Hiawatha & the Midges
By the shores of Gichi Gumi
Rising from the Big Sea Water
See the cloud of tiny midges
Hear them singing in the sunshine
Happy to be free and flying
Happy to be near the forest
Near the tents and near the tipis
Hear them singing to the horses
Pawing in the summer forest
See them settle on Nokomis
Stitching hides and flapping wildly
See them cover Minnehaha
Running to the cooling water
See them follow Hiawatha
Running after Minnehaha
Flying in their ears and noses
Lodging in the braid and buckskin
Up the skirt and in the breechcloth
In the moccasins and leggings
Feasting on their legs and faces
Then said mighty Hiawatha
I will make a fire of pine wood
Offer to the Great White Spirit
To the great Gichi Manitou
Many prayers and supplications
Ask Him how to stop the itching
How to send away the midges
Then he rescued Minnehaha
From the shining Big Sea Water
Sent her off to look for firewood
And he sent Nokomis with her
Itching, scratching as they foraged
Still pursued by hymning midges
Then the mighty Hiawatha
In the whining of the midges
In the cries of Minnehaha
Heard Gichi Manitou speaking
Heard Him ask for many branches
Set in heaps around the tipis
Burning in a sacred circle
Sending up their smoke to Heaven
And he said to old Nokomis
This will chase away the midges
This will stop their biting, biting
Their infuriating singing
Go and make a paste of honey,
Cedar, salt and burning garlic
This will stop the bites from itching
On your wrinkled face and fingers
On my hero’s breast and belly
Then with all the balm remaining
I will massage Minnehaha
As the smoke ascends to Heaven
And she smiles in my embraces
See the cloud of angry midges
Rising from the tents and tipis
Out of wampum bag and wigwam
Rising angry through the forest
In the smoke that bears them upward
Smoke of sly Gichi Manitou
Chasing from the sacred circle
From the skin of Minnehaha
From the skin of old Nokomis
From the skin of Hiawatha
From their cradle by the Water
All the midges of the forest
Then the sly Gichi Manitou
Called upon great Animikii,
Called the Thunderer to aid him
Save His people from their torment
For the Thunderbird is mighty
Mightier than Hiawatha
And his wings eclipse the Heavens
And his winds are like a bellows
Blowing life and death before him
See him sweep the clouds of midges
From the forest to the mountain
From the mountain to the ocean
From one ocean to another
New and shining Big Sea Water
Till the wings of Animikii
Let them fall on distant forests
Let them fall in glens and corries
Fall among the peat and heather
And the people with pale faces
And the cows with orange fringes
See the cloud of happy midges
Dancing, dancing in the sunshine
Happy to be free and flying
Happy to be near the forest
Near the farm and near the shieling
In the land of Merry Dancers
Hear them singing to the farmers
Flying up their kilts to bite them
Hear them singing to the soldiers
Feasting on their angry faces
There is no Gichi Manitou
Listening to their petitions
To their curses, imprecations
As the sword, the mighty claymore
Winner of a thousand battles
Swings in vain against the midges
Now the lords of loch and mountain
Drinking deep at every ceilidh
Setting Dubh and Bride reeling
Setting old Cruatha jigging
Hear the wailing of the midges
Hear the wailing of the pibroch
Scotland rants and Scotland dances
Seven Ages Of
From Cradle to Grave
Toothypegs icumen in,
Proudly say Goo-goo!
Chew the swede
And spew the feed
And bawl till you are blue -
Molar breaketh through the gum,
Tooth after tooth comes through;
And clings to Gramps,
And sendeth us cuckoo -
We long for sleep,
Worn out by *bleep*
Yum diddle Lidl Lidl Yum diddle I
Yum diddle Lidl Lidl Yum diddle I ...
My mother couldn’t make me eat
- and me a growing lass -
I hated milk and spud and meat
And cabbage gave me gas.
But then I found a magic snack
That saved my appetite
And got my Mum’s approval back,
My peggies strong and white! ...
Oh! SuperCalciFractElasticExtraChunky CheezWhiz -
Even tho’ the taste of it
If you chomp it hard enough
Your fillings fall to pieces,
If you can keep your teeth when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on genes;
If you can brush and floss when dentists doubt you,
(But make allowance for their slender means);
If you can brace, not be put off by bracing,
But being smiled at, dazzle with your smiles,
And being picky don't need teeth replacing,
And still keep walking tall, despite your piles;
If you can talk with crowns and keep your diction,
And tweet and Skype and blog to keep in touch,
If you would keep your teeth free of affliction
And savings count with you - but not too much -
If you can fill the Application Form out
For BUPA dental care from year to year,
Yours is the Mouth and nothing will be worn out,
And what is more - you'll have a Plan, my dear!
