

The Dandy mind was lured.

A lurid greenish glow indeed

Beneath the Trembling Trees

Drew Alidander deeper in

The woods by slow degrees

Scornful of fate or fearsome foes

With all that he's endured,

Purged by his punt-borne vomiting

Of Snoggerdy's amber fluid.

Deep within the trees he drifts

Far from the solid voice

Of the Major gruffly hectoring

And the shriller tones of Joice.

The Dandy drifts far from his friends,

And he drifts away by choice.

Who's choice? Indeed you may well ask,

But you will ask in vain,

The Grimley Fates have spun their yarn

And knitted purl and plain

The forest of the Trembling Trees

Is old and dark as time,

With mossy roots and knotty shoots

Where frondy creepers climb.

And in these woods the Neetif Arsh

Prepare their herbs and oils,

The Trembling bark, so good for piles,

The leaves are good for boils.

But Norn Narsh see the forests as

Mere fuel for the fires

On which to dry the bags of blag

They sell to garden buyers.

No love is lost between the Narsh

And Neetif Arsh, you see

The Norn Narsh are more numerous,

A threat to every tree.

But in amongst the ancient woods

The Arsh are darkly hidden.

They say that no-one ventures deep

Amongst the trees till bidden.

Yet deep within the aged woods

Young Alidander strolled,

Led by the eldritch Slimmer-light

From the jar he'd had to hold.

And from that awesome greenish glow

The hidden Arsh drew back,

So Dandy dreamily walks on

Far down the forest track.

The secret of the Trembling Trees

Is what the Arsh conceal,

A passage to another world,

More luminous, more real.

And there, before our Dandy's eyes

There glooms an arch of stone -

Two massive slabs, and one across

The top - it stands alone.

And in the slab's great jambs are cut

Twelve niches, six per side

From which outstare with snarly glare

Twelve heads with shrunken hide.

The gateway seems a portent but,

As far as Dandy sees,

It leads to nowhere further than

The path on through the trees.

He could not know the Slimmer-glow

Is all the spell it takes

To pass beyond this portal to

The otherworld that waits,

And in that otherworld, as from

A treacley dream, he wakes.

His name is Peter Reid

joined a rock 'n' roll band

He comes from Gateshead

He headed to Sunderland

He drove a dodgy beatle

Lost his tyres in a battle

He then retired to Settle

When he became known for his stuble

A line of bubbles rent the calm

That lay upon the ocean;

Sea-creatures heaved in clammy qualm--

A monster was in motion

A belly heaved the waves that cloak

The silent seas of Blagh

A flatulent eruption broke:

The voice of Naugh Zeeaagh

The most confusing thing, I find

In Grimley is the time

With Grimley being built upon

The Great Timex Fault-Line

Where half past four can sometimes fall

Somewhere near ten to three

And breakfast has been known by some

To come straight after tea

Where fore and aft will often come

Between the side by side

And once upon a time can be

So rudely swept aside

And dizziness inducing spells

Of balladeering wit

Can leave you wondering ‘bout time

And what you’ve done with it

Miss Piddlewick of Grimley once

On opening her door

Was shocked to be confronted by

October ‘54

And all the more confusing was

The simple fact that she

Had only just been on the phone

To summer ‘63

The year they built the nonsense spout

On Grimley village green

Upon the Great Timex fault line

As we’ve already seen

Where many wandering balladeers

Have paused to fuel their minds

With silliness immeasurable

And nonsense of all kinds

I sat beneath the nonsense spout

And paid my 50p

And thanks to time anomalies

This is verse forty three

A burst of fireworks rends the air

The faithful raise the shout:

His mouse and keyboard, O beware!

The Snockerty's about!

Beware the Snockerty indeed,

But also ware the Sho -

You'll find the Bridgedts have been slashed

And know not where to go.

Beware should slash-fic take the Moer

And enter Grimley heads.

The Bridgedts bound to share their fate

But would they share their beds?

Who knows, with time a muddied pool

And space a shifting sand,

The Bridgets might yet wake essemm'd

And join the rubber band.

They might yet join the rubber band

In high heels, studs and whips,

Yet scorn the dominatrix role

And lick each other's lips.

Oh dear, I fear, the moral tone

Is once more on the slide,

Now Snockerty is back on form

They'll have a merry ride.

