Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Skywalker (Skywriter, Jimmy Webb)

One of my favorite moments in the Star Wars saga is the scene in Return of the Jedi in which Luke shares with Leia the fact that she is his sister.  Here's a reflection from Leia's perspective in response to that revelation, to the tune of Jimmy Webb's Skywriter

Skywalker

I'm sure I should be shocked at what you're telling me right now.
Even so, a part of me always seemed to know somehow.
I confess I feel a fool for kissing you, but still our love is real.

I'm a Skywalker,
Sister you never knew,
Given another name,
And at last I understand this bond we claim.
You're my twin brother.
Luke, you're forever near
Even when you are gone.
Now I don't have to regret I've fallen in love with Han.

He didn't put a lot of stock in Jedi sorcery,
But you have helped him to believe in things he cannot see.
You journey on alone, but we will keep the faith aflame till your return.

Child of Darth Vader.
That part is hard to take,
Unkindest cut of all.
Must I lose you to ensure our father's fall?
I'm a Skywalker,
Never a slave to fear.
Although I wish you could stay,
If the Force will just be with us, we will meet again...

Skywalker,
Never a slave to fear.
Although I wish you could stay,
If the Force will just be with us, we will meet again someday.


You Can Have Your Fit (You Can Have My Heart, Julie Miller)

Several months ago, I was browsing YouTube in search of videos from the new Celtic Thunder DVD when I stumbled upon Ryan Kelly's tender demo cover of singer-songwriter Julie Miller's Broken Things.  It's now ranks among my favorite of his songs, surpassing several of his Celtic Thunder solos, and has given me another songwriter to investigate as well.  Here's a reflection I wrote to her tune from the perspective of Dumbledore addressing Harry in the immediate aftermath of the Battle at the Ministry in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

You Can Have Your Fit


You can have your fit,
And I hope you do.
I've too many objects;
It's time I had too few.
I don't covet your load,
And I regret I've stayed away.
When I explain it to you, I expect you'll feel
Justified in your display.

You can have your fit.
You can go on breaking things.
You can fume and cry
When your next step is clear.
For you're right to want to rage at me,
But I need to share this prophecy.
Once you've heard it, you can have your fit.

So beyond my hopes,
You are brave and true.
You had been through so much,
I simply couldn't heap
More pain on you.
But I mustn't shrink any longer
From this message I give:
You will battle him again;
Neither can survive
While the other lives.

You can have your fit.
You can go on breaking things.
You can fume and cry
When your next step is clear.
For you're right to want to rage at me,
But I need to share this prophecy.
Once you've heard it, you can have your fit.

Yes, you're right to want to rage at me,
But I need to share this prophecy.
Once you've heard it, you can have your fit.


Broken Things (scroll down to music player)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Fond of Countin' (Go Tell It On the Mountain, Traditional)

Google celebrates the Count today, so I will too, to the tune of Go Tell It On the Mountain.

Fond of Countin'

That fella's fond of countin'.
Gives him a thrill he longs to share.
That fella's fond of countin'.
He counts from eve to morn.

While other folks are sleeping,
He counts throughout the night.
He cackles "One, two, three, four,
Five, six" until daylight.

That fella's fond of countin'.
Gives him a thrill he longs to share.
That fella's fond of countin'.
He counts from eve to morn.

He looks just like a vampire,
But don't be scared away. 
He only wants to tell you
The Number of the Day.

That fella's fond of countin'.
Gives him a thrill he longs to share.
That fella's fond of countin'.
He counts from eve to morn.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Trust in Their Friend (Dust in the Wind, Kerry Livgren)

I've had Dust in the Wind on the brain lately, and that's a bad song to have firmly lodged in my head, since I can't think of any other song that I find more depressing.  Yes, it's gorgeous, but if I run across it unexpectedly, it can put me in a funk for the rest of the day.  So in an effort to get it out of my system, I've used it to write a reflection from Harry's perspective following his discovery in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban that his parents were betrayed by their close friend.  Though it doesn't tell the whole story, it's still one of the most depressing moments in the series, but at least maybe now, the next time I hear the song on the radio, I will think of J. K. Rowling instead of Nietzsche...

Trust in Their Friend


They closed their door.
Only one outside it knew where they had gone.
How could he
Break the sacred contract of fidelity?

Trust in their friend.
All they had was trust in their friend.

