Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Dibbler and the Alchemist

(a tale of Moving Pictures)

The sun shone on the Circle Sea, shone there as small suns can
He did his very best to make bright lights for Beast and Man
And this was odd, because it was
Deserted beachfront land

The moon was shining sulkily behind Great T'Phon's trunk
She'd got no business to be there but she was in a funk
"It's very rude of him," she said,
"To highlight ancient junk!"

The sea was calm from Rim to shore, the sands without rainfall
You could not see a crowd, because the crowd were corpses all
No priest called out Performances
There was no priest to call

The Dibbler and the Alchemist were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see such property unplanned
"If this were only put to use,"
They said, "we'd make ten grand!"

"If several men with several imps worked on from dawn til tea
Do you suppose," the Dibbler said,
"That we could wrap Reel Three?"
"I doubt it," said the Alchemist, and sighed impotently.

"O actors, come and walk with us!" The Dibbler made his pitch
"A few hours' work (not counting perks)
Will roll without a hitch
We cannot lose, this golden shore
Is bound to make us rich."

The famous Gaspode looked at him with never a bark of "Cheers!"
The famous Gaspode bared his teeth
And scratched his flea-bit ears
Meaning to say this enterprise
Was bound to end in tears.

But more young hopefuls hurried up all keen to make their name
Their thoughts were fogged, their faces blank,
Their hearts immune to shame
And this was odd, because, you know,
They knew not why they came.

More would-be click-stars followed them, and yet another crew
Quick as they could, to Holy Wood, to make their dreams come true
While painting wooden scenery
And eating Borgle's stoo.

The Dibbler and the Alchemist worked on a month or so,
And then they rested on a rock (in fact, a disguised troll)
Then totted up percentages
And said, "We're on a roll!"

"The time has come," the Dibbler said, "To talk, and let's be frank
Of Passione, fire, and elephants. Of premieres on the Ankh
And why the world has all Gone Madde
And how to fill the bank."

"But wait a bit," young Victor cried, "Before we leave this shore;
For Ginger's in the grip of Things behind the magic Door!"
"No worries!" said the Alchemist.
"We're thaumless to the core."

"A Wonder Dog," the Dibbler said, "Is what this epic needs
Adverts subliminal besides, and two romantic leads
Now if you're ready, handlemen,
Bring on the dashing deeds!"

"Here comes de Syn!" the public cried, giving the stars their due
Beauty and beasts all on display; the Wizards came to view
"How puzzling," the Patrician said,
"I'm less well-known than you?"

"It was so kind of you to come, in fog as thick as steam!"
Then Bezam Planter's daughter played the Dungeon Dimensions theme
All patrons were transfixed until
The crowd began to scream!

"In Ribobe's name," young Victor said, "I curse you, now depart!"
Gigantic Ginger grabbed an ape and climbed the Tower of Art
Then Victor conjured horse and sword
And played it from the heart.

"I weep for me," the Dibbler said: "Alas, my empire dies."
With sobs and tears he sauntered off to more familiar lies,
Back to a life behind a cart
Of sausages and pies.

"Oh, buggrit," said the Alchemist, "My grand career is gone!
Shall I be trotting homeward now
To face a jobless dawn?
The world is back to sane again..."

...but Holy Wood dreams on...

-- Alice

Note for Roundworlders: the original poem The Walrus and the
Carpenter, by Lewis Carroll, can be found at:

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