The Severn Seals

the-severn-seals-chess-game“Chins up,” said Ginsbergbear, “It’s not two months since we escaped the caverns in Castleton. I’ve written a poem…”

THE SEVERN SEALS

I

Kt – Q3 ch

It is a petty triumph, black plays

The long game.

Black Death tossing pawns into

The fray, pinning, forking.

Mein fahrer hat vom blitz getroffen.

Blitz und Donner, fork

Lightning.

Noir de la mort comme la nuit

Peste Noire and Quixote, silent, still

On the pebble strand.

Sea creatures, Kraken chicks

Whisper, “QxKt.”

A high price to pay

For fish.

II

“Is that you, darling?”

“No, it’s someone else.”

Dog Days’ vindictive caresses, sweating

Over dead Odysseus, drowning

In Leviathan’s aquatic grotto, rotting

Pelagic cargoes.

Beleaguered White King scorns ransom.

III

The bowler hats and brollies, departed after…

High heeled, high hemmed, thrawen thighs (with thwongs attached) typing

Endlessly.   “The copier’s out of ink.”

Had to get a proper job,

Down the Co-Op.

While the brazen Geordie,

Embracing Superman,

“Careful Ducky!” holds:

He who fights monsters should beware

He does not become a monster too.

Gaze long enough into an abyss and

The abyss will gaze back into you.

IV

Moonbeams and blue jeans,

Selkies gambolling off the sandy shore.

Feed me mooncakes and I’ll sing some more.

Boz wondered if he had ever been this depressed before. However, everyone’s mood lightened considerably when the poem ended and the flags and wind socks of the Kronstadt Fleet Air Arm aerodrome at last came into view. And the gang were bordering on cheerful once the Lady Æthelflæda was on her pylon and repair crews were swarming all over her. Larry’s personal runabout was tethered to a neighbouring pylon.

On the tarmac they bumped into Barrymore. She had been tinkering with one of the Porsche engines on Larry’s dirigible and was removing a tiny speck of oil from her bottle-green, crotch length chauffeur’s jacket.

“Hi boys,” she straightened the fur on the longest tortoise-shell legs this side of Paradise, “Larry’s waiting up stairs. He wants to discuss developments. I’ll just hang around down here, see if I can catch one of these delicious sailors.”

Larry had made himself comfortable at the Comrade-Squadron-Leader’s desk in the Comrade-Squadron-Leader’s chair, the Comrade-Squadron-Leader, tapping at his tin leg with a crook handled walking stick, was perched on the edge of his adjutant’s desk trying to look only slightly put out, and the adjutant was fetching teas and coffees. Kronstadt Fleet Air Arm Wing-Comrade Polly Karpova, in navy-blue flight suit and sheepskin flying jacket, goggles hung round her neck, was rolling a fag by the window.

Larry started talking before tedious formalities could delay him. He addressed Boz and waved a general indication towards any Kronstadt personnel within range, ‘I’m putting these boys in charge of trawler protection for a bit.’

Polly looked up, “boys?”

Larry ignored her, “Boz, a spot of R and R for you and your gang whilst The Lady’s in drydock. And we have another piccolo problema. No-one has heard from the Lord Ancaster since they radioed that they had arrived at the Antarctic ice shelf.”

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