Dad and Mum
Never would have had to give their lives for me.
Malfoy knew,
Taunting me with whispered hints of treachery.

Trust in their friend.
All they had was trust in their friend.

Now, tell me, Ron,
Do you wonder why I want to hurt this guy?
I’m sure you’d see
If you were forced to listen to your parents die.

Trust in their friend.
All they had was trust in their friend.
(He betrayed the trust of his friends.)
Trust in their friend.
All they had was trust in their friend.
(He betrayed the trust of his friends.)
Their friend.


Friday, September 4, 2009

Imagining Walter Blythe's Piper Poem

When I read Rilla of Ingleside, the eighth installment in the Anne of Green Gables series, I found myself very curious about The Piper, a poem her son Walter writes while serving as a soldier during World War I.  L. M. Montgomery never reproduces it for us, though I see that there is an upcoming volume that includes poetry from both Anne and Walter, which makes me wonder whether she might have written the poem at some point.  A bit of investigating told me that she intended it as a tip of the hat to In Flanders Fields, one of the most famous poems to come out of World War I, so when I tried my hand at stepping into Walter's head, that was my model.

The Piper

The Piper calls with dulcet strains
That echo over hills and plains.
He beckons, through a dreamy mist,
And stalwart hearts cannot resist
The song that seeps into our veins.

Upon his path, the crimson stains
Lie undiminished by the rains
Of ages, yet we must enlist;
The Piper calls.

Our struggles are but labor pains,
The price that Providence ordains;
A new world dawns as we persist.
To those we left, whose arms we've missed,
The great and longer task remains.
The Piper calls!

An Abandoned Bird and a Friendly Cat Head South

I recently read Patrick McDonnell's South, a tender tale of a cat who helps a lost bird find its migrating flock.  The book doesn't have any words, nor does it need them.  But I couldn't resist writing a bit about it myself.  Here's a little accompanying poem I wrote.

South

As autumn dies, the last leaf falls.
Migration calls; the first bird flies.
A silent flap, a hopeful tune.
As one, they rise into the skies.

And yet below, a straggler wakes.
Of all mistakes, the lowest blow.
So far from June, a chilly trap
With miles to go 'midst leaves and snow.

A furry friend at once draws near.
This cat will cheerfully attend
To every need with gentle care
'Til journey's end lies 'round the bend.

Their kinship shelters, strengthens both.
He keeps the oath. Clear as a bell,
Song fills the air. The bird takes heed.
But first, farewell. What tales he'll tell!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Our Little Girl (My Little Town, Paul Simon)

I've been participating in an online discussion of the Harry Potter books, and recently a few of us commented on how strange this whole experience must be for Hermione's parents.  We barely see them throughout the series - and they barely see her, especially after the third book.  Here's a reflection from their perspective to the tune of Simon and Garfunkel's My Little Town.

Our Little Girl


Well, our little girl,
She always is leaving.
We scarcely see her at all.
Oh, it would mean so much to us
If she would just stay here till the fall.
Boy, she's getting tall!
Our little girl.

Since she went to that school,
Flying on broomsticks and taking Arithmancy,
Our lives are defined by
Waiting for owls on a howling breeze.

She eases our pain with her parchment,
Her escapades shining in black,
But long letters cannot compare
To that precious presence we lack.
Wish that she would come back here.
Our little girl.
Our little girl.
Our little girl.

Wish the wizards hadn't whisked away our little girl!
Wish the wizards hadn't whisked away our little girl!

Well, our little girl
Was always a loner, but she's found some faithful chums.
Maybe we're greedy,
Maybe we're needy,
Thinkin' as we linger over patients' puffy gums

That we wish the wizards hadn't whisked away our little girl.
Wish the wizards hadn't whisked away our little girl!
Wish the wizards hadn't whisked away our little girl!
Wish the wizards hadn't whisked away our little girl!
Wish the wizards hadn't whisked away our little girl!



My Little Town

Galadriel (Midnight Well, Phil Coulter)

At the request of my dad, here's a song to the tune of Phil Coulter's Midnight Well about the Fellowship's stay in Lothlorien in Lord of the Rings, and in particular Frodo's offer to give Galadriel his Ring.

