Lord Edmund Edmassy of Oxford
yearned to travel to the Polar regions.
Frankly he was tired of parkside pigeons,
tame, flighted wildlife bored him silly,
there were other fierce creatures
of which he’d heard, far more interesting
than scavenging crumb-fed birds.
He despised those “Little, white shitters!”
as he called them when they got the twitters.
He never knew where, or knew when
or if those three words would return
to taunt around his head again.
One day, he made his mind up to go.
The question was, would he row? No!
That was done late March last year
by one of the most idiotic men here,
Lord Ralph Rubbertinkle. He never
liked the name, he never liked the man
and now RR’s (or arse’s) oar was lost,
lain frozen too much for his tastes,
out there somewhere on the Artic wastes.
What he wanted was a ship, a heated one.
He’d heard of those snug polar bear rugs
as large as any red London bus,
their fangs as long as conductor’s legs
and eyes that glowed like diamonds.
If he had one of those, truly a fire
would shine from his exaggerated behind,
that would be a fitting explorer’s find.
One should grace his front parlor,
add somewhat to his self-proclaimed ardor,
so off he set, pipe a-smoke and traveling plans
keenly watched over with a navigator’s
hands. “Aye aye, Sir, we’ll be there
before ye know it. Aye, I’ve shaken their
generous paws and needle sharp claws.”
said the captain wearing a hook,
and an old, toasty woolen mitt
that looked curiously white, and furry a fit.
But Edmassy wasn’t really enjoying the trip,
he’d not liked the pickled cod for lunch,
it didn’t have that necessary crunch, and
the fish for tea was some odd creature pulled
from the depths with a smelly tentacle net,
black and oily, he retched, he had no glee.
It simply wasn’t what he was used to for tea,
and it was squidgy.
He thought to himself,
the sea’s not all it’s cracked up to be.
And yet, it was, for the voyage hit a storm,
the ship splintered, battered and torn
washed up Edmassy onto some icy coast
where the white bears did indeed roam
and he only had a box of matches in his pocket,
a tin of tobacco, and his wife’s engraved locket
which a polar bear took along with the strikes,
and a coin, a sovereign of the queen it chewed
over not once, but twice just to be polite.
It is rumoured just before Edmassy died,
“Large, white -” indistinguishably he cried.
Until all that remained was Edmassy’s matchbox.
The bear sniffed at it and left it alone,
crunched on a monocle, mistaking it for bone,
making a terrible rumpus, and later pooed out
a golden compass.