(Reimagining of The King, The Mice And The Cheese, by Nancy and Eric Gurney)
Once upon a time there was a King. The King had everything he could wish for, he was always having a ball, yet he enjoyed the simple joy of cheese most of all. His cheese makers made the best cheese in the land, he sat in his throne room feeling quite grand. He was enjoying the cheesy pong wafting through his palace, the servants enjoyed the smell as it drifted through the halls, the villagers enjoyed the aroma as it floated through the streets, then the mice enjoyed the stench as it arrived in the fields. This aroused the mice nostrils no end, the mice set to follow it’s delicious cheesy tantalisation towards the King’s place.
Upon arrival the mice dove in to every plate, decadent in all they ate, they swam in the fondue bowl and ran through the cheddar holes, they sprang from the mascarpone, not one brie was left to sit alone. The King did not like this invasion one bit, as sat he said, “Oh bother”.
The King took his hunting gun, taking aim at the frivolous mice. Bang! went his gun and bang! twice, again, bang! it went several times more. Yet the mice were way ahead in the score, the walls took the brunt of the King’s angry furore.
The king called on the builders to repair the shocking damage in his wonderful palace. Upon arrival the builders stepped mud on the rugs and wafted dust in his gold cups, even in the royal bathroom, they left the seat up. Mess was the builders calling card. The dusty mice gathered and ran up the walls, as the King made another of his calls.
The decorators were next, brightly the walls became, yet the mess was twice the same, covers wafted clouds of dust in the air, for their mess they had no real care, paint splashed in the gold cups, they also, left the seat up.
The mice were all splattered in red, as the King sat sorry for himself, nursing his head.
A call to the cleaners was made, surely the cleaners know how to behave. The cleaners cleaned the walls and the halls, if the King sat still they’d have even cleaned the King’s ears. All was clean in the cleaners doings, yet their sayings were not. Rumours spread through the villages and streets, all the dirt said, the cleaners repeat. The mice all sat giggling in the royal foyer, while the King made a call to his best lawyers. As soon as the lawyers arrived in the place, the mice all ran to make their escape, there are some folks even a mouse will not tolerate.
The King lived less wealthily ever after.
‘It’s business’. The disclaimer underwriting all misdemeanour and rotten trading. Money is not the be and end all, in fact it is a large perverted part of the road to ruinous acts. Despite how large and bountiful the earth is, greed will be it’s downfall.
On the one hand there’s patriotism
on the other hand there’s sanity
I’m sure we can all discuss
without all the profanity.
Religion was not created to beat you, to tie you to unspeakable rule, not there to take your money and your virginity, religion is supposed to be shelter, comfort and love.
The egotist bellowed something about his wealth, never did get those songs.
I like to hear the warm hearts overcoming fear to share their giving soul.
I feel I may be faking it sometimes, that this might just be a self inflicted malady for attention, perhaps I am the type that need to know someone will care when I leave, perhaps to test a loved ones resolve. But who knows who we really are? not me, at the gates perhaps they will hand me a ticket, tell me who I was, and what I was supposed to be doing.
He sat next to her and hoped she would not run, such bravery deserves a delayed humiliation. In internal search for words, all that came was ‘Do you come here often?’, Awkwardly he waited for better. While he waited, she left.
The woman stepped forward to talk and they all began hooting and jeering, as if a completely different species had entered their enclosure. They bounced on their perches and continued to howl. Any minute now I’m sure, these things are going to start slinging their faeces at her.
To clear my head, I walk through the graveyard in the pouring rain. The stones occasionally gleam in the light shed from a peaking moon, todays flowers are being battered to the ground, the mossy path is treacherous under foot. I lift the peak on my wilting hat and spy a pair of vaporous phantoms below sodden umbrellas. Even the ghosts are taking shelter tonight.
A rancid empty husk is shouting that he won
if you are so happy why do you hug your gun?
your tepid darkness merely taints some fun
you cannot blemish the joyous burning sun.
Shadows cast are changing form
independent of their master
horns appear from handles and spouts
demons dance for flickering candles
Give a goat a fish
and he eats for a day
teach a goat to fish
that’s a long term project.
Elegantly the stoat came by
with a crooked look in his eye
he left the scene without shame
now nothing will ever be the same.
I love clear skies so deep and blue
dee da do da do bee doo
I love trees they grow so high
oh me oh my oh sha la li
I love beans they make me fart
parp parp parp parp parp.
Teaching Trump to care, is much like trying to teach a worm to juggle.