Galadriel

In the golden wood of Lorien
Lived Galadriel.
She could gaze into the hearts of men,
Galadriel.
Eight travelers charged with a perilous quest
Approached her in wonder and fear.
She awarded them rest
But encountered a test
When the innocent Frodo drew near.

For he bore an object much desired
By Galadriel,
And the humble hobbit, who admired
Fair Galadriel,
Quietly made her an offer.
He stood exhausted and half-hypnotized.
With trust in his voice,
Frodo gave her the choice
To lay claim to the power she prized

When he said,

"Take the Ring, take the Ring from me,
Please lift this thing from me, Lady of goodness and light.
Take the Ring, take the Ring.
Wear it proudly and set the world right."

As he watched, a shadow crossed the face
Of Galadriel.
In her eyes was guile and not the grace
Of Galadriel.
She mused, "I could rule over all Middle-earth,
Inspiring both love and despair."
But the dark moment passed
As she bravely held fast,
And an elegy hung in the air

When she said,

"Keep the Ring, keep the Ring from me.
Temptation's sting will decline as I fade with the light.
Keep the Ring, keep the Ring.
Hold it close and continue to fight." (repeat twice) 


Midnight Well (scroll down to music player)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Feelin' Lucky (Feelin' Groovy, Paul Simon)

Here's a ditty from Ron's perspective in the chapter Felix Felicis in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, to the tune of Simon and Garfunkel's Feelin' Groovy.

Feelin’ Lucky
So what? He spiked my juice;
The potion went to perfect use!
Just watch me block another goal.
Quidditch is fun;
I’m feelin’ lucky!
Felix Felicis leaves me
Feelin’ lucky.

Not a Chaser can defy me
And not a Quaffle will sail by me.
Fans have changed their rhyme for me.
“Hail, King Weasley!”
Feelin’ lucky!
“Weasley will not let the Quaffle in!”
Feelin’ lucky.

Well, I bet I could Beat and Chase as well as Keep.
I feel like I could play this game in my sleep.
All it took was a boost to my low self-esteem.
Thank you, Harry.
I’m so lucky!


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Slytherin (Yesterday, Paul McCartney)

I just finished a re-read of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and one of the scenes that jumped out at me was Harry's brief conversation with the Sorting Hat in Dumbledore's office.  Here's an homage to that moment to the tune of the Beatles' Yesterday.

Slytherin

Slytherin
Is the House you almost put me in.
What a big mistake that would have been!
I don’t belong in Slytherin.

Gryffindor
Is the House I’m clearly suited for.
Can’t you see the courage at my core?
Oh, I belong in Gryffindor.

I spoke to a snake.
Now they quake when I walk in,
Whispering, “Beware!
He’s the Heir of Slytherin!”

Slytherin
Left a lightning scar upon my skin.
Did it also burrow deep within?
Do I belong in Slytherin?

I spoke to a snake.
Now they quake when I walk in,
Whispering, “Beware!
He’s the Heir of Slytherin!”

Slytherin
Left a lightning scar upon my skin.
Did it also burrow deep within?
Do I belong in Slytherin?


Friday, July 31, 2009

The Lightning-Struck Tower (The Green Fields of France, Eric Bogle)

There's a critical moment in The Sound of Music during which Captain Von Trapp appeals to Rolfe, the zealous young Nazi in training, not to turn him in to the authorities, to instead join his family in their escape from an increasingly dangerous Austria.  I was startled when it came to that point in my high school's production and Rolfe, rather than hollering for his commander as he'd done in the film, reported back that there was no one there.  He didn't join them, and he only bought them a few minutes, so the impact upon the play was minimal, but what a difference it made in the future I could imagine for the character!

I think of that scene every time I read The Lightning-Struck Tower, the twenty-seventh chapter in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, in which the cornered Dumbledore appeals to Draco Malfoy's better nature.  Before we can get a definitive answer as to what Draco will do, Rowling interrupts their conversation, and the matter goes out of Draco's hands.  But the fact that he's still teetering in indecision suggests a great deal about what his ultimate choice might have been.

When I was browsing YouTube earlier this week for the tracks on Take Me Home, Celtic Thunder's latest album, one of the last songs I listened to was The Green Fields of France.  I'd never heard of it before, so I didn't really know what to expect, but by the end of the second exquisitely delivered line, I knew I'd stumbled upon something special.  I was sure I wanted to use it as a springboard, but I needed to find just the right subject.  Something solemn, something personal, something involving a choice.  I kept coming back to Ben Linus and Jacob in the season five finale of LOST, but it just didn't feel quite right.  Then I made the leap to the comparable scene in Harry Potter, and it practically wrote itself...