"Is there anybody there?" asked the Sufferer,
Knocking on the lamplit door;
And his car in the silence spewed exhaust
On the city’s dirty floor;
And a bat flew out of the gutter,
Above the Sufferer's head:
And he banged on the door a second time;
"Is there anybody there?" he said.
But no one came down to the Sufferer;
No head from the soot-stained sill
Leaned over and looked into his pained eyes,
Where he stood distressed and still.
But only a host of phantom dentists
That drilled in the clinic then
Stood listening in the quiet lamp-light
To that cry from the world of men:
Stood thronging the faint dust-beams on the dark stair,
That goes down to the empty hall,
Hearkening in an air shaken (not stirred ...)
By the weary Sufferer's call.
And he sensed in his gut their strangeness,
Their muteness meeting his cry,
While his car moved - he’d left the handbrake off -
'Neath the starless and murky sky;
So he suddenly hammered the door, even
Harder, and shook his head:--
"Tell them I came, and no one answered,
I kept my appointment," he said.
Not the least stir made their receptionists,
Though every word he spoke
Fell echoing through the shadowy rooms of the clinic
From this single desperate bloke:
Oh, they heard him put his foot down,
And the grind of tyres on stone,
And how the silence surged softly backward,
When the racing wheels were gone.
O Dentist! my Dentist! our fearful job’s not done;
The lips must weather every crack, the prize we seek be won;
The lamp is near, the drill I fear, assistants all preparing,
While follow eyes the steady hand, the visage grim and glaring:
But O teeth! teeth! teeth!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the bib my fillings lie,
My face and tongue quite dead.
O Dentist! my Dentist! rise up and hear the bell;
Rise up - for you the phone has rung - for you appointments swell;
For you bookings and urgencies, the waiting-room
For you they call; the patients mass, their aching faces shrouding;
Revolve, O doors! and ring, O bells!
But I, with thankful tread,
Walk mended from the surgery ...
My face and tongue quite dead.
Who has seen my teeth? ...
Neither I nor you.
So when my lips hang trembling
No food is passing through.
Who has seen my teeth? ...
Neither you nor I.
So when my friends avert their heads
Old Gummy’s passing by.
An old hippie optimist was standing one day
With a drink from his favourite jar.
He gazed at the optic as he tumbled and lay
In the light of the Tap Room and Bar.
Away in the Ladies sat combing her hair
His dear hippie potty old mate;
While she was retiring her chap was expiring
From bugs that bred under his plate.
Teeth, teeth, carious teeth -
Nothing could stop them
From rotting beneath.
So follow him follow,
He’s booked for tomorrow;
Inter him with sorrow
And carious teeth.
Happy 15th Birthday
In February Ninety-Eight
The Twelfth was an important date -
ComputerActive on the stands,
And, even better, in my hands!
For fifteen years from Issue One,
Concise, informative and fun,
This magazine has stretched my mind,
And now I’m never left behind.
At seventy, because of you,
I help my friends and husband too
(Most of whom are even older!)
To get the hang of file and folder,
Choose computers, keep them clean,
(You never know where files have been
That friends love forwarding!) and learn
When disappointed, where to turn.
My darling husband takes to bed
The articles that I have read
So he can learn to deal with spam
And spot the latest nasty scam.
He now has confidence to try
New software; and we often buy
From your reviews the finest kit -
You help us make the most of it.
Our children all live overseas,
But we can keep in touch with these
We love, because you showed us how
With email, Skype and Facebook now.
And how we love the Letters page!
It shows we can be any age
And keep our faculties intact if
We remain ComputerActive!
MY DOUBLE-DECKER BUS
I don’t want a lorry,
I don’t want a car,
I don’t want a taxi
‘Cause it isn’t very far.
I don’t want a bicycle,
I don’t want a fuss,
I just want an ordinary
I would like some sympathy,
I would like a lift;
I would like a warmer place
To stand and stamp and shift!
I’d like to be a person,
But I feel anonymous
As I wait for that ordinary
We’re not in a blizzard, and
We’re not in a storm;
We’re just in November and
It isn’t very warm!
The roads have been gritted, and
The fog has gone from us -
So what can be holding up
My Double-decker bus?
There may be an accident.
There may be a queue.
There may be a sea of cones
For him to battle through...
...A smile of explanation
Would be less injurious
Than your scowl when I fall on board
Your Double-decker bus.
Oh it’s fun to be a little hypochondriac!
Oh it’s fine to want to lie around in bed!
It’s delightful to be lazy lying on your back,
To be comforted and cosseted and fed,
When the dictionary says you should be dead!