Crikey there’s a challenge set

If ever one was seen

Two Bridgets armed with whips and heels

How can this be kept clean?

Surely no one knows by now

What happened to the pair?

Of steeple gilding gold diggers

Green skinned with lilac hair

And who would argue anyway

With anything now said

It is but nonsense after all

I could just plough ahead

They’ve chrono-flipped and shed-o-slipped

From one place to another

And mid the chronofusion they

Have fallen for each other

With bikes and sheds, each others beds

They’ve had all kinds of fun

The times they’ve had (they killed their Dad)

And met a child (their Mum)

So what comes next for Bridget,

The Sage and Gangly Blay?

With real life interfering so

I simply couldn’t say

"A brilliant thread that fills the head

With visions from El Greco"

--This judgment, first by Edward said,

I've heard Umberto echo whatever realm it was in which Alidander awakened after passing through
the dread portals within the dark forest of the Trembling Trees on Blaggerty....

Young Alidander wakened then,

Although he didn't know it

He'd ended up in Teernan Ogue

(The sign posts clearly show it.)

It looked much like the place he'd left

With trees and solid ground

So on he went till the air was rent

By an awesome howling sound.

"Come all you Teernan Ogens now

I will not keep you long,

For I'm the Teernan Ogre and

I sing a short sad song.

I will not keep you from your toil

Although your hearts I'll rend

And tell the tale of a sorry male-

The tragic Uskar's end."

The ogre laid emotion on

With a vastly vocal trowel

And round the trees there echoed then

This song, or rather howel.

"He walked among the Vinjian Trees

His heavy head hung low,

His footsteps dragged, his spirits sagged

His breath was faint and slow.

The song he sang, in minor key

Was mournful, grey and grim

No passing birds heard Uskar's words,

No birds were drawn to him.

"There is no place for heroes now,

No matter, blessed or cursed,

Whatever mighty deeds were done,

Men judge them by their worst.

They judge them by their weaknesses

And scrutinize their failings

Before they tar and feather them

Or lash them to the railings."

He walked among the Vinjian Trees

As sorrow seared his heart,

He plucked a bitter Vinjian Fruit

And sucked the sourest part.

Gone were the days when kings were kings

And not mere politicians,

When truth and honour ruled the realm,

Not rumoured suppositions.

Gone were the days when maids would come

As his ship neared their beaches,

And offer him their sweetest fruit,

Their melons and their peaches.

Had he not fought and bled, and slain

The monsters they had feared?

Wasn't his life to fearsome deeds

Almost entirely geared?

Wasn't his manly heroe's form

To the princess much endeared?

Rewards were his for taking then,

Of silver, silks and gold

And even the princess's hand

Was often his to hold,

And she would listen, all entranced

To stories Uskar told.

They even fell in love, and planned

Together to grow old.

The king had other plans, alas,

Alliances to settle,

His daughter'd marry who he said

For all bold Uskar's mettle,

Welcome he was to pour her tea

But not to fill her kettle.

So rumours soon were put about

That at a royal feast

The hero had disgraced himself

Behaving like a beast.

They said that when the king was drunk

And everyone was merry,

He took the princess to the woods

And there devoured her cherry.

"It is not true," the princess cried

"My cherry's quite intact."

The king in well-faked rage replied

"Indeed, is that a fact?"

But Uskar was expelled from court,

His reputation blacked.

Too proud to beg or plead or moan

That's not the hero's way,

He left and walked into the night

Nor wished to see the day.

He did not turn, he did not see

Nor hear the princess cry,

Her broken heart would surely mend

But he could only die.

He walked into the Vinjian woods

And passed his mortal gate.

The bitter Vinjian he had eaten

Sealed poor Uskar's fate."

Here comes a wight whose bark and bite

Say he's nobody's poodle;

A polymath, a polyglot,

Apollo Wally Doodle

Aside, a rhyme-observer notes

(Though once he had partaken)

"This ballad runs for miles and miles -

What monster are we makin'?"

"It's fun, I grant - I had forgot -

To tweak the words, agog.

But how on earth will readers find

Time to trawl the backlog?"

"I must withdraw, my point is made,

I'll see you in a fortnight;

By then I'll be at verse 913

(D'you think I've guessed that right?)"

