APOLLODOR.

Book One.

Gellu Naum (1963)

in English by M.A. Christi (2009)

Tenor Apollodor meaduors

1.
Once upon a time, of yore,
there lived a penguin: born offshore
more exactly, in Labrador),
at Bucharest Mayfair’d labor.

“What was his name?” ”Apollodor!”
“What did he do?” ”Sang in a corps,
full time job, as a tenor -
an animator, a bit of an actor
on the ice rink.” He’d plump for
jugglers and clowns, as a chore.
Chubby tum, tails and (what’s more)
sleek and prim and charms galore...
that’s our chick, Apollodor!

2.
Well... one day, sad Apollodor
(knowing they’d hear and abhor)
said: “You know I’m all for
acting tenor in a fair corps...
but I sooo miss my life of yore
(in Penguin: meeaDuor! meeaDuor!)
dallying with brothers I adore...
on the North Pole’s frosty floe floor...”

And he meaduored, Apollodor.


Apollodor parts with friends

3.
Kitten Tut saw him in tears,
and purred into one of his ears:
“Blubbering’s of no avail!
Phluck my hwhiskers, phull at my tail,
Pheck all the chream in the phet shop,
thwo phints... only do, phleease, stop!
C’mon, buddy, cry no more!

But he meaduored “...oh, life of yore
and brothers, back in Labrador!”

4.
MisterPrickles gave him a spine,
for him to no more sigh and pine;
Ole Bruin blackberries would pick
fresh for him, dreaming he’d click;
Cotton Tail lettuce leaves bore
plus the crispest apple core;
(all colleagues of Apollodor,
all of them singers in that corps).
Saddest, though, was... Camel Sandky
who sobbed, nose in her hanky panky;
like a mother she did wail -
why, she’d taught him his first scale!

But he meaduored “...oh, life of yore
and brothers, back in Labrador!”

5.
Those colleagues of Apollodor
went up to Choir Conductor.
Maestro SeeASeaBeeFar
(velvety coat black like tar)
listened musing, and (before
he sat down’n clip his cigar)
he sighed: “My poor tenor
He’ll pall! that I can’t ignore...
Let him off, then... to Labrador”.
so.. he left, Apollodor.


Apollodor to Labrador

6.
At first – piece of cake – he headed for
the North Pole in a plane, a-soar,
stuck to the double-engine’s floor.

But, pretty soon, Apollodor
stood up, looked round and (as before,
rememb’ring he was a tenor)
chirped his best... then, fishing for
kicks (naughty-naughty!) jumped
astride one plane wing, thumped
his tiny backpack... with a roar
scampered up and down... and bumped
his poor head, Apollodor,
(as, turning bill over heels,
got pegged, dangling, to the wheels)
against a stupid cloud
(reveals the story). So... Apollodor
slipped off the plane! Bye, life of yore!

Bye, penguins in Labrador!

7.
At Cape North, at Cape North,
in a fjord, long-faced henceforth
and nippy, stood Apollodor

Brooding, on the North Sea shore.
Hushed... and puzzled at his tryst,
was our full-fledged tenor-artist:
parachute torn (bad, bad start!)
not a compass, no flip chart...

Round and round the tidal bore
whirled and howled like for ever more
which made him croon, Apollodor:

“Adieu, brothers of Labrador!
Adieu to you, my life of yore!
Mother Di knocks on my door...
Jack Frost comes to make me hoar...
a pity for such a grand tenor
as I, who so sang in that corps,
brothers of mine in Labrador!

Oh, brothers of mine in Labrador,
the sea will raise a coral tor
for me to hide in.. and then Thor
will lull me asleep, on the sand
gently washed by waves inshore,
foamy, sparkly...hugging land
of Sand Man, dusty and bland...
brothers of mine in Labrador,
Brothers of mine in Labrador!”

And he meaduored, Apollodor.


