Sunday, 12 January 2014

Weird Beard


A wizard who was very weird,
possessed a never-ending beard,
Whilst he slept his weird beard woke
and went to play strange tricks on folk.
It slithered out of his letter box
a rustling horde of silver locks
floating on the air as if
the tip was having a damn good sniff
for mischief and odd things to do
then to find them, off it flew.

Down a chimney the whiskers went
and swapped round every ornament
inside a room where fast asleep
a mum and dad were snoring deep.
On their bed the Weird Beard rose
then stuffed itself up father's nose
and mother's too! Yet neither woke
Not even when grey hair like smoke
emerged from out their ears in glee
and swapped their brains mischievously
To find that they'd become each other
Mother Father, Father Mother,
how they ran about appalled,
Dad wore lipstick, Mum was bald,
But by then the busy beard,
had looped a loop and disappeared

The night was young, the beard unrolled
along dark streets - as long as bold:
It wound up lamposts, slid down grids
noisily banged two dustbin lids
It broke inside bank and there
making hands of silver hair
turned the combination dial
opened the vault and grabbed a pile
of money. Then it dashed outside
and threw the money far and wide
handing fifty euro notes
to puzzled mice and startled goats.
It picked up cars and threw them high
juggling twenty in the sky
then got bored and put them down
on rooftops all across the town
Through a bakery weird beard stole
threading every donut hole
it mowed the streets, and swept a lawn
until the world awoke at dawn
to find that simply everywhere
was woven with entangled hair.

Whether this one night had got
stretched and stretched an awful lot
like the wizard’s beard, who knows,
I'll only say, as people rose
they found their houses mummified
in whiskers, big grey knots were tied
round chimney stacks and office blocks
Up church towers hair stopped the clocks,
The beard had somehow explored Peru
whizzed up Everest and down each loo
yes, yours and mine, the President's and
The Pope’s, the Queen’s, across the land
The roads were clogged with frizzy grey
Children struggled to school that day
To find their classrooms stuffed. The hair
Had climbed school roofs and written there
In chalk on slates for all to see
a sum saying one plus one makes three
in enormous letters ten feet high!

At last there rose a babbling cry
Around the world in every tongue
to whom does this weird beard belong?
As if it heard each groaning curse,
Weird Beard’s pranks grew even worse
It’s poured Niagara down my sink!
Painted the Eiffel Tower bright pink!
It pulled down politician's breeches
as they made important speeches
like: the beard is out of hand
chop it up and clear the land!
The more they cut it the more it grew
Seen from space, the world once blue
In satellite pictures looked all dull:
a grey and grizzled ball of wool
The Weird Beard grew inquisitive
Wondering where else it might visit? If
Mars for instance would welcome hair
In the wild abundance beard had spare?
And so the whiskers entered space
Floating from earth’s fuzzy face
To join the stars like dot to dots
It tied the man in the moon in knots
Then wending bending to and fro
Wrapped up Venus in a bow.
Singeing slightly on the sun
It amiably went to search for fun
With comets, meteorites, asteroids
Throughout the Galaxy’s chilly voids
A bristly river nought could sever   
Flowing on perhaps, forever,

All this while on earth folk flailed
In frolicsome hordes of locks and wailed
Save us from this beard’s behaviour
who will be our planet’s saviour?
A little boy who lived in Clare
Wrote to the Taoiseach: I know where
A wizard lives – a wrinkly sage
Perhaps his spellbook has a page
On beard banishment – we could ask him
Well, you’ve guessed it, folk went gasping
up a hill to the wizard’s door
the Taoiseach knocked but only a snore
was heard within, for all this time
all throughout this entire rhyme
the wizard had slept – his whiskers growing
from his letterbox never slowing.
Seeing hair push through this slot  
The crowd, a quite suspicious lot,
Opened the door and went upstairs
A waterfall of silver hairs
And tiptoed in the Wizard’s room,
Then stood beside his bed to fume
The hairs that they’d been floundering in
Were sprouting from their saviour’s chin!
They shook the wizard, tugged his nose
Tickled under his arms and toes
Wakey wakey! Time to shave!
Your beard must learn one word: behave!
But nothing seemed to stir the Mage
Regardless of the people’s rage
Shouts they bellowed in his lugs
Poking fingers, oaths and tugs
He snored serenely – maybe still
He’s sleeping there upon his hill
Surrounded by frustrated mobs
In vain massaging bubbly blobs
Of shaving cream across his cheeks
They could be at it weeks and weeks
We’ll leave them to it – life’s too short
For beards and poems never ought
to grow to such an absurd degree,
on that I think we’ll all agree.

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