The Lightning-Struck Tower


Well, how do you do, young Draco Malfoy?
Do you mind if we speak for a moment, my boy?
Your face seems so pale, but please don't be alarmed,
For you've caught me alone and completely unarmed.
I hear by the clatter reaching us from below
You've succeeded in letting in Death Eaters, so
You may wait till they come here to deal the death blow,
For killing is harder than the innocent know.

Will you lower your weapon and allow me to step in?
Will you stop while your soul is untarnished and whole?
Will you trust the benevolent will win?
Will you veer from the path of a villain?

I'm impressed with your efforts.  You've thought this thing through.
The Vanishing Cabinets...  How clever of you!
And magical coins and a brainwashed barmaid.
It's time I applauded you, Draco.  Well played!
I know desperation has been driving you, son,
But please, while the damage is yet to be done,
Turn away from the darkness of Voldemort's side.
I'll offer protection and I'll help you to hide.

Will you lower your weapon and allow me to step in?
Will you stop while your soul is untarnished and whole?
Will you trust the benevolent will win?
Will you veer from the path of a villain?

Now, Draco Malfoy, I can't help but suspect
Your heart isn't in this.  With all due respect,
Did you really believe that the necklace you cursed
And the mead that you poisoned would come to me first?
They were feeble attempts, and most fortunately,
Your victims were not injured permanently.
Now I hope you'll go over your options with me,
For it's my mercy now, and not yours, that is key.

Will you lower your weapon and allow me to step in?
Will you stop while your soul is untarnished and whole?
Will you trust the benevolent will win?
Will you veer from the path of a villain?
Will you veer from the path of a villain?


Green Fields of France 

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Expecto Patronum! (Heartland, Phil Coulter)

One of the most impressive songs in the Celtic Thunder catalog is Heartland, a haunting ensemble number in which storm-tossed seafarers pray for protection from the elements.  With its Gaelic chorus that translates to "Lord, have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy," it's also perhaps the most overtly religious song they perform.  I've been itching to do something with it ever since I heard it, but I was clueless as to what that might be.  Then tonight, the solution hit me over the head.  So here's my tribute to my favorite of J. K. Rowling's many creative spells.

Expecto Patronum!

 
Harry: When Dementors threaten and all is cold,
Deliver me from the darkness in my soul.

All: Expecto patronum!  Expecto patronum!
Expecto patronum!  Expecto patronum!

Luna: When my world is lonely and friendships rare,
Call to mind my comrades, little hare.

All: Expecto patronum!  Expecto patronum!
Expecto patronum!  Expecto patronum!

Snape: Silver doe, I have kept you secret so long.
Lead the boy to the sword and make him strong.

All: Expecto patronum!  Expecto patronum!
Expecto patronum!  Expecto patronum!

Harry: Deliverer, deliverer,
I wait for you!

All: Expecto patronum!  Expecto patronum!
Expecto patronum!  Expecto patronum!

Expecto patronum!  Expecto patronum!
Expecto patronum!  Expecto patronum!

Narnian (Working Man, Rita MacNeil)

When I first heard Working Man, the song George Donaldson sings about a long-suffering coal miner on Celtic Thunder's latest album, Take Me Home, I immediately found myself thinking of a climactic scene in The Silver Chair, the fourth (by the original reckoning) installment in C. S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia.  That may be in part because my friend Beth recently reread the book, so I had it in my mind.  But hearing the words of this coal miner longing for the joys of the outside world after years spent mostly in the dusty darkness reminded me very much of how the Marshwiggle Puddleglum, gloomy by our standards but cheerful by the standards of his species, stubbornly refuses to give in to the hypnotic suggestion that the dreary underground kingdom they have entered is all that exists.  It's one of my favorite moments in the series.  So Puddleglum, this one's for you.

Narnian


It's a Narnian I am, and although I'm underground,
I recall the warmth of a blazing summer sun,
And I've marveled at the light from the stars that burn at night.
You never will make me doubt what Aslan's done.

I'll admit that from the first, I have liked to know the worst.
But still, I am unique among my race.
For a wiggle's outlook is bleak, but my optimistic streak
Is my best defense against this wretched place.