Apollodor on Meteor

8.
But lo, penguin! cry no more!
here comes fishing boat Meteor
the beautifulest pescador,
Baltic Sea to Labrador:

The hooter hooted throaty, sore:
“What is your name?” “Apollodor”
“What do you do?” “Sort of explore!”
“And where d’you go?” “Up Labrador.”
“So why meaduor?” “’Cause nevermore
no one will help me – that’s what for!”

9.
To hear such tantrum, in a corps
sea-dogs aboard the Meteor
yelled:” We’re game, Apollodor!
See for yourself: our Meteor,
is big enough for any tenor
your size! You’re sure, at least,
to get there! for we head East,
the longer route to Labrador.
Hop up, on our pescador...”

He jumped aboard, Apollodor
(hoping, tickled, it was worth
the try)... and chirped “So long, Cape North!”

10.
Voyage was bliss – neither cloud, nor
fog on the water... the gulls bore
the breeze on their wings as they’d soar
over the icebergs’ peaks... which tore
the sapphire-silk water mirror,
quivering in Aeolian minor.

And how she sailed, ship Meteor!
A wonder gown of lights she wore –
you guessed right, of Northern Lights
winding straight to the sky heights
(you could tell) hankering for
those beams caught in high-class color...
waves flashed like jade and silver ore...

Afloat she was, ship Meteor,
wrapped in the glitzy lights she wore.
Gruff voices of many a sailor
rang loud in the dark night... but more
mind-boggling whizzed Apollodor’s -
(was he or wasn’t, a tenor?)
clapping seals drawing close, by scores!

Voyage was bliss, for Apollodor...


Behring Straits to Tunis

11.
Well... she came to halt, at last,
and dropped her anchor, Meteor.
Off he got, Apollodor,
at Behring Straits... which, mighty fast,

he crossed, in an Eskimo boat,
wobbling his way to Labrador,
fidgety shining his coat,
‘n chirping hearty chirps by rote.

Where he went... we couldn’t tell.
But (judging by word of mouth)
he must have stopped heading south,
to cross Alaska, tough and fell...

12.
Leafing through his diary book
(all I’ve got is a few pages
that I haven’t read for ages)
see he climb Mt Tinkmerpuk,
cross a ridge, row down a river,
and befriend said Jaspal Beaver
(the name is twice underlined)...
next blotch-splotch is all you will find.

It would be normal, it’d be fit
if chroniclers had deigned a bit
more action to describe us, tell
it all in bold... and brighter lit
make it, even if writ pell-mell.

Tips add up to make us see
bit more: little Robin told me
she’d eavesdropped to a phone
call (long distance, collect fee)
some place along River Yukon...
Such things will get you to the bone!

13.
Because the named Jaspal Beaver
told him up front: “In Labrador
no penguin lived, never ever,
but! a few Apollodors
did pass by... stayed most indoors
‘cause one of’em was a diva,
‘twas awesome she there you bore
... and (tipped me a little mole)
the flock is gone to the South Pole
some place neat, ’bout Gulf Terror.”

Little mole? Beaver ‘d ransacked
old tracts, theses and tomes, in fact
he’d read whole manuscripts, compact
with quotes, foot-notes, end-notes... wrapped,
tied up in gold thread, then packed
‘n sealed in red wax from Drugstore.
“Wow... maybe!” thought, Apollodor
and turned his back on Labrador.

14.
You’d have a hard time making out
his script: “Cross Canada. Abreast.”
“Iroquois tribe. Stopped to rest”...
wondering what’s all about?

A few words I ‘most can dig:
“We‘re floating on lake Winnipeg...”
Then... water spilt! smack to the core,
down to the diary-heart lore.

Anyway... by word of mouth
We have it that he traveled South.

15.
What a gale and what commotion
swept him off across the ocean?
What a wind swirled him amiss
to set in such locomotion,
(he’d even touched Syrthas’ Gulf,
on Africa’s coast!) then engulf
and spit him off near Tunis?

For all I know, the winds’ caprice
dumped him for as good as lost.
No one (upon inquiry)
can tell where, then, was it tossed,
his famous voyage diary!


