An After Word on Fraptious Day

She went out when he came in,
they lived inside a weather-house.
They found the decor very strange.
Their hearts were in a dreadful spin.
She was quiet as a mouse
but Hatter wasn’t quite deranged,
not at the moment seasons change.
Sometimes time will stand quite still
and when that hopeful moment came
they built a new house on a hill,
they found a place they both could fit.
If Alice shrinks or grows quite tall
Hatter fails to notice it.
It has no consequence at all.
And when his moods are quite bizarre
he never walks off very far.
Which only shows,
you never know
which way next a story goes.

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Treason

my words were lashed,
in bonds of my own making,
with good sense and clear reason,
to stop foundations shaking
for any word i spoke out loud
might all amount to treason

my tongue was tied
my body bound
my dreams were all illusion
the roses scattered at my feet
fell in dark profusion

the bridge of stone was empty now.
loves promise had betrayed me.
i wrapped myself, against the cold,
and wondered at my purpose

but i heard waters singing
beneath the bridge
beneath the ice
beneath the river’s surface

i followed in its journey
for there is no returning

 

Fraptious Day

Frabjous ~ amalgam of joyous and fabulous
Fraptious Day ~ a day after which nothing will ever be the same again

*****

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did all the things they usually did.
The Hatter hid, inside his hat,
To snare the dreaded Bandersnatch.

He’d had enough of tea and clocks
And fading smiles from Cheshire Cats.
He was with the belfry bats.

Alice was a windy girl,
Wandering about the land,
Blinded by her flying hair.
She didn’t always seem quite there.

Alice came and Alice went.
Alice went and Alice came.
It seemed a tiring, endless game,
And Hatter always felt the same.

Trapped inside an unsolved riddle.
He wished that they could dance and sing
And fly about and braid her hair
And she might learn to play the fiddle.
Chasing diamonds in the dark,
He might ignite a special spark.

The Hatter had a fervent wish
That Alice, one fine summer day,
Would come to Wonderland to stay,
And never ever go away,
If she would,
If she could.
(He always really thought she should).

But time and age and logic rules.
Alice was severely schooled
In all the things he thought were wrong
(His wish for magic being strong).

The Hatter, so completely mad,
Wanted Alice to be glad
And share her wishes all with him
But she came out when he went in,
And he was very rarely out.

She went she came,
She came she went,
Until the Fraptious Day arrived.
He knew she wouldn’t come again.
The frabjous time had blown away,
And then he knew he was insane.
It came to him as quite a shock.
It was that jolt that stopped the clock.

Love’s a story, very old,
If truth be told,
(and I won’t lie)
Love’s a thing that doesn’t die.

But when the chicks refuse to hatch
And Humpty Dumpty’s egg is cracked
And Alice lost, and won’t come back,
The March Hare screams and runs away.

It’s time to face that Fraptious Day!

The Hatter then removed his hat
And tears ran down his creasy cheeks.
He stood in sorrow in the dark
And faced the sadness in his heart.
He told the Red Queen
(so it’s said)
That she was welcome to his head.
With Alice gone,
Quite gone for good,
The Hatter sadly understood.

He turned the teapot upside down.
He groaned and frowned
And spun the table thrice around,
Which, at the time,
Seemed quite profound
(But only proves that he’s still mad).

He hoped that Alice was alright.
He knew her world could be quite bad.
He had left there long ago.
He knew the clocks there all ran slow.
The trouble was, she might not know.

Alice, through the mirror, looked.
Alice still was not impressed.

In the morning
Hatter dressed.
He brushed his hat
And put it on.
He knows that Wonderland is best.

As for the rest,
Hatter cannot really tell.
Perhaps if fortune casts a spell
All will settle very well.

He scratched his head,
A little vexed,
And thought out loud,
For none to hear…

”Surely wonder isn’t dead!
I’ll ask the Caterpillar next.
We’ll see,
For he’s a day ahead of me.”

(He wiped a tear)

“She was a dear,
A darling dear.”

The Hatter isn’t Mad (a poem for Mad Hatters Day, October 6th or June 10th)

The Hatter isn’t mad!
He is misunderstood
By errant fools and noisome knaves.
They’re the ones who rave.
It’s true he likes to break the rules
When tea time will allow.
But where? and why? and how?
And what’s the point of getting up
When the pot is full of tea
And his friends are always there.

He’d welcome you and me.
(that should be ”I”? – says Alice,
examining the grammar,
studying the dictionary).