Your words are complimentary

Rooftiler, and to quicken

A version in one entry

Is yours here for the clickin'


It's speedier to read it there

To start, at any rate;

The Friddle did a great job but

It's not quite up to date

No wait -- I hadn't checked at all

I'm smiley - sorry Snockerty!

He's caught us up -- he's on the ball --

He's reached post 423!

Now this is nonsense long enough

I think you have your ballad

But how long is a piece of string?

Or how green is a salad?

And who could say, with hand on heart

enough is now enough?

Who knows what in the future lies

(and all that kind of stuff.)

Continue please to entertain,

To tickle and massage

Our dawning grasp of fantasy

(or some such by and large)

Apollo Wally Doodle paused

and surveyed the Vinjian woods.

His task was tough, the going rough,

Could he deliver the goods?

With compass and Swiss Army knife

All in the best condition

He's kitted out; but for his life

He can't recall his mission

The time has come, perhaps, to say

We've ended volume one,

Although the story's unresolved

And part two scarce begun.

My instincts tell me ( as they do )

There's lots still left untold,

Like Dandy's trip in Tirnaogue

And where's the Flergal gold?

And who will win the Bridgedts' hands?

Is marriage on the cards?

Will Dandy Frume wed Rankenfiall?

The puzzle's all in shards.

To think it was a year ago

That Grimley moored its craft

Upon the shores of lunacy

And drove us nearly daft.

It still holds out the promise of

A last laugh yet unlaughed.

The Grimley pennant flutters yet

Upon its Moorish shaft,

And somewhere in some addled brain

There is a murky draft

Of Grimley offshoots still ungrown

But ready for their graft,

As Grimley's gardener holds his knife

A-ready, by the haft.

So here's to yet another voyage

On the Grimley raft.

Come, cast off forrard, balladeers,

Set sail. What? Cast off aft!

We'll take whatever breezes come

That Grimley Moor-wards waft.

Then all at once new blood appears

To carry on the tale

Though time alone can tell if they’re

Just here for Grimley Ale

Or if they have the bottle for it

Do they have the spleen?

Is the new blood darkest red

Or is it Grimley Green?

One thing’s certain, holidays

Are with us once again

Is that free time upon my hands

Or a balladeering pen?

Apollo stops to think and rest

Against a dangly tree;

The badges sewn across his chest

Proclaim proficiency

Apollo! Wot's 'e doin' 'ere?

Bin taken for a lyre?

Is 'e just a redundant god

Or a ballad pen for hire?

Across the top are knots and rope,

The next, 'oares cross'd', for rowing.

Below that tier some pins appear,

'For expertise in sewing'

Well hidden on the left hand sleeve

The "knife and fork" - for cooking

Below which Mr Natural

Urged him to "Keep on Trucking"

It's doubtful whether critics will

(In aeons yet to come )

Bestow much time on Grimley Moer's

New incunabulum.

This curious text on Merit Badges,

(Surely marginalia,)

Can only seriously be classed

As balladeering failure.

Of course within the broader text

A sub-text will be found

As any de-constructionist

Who works this fertile ground

To excavate the references

Like bones beneath their mounds.

It's what they pay professors for

In tax-payers' hard-earned pounds.

It may be thought, in years to come

That references to Apollo

Denote respect to classic muses

( See the line I follow? )

Though classics here in Grimley

Would be Moer than most could swallow!

The Apollonian boy-scouts

And their Apollonian maids

Wear a special condom merit-badge

Coz they're aware of AIDS.

Of course, the critics tell us that

In such a mode of dress,

They're Dionysiac - rather more -

And Apollonian - less.

Dear Reader, if by now you feel

That things have got confused,

Remember that in Grimley Moer

We long ago refused

To leave one stone unturned, not one

Irrelevance unused,

So long as it's all nonsense

And the writer is amused.

The reader's lot is just to grin

And groan, or maybe laugh,

As miles of empty persiflage

Drift by like so much chaff.

Don't search these lines for meaning

Or coherence, or a plot,

The central thread of Dandy's quest

Abandoned ( not forgot )

Will surface soon, or later,

And will make more sense, or not.

Just rest assured, we do our best

To fill our oeuvre with passion

( From "patior," Latin, "suffer,")

In the best post-modern fashion.


