or Reconstituted Corn
or Keeping off the Monkeys
or ELTTOB EHT FFO GNIPEEK
or The Wax Sunflower
- Simple sisters in the sunlight
- I sit upon the topmost bough,
- I know what she says but I dread what she thinks
- O tell me, where is the welkin, wherein the whelk in play
Simple sisters in the sunlight
Watching o'er their brothers' game,
Xella was the former's name and Margelet the latter
Aunts and uncles in the fireplace
Watch the sisters watch their brothers
While the lowly wombat smothers in vats of rancid batter.
Xella's dress is pink and cotton
Oft remembered, oft forgotten;
Margelet's is black. She dresses in a sack.
The wombat's in a pickle now, he stirs in sauce tartare
Rememb'ring how his uncle died, sealed in a samovar.
Simple Simon met a fairman
Xella met them both
She said: Get right out of my hair, man
And Margelet added an oath:
Life gets thicker.
Than Margelet who quietly rose and padded
To put her arms around the aged cleric
And lovingly to call him Uncle Eric
"I thought the topmost bough too Atmospheric".
I sit upon the topmost bough,
My sister's singing louder now
I fall upon a lower limb
And arm in arm we sing the hymn:
I climb up to the lowest cloud
My sister's singing gets more clear
And as I strain her song to hear
It doesn't seem so loud.
It seems as soft as if she sang
To God through reams of cotton-wool
Of barb'rous bisons, three bags full
Of auld, of syne, and even lang.
She sits upon the dovecote perch
And paints a picture of the Pope
And fills her rosary with soap
To clean her corner of the church
I rise to reach the raging moon
Pale sister to the stalwart sun
And croon aloud the timeless tune
Run Rabbit Run.
My sister's speaking softer now
Although her thoughts are dreadful ones
She speaks of raging turbid suns
And lady farmers. Here's the plough:
I know what she says but I dread what she thinks
I think that her head never eats, never drinks
In thought it is barren as beef.
I rose with the sun but the crown sank away
In the arms of some king who retired from the fray
And asked for the Welder's relief.
King Maffy he was, known as Matthew for short
He didn't like games, but he was fond of sport,
And wasn't called Matthew for long!
The Welder arose with his son in his arms
And christened his sister, who owned several farms;
His arm, when he knelt, was not strong.
The sister asserted she knew what she thought
The sorters assisted, the teachers they taught
I know she will dread what I say.
The sunflower rose as the moonhouse grew green
I've seen what she dreads to believe I have seen
But I am unable to say.
Yes I am unable to tell her the truth
About Mrs Pankhurst and General Booth;
I know I should welcome her back
The roseate sundial, which Rosy ate whole
Was worm-ridden, germ-ridden, sick to the soul:
Who soldered the thickening crack?
O tell me, where is the welkin, wherein the whelk in play
Disports among his countrymen entirely dressed in hay,
And where on Mars is the shady glade where ladies dressed in green
Pop pigs'-eyes in the earthlight, to make it seem serene?
I tell you now, enquire no more.
And who will weep for Hecuba, or Hecuba for whom?
And when will Deirdre come to see the view without a room?
And where on Mars is the shady glade where horses ape the king
Do Martians train their ears to hear what pop-eyed piglets sing?
I warn you now, inquire no more.
And where, O where, is the very glebe wherein the grebe makes merry
Sharing with his relatives the last of Walter's sherry
And where on Mars are the storage jars where the ibex keeps his gruel
Of nitric composition -- can I take a bit to school?
I shoot you now, you'll ask no more!
CLICK -- damn!
The villain hissed.
©1973, 1999 The Rat Fathom Poets
Edited by Peter Christian
May 31 2023.