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
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"
"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
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..."
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
"HTTP ERROR 404"
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 -
"THIS VACANT SUITE IS VOID BUT NEAT
NO PREVIOUS DESECRATION,
THE VIEW IS FREE, THE COSMIC SEA
AWAITS YOUR OCCUPATION."
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
" I wish I saw
My Luvv delish
"My Luvvis Drood
My Luvvis lyood
My Luvvis carply
"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
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
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 --
"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
"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
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
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
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"
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
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
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,
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."
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
"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
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,
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
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
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,
GLUBBY, are you LISTENING?
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
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
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
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
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
* * *
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
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
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
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
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
"SNACKLE TACKLES SNARFLING SCHLAPS"
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.
"SNACKLE TACKLES SNARFLING SCHLAPS"
In Tablets - easy swallow -
or diamond-edg'd suppositories
Available from pharmacists
and reputable retailers
but can be bought from anyone
"SNACKLE TACKLES SNARFLING SCHLAPS"
Purveyors to the Queen
Free of added flavours
so you know where they have been.
"SNACKLE TACKLES SNARFLING SCHLAPS"
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
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
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
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*.
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
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
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 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
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 -
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,
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
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
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
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
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,
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.]
END OF POINTLESS ASIDE..
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
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
Any jelly beans on this thread
She looks around and sniffs the ground
then eats and instead
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
Bizarre historical characters
On every corner stood
Although not very good at it
They did the best they could
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
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
And what will happen next
To the unstable Flergal Flea?
Has chrono-biking put an end at last
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
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
Meanwhile..in 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
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
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
This curious text on Merit Badges,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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