THE MARVELLOUS ADVENTURES OF THE MOONLY BLINK
BY ANNE SYDENHAM
Slumber I from time to time,
As the mood it shifts and turns
And many wondrous dreams have I
Of whales and sheep and ferns.
As I lay slumbering on a noon,
There came a dream to me.
I fancied I was on a ship
And it was lost at sea.
The captain was a rat-like man,
Of sad but graceful mien,
His clothes recalled high society,
But his boots were alien.
These boots appeared for all the world
To have graced a rubbish heap
The captain winced where ere he strode,
So ill they fitted his feet.
The ship was called the Moonly Blink,
The captain’s name was Jake
At heart, the crew were a fearful bunch,
But brave for their captain’s sake.
Now as I think I said before,
We were quite lost at sea.
The ocean was scanned from every side,
With not even a sign of a tree.
The crew by this most doleful news,
Were one and all put out
They drew forth spotted handkerchiefs
As their tears began to spout.
“There, there, “ the captain kindly said,
“Our hopes are not all fled,
No doubt before the end of day,
You’ll regret these tears you shed.
“ Upon some winsome shore you’ll see
The octopuses’ dance,
And elephants will spread their wings
If you just trust to chance.”
“So cheer up lads and bear with me
Though lost we are for now,
And I will show you these delights
In some sweet shady bower”
At those kinds kind words, the crew lit up
And smiles wreathed every face,
Each man stowed his handkerchief
And went back to his place.
I went up to the captain,
“A word, sir, I do crave,
Pray tell to me why do your crew
Appear not very brave?”
“My men, he said, “may seem to you
A rather gutless lot,
But truth to tell, dear madam,” he said
“Exchange them I would not.
“The reason for their cowardice,
You may find hard to understand.
None of them can abide a day,
Without some sight of land”
And on this ship and with this crew,
I watched the day flit past,
It was not strange to me at all
That time could go so fast.
And sure enough, as the captain said,
We spotted land at dusk.
The crew were so elated
That into tears they burst.
Three small boats were lowered,
So that we could go ashore.
The sun was slowly setting
But we reached the land before.
We scrambled joyfully up the sand,
Luxuriantly in bloom,
“We are waiting,” the captain brightly said,
“For the rising of the moon”
And as from out the placid sea,
The moon began to rise,
I heard a knock upon my door
I rubbed my sleepy eyes.
Reluctantly, and full of woe,
I woke from out of sleep,
The dream so soon began to fade,
I could not help but weep.
So now, I suppose, I’ll never know,
If on some winsome shore
The octopus do really dance,
As they did in days of yore.