Apollodor meets Auntie Camel

16.
Since I’m such famed landscapist
I wish you’d let me here insist
bit more, telling you what bliss
is the sight of said Tunis.

If you look (from way up, high)
south, east, then across the sky,
for as far as you can see
there’s just this: the sheeny sea!
Ritzy frigates (check close-ups)
push on, like dainty crystal cups...
while, behind their behind...
flimsy kayaks float like shined,
popping out like piebald gems
trellis round their silvery hems.

Whereas if northwards you stare,
you’ll see lots of mosques, so fair
and white, brewing in the sun...
and orange-trees in bloom, anon.

17.
There, on the Syrthas’ Gulf shore,
he found himself, Apollodor,
thinking (out loud): “This tropical
bliss is too hot, as topical
balm! I’m pooped... better stay put
rather than march like this, on foot”

Then, he saw (in tears, unclear)
an old camel... draw fast near
and ask:” What might your name be?”
“Apollodor!” ”That cannot be!
Apollodor’s in Labrador!

My sis who lives in Bucharest
(on the Mayfair Circus Mart)
sent me word! She’s torn apart
over him, far-famed tenor
who walked off’n slammed the door
... just got the news, oh, how I missed her!”

“Camel Sandky’s your own sister!?
like a Mom for me she’d wail -
she’d taught me my very first scale!
Sandky’d sing and beat the beats,
she’d take me out for ice-cream treats...”

He stopped and sighed, Apollodor:
”Guess this is my terminus role!
think how far I dogged my goal
up to the Syrthas’ Gulf shore!
guess I’ll never get no more
with my brothers, at the South Pole...”
”God! I cannot believe my ears!”
said the camel, moved to tears

”Don’t gimme no talk of such role!
Let auntie see you the South Pole!”

18.
Camel knelt and... up! on her back
he nestled, as in a silken rack.

They swung their sides (so camels would),
crossed many a field, hamlet, wood...
as best they knew how and best could...
dragged on, dog beat yet unhurt,
to the doorstep of the desert...

...and stopped when no more could bear.
Camel said: ”Lo! the Sahara!
all by the book... few will dare
cross it – hear and fear!
’cause in the Sahara, my dear,
water is more scarce than tears,
and you’re green behind the ears!
You can’t beat this sizzling strand -
it’s an oceanful of sand!

Said you had to go down south...
I may sound a bit uncouth
as a mom-camel to insist
that this pursuit you desist:
your life’s at stake! Don’t judge amiss
much too soon me to dismiss
let auntie take you to Tunis!”

Replied to her Apollodor:
“Dear Auntie, I so have no choice
but to go south! I yearn to rejoice
my life and my brothers of yore...
meaduor meaduor meaduor meaduor!
my brothers’ call I must pursue!
anyway...thank you and adieu!”

And he hobbled south, once more...



Monkey business in the desert

19.
Lemme tell you how haphazard
is this eerie thing, the desert,
lemme paint it in a few phrases
burning hot as het its sand is:
there is no tent, near and far,
no bus, no train, no bike, no car,
there is no monkey-bread tree
no Arab’s home for you or me -
no café, no bakery,
not even one juicery...
For as far as eyes can see,
no Coke fridge! ‘cause that strand
is just this: hot sun and sand.

20.
Thereon marched Apollodor
awe struck thinking (out loud, for
us) “Mother Di ’s home this place is!”
When... guess what? A cool oasis,
leafy, shady ... came in sight:
palm trees in full bloom and white
jasmine buds the boughs did bring
and sweet water welled the spring

...which he sipped, Apollodor,
back on cloud nine, like afore.

21.
Well... so high hid you couldn’t see
her, on a branch of one palm tree...
first in awe, then downright spunky,
heard him peep... a little monkey!

Tweet-tweet chirruped Apollodor
sweet, as due when one’s a tenor.

So... a teeny weenie prickling
pricked her heart... an itchy tingling
like a tummy ache, a yen,
a frisson beyond her ken
as it rang deep down inside her
climbing ticklish as a spider...
the thing that they call amor.

