The second of my dad's poems, again written at my age (and again, he said I could share them). This one comes with silly illustrations, which I have been promised for my own work! Sy. x
'Twas on an Autumn's afternoon before my tea I caught a glimpse of something strange afloundering in the sea. Was is a boat, a bouy, a sea, perhaps a giant trout?
I strained my eyes until they hurt, but I could not make it out. Upon a rock I sat me down to watch the fishy sight The flound'ring thing floundered still and seemed to be in plight.
Now most fish look quite skinny things as if they're never fed But this was fat and, what is more, it glowed a healthy red. Last term at school I'd studied sea molluscs and crustaceans
I'd also learnt that there were squids larger than alsatians. And that's what it must be, I thought, washed in by the tide. "Of course it's not a squid, you fool," something beneath me cried.
At times of stress, and this was one, when grey things are all looking I shut my eyes and close my mind and think of mother's cooking. For how a rock could know my thoughts I just could not surmise
It cleared its throat and so declared: "I see you like mince pies." Most people under such duress would jump into the air, But all that I could do was drop my lower jaw and stare.
Now rocks are cold, unfriendly, and as far as I know, stupid. They cannot feel the pangs of love, and have not heard of Cupid. They have no heart to pump round blood, they never take a breath,
Nor even comment on the day, - but sit there cold as death. Don't get me wrong, I like rocks, although they're rather bland; But this was clearly not one, that's all you understand.
I gazed down in-between my feet, I saw a row of teeth, Eyelashed and some eyelids with an eyeball underneath. "I s'pose you're wond'rin' who I am?", the voice declared agan,
"Leonard is my Christian name, my friends just call me Len. No doubt by now you will have seen I'm not a rock at all Nor am I boat, nor squid, nor eel, nor even worse narwhal!"
"A whale I am and proud of it, though washed up on the shore, And if you'd care to lend an ear I'll tell you much much more." For hours we sat there on the sand exchanging anecdotes.
Len spoke of ships and isles and strands and tiny fishing boats And I of cub scouts, French and maths, and when my goldfish died; Of why my houseplants would not grow no matter how I tried.
I asked Len how he'd read my thoughts, and if it was a trick? He raised a brow, said: "Whales like me are often telepathic." We talked for hours upon the beach while seagulls wheeled on high;
At last the sun began to set fast plopping in the sky. The water rose, the waves drew in, and Len he heaved a sigh: "Now I can swim and meet my queen." With that he said goodbye.