Friday, December 05, 2014

The Gull of It All

The Gull of It All

A parody of E. A. Poe's The Raven

In the UP Winter dreary, while I shivered, cold and bleary,
Reading many a dim and spurious meme of Facebook lore,
While I pondered Christmas wrapping, bored to tears and almost napping,
I heard someone grossly rapping, rapping Christmas tunes and more.
"'Tis some young singer," I muttered, "rapping songs that I adore-
                Turn it off, I'll hear no more."

Oy! I barely can remember, it was bleak in last December,
The still ghost of dead November lay in tatters on the floor.
Eagerly I wished for sunlight;- vainly hoping that the sun might
Move the clouds aside and shine bright- bright upon my bedroom floor-
For that rare and radiant sunlight which the angels must adore-
                Gone from here for evermore.

Then a glimmer, sad, uncertain peaking through my bedroom curtain
Thrilled me- filled me with such frantic tremors never felt before;
Shock me now, to start the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
"'Tis some dim sunlight entreating entrance at my bedroom door-
Some little brightness entreating entrance at my bedroom door;-
                Just a glimpse, and nothing more."

Presently my heart beat stronger; sinus rhythm growing longer,
"Come,"I cried,"Forget the monger, truly your attention I implore;
But that awful Christmas rapping, bothered me as I was wrapping,
And so nearly almost napping, napping on my bedroom floor,
That I scarce was sure I saw it"- here I opened wide the door;-
                Just a flash, and nothing more.

Deep into that whiteness peering, long I stood there eyes a'tearing,
Doubting, daylight dreams no Yooper ever dared to dream before;
But the bleakness was unbroken, and the houseplants all were croakin',
And the only word there spoken was the shout, "Hey, close the door!"
Then I whispered once an echo, murmured back, "I shut the door!"-
                Merely this, and nothing more.

Back into my bedroom turning, toes and fingers cold and burning,
Soon again I glimpsed with yearning, something brighter than before.
"Surely," said I, "surely that is brightness at my window lattice:
Let me see, then, what that light is, and this mystery explore-
Close my eyes for just a moment and this mystery explore;-
                Is it sun, or something more?"

Open here I flung the curtain, and though totally uncertain,
There I saw a shaft of sunlight as in history books of yore;
When a seagull came a'flapping; perched on windowsill and crapping;
On the roof below my window, screamed at me and crapped some more-
Perched outside my frozen window just next to my bedroom door-
                Perched, and crapped, and nothing more.

Then this rat with wings so craven sat there like a image graven,
By the artisans of carving down upon the tourist shore.
"Were thy feathers washed and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no Raven,
For the grim and ancient Raven wanders on the Nightly shore-
Tell me what thy common name is on the Lake Superior shore!"
                Quoth the Seagull, "Pottymore."

Held my breath as this ungainly fowl began to speak so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning- little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was cursed to find a seagull near his bedroom door-
Bird or beast on sill so near his chilly bedroom door,
                With such name as "Pottymore."

But the Seagull, sitting lonely on the windowsill, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered- not a slimy feather fluttered-
Till I winked and softly muttered, "Other birds have flown before-
In a moment you will leave me, leave that spot so near my door."
                Then the bird said, "Nevermore."

Startled at the stillness broken by the word so harshly spoken,
"Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is its only stock and store,
Learned from some unhappy neighbor whose loud voice and swift-thrown caber
Or a broom swung like a saber till his cries one burden bore-
Till this deadly dirge of Hope that makes of speech a mindless bore
                Of 'Never- Pottymore'."

But the Seagull sitting, staring, perched on windowsill uncaring,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned chair hoping just to block the door;
Then upon the velvet sinking, I took breath and smelled the stinking
Of the raw bird poop, and thinking what this ruinous bird of yore-
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore
                Meant in croaking "Pottymore."

Then I sat with shallow breathing, evil smells around me wreathing,
From the fowl whose yellow orbs calmly eye'd my bedroom floor;
This and more I saw while choking, gasping and wretchedly croaking,
On the cushion's velvet lining that the sunlight gloated o'er,
But that velvet violet lining with the sunlight gloating o'er,
                Birds shall touch ah, nevermore!

Then methought the air grew denser, stench derived from wretched censer
Swung by evil pets who often tinkled on the tufted floor.
"Wretch," I cried, "though God hath sent thee- and by these travails has bent me,
Respite- respite and nepenthe, from a new fragrant encore!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget your vile encore!"
                Quoth the Seagull, "Pottymore."

"Rodent!" said I, "thing of evil! - rodent still, if bird or devil! -
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this frozen land enchanted-
On my home by ichor haunted- send me fresh air, I implore-
Is there- is there balm in Gilead?- tell me- tell me, I implore!"
                Quoth the Seagull, "Pottymore."

"Chicken!" said I, "thing of evil! - chicken still, if bird or devil!
By what that Heaven sends above us- by that God that I adore-
Tell this soul with shallow breathing if, within that ordorous wreathing,
It shall gasp a sweet breath taken when I open up my door-
Gasp a rare and sweet breath taken when I open up my door."
                Quoth the Seagull, "Nevermore."

"Be that word your sign in leaving, bird or fiend," I shrieked, and grieving-
"Get thee back into the tempest and the Lake Superior shore!
Leave no more poop as a token of that digestive tract broken!
Leave me or you'll soon be croakin'!- quit the window near my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and shade my window nevermore!"
                Quoth the Seagull, "Pottymore."

Now the Seagull, isn't flitting, isn't sitting, isn't sitting
On the window sill so near upon my bedroom door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon dead, not dreaming,
And the sunlight o'er him streaming throws no shadow on the floor;
I shot him through the window open, open near my bedroom door.
                Shall he potty? - nevermore!

Mick McKellar
December 2014

Although I rarely write parody, this one was just too much fun to avoid.


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