22.
Tail gracefully curled up, like drunk
she rolled down the palm tree trunk,
curtseyed and... all fuss and twinges,
bid him snatch her three oranges,
her nuts, too (from an almond tree)...
pouting coy “To you, from me,
grab them all, all!” she did plea.

Next... the same said scrawny monkey
( and, this time, even more spunky
though somehow with a bit of shame)
asked...guess what? “What is your name?”
for, like any girl bit reagalish
she, naturally, spoke King’s English

Answered he: “Apollodor”

Then itsy bitsy girlie monkey
blushed and whispered (out loud for
us to hear)... gutsy, cool:
“I act sometimes rattling clunky
(I’m summer away from school)-
but I sure picked my walk of life:
I will be a tenor’s wife!
So... if passion does exist,
(not to would be too cruel a tryst),
for me no more sad to be
need to know: you marry me?”

Replied her Apollodor:
“I never thought the thought before!
Love at first sight sure does exist...
so here am I, penguin, to dash on
dating monkeys (shoo the tryst)
on all four popping the question!”


23.
And... like decent little nestling,
bit prior to playing house
they went ask their parents’ blessing!
the thing to do, for every spouse.

Daddy, Master Chimpanzee,
(bit tongue-tied yet resolute
true scholarly referee)
said:” Dear girl, we so salute
that you love birds do not ignore

us, doting parents. You do know
we look up to any tenor:
we hear music, we bow low...
barely one, I played my piano
in hope I could make a soprano!
I DO like Apollodor...

I am no tyrannosaur
got no cruel bone to extol
(for all I know)... I could play ball,
but!!! Milord from the North Pole
hurries down to the South Pole
(or so they tell me, one and all)!
Girl, you will freeze stiff and blue!
won’t pull through and that can’t be!
they will blame your fate on me,

I CAN’T LET HIM MARRY YOU!”

Madam Chimpanzee, a mother
and a woman, chose to rather
shoot the final words abreast:
“I, honey-buns, with much zest
say just this: am, TOO... against!”

24.
So, like nestlings well behaved
they took (why not better cast dice)
Mummy and Daddy’s advice...
bid their adieus, wet hankies waved,

and split. Off he was, Apollodor...

meanwhile, hid (so we can’t see
how she cried her heart and eyes sore),
there sobbed a weenie monkey wee.


Apollodor – Africa to India

25.
For more than a year he thrashed
(coast-to-coast) Africa... dashed
to Capetown... and got lost.

Yet, in South Africa... a nude
was seen, a snapshot of a dude,
a penguin who looked like tossed
and plummeted awful crude,
as he had nothing on (but
as the say goes, his chimney pot):
male model with a similar butt?

In Cabo-Verde they saw him, hot
acting a porter, a drudgy pack
of figs and chick-peas, on his back.
Then... again we lose his track.

26.
Later...it seems they saw the chick
in the rain forests of Mozambique.
And again the picture breaks.

Next buzz has it that it takes
looking up to him: now a star,
perplexing penguin tenor
was touring... Madagascar!

All the next six months, for fun,
he was a fakir... in India gone,
more exactly, Bangladesh...
where he actually would dash
for guitar solos! Hip tenor
like we know him, Apollodor
got his audience to bow low...
Actually he got to crow
down in the dumps... in black, too,
his plumage styled trendy as due...
wild guitar player through and through.

The next month... he spent in Tibet
lisping in numbers, like any poet...
and then, again, we nothing know.

27.
But later, in two months or so,
a newspaper instilled the notion
he nuzzled in the Pacific Ocean

into some isle, as a hot tycoon.
Wonders happen to croons that croon!

He’d found (in some dumping locks)
a fancy leather-bound suitcase
inside of which there was a box
sealed in wax, wrapped in a mac’s,
inside of which there was a lace
satchel, in ribbons tied, smart,
inside of which, hid with great art...
brilliant diamonds, two score!

Phone in hand, Apollodor,
lorded it, in his toys room, tops!
He owned a car, five candy shops,
he shot (for fun) a silver gun
and he only smoked cigars.

