2013 Poetry Theme Challenges
#08 Once Upon a Happy Ever After
We all have books and stories that have stayed with us from childhood through adulthood.
No great surprise one of mine JM Barrie's Peter Pan which oddly means more to me as an adult
than it did as a child. The challenge this time is not necessarily to retell the stories but
to share what they mean to you - a tribute as it were.
Happy quilling to you all
Once Upon a Happy Ever After
It seems like I was always able to read
And fabulous adventure was my need.
The adventures of Biggles by W.E.Johns
I based my nocturnal adventures upon
Tales where reading I was assiduously drawn.
Then I found Enid Blyton's famous five
They'd 21 adventures on which I'd thrive.
Later was Asimov and others of his ilk
Arthur C. Clarke I treated just like silk
And Edgar Rice Burroughs I didn't bilk.
Jack Whyte talked of England after Rome,
Of Angles and how AEglaland was named.
How they and Saxons made England home
And the North west the Vikings claimed.
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Jem Farmer - Roxi St Clair
Said Peter Pan, "I will ne'er be a man"
I am young and free because I am Pan
My boyish heart can never fade to age
Yet gathers dreams of years in wisdom's sage
While Hook put my fairy love in a cage
I taught my boys the magic words to sing
Lest my fairy die on a broken wing
I could not stand and watch my beauty die
For she alone is my heart's reason why
My love the means by which her wings can fly
Said Peter Pan "I believe, I do, I do"
I believe in the love that holds my soul
And I believe in you to make me whole
I believe in love that is me and you
Beloved Pan, "I'll ne'er stay held captive"
My freedom comes from all the love you give
Boyish charm and sweet unrelenting heart
No Captain's deeds will make us ever part
A lifetime beginning we may now start
My brave Pan, I imagine Hook's surprise
Must've been a shocking look in his eyes
Pan, 'tis only your heart that I carry
Thine heart offered freely by this fairy
My dear Pan, whom someday I shall marry
My life also yours with whom I entrust
I'll fly you to stars that shine and twinkle
'Naught so hard for this fairy to sprinkle
Magic mixing two heart's with pixie dust
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Dragon-boat sailing down a river,
to what fabulous island are you sailing,
laden with roses and spices.
"Never you mind," called back the Captain to my enquiry
"but look for us in two months time
when we return with a bride for the new-crowned King of Summerland.
These flowers and condiments are just a tiny portion of her dowry.
In the days to come you will see many dragon-boats pass this way,
each one laden with rare and marvellous things:
ice swans carved from arctic glaciers,
pens that write the most marvellous poetry,
fashioned from the plumage of multi-coloured Birds of Paradise,
satins and silks and acrobatic dwarfs all liveried in chequerboard quilt,
expensive teas and resins from yellow Cathay,
black and red lacquered boxes from the courts of old Nippon,
fir-cones dipt in molten emerald and ruby,
a map of the known world drawn by seven blind virgins
on the puffed-up chest of a great white booby
- these and many other wonders too unlikely or pulchritudinous
to deserve to be observed by itinerant
riverside moochers such as yourself.
Look out for them, bumpkin, and take good note
so that you might, in the roster of years to come,
catalogue them to your grandchildren
and watch their eyes grow round in wonder!"
"What a haughty fellow," mused the peregrinatic poet to himself.
"But still, he is right.
I will come again tomorrow at the same time and bring a notebook.
I have never even heard of this self-styled King of Summerland
and would gaze, if only for a minute or two,
upon the loveliness of Her Beauty with the great of the world
as well as its humblest fellow
when she passes hither in eight weeks
- a fabulous creature plucked from her homeland
like some gaudy ostrich or phoenix feather.
Does she wed from love or the dictates of state?
I shall raise a glass of ale to her this evening
before I return to the wife
and listen to her awful keening...
Ship of Leaves
Ships of Leaves, with matchsticks for masts,
leaving today on oak leaf winds,
bound for who knows where.
Wish us Bon Voyage, you city dwellers
we may be voyaging to disaster
or we may be sailing to great futures
just around the next bend of the river
and past Farmer Mossop’s cabbage fields
and the old windmill where Fred the Tramp
sometimes sleeps in Winter,
drinking homemade potato whiskey
and cooking old roots on the old stove
he got off Frederick Fox.
Ships of leaves, with matchsticks for masts
and the occasional dragonfly to guide us.
Watch out for that half blind frog
and Old Man carp flexing his teeth;
watch out for the Pookha
that lives in Dead Man’s Lake
and the will-o-wisps in Madman’s Marsh.
Life may be joyful, life may be harsh,
but aboard the Beautiful Barnacle
we all pull together,
playing merry shanties on bagpipes and harp
and dancing a boisterous hornpipe.
Heave-ho, my hearties and break out the shag!
Watch out for the Leopard Fish, the Water Dragon,
Eels and the gruesome Whirlpool Nag…
Ships of leaves, we’re leaving today;
we’ve stocked the larder with little snacks
of basmati rice
and thimbles of cool morning dew.
We’d like to stay another day
but we’ve already said our farewells.
At last we’re off, hurray, hurray,
- ships of leaves, sailing away!
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