Oh it’s fine to be a little hypochondriac.
It’s fun to have a cupboard full of pills,
Of Calamine and Liver salts and Ipecac
And medicines for fevers and for chills,
And forms for cutting people out of wills!
Oh it’s nice to be a little hypochondriac.
I love hotties and thermometers and soup!
I know all about a dickey sacro-iliac,
Rubella, Yellow Fever, and the croup,
And I share it all on Friday at the Group.
Oh it’s wise to be a little hypochondriac.
You never know when bugs are set to bite!
Accumulating therapeutic bric a brac
Is an amateur pathologist’s delight -
And a different diagnosis every night!
And it pays to be a little hypochondriac,
Holding pricey Consultations every day!
This way I get my self-esteem and money back
For the bargain-basement bottles on display,
The prescriptions that I never throw away!
“Just a Minute on ‘Silver Lining’;
Sixty seconds, and starting now!”
“On showery days when the sun is shining,
A thunder cloud with a beetle brow
Muscles in front of the golden glory
Threatening day with inky night -
But Sol is stronger than Jove is, surely,
Lining the cloud with silver light...”
“Repetition of ‘cloud’!” “For forty
Seconds ‘Silver Lining’ is yours.”
“A chap was tarring the roads; for sport he
Tried white-lining them on all fours ...”
“Deviation! That’s white, not silver!”
“I haven’t finished!” “Well, carry on.”
“The moon came up, and a gleaming river
Of light ... illumined the lines he’d done,
Turning them all to silver ... Then he
Recollected an old technique ...
Um ...” “Hesitation!” “And far too many!
Twenty seconds are left to speak.”
“I was seven; my first magician
Filling the stage with flags and doves
Flourished in keeping with his tradition
The silver lining of cape and gloves.
How it shimmered! The act enchanted
This small boy; and that cloak means still
Every gift that I always wanted -
To mystify, to amaze, to thrill!”
“Congratulations! We have a winner;
You still spoke as the whistle went!”
The Minute Waltz; and we go to dinner,
Silver Service and David Brent ...
Pain - a macaronic
Breakfast by the Sacre-Coeur
Baguette with a lot of beurre
Lunch will be a Petit Pain
Tea will be Baguette again
Mais à la Boulangerie
There is grande variety
So voici un little list
Of the Pain you may have missed
Pain au Froment - total wheat
Ne pas permetté to cheat
S’il n’est pas completely blé
They will take your marque away
There are gens qui run a mile
At the thought of Pain à l’Ail
Mais la grippe will never win
Once you get some garlic in
Walnut comme un petit brain
Est prisée from Tarn to Seine
Daily snacks of Pain aux Noix
Are one’s academic choix
Pain Nordique ou Pain Polaire
Open sandwich en plain air
Or the pretty Pain Tressé
Comfort food for coeurs blessés
Pain Bâtard? The artisan
Toujours bakes the best he can
Save for quelques-uns très bons qui
Come out of the oven wonky
Si vous cherchez Matzo bread
Ask for Pain Azymes instead
Pain Juif, Pain sans Levain
Once it’s Passover again
Pain Cramique with raisins in
Furtive dietary sin
Pain d’Épices trop chic to eat
Fancy, gingery and sweet
Two old favourites of mine
Pain Maison, Pain de Campagne
Made with n’importe quelle farine
Fresh beside the soup tureen
Forgeron and Fougassette
Niche Provençale assiette
Plein d’olives et zeste d’orange
Toute unique and great to mange
Tous les petits déjeuners
Avec coffee come Beignets
Yummy doughnuts nous can dunk
Adding inches to le trunk
Sandwiches a.k.a. Tartines
Feasts of salad or sardines
Ham or chicken or fromages
Perfect fare pour nos voyages
Pain de Seigle, Noir ou Son
Lovely with goats butter on
Déjeunette or Pain Ficelle
Little sticks taste just as well
Blanc ou Bis or Boule de Pain
Brioché and Campagrain
Pain de Mie et Pain Complet
Même Potage sous son Beret
Tous enfin sont Pain Rassis
Fit for toast avec confits
Or to keep the skinny you
Chaque Dimanche le Pain Perdu
When I'm Cleaning Windows ! ...
July 29th is a Wednesday
In 2015: Windows 10's day.
There'll be no 11 -
I'm sticking with 7
Despite what the Microsoft men say!
I've scuppered the Updates - so there!
I'm no longer tearing my hair.
I've started from scratch,
Not a worm, not a patch ...
But a lot of security-ware!!!
I've even gone in for a Mac;
I'm giving my PC the sack.
Windows 7 just docks
When I'm done. I may never go back.