Sprawled on the sofa, chomping a bun,
chewing betel, pecking some coco,
he was such a snobber-upper
that no matter how near he’d go,
he would jump inside his chopper!
(all that said for you to see
he was changed as changed can be)

chic and sassy for two years more...
But one day (on a Sunday? Monday?)
remembered he, Apollodor,
his brothers! meaduoring once more
he said: ”Adieu, coco-nuts and fops,
diamonds, cigars and sweets-shops,
white phones, toys, cars... all I doff
to go my way. I am, now, off!
Meaduor, my dears, meaduor! Good day!

And off he was, Apollodor.


Apollodor and Salliver Tom

28.
Any knowledge, any notion
(of his trip across the ocean,
more exactly the Pacific)
we have learnt in great emotion
(scribbled like in hieroglyphic):

as likely as not, he next decked
a ship (leased him for a while)
which, it seems, was shipwrecked
on some pebbly wasted isle...
wherefrom, one morn, dandy and fine,
he quit, in a submarine.

Not for long sailed he so fine,
for they crashed into a mine!
Yet he was saved by a dolphin
that took him across, to a gulf in
California’s coast... where he,
knocked out, had a hard time be
coming round, beat by the brine.

So, out of the blue, this tenor,
looking for his pre-school mates...
woke up in the Unites States.

29.
For a while (if news is no hoax)
he acted cowboy, Apollodor,
on some farm, The Foxy Ox...
attending cows and locking gates,
feeding the bulls and loading crates...
he had a pistol and, of course,
like any cowboy, had a horse.

So... what do you know? one Friday
a bandit showed around, a punk,
a cattle thief, a rogue on pay
a most disreputable drunk -
Tom Salliver by his name,
true gunman lose on the highway
who would even kill and gore
from up a-saddle, was his fame!
All jiggled as he rode and swore.

At this place, The Foxy Ox’s,
(quoting) he shot eighty oxes,
three cows, a lamb and a kitten.
And then, bellowing like smitten
round the farmyard, got off his horse
found a bust tub, inside he flopped
and fell asleep, clean pickled popped.

Poor cowboys shook in their boots,
in the field they’d hid, all hoots
and sneaky whistles... no pluck,
knee deep in the dung! soft luck!
Whereat he spoke, Apollodor:
”That I won’t bear, nor never bore,
to keep myself mum, and duck
away from a shameless drunk ,
like you do, all meek and shrunk!

Hammer and three spikes, no more!”
he asked... then nailed up the tub lid,
and rolled away the tough guy,
topsy turvy bashed, my, my,
up to the City Jail , he did!

The loafers hailed him and did greet,
eating the dust under his feat.
They later threw him a grand treat.
”Do stay with us!” they would implore.
But, to their consternation
he declined their application:

”Can’t! Must off! ’cause I meaduor
for missing my life of yore!”

So he was off, Apollodor.

Apollodor and Salliver Tom’s Dad

30.
It was, trust me, no figs and dates
to reconstruct (by hearsay,
by notes fled each every way...)
his log book, of a runaway
about the United States.

Did he get whacked? Did he pay back?
In his own hand, Apollodor
put down some place: ”I watch my back!
He dogs me mad, he’ll bite my butt
given a chance, oh, what a hack!
this scally of Connecticut.

The other day I saw him strut,
shaggy fuzz glued onto his mug,
this crabby grouchy grumpy bug,
of a scally of Connecticut.

He had horsehair on his head,
dark and red, to make you cower
and he shot one guy per hour,
the scally of Connecticut.”

31.
In that diary have I read
how it happened... all is said!
So let’s have a brief time-out,
for me to tell you all about
the way they met, he and the mutt
of a scally of Connecticut.

‘Twas on a train about to gut
herself to ash. Apollodor
acted lone wolf...when lo! before
him stood a stranger, a tough nut:
the scalawag of Connecticut

who gulped down one pint of rum
hollered, had a few more, yum...
“