Mr and Mrs Action crawled out of bed and got dressed. “I won’t leave you behind” cried Mr Action. “Where are my socks?” asked Mrs Action, “I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you” he replied with a devilish grin. “Are you ready?” asked Mr Action, “I was born ready!” she exclaimed, “Shut up and kiss me” drawled Mr Action semi sultrily. Dressed Mr Action went to go down stairs for breakfast, “Cover me, I’m going in” he shouted, then shuffled along the hallway wall. He went to look in the cereal box then mumbled “I’ve got a bad feeling about this..”. Sure enough, the Rice Krispies box was empty. Mrs action reached into one of the higher cupboards, recovering a half full box of Rice Krispies, pulling her shoulder in the process, “I’m getting too old for this shit” she complained. Mr Action stared at the sad little box of half eaten Rice Krispies then bellowed “Is that all you’ve got!?”. Mrs Action tutted and said “We can do this the easy way, or the hard way.. They have them at Tesco, or they may have them at the corner shop”. Mr Action hung his head, “You just don’t get it do you, Rice Krispies are all I’ve got left”. Mr action headed for the door, turning to grab his coat, “There’s a storm coming” he hung his sorry head and added “If I’m not back in ten minutes, don’t you wait for me”. Yeah, you’d better run!” Mrs Action exclaimed.
She was in her eighties but new to her work. An enthusiastic witch who shuffled about the alleys, helping those in need with a potion here and a spell there. As she learned, she expanded upon her ways to help, one day she learned to fly.
This drew attention from some young magic folks. The young always seem to wield their power to strut, to show off. Possessive of their magic, they wished to quash a dream, so set to bully the new witch. They transformed her home, they removed her door, her belongings imprisoned in brick. As they laughed they blocked her chimney, filling her home with smoke. These inconveniences continued for several months, but the witch continued to learn. The group got bolder as they kept up their attacks with no retaliation. But their laughing heard by the witch as they retreated pushed the witch too far. During her pursuit one fleeing youth lost a page from her pocket, an ancient page bearing ancient writing. The witch tore the page in strips, the youth fell from the sky. One returned to investigate, he met the witch and lost his page. Powerless he fell too, to flee on mortal foot. These kids had found magic in one tome, with no sacrifice of time nor energy, just given, they wasted it without thought. The remaining youths hid in a coffee house, holding their pages dear, thinking of how they will ration their gift more mindfully.
Captain Clucky the wonder chicken
her golden wings flapped all strange
she rescued all the penned in fowl
believing they should be free range
Clucky flew and zinged all about
to the farmer she was malicious
she got a little over confident
to the farmer she was delicious.
Dreaded are the moments
on green pastures sodden
nettles sting the knuckles
knowledge now forgotten
everyone has a reason
yet still they let us down
all patterns are repeating
petals fall to the ground
pleasing to the eye is
looking to the past
Sunday goes too fast.
She has a few lights blown on her Christmas tree,
but the ones she has left shine beautifully.
Looking out of the window, the drizzle still comes down. Just one splinter of sun would cheer me, but the slate rolls through unbroken. I haven’t seen my shadow for days, I hope he is OK, possibly he drowned, I should have let him dry on a wall for a time, instead of leaving him on the ground. I miss him.
It is a soggy place to buy a sports car, yet this dank isle sells more than the warmest climes. Such perversion, sat in the traffic in the pouring rain, roof down and smiling broader than the ones in the warm.
Winter trees are showing their claws
no warm leafy curves anymore
gnarled and twisted a menacing sight
please spring come to soften their bite.
Drizzle has no anger like the storm
it stirs no emotion but meh.
The crows can wait it out no longer
so head out into the lashing rain
to see who died last night.
Such celebration from the crows
when morning comes
blessed with sun
they cackle and they caw
no more rain anymore.
Centuries ago, by the light of a fire, in the vibrant wood, no wonder imagination took flight. The flickering flame paints gruesome movement on gnarled oak trunks, while the impish ash dances skyward. Tales are told to hold fond ones near, tales to pin their hearts to home.
If you venture out beyond the ridge, you will meet from where the screech comes, That loathsome beast will snatch your soul and fix it to burning thorns. In a tortured forever you will learn the foul word named regret.
There really is no barrier between here and there. I was surprised the ones of there do not visit more often, and that we are so ignorant we have not discovered the pathways ourselves. Perhaps their delicacy lends them timidity. In all their otherness, their vitreous face, they come to our clod footed place unprotected and frail, a wisp in our glutinous human realm. Whatever they make of us, their stay is brief and often tormented. I now hope we never discover the paths ourselves.
Long silver shadows scamper along the attic floor
chasing sparkling dust to an antique chest of drawers
witnessed is nothing in midnight’s unbroken cloud
a crackle and a creak the bottom drawer slides out.
Laying in the bath watching the tap build a drip between my resting wrinkled toes. A soothing feeling weighs upon my lazing eyelids, a steam thickened breath fills my lungs, extreme lethargy soaks in me, I don’t flinch when the vaporous duckling spirits swim beneath my legs again. What a cute haunting.
A millipede is a Juggernaut to the microscopic ant
ant wants to ride the juggernaut but he really can’t
oh to ride the jungle highway along the jungle floor
to beat all the long ant lines to the jungle store
dreams fall away so he rejoins the micro masses
in time to get in line to cross some sweet molasses.