The Hatter doesn’t care.
He lets the March Hare worry,
In a hurry and a scurry.
He lets the Dormouse sleep
In a snoring heap.
The secrets of the Hatter
Are the dreams inside his hat
(he won’t speak of that,
nor should you and I).

He smiles at pretty Alice
As the days drift by.
The truth about the Hatter
Is the twinkle in his eye

”Have another cup of tea”
he says.
”My cake won’t make you fat”
And wonders if you’ll shrink.
”Let’s not think!” he shouts
As the table turns about.

Contemplating the end

Alice sits still

Contemplating her knees

Fiddling about with her toes

While the birds in the trees

Sing what they please

To the words that only she knows.

 

Buttercups, daisies, all stand in line

And circle around her grass seat

From her head to her feet

She is very complete

In her sparkle of youth

And delight.

 

As she grows old she blooms like a rose

But only the Hatter knows

How lovely she is

And he’s mad.

She wouldn’t believe him

Whatever he said .

 

She thought the road lead

To the vale of the dead

Where all the daffodils die.

”Look at the bulbs”, he said.

”There’s a wink in the cuckoos eye.

The secret is – never ask why.”

The Caterpillar Speaks (updated version)

The Hatter is a lunatic
He never knows which card to pick.
The March Hare is always running late.
He hasn’t even got a date.
The clock’s not as it seems.

The Hatter has bad dreams,
He’s always in distress
And Alice has a problem too,
She’s not sure what to do
When she doesn’t fit her dress.

They’re lost inside a fairy tale
And none of it is true.

There’s a thought inside the Hatter’s head
That Alice is his match
But he hears laughter all the time.
The cards are hard to catch.
He can’t make reason out of rhyme,
And every time he thinks of love
He’s haunted by a bat.

Twinkle twinkle little dove,
His stars may help with that,
They’re shining bright enough above
And all will be complete
When he sees roses
Scattered at his feet.

 

 

 

The Caterpillar Speaks

The Hatter is a lunatic
He never knows which card to pick.
The March Hare is always running late.
He hasn’t even got a date.
The clock’s not as it seems.

The Hatter has bad dreams,
He’s always in distress
And Alice has a problem too,
She’s not sure what to do
When she doesn’t fit her dress.

They’re lost inside a fairy tale
And none of it is true.

There’s a thought inside the Hatter’s head
That Alice is his match
But he hears laughter all the time.
The cards are hard to catch.
He can’t make reason out of rhyme,
And every time he thinks of love
He’s haunted by a bat.

Twinkle twinkle little dove,
His stars may help with that,
They’re shining bright enough above
And all will be complete
When he sees roses
Scattered at his feet.

Don’t Paint the Roses

 

she remembered she was falling
reaching for a cake  crumb
swallowing a draught
that completely turned her head

she was running round the roses
painting red and white
challenging the chess board
to manoeuvres in the dark

she had a distant memory
of a love that struck a spark
but the tables all kept turning
when he tried to take her hand

in the horrors and delusions
that stalked this troubled land
he loved her all the time
but he had lost his mind

lovers often lose their way
whether they are sane of mad
all is topsy-turvy
when the news is  always  bad

they race around in shadows
tying to find a light
their dreams become a nightmare
ruining their night

but up above the stars shine out
constellations point the path
if only they could both sit down
gazing up at last

the roses never needed paint
he knew that all along
check mate only brings an end
to more that can be done

lovers only need to sit
and think what love’s about
and forget the silly games
that pull them inside out

 

 

The Opinion of the Dormouse

This interminable tea party is terribly boring.

We’ve moved round this table for years.

I’m not asleep, I’m listening and snoring.

I have excellent ears.

 

The Hatter was always so gloomy before.

Since Alice came here he isn’t the same

He seems to like chatting very much more

I’ve heard him whisper her name.

 

He still goes on drinking

Cups of cold tea

But I know what he’s thinking.

It’s not about me.

 

He’s never asked me which cake I prefer.

We have all her favourites each day.

He even taught her how to quadrille.

He summoned musicians to play.

 

Banana cake’s banned.

Alice dislikes it.

The birds eat cake from her hand.

She passed me a nice bit today.

 

They all love sweet Alice,

Even silly March Hare.

There are threats everyday from the palace

But Hatter and Hare, being mad, never care.

 

I know Hatter’s thinking she’s young and naïve,

But I think he’ll have a surprise.

All will be well if she doesn’t leave.

Alice is curiously wise.