It's a Narnian I am, and although I'm underground,
I recall the warmth of a blazing summer sun,
And I've marveled at the light from the stars that burn at night.
You never will make me doubt what Aslan's done.

Now, allow me to reflect.  Let's suppose that you're correct.
We've made up trees and grass and Aslan too.
We are children playing a game, as you've been so quick to claim. 
Well, our play-world beats your real one through and through.

It's a Narnian I am, and although I'm underground,
I recall the warmth of a blazing summer sun,
And I've marveled at the light from the stars that burn at night.
You never will make me doubt what Aslan's done.
No, you never will make me doubt what Aslan's done.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I'm Proud to Call Myself a Fan of Second Banana McMahon

Windfall

I always hoped he'd show up at my door,
Balloons behind his back, a check in hand.
When I had picked my jaw up off the floor,
I'd say a hearty thanks to Ed McMahon.

Alas, the sweepstakes never went my way,
And yet his riches surely spread to me.
A laugh was all the price I had to pay
For hefty doses of hilarity.

The banter that he bartered with his friend,
The one and only Johnny, was a prize,
And even when the program reached its end,
He resolutely stayed before our eyes.

When searching for a star or raising dough
For Jerry and his kids both young and old,
His class was on display throughout the show,
And in his jokes I found comedic gold.

So though I still am not a millionaire,
I'm grateful for the treasures he dispersed.
Ed always played the second, but his flair
Assured he'll be remembered as the first.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

An Ode to "OxiClean Guy" Billy Mays

I'm a night owl, so I was all too familiar with the exuberant Billy Mays. Whenever my brother comes home from college for a couple of days, we fully expect to spend some time in his company and three o'clock in the morning. Though he caused me to wear down my mute button, I will miss his enthusiasm.

Billy the Bellower

In moments when I should have been in bed,
I'd stir upon the couch with bleary gaze.
As brightly booming cheers alighted on my ears,
I'd shake a startled fist at Billy Mays.

No matter what the bearded vendor said,
He shouted with the fervor of a fan.
This infomercial prince forever made me wince,
And yet I couldn't help but love the man.

I wondered if he ever simply spoke.
Was every meal with him a loud affair
Most likely to begin with his expansive grin
As Billy gushed about the silverware?

"He should be my alarm clock," I would joke,
For who could sleep through his effusive pitch
When he proclaimed, "Kaboom!" or sterilized a room
With household magic that could wow a witch?

He was so fond of adding, "Wait! There's more!"
For him, I've little doubt that this was true.
More twenty-dollar toys, more ordinary joys,
More decent, life-affirming work to do.

When I am stuck with some distasteful chore,
I don't intend to bow to lethargy.
I'll chuckle as I scrub my scum-encrusted tub,
Recalling Billy bellowing at me.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Frodo, Where's Your Finger? (Donald Where's Your Trousers, Andy Stewart / Neil Grant)

This one goes out to my uncle, a big fan of both Lord of the Rings and The Irish Rovers.  This is a parody of their version of the delightfully silly Donald, Where's Your Trousers?

Frodo, Where's Your Finger?


From the Cracks of Doom back to Hobbiton,
Since the day that my quest was done,
I have heard from everyone,
"Frodo, where's your finger?"

Now liberated from Sauron's Eye,
I huddled with Sam and prepared to die.
Then Eagles swooped down from the sky,
Screeching, "Frodo, where's your finger?"

From the Cracks of Doom back to Hobbiton,
Since the day that my quest was done,
I have heard from everyone,
"Frodo, where's your finger?"

While I was praised in Gondor's hall,
I spied the cheekiest Took of all
And grumbled as I heard him call,
"Frodo, where's your finger?"

From the Cracks of Doom back to Hobbiton,
Since the day that my quest was done,
I have heard from everyone,
"Frodo, where's your finger?" (2x)

Returning home, my friends began
To scrub away the damage of Saruman,
While I was keen to start a ban
On "Frodo, where is your finger?"

From the Cracks of Doom back to Hobbiton,
Since the day that my quest was done,
I have heard from everyone,
"Frodo, where's your finger?"

I'm on my way to the distant West,
To join the ancient Elven blessed.
Now after all this time, I can have a rest
From "Frodo, where's your finger?"

