Mad Helmut’s Tea Party

Bloomsday. Today. The 16th of June, the date (in 1904) that James Joyce chose to let his character Leopold Bloom start out in UYLSSES. One word encountered in that book — ‘hyperborean’ — stirred up the Durac and the Slynog to celebrate at Mad Helmut’s Tea Party.

Mad Helmut’s Tea Party

‘I’m hyperborean as much as you’ Buck Mulligan to Stephen Dedalus in James Joyce’s ULYSSES

‘Compared to you I am much more hyperborean’,

said the Slynog. ‘I am also mad for tea.

While you, my addled, fat, and calm historian

remain inert, a late-lunch parolee

as like as not to be an absentee

when North winds blow up harder, heeling ship

away from where there’s harbour, landing strip

and tipples bar.’ The Durac rose and shrugged.

It heaved the anchor, gave the waves the slip,

and pointed to the shoreline their boat hugged.

‘Hypoborean I may be,’ the Durac said.

‘If that’s a word. You steer boats by their wake

and were you our navigator we’d be dead.

So slur on, Slynog. Don’t make the mistake

of thinking finding home’s a piece of cake.’

Together the companions hoisted sail.

Together they turned green, hung oar the rail.

The North winds blew, the duo turning blue

and blowing kisses to disgusted terns

they sailed strait home by way of Timbuktu.

2 thoughts on “Mad Helmut’s Tea Party

  1. You have inspired me to go on a Joyce binge again. Did you see the 1970’s movie, Ulysses? It is excellent. Happy Bloomsday. SJL

    • And Happy Bloomsday to you! Many thanks for mentioning Joyce binging, as following your good example, I went off and read aloud the first chapter or so. Heady stuff. I thought I sometimes went over the top with language but compared to Joyce I am a piker. No, I’ve not (yet) seen that film.

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