How Pleasant to Know Mr. Reynolds

by Alan Reynolds, with apologies to Edward Lear

How pleasant to know Mr. Reynolds
who has concreted reams of hot air
into harmless most times ornamentals
that he flogs for two cents at the Fair.

His mind is a sieve: he remembers
distortions of all that he hears.
He envisions an Earth burned to cinders
that he saves when he wiggles his ears.

For a human he’s an adept at flying,
say the jackdaws. They mean that he can’t.
He eschews every chance to die trying
and devotes his time trying to chant.

He basks by the sea when they let him,
not the jackdaws, the daemons of news.
He resolves every New Year to get trim
but that idea’s the first one he’ll lose.

His many friends number some humans,
several dogs, Evil Sam – that’s a cat,
and in Spain a matched span of ichneumons
he calls ‘mongeese’ and he chortles at that.

When he walks on the water it’s frozen.
When Earth welcomes in Springtime he sinks.
He’s averse to all lines that let prose in
and drifts off in those moments he thinks.

He thinks he would weep should the world stop,
he knows he will should it continue
to be wrung out by men like a whirled mop.
He imagines your gods are within you.

He reads, but he cannot speak, Spanish;
he mumbles hoping his listeners blame dentals
that he doesn’t need yet. Vowels vanish.
How pleasant to know Mr. Reynolds.