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Monkey & Bear

PostPosted: 17 May 2010, 13:32
by milky moon
    down in the green hay
    where monkey and bear usually lay
    they woke from a stable-boy's cry

    he said; someone come quick!
    the horses got loose, got grass-sick!
    they'll founder! fain, they'll die

    what is now known by the sorrel and the roan?
    by the chestnut, and the bay, and the gelding grey?

    it is: stay by the gate you are given
    and remain in your place, for your season
    and had the overfed dead but listened
    to that high-fence, horse-sense, wisdom...

    did you hear that, Bear? said monkey
    we'll get out of here, fair and square
    they've left the gate open wide!

    my bride
    here is my hand, where is your paw?
    try and understand my plan, Ursala
    my heart is a furnace
    full of love that's just, and earnest
    now; you know that we must unlearn this
    allegiance to a life of service
    and no longer answer to that heartless
    hay-monger, nor be his accomplice
    (that charlatan, with artless hustling!)
    but; Ursala, we've got to eat something
    and earn our keep, while still within
    the borders of the land that man has girded
    (all double-bolted and tightfisted!)
    until we reach the open country
    a-steeped in milk and honey

    will you keep your fancy clothes on, for me?
    can you bear a little longer to wear that leash?
    my love, I swear by the air I breathe:
    sooner or later, you'll bare your teeth

    but for now, just dance, darling
    c'mon, will you dance, my darling?
    darling, there's a place for us
    can we go, before I turn to dust?
    oh my darling, there's a place for us
    oh darling
    c'mon will you dance, my darling?
    oh, the hills are groaning with excess
    like a table ceaselessly being set
    oh my darling, we will get there yet

    they trooped past the guards,
    past the coops, and the fields, and the farmyards
    all night, till finally:

    the space they gained grew
    much farther than the stone that bear threw
    to mark where they'd stop for tea

    but walk a little faster
    and don't look backwards
    your feast is to the East, which lies a little past the pasture

    when the blackbirds hear tea whistling, they rise and clap
    and their applause caws the kettle black
    and we can't have none of that!

    move along, Bear; there, there; that’s that
    (though cast in plaster
    our Ursala's heart beat faster
    than monkey's ever will)

    but still;
    they have got to pay the bills
    hadn't they?
    that is what the monkey'd say

    so, with the courage of a clown, or a cur
    or a kite, jerking tight at its tether
    in her dun-brown gown of fur
    and her jerkin' of swansdown and leather

    Bear would sway on her hind legs;
    the organ would grind dregs of song, for the pleasure
    of the children, who'd shriek
    throwing coins at her feet
    then recoiling in terror

    sing, dance, darling
    c'mon, will you dance, my darling?
    oh darling, there's a place for us
    can we go, before I turn to dust?
    oh my darling, there’s a place for us

    oh darling
    c'mon, will you dance, my darling?
    you keep your eyes fixed on the highest hill
    where you'll ever-after eat your fill
    oh my darling, dear, mine
    if you dance
    dance, darling, and i love you still

    deep in the night
    shone a weak and miserly light
    where the monkey shouldered his lamp

    someone had told him
    the bear had been wandering
    a fair piece away from where they were camped

    someone had told him
    the bear'd been sneaking away
    to the seaside caverns, to bathe

    and the thought troubled the monkey
    for he was afraid of spelunking down in those caves

    also afraid what the village people would say
    if they saw the bear in that state;

    lolling and splashing obscenely
    well, it seemed irrational, really; washing that face

    washing that matted and flea-bit pelt
    in some sea-spit-shine, old kelp dripping with brine

    but monkey just laughed, and he muttered;
    when she comes back, Ursala will be bursting with pride

    till I jump up!
    saying: you've been rolling in muck!
    saying: you smell of garbage and grime!

    but far out
    far out
    by now
    by now
    far out, by now, Bear ploughed
    'cause she would not drown:

    first the outside-legs of the bear
    up and fell down, in the water, like knobby garters

    then the outside-arms of the bear
    fell off, as easy as if sloughed from boiled tomatoes

    low'red in a genteel curtsy
    bear shed the mantle of her diluvian shoulders;

    and, with a sigh,
    she allowed the burden of belly to drop like an apronfull of boulders

    if you could hold up her threadbare
    coat to the light where it's worn translucent in places

    you'd see spots where
    almost every night of the year Bear had been mending suspending that baseness

    now her coat drags through the water
    bagging, with a life's-worth of hunger, limitless minnows;

    in the magnetic embrace
    balletic and glacial of Bear's insatiable shadow;

    left there!
    left there!
    when Bear left Bear
    left there!
    left there!
    when Bear stepped clear of Bear

    (sooner or later you'll bury your teeth)