It puzzles me to think we've come

So far into this tale

Of Grimley, its' inhabitants,

The church, the pubs, the ale

Beyond a thousand verses now and

And yet to hear report

Of the wonder that is Grimley

International Air-o-Port

Splendidgeously constructed from

The finest Conkerite

It could be seen for miles when all

The lights came on at night

A runway started near the end

Of Limping Lepers' Lane

And ran the entire length of what

Had once been Grimley Plain

The tower with its' radar dish

That scanned the empty skies

Had long since lost the interest

Of most of Grimleys' eyes

They know it as 'the fack-tree'

And they pay it no more mind

Assuming it makes biscuits

Or confections of some kind

For though it comes complete with

Terminals one, two and three,

A host of check-in desks,

Departure lounge and duty-free

There's no-one there to use them

By either day or night

As those who live in Grimley

Have not yet discovered flight

Beneath the Grimley viaduct

On Limping Lepers Lane

Two beady little eyes are taking

Shelter from the rain

Whilst peering through binoculars

They sweep across the scene

From multi storey car-park to

Departure gate fourteen

As glumpness falls on Grimley as

It does each night at eight

A shadow slips out of itself

Down by the Fack-tree gate

Beneath the watching eyes there now

Appears a knowing smile

Upon a mouth which says

“Hello my friend, it’s been a while”

The ghost of Corporal Custard

Of the forty second flight

Of Grimley volunteers brigade

Was itching with delight

“A fine day for a holiday”

The ex-old bugger thought

While checking in at Grimley

International Air-o-Port

Completely unaware that in

The present futures’ past

Complete existence failure would

Be his thanks to the blast

Which ripped his continuity

From where it once had been

And left him somewhere to the left

Of some place in between

He’d just checked in and made his way

To get a cup of tea

When time itself collided with

A chrono-biking flea

Which caused a chronoplosion of

The twenty first degree

The consequence of which no one

Could possibly foresee

And so now centuries earlier

He'd found himself at last

And this time he would put his future

Firmly in the past

The eyes of Corporal Custard set off

Briskly down the lane

To catch up with themselves before

They blew apart again

and now that he's been and gone

and everywhere between

so far up in the skies

he reached up and he grabbed the stars

and all the magic that he's seen

now put his head between his legs

and kissed his a** goodbye

At some time in the future

It was said by those who know

That Grimley was a wondrous place

As modern cities go

At least until disruptions to

The chrono-logic flow

Caused who knows what to what knows who

And what was who to know

A meeting of the back to front

Brought endings to a start

As eons merged and centuries

Of now were blown apart

In what would soon be known as what

Was known to soon not be

And that which wasn’t any more

Was not what it should be

The moral (if there was one)

Would most probably be

Don’t let your chrono-bike be ridden

By the Flergal Flea

Meanwhile, on the far side of Time, beyond the Blaggerty
chronoportal, Dandy wanders bewildered in Tirnanogue.


"Ochone, ochone," the ogre's groan

Rang round our hero's ears

"Ochone, ochone," a morbid moan

Accompanied by tears.

The ogre groaned in misery

"I've lost my mobile phone,"

He put dark glasses on his nose,

"I vont to be alone."

"Vot's happened here in Tirnanogue,

Vy is it all so grim?"

He seemed perplexed, and somewhat vexed,

Something tormented him.

"Vot's happened to our land of youth,

Vere did it all go bad?"

He seemed upset, he seemed to fret,

He seemed, quite simply, sad.

"Excuse me, sir," said Dandy then

"Are you in need of succour?"

The ogre looked through teary eyes

And his trembling lips did pucker.

"I vont to be alone," he said,

"But please don't go avay,

My tale is long and very sad

And could well last all day."

"Ochone, ochone and pogue mahone,"

The ogre groaned in grief,

"I'll sing my song - it's far too long -

Sure, how could it be brief?

Alas for Tirnanogue, alas

This land of light and truth,

This land of never-ending pints

And bright eternal youth.

A kind of Paradise it was

Of never-fading day,

Where flesh was golden, smooth and firm

And never a hair was grey.

Green were the trees and green their leaves

And emerald green the grass,

And green the eyes of the dragon-flies,

But now? All things must pass.

Alas, alas, all things must pass,

The Age of Gold has faded.

