The Sandwich Unmasked
or The Middle Brother
- Crispin comes but once a week
- An I Q test for terrapins
- The maid of onomatopœia
- The thongs of wheat that bound our sultry eyes
- There was a young woman whose face
- O sweetness, be my abacus, for I needs must count on you
Crispin comes but once a week
His visage feared by all that see
By all that see on Cripple Creek
That hear the words of those that speak
The simple homespun truth.
The lad he utters words profound
That fright the lazy ones who know
But never do let out a sound,
But wander whither waters flow
The elixir of youth.
Crisp in winter falls the snow
Upon the lawn of unmown sleep
And freezes all things live or lost
Whose price is little more than cost
Nor magnitude than size.
No width or silent terms.
Alarmed, perturbed, could I disguise
From sordid intellectual worms
The sombre beauty of my eyes?
Crisp 'n' dry were the words he spake
With hair cascading round his neck
As if his head was but a lake
Undammed nor held in check
By aught of form uncouth.
My life is late
An I Q test for terrapins
Is not a test for me
It's but a ruse for those who choose
No terrapin to see.
Eleven plus for elephants
Is not, I say, for you
It's but a quiz, that's all it is
Which most of us eschew.
And evening school for columbine
Is not the place to go
It's just a bore, for all and more
Don't ask me, 'cos I know.
BSc's for pitcher plants
Are not of course for us
For how should men aspire to know
The secrets of the 'bus?
How should we, who drink no tea
Abjure the Chinese vice
With desp'rate pleas for clemency
For dishes made with rice?
To educate the stubborn whale
Has been my lifts ambition
I always knew that I should fail --
Be condemned to eternal perdition.
The maid of onomatopœia
Lay latent in a jug of beer
Totally inebriated, noone held her hand
For men are mice
And far too nice
To sit where none may stand.
This maid so chaste that all stood back
Admiring the virtues she did lack
Lay upon the carpet, her wimple all awry
And wondered if pigs were pie in the sky
For men are mice
And may soon die.
Reversed, this maid became a dame
Rehearsed, the mate is seldom tame
Tremendous were his cries
As credulous he trembled
And horridly dissembled
With surreptitious lies.
A scrambled egg makes little sense
To those who spend their lives in tents
Totally prepared, as if a one-man band
Had danced a solemn sarabande
For many mice to view
(If only Perkin knew?)
Take me to the charnel house
Where I shall die, who am a mouse.
The thongs of wheat that bound our sultry eyes
Lent colour to a scene of greyness drab
A dismal pool endowed with nought but crab
Of hitherto uncompensated size
Did little to relieve, for me at least
The dismal echo of my rival's words
That die unheeded 'mongstt the earthen sherds
Like lees of wine or remnants of a feast
We saw no animals that dismal day
Our eyes were sealed within our souls
And bloom nor bud revealed no inner heart.
Repay those cheated in the tepid mart.
The oaten pipe that lured me to my bath
Played notes unknown, unpiped before
And sounded strangely fresh, or raw
As if the composer had not been sure.
He was deaf, belike?
Or feared the aftermath
The Kapellmeister's wrath ...
(The one that dug the dyke)
My Rival's words are echoing anew
My alter ego's cooking now a stew
With vervain leaves to shrive the behemoth.
Who can avert the Sailor's wrath?
There was a young woman whose face
Resembled the vacuum of space
If I could be there
I'd destroy every inch of the place.
O sweetness, be my abacus, for I needs must count on you
And tell thy tale not faster than the flaming words are writ
For narration ever the servant must be
If art is to encompass all my poetry
If beacons on the heights are to be lit.
So spake the Max -- as listened all
The courtroom hushed and jurors whispered curses
The judge exclaimed in soft surmise
"Alas, the strongest Lady cries!"
Onomatopția here made utterance
Watched the greasy candle gutter once
Then fade into the darkness of the day
As judges weak from lack of rest
Fail yet again their driving test
What will the strongest lady say?
The strongest lady is in love
With those that shift around and shove
With passing shadows and knightly ships
With arid eyes and limpid lips
With apparatus for giraffes
And those at whom the sandman laughs.
With vaulting horses, diving elks
Who hold their hair in clips
Who ply their sons with sandwiches
Their grandmothers with chips.
Both night and day are gone
And clearly all is wan.
©1973, 1999 The Rat Fathom Poets
Edited by Peter Christian
May 31 2023.