Poetry Archives Bio

snother world

December 13, 2010

With apologies to "I Cannot Go to School Today!" by Shel Silverstein , and to "As I was Going to St. Ives".

"I do not like the way you look,"
Said Mister Pan to Mister Hook.
"Oh, stow it, Peter!" countered Jim,
"'Afore I take my phantom limb,

And bash yer brains out of your head.
I'm eighty-five and nearly dead,
And you—so lean, and mean, and keen—
–"What are you, twelve?" –"No, I'm fourteen,"

Retorted then the youthful knave,
Who hadn't yet begun to shave,
"Two-score a year back, to the day,
I made a deal with Mister Grey,

And now, my dear, old naval sage,
I do not die, I do not age.
I relish blushing girls' embrace,
I spy, I fly, I chase the lace..."

"You fool!" cried out his constant foe,
"Before my grave's eternal snow,
You will regret this hellish deal!
You'll beg to keel! You'll cry for steel!

When I was young, I too would look
For girls and wine—behold my hook!"
"Forget it, buddy," countered Pete,
"I'm off to Wendy Darling meet."

The old man sat with his vermouth,
Considering his time of youth,
And forth then went our Peter Pan,
And from a boy turned to a man.

* * *

I do not know what years had passed.
It was a long time, but at last
Lay Mister Pan, all old and frayed,
By his acquaintances betrayed,

And though he batted still his eye,
He lived thus, and he could not die.
"What is the lesson?" you may level,
"Do not make dim deals with the devil?"

Alas, the argument's quite plain:
Do not cast off your life in vain.
Know when to cut and when to run,
When shun or stun, when to have fun.

Know when to love and when to lie,
When to persist and when to die.
If you're a woman or a man,
Beware the curse of Peter Pan.