As a special holiday gift, perhaps more to me than to my readers (judge as ye will), beginning today and over the next twelve days I am going to offer a serialized version of two long poems taken from my unpublished collection, Tales of Atay the Ape. I originally composed these poems for my then six-year-old son, Jason, now in his twenties, with the same idea that A. A. Milne had in mind for his little boy Christopher Robin.
Alas, the same thing that happened to Milne happened to me, as revealed in Milne’s introduction to Now We Are Six. Young Jason was too busy actually living his fantasy adventure life at the time to be interested in long-winded, anachronistic poetry about him and his plush toy companions composed by his professorial father. So, these poems, which I think are rather good if I do say so, have languished away sad and unpublished for the better part of two decades.
However, now that I am the editor of a successful online poetry journal, I have the opportunity to share these poems, if not with my young son, then with the world. And so, without further ado, I bring you the first installment of the Twelve Days of Christmoose.
A Fall of Snow
That Winter, the usurper, tried to take
A moon before its proper time, and play
Upon the ground with ice and snowy flake
That a young moose did wonder at the sight
Of winter snow before its season right.
“Whatever shall I do?” he thought aloud.
“For ready am I not for winter yet.”
Such quantities of white from the snow cloud
Were making our young moose a bit upset.
“I must away from all this snow and ice
And ask the wise gorilla for advice.”
So from the maple grove the moose did trot
And through the apple orchard he did go
Until he reached the solitary spot
Where lived the wise gorilla even so.
Then gently with his antlers he did drum
Upon the door of his sagacious chum.
Abruptly our young moose did hear a snorch
That issued from the simian’s abode.
Then through the door and out onto his porch
The Solomonic ape did quite explode.
Then seeing who was there, he gave a smile
And sat upon the floor to rest a while.
“What brings you, Adirondack, my old friend,
On such a day as this—all ice and snow?
I thought I’d nap then wake to find the end
Of this cold winter wind that now doth blow.
My nap, alas! You just have ruined right—
But glad am I to see you, my friend, quite.”
Editor’s Note: The story of the moose and ape will continue in tomorrow’s edition of Songs of Eretz Poetry Review.