Tuesday, October 04, 2016

The Rime of the Ancient Once-ler, Part 1

It is an ancient Once-ler
You meet at edge of town.
Once paid he calls by Whisper Phone
He slowly lowers down.

The Grickle-grass grows still below
The cold wind does not blow.
And even birds respect the calm
From chick to oldest crow.

He takes your cents and copper nail
And puts them in his Snuvv,
So too the ancient mollusk's shell
Does vanish in his glove.

He clears his throat and takes a breath
This Once-ler yet unseen,
And through the snergly hose he speaks
Of when the grass was green.

You hold the phone up to your ear
And pray to clearly hear
The quiet strangled secrets of
The furtive Once-ler.

"The cart was filled, investors thrilled
Merrily I drove
Past ponds yet clean, past rivers wet,
Past clouds still white above.

The Swomee Swans flew forward off
And flew from east to west
I followed on; They sang their songs;
I knew their way was best.

Further and further every day
Towards this distant land--"
You ask him then if this was when
The Lorax here did stand.

The street on which you walked to here
Is Lifted Lorax Way.
Perhaps this man will tell you soon
Who carried him away.

You ask him now if this was then
And pray yet still to hear
The quiet strangled secrets of
The furtive Once-ler.

"And then I saw the Bar-ba-loots
Who frisked in their brown suits
And ate the strangest foreign crop,
Some yet unheard of fruits.

With liquid notes of perfect tone
As one who often sings alone
Can use the time to careful hone
His voice as he would wish,
Then sang out loud a mighty crowd
Of merry Humming-Fish.

And then there came the Truffulas
The most astounding trees
They felt of silk, or some such ilk,
They scented ev'ry breeze.

And in that wood I stopped for good
And quickly set up shop.
A businessman, I forged a plan
To reach the tufts atop.

My axe chopped here, my axe chopped there
My axe chopped all around:
The tree did sway and soon gave way
And crashed down to the ground.

And from the stump there rose a form
Out of the wood it came!
And with a mossy voice it spoke
The Lorax was its name.

He bid me stay and hear his words
And gave a dusty sneeze
"The wood is dumb; it has no tongue,
I speak here for the trees."

I saw the thing but kept at work
And worked with lighting speed.
He held his fit while I did knit
A wondrous proto-Thneed.

The Lorax huffed, the Lorax puffed
He nearly tore a lung.
"What is a Thneed? Whence comes thy greed?"
"Don't worry, sir, I'm done."

But here the Once-ler hesitates
"The Market...it has needs.
There's work to do, I'll build a crew
To manufacture Thneeds."