The elixir of endless bliss

Is powerless, kaput, jaded.

Our golden world of emerald green,

Our dream has gone astray,

And small grey men live small grey lives

In a world of concrete grey.

Our emerald grass is an underpass

For a highway rent with screams,

Where each grey mind in its grey steel box

Speeds to its concrete dreams.

There was a time, a timeless time

When giants strode our earth,

Like mountains on the move they were

With belts of monstrous girth.

Their red heads blazing like the sun,

Their buttocks like the moon,

With mighty thighs and glittering eyes

Both hero and buffoon,

And mighty lovers, all of them

That never came too soon.

And mighty were their women-folk,

Like ripe fruit fit to burst,

Prodigious were their appetites

And mighty was their thirst.

And powerful were their curses too -

God help the man they cursed.

Where are the mighty heroes now

The golden lads of old?

The emerald world of Tirnanogue

Is withered, grey and cold,

Where small mean men with small mean minds

Think leaden truth is gold,

And nothing is important if

It can't be bought and sold.

Come all ye wandering Dandies now

And listen to my song,

A song of ancient Tirnanogue

And how it all went wrong."

A small grey man in grey steel box

Tuning his radio

By happenstance did come to chance

Upon the Grimley Show

A damsel with a dulcimer

And voice of cooing smiley - peacedove

Was reading this here epic, and

Had reached the lines above

"I'm glad" he thought "I didn't live

When giants strode the earth"

Just then a monster lorry passed

Leaving him little berth

He panicked, swerved, then lost control

And landed in a ditch

That's all you're going to hear of him;

He's dead. His name was Mitch.

Apollo sat and scatched his head

Reading his pocket pooter

His orders said "When Flea is dead

Bring back its gold pea-shooter"

He'd learnt about the Flergal Flea

In briefings for his mission

And how it shot out golden peas

From some obscure position


Now Custard's spent a lifetime

In attempt to reunite

The parts of him dispersed by

Random Flergal chrono-flight

Since one night in the future as

He left for Megaloof

When time got off its' roundabout

And said 'enoof's enoof!'

So now he's found the airport

He awaits the very flight

That meets with such disaster on

That yet to happen night

The flea would soon be there and things

Might not have been so bad

If he hadn't broke the cyclic metro-doodle

But he had

This has the strange effect of splitting

Strands of time in two

Whilst others tie themselves in knots

As strands so often do

The moment stretched across the whole

Of time and back again

And where an airport once had stood

There now stood Grimley Plain

The home to several dozen

Psychometric Tantramoles

With long established rights to dig

For pleasure or for coal

Now Custard hopes to see things put

Back in their rightful place

He's packed an extra batch of cheese

And chutney just in case

But hasn't made allowance for

Precession of the poles

And neither have a pair of

Psychometric Tantramoles

So this time when the Flergal Flea

Arrives he isn't met

By two hundred and twenty people

On a jumbo jet

And Custards' realignment of

The airport and the plain

Must wait until the chrono loop

Repeats itself again

Meanwhile a pair of tantramoles

Are startled as their tea

Astonishingly turns itself

Into the Flergal Flea

So meanwhile in another part

Of Gimleys’ mighty tome

Green skinned Brigit Twiddleditch

Has time knots of her own

The way ahead was simple for

She had a magic map

But didn’t understand it and

She got into a flap

By flying sheds through space and time

And causing much confusion

Until a blast at Glurry brought

The shed to its’ conclusion

So there she was confused and bruised

No closer to the gold

With which she’d gild the steeple here

In Grimley, so we’re told

And in tabloid attempt to make

The story more compelling

She’s fallen for her duplicate

(In everything but spelling)

And also, (though relations with

Themselves less complicated)

The Sage and Blay the Bard are

Similarly duplicated

One pair here with Brigit

And her parallel Bridgéd

The other two remain from whence

The Flergal flea has fled

Upon the Sages’ chrono-bike

It seems so long ago

They must be bored and Kyuwar Tea

Supplies are getting low

But there they are and there they’ll be

Till someone takes the baton

On hearing that the Bard sits back

And rolls another fat ‘un

So there it is, apologies

For owt that I forgot

Here come a dozen balladeers

To further twist the plot

1eons, in which are measured the lives of gods. 2Which is NOT pronounced Loogerburoo

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