Beneath my mantlepiece volcanoes belch
and outside monstrous toad-things squelch.
sitting on a book-lined shelf
an old brass goblin chortles and rubs its hands;
on my desk a very slow Hourglass
counts out infernal sands.
This is the season of waiting
when rain is thick and heavy:
in rotten jungles beyond the edge of the town
witches and ogres grimace and frown,
squeezing the heavens from their wet clothes.
Dragons twitch beneath the earth,
dreaming in their blankets of mould;
somewhere, something is giving birth
but the child that she bears is wizened and old...
Above my ceiling, just under the roof
An earthquake's asleep, its snoring bizarre,
It wheezes and snorts and shivers at night,
And frightens people from near and afar
Sometimes it's restless, perhaps when it's hot,
And if it turns I can feel the house shake
Then I creep around in bare feet all day
Just to make sure that it does not awake.
But out in the garden, near the fig tree
A small fat toad hops around all day long,
He's given the quake a potion, he says
So that its slumber will be deep and strong.
But now from out of the garden pond
there lifts an awful miasma,
with curling tendrils and fearful pong
It can't be the plumbing,
I only had a man in last week
- but something is definitely wrong!
And now wet and dripping, her sanity slipping,
mad cousin Mavis crawls out on the lawn
"What," she simpers and slurps,
"am I too late for the Mid-summer Ball?"
She's says to me, a big smile on her face,
"I confess I think I'm lovely tonight,
My dress is pure silk and my pearls are real,
And yet you look as if you've had a fright.
I've had my hair curled by a stylish eel,
And have been soaking in fish oil all week,
So I'd dared to hope, dear cousin that you
Would have been pleased yet it seems you can't speak!"
I stammered and stuttered "Mavis my dear,
No doubt you'd have been the Belle of the ball,
But as luck would have it there's been a change,
And this year there will be no fete at all."
"In that case,' she replied, 'we must make our own fate'
and pressing her sucker-like lips to mine
dragged me deep down into the pool.
I've tried several times over the last five years
to return to dry land but without success.
If anyone finds this hastily scrawled note,
cast up in a bottle upon the bubbling quicksand,
please throw down a line to one who repines...
I'll gladly trade volcanoes and toads
for the passionate Pookah who swears she is mine!
ps a Pookak is a celtic water spirit that lives in streams, wells etc
often takes the form of a horse but not always.