From the Cracks of Doom back to Hobbiton,
Since the day that my quest was done,
I have heard from everyone,
"Frodo, where's your finger?"
"Frodo, where's your finger?"


Thursday, April 30, 2009

There Was Only Ever One (Ashokan Farewell, Jay Ungar)

Well, Poetry Month is up, and I didn't write quite as much as I'd hoped, but here's a filksong to the tune of Ashokan Farewell to close out the month, inspired by our peeks into Snape's memories late in the Harry Potter series.  Poor Sev...

There Was Only Ever One

There was only ever one in this world so unforgiving
Who banished the darkness dementing my days,
Only one who made me see that a life could be worth living,
Dissolving despair with her gossamer gaze.

But I pushed her away and lost her forever.
Seduced by their silky lies,
I abandoned the wise to follow the clever,
Becoming a beast she was bound to despise.

Though my love for her endured, she was wedded to my rival,
The smug interloper I longed to destroy.
I'd revoke that bitter wish for the sake of her survival;
The best I can do is watch over her boy.

Lily, fairest of all the blooms in the garden,
My penance has now begun.
I will dream of one day perceiving your pardon
Alight in the emerald eyes of your son.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Those Twins (Belle, Alan Menken / Howard Ashman)

I've never been much good at practical jokes, so I thought I'd acknowledge the first of April with a tribute to my favorite pranksters, to the tune of Belle from Beauty and the Beast.  Here's to you, Fred and George!  Happy April Fools' Day!

Those Twins

[The sun rises on the Burrow on a summer day in 1993]

Ginny: Little house.
It's a tiny cottage.
Ron: Could be dull
As Professor Binns.
Percy: But this house
Full of red-haired people
Is in disarray...

Molly:
Those twins!
Percy: Those twins!
Molly: Those twins!
Percy: Those twins!
Molly and Percy: Those twins!

Fred: (peeks from around corner)
There goes our brother with his badge like always.
How can he walk with that big head?
George: You would think he’d know my name
Since we live here in the same
Overpopulated house... (goes into kitchen)

Spoken
Percy: Good morning, Fred!
George: ‘Morning, Perce!
Percy: Where‘s George?
George: Upstairs.  Starting to smell up there; I think he just set off some dungbombs in your bedroom, and -
Percy: That George...  Mother!  I’ll show him...  Mother!
(George leaves and dashes off laughing with Fred)

[in a Hogwarts corridor, that fall]

Filch: Look, there they go.  Those boys are brats, no question.
They strut around with cheeky grins,
But their antics aren’t allowed.
Since they first came here, I’ve vowed
To revive the old deterrents for those twins.

McGonagall:
They liven up Transfiguration.
Snape: Those hooligans!  They cause me strife.
Flitwick: Their flair for Charms is quite extensive.
I’ve never taught such students in my life!

[approaching Ludo Bagman at the Yule Ball, winter of '94]

Spoken
Ludo: Ah, boys!
Fred: Good evening! 
George: We'd like to request the funds you promised.
Ludo: Bugging me still, boys? 
George: Look, that was all our savings!
Fred: We'll give you another trick wand...
Ludo: You're too young to gamble anyway!
Fred: Ha!  That's not what you said at the World Cup!
Ludo: World Cup...  Well, I had a lot on my mind!
George: Well, we have a lot of tricks up our sleeves!
Fred: Canary Creams -
George: Ton-Tongue Toffees -
Fred: All sorts of stuff, but we need supplies!
Ludo: Say, boys, isn't that your brother headed this way?
Fred and George: Oh, blast!
Ludo: Toodle-oo!
Fred: We'll see you...
George: See you very soon!

[Gryffindor common room]

Hermione: The twins are whispering.  It's so peculiar;
They're always making so much noise!
As I pore over my book,
I will just steal a quick look.
Oh, I wonder what they're up to now, those boys...

[on the Hogwarts Express at the end of the school year]

Fred: George, isn't this amazing?
We can start that joke shop, you and me.
George: And when it's up and running,
We'll let Harry take his pick of merchandise for free!

[at Grimmauld Place, late summer of '95]

Molly: I'm putting both of you on clean-up duty.
Go empty out the rubbish bins.
Fred: Here's a cheerful little thought -
We'll recover what she got.
Oh, she'll never get the best of me.
George: No, she won't get the best of me.
Molly: Oh, they won't get the best of me, those twins!