Metagnostic how his lipostomy does little to stem his logorrhea.
In the woods there are many things that howl and screech, but it is the Conger Moose that reigns. Beware the crackle of hoof upon crisp leaf, heed the warning call of the whooping cranes. You would be wise to make your retreat, your feet running swift aflame.
Short of directions I turned into this residents to gather bearing, the gravel drive crunched beneath my wheels. The help look on incredulous at the ostentatious colour, the ostentatious lines, at my very existence. The lady of the manor blindly bounded out of the door in excitement, bumping her head on a hanging basket, I helped her to her feet and picked up her cane, the fall had dampened her enthusiasm not one jot, she enthused “You must come see my fish, such playful beauties, do come in”. Bobbing on her effervescence I followed her indoors.
The old mansion was old moth-eaten, yet the help maintained it’s fragrance with fresh bloom and clear windows. I sat on a buttoned burgundy leather chair, while she sat on the floor, I dis-chaired and helped her onto her feet, to interface bottom with chair, before returning to mine. Immediately she began to enthuse once more of the fish, I looked around and there against the wall, a large aquarium sat with all manner of shipwrecks, bobbing divers and bubbling treasure chests, but no fish. To appease her I sprinkled some food into the aquarium and returned to the squeaky comfort of the chair. behind me I hear a disturbance in the waters, a splash of activity, I turn to glimpse a tail but no more, as the food continues it’s tumble to join the rest of the pile at the bottom of the tank. Turning my attention to pressing matters of being lost, I ask “Where exactly am I? and how far to get back to the A303?” She looked quizzically at me and asked “You are in Kent, I hazard a guess you have been lost for some time”. I slump somewhat and glaze over. Behind me another splash of aquatic activity. Turning, I see an orange fish slowly glide and hide behind the volcano. “Did you see!” she exclaimed as she launched her desk calendar at me in a flourish. Fortunately I blocked its further progress across the study with my face. “Such wonderful companions” she beamed. I took another look into the tank thinking ‘and so cheap to feed, they have not touched one bit of food.’
Just then a large gardener sidled into the room, wringing his hands, I would presume a big rosy face, yet his as pale as a plate, he ventured no further than the study’s threshold, nervously he shot glances at the fish tank. Before asking, “Please miss, could you stretch the composting budget a little further, so I might acquire a spade?”. The lady of the house in her only turn from enthusiasm grudgingly agreed to the gardeners request, so the gardener fled.
She turned to me “I imagine you suspected as much, but I just so very much wanted fish, they just arrived, so foolish to feed them I know, but I would still feel it would be neglectful to not do so”.. “Erm.. What?”.
Thanks Rudyard Kipling.
Wolf has slowed his chase of the Sun
the chill has seized his joints
Sun spreads her shadows long
coldly where the sun dial points
winter is rest from Wolfs pursuit
two continue the seasonal wheel
the circle the same till Ragnarok
when Wolf finally gets his meal.
What quake we are suffering
the ground is trembling still
do gift Sigyn a larger bowl
this one too soon to fill.
Slate is the season in Devon
every day the sky born grey
no bright spry crispy blue
Devon gifts rain all day.
This house creaks every night
in five hundred different ways
one noise for each years life
a howl for each ghost and stray.
The Moon is singing silently
with a twinkling starry choir
she is taking all the plaudits
till the sun returns with fire.
Blue wind slashes through soaking throw
lights are flashing in the store window
perhaps tomorrow is the big reveal
perhaps my loss will be repealed.
Squirrel sits on high bough, continuing to munch his mushrooms. He is unalarmed by the emerald green piglet crawling up the tree, he has met him before, piglet only offers words of encouragement, but the coquelicot powder viper wrapping around his left leg is more discouraging, so discouraging in fact, squirrel knocks him on the snout with his candy sceptre, poof! the powder viper explodes in a venomous pink cloud, in four bats of his eyelashes, the cloud is gone, dissipated into polychromatic sky. Squirrel can now get back to watching the liquorice monkeys dance over the leaves in peace.
An inebriated woodpecker
pecks at the tree but misses
he’s adorned with mistletoe
yet he gathers no kisses
in time he gains sobriety
world comes back to focus
what a waste of a holiday
alcoholic hocus pocus.
Dark as the scuttle
our last days weather foul
winter thunder rumbles
across our grey hills brow
numerous the days
till winter’s splinter brings
shattered ice and frost
clearing a path to spring.
I cannot see nor hear it, yet I can feel the cloud arrive, where once was brightness, a darkness resides, oh so subtle, but noticeable to me, yet strangely not by them, they know not of the switch, they darken without a clue, it chills me to the bone, even when the cloud moves on, I look to them with suspicion. How can they not feel it?
For every star in the sky
a million ripples on the sea
and every ripple represents
ten wishes for humanity.