[a few days later, huddled around Ron's Hogwarts letter]

Spoken
George: No way!
Fred: No one in their right mind would make Ron a prefect!
George: (to Harry) We thought Dumbledore was bound to pick you!
Fred: I guess you've caused too much trouble.  Good for you!
George: Bad for us.  Mum's going to be revolting.
Fred and George: (chanting) Ickle Ronnie Prefect, ickle Ronnie Prefect...
Fred: At least one of you's got their priorities right.

Hermione: Can you believe this, Ron?  We'll both be prefects.
These two had best tone down their sins.
Molly: Now with any luck you will be a Head Boy just like Bill.
What a shame it didn't rub off on the twins...

[in the Great Hall at Hogwarts, fall]

Fred: We have no use for school achievements.
George: We have our O.W.L.s, so who needs N.E.W.T.s?
Fred: It won't be long before we leave this,
But first we've got to find some test recruits.

[in the Gryffindor Common Room, where first-years are sampling Skiving Snackboxes]

George: Pastilles!
Fred: They're good!
George: They're safe!
Hermione: They're not!
Fred: No harm in puking!
George: Nougats are tops!
Hermione: Nosebleeds!
Fred: So what?
George: They're fine!
Fred: You'll see!
Hermione: Not on your life!
George: What can you do?
Hermione: I'll write -
Fred: Oh, no -
Hermione: Your mum!
George: Not her!
Hermione: You need rebuking.
Fred: Now that's just low!
Hermione: One warning.  Just one warning!

[back at the Burrow]

Arthur: I think their tricks are funny, but my wife...
Molly: Those boys will never get ahead in life!

[at Hogwarts, spring of '96, as Fred and George make their grand exit]

Fred:
I think we've had enough of education.
Time for our real lives to begin!
Students: Though we hate to see them go,
There's one thing that we know:
They are on their way to great careers.
Hermione: Unusual but great careers.
Students: They're on their way to great careers,
Those twins!


Thursday, February 26, 2009

An Ode to My Favorite Easy Reader Lovebirds, Mr. Putter and Mrs. Teaberry

A couple years ago, I discovered the Mr. Putter and Tabby series by Cynthia Rylant.  Since then, I've read every book starring the kind, elderly Mr. Putter and his creaky cat.  They're beautiful stories.  They also happen to be incredibly romantic, as most of the stories also feature his next-door neighbor, Mrs. Teaberry, who's a bit feistier than Mr. Putter but every bit as lovable.  Their friendship is purely platonic on the page, and yet their love for one another is so genuine, it's hard to deny the possibility of a long-term courtship.  Inspired by my musings on this subject with fellow enthusiast Beth, I concocted this little poem that imagines Mr. Putter awaiting the response to a love letter to his neighbor that concludes with a crucial question...

Mr. Putter and Tabby Send the Note
Mr. Putter, all aflutter
As he scraped a pat of butter
On his toasted English muffin,
Muttered, "Tabby, it's a tough one."

Pensive chewing.  Plaintive mewing.
What was Mr. Putter doing?
Tabby sensed, with tail a-twitchin',
Trouble brewing in the kitchen.

Forehead wrinkled, Putter sprinkled
Sugar in his tea and crinkled
Up his paper as he wondered
If she'd think he'd badly blundered.

Hesitation.  Dread.  Frustration.
Such a bold interrogation
From an insecure romancer.
Had she read it?  Would she answer?

Doorbell ringing.  Angels singing.
Putter pondered fiercely flinging
Arms around her, so enchanting -
But beheld her bulldog, panting.

Good Zeke flopping down and dropping
Daisies with a dainty topping:
One note bearing just three letters.
Putter floating, flushing redder.

What a blessing!  No more guessing. 
Love confessed with "Y-E-S"-ing.
Over to her porch he ambled,
Giddy with his gutsy gamble.

There sat merry Ms Teaberry,
Neighbor, friend and sanctuary,
Beaming like a lighthouse beacon.
Putter's knees began to weaken.

Tabby purring.  Zeke's tail whirring.
Putter's dancing eyes were blurring.
He could manage just a mumble.
"Yes?" he ventured, stooped and humble.

"Yes," his seated sweetheart greeted.
With a kiss, her task completed,
Ms Teaberry all but shouted,
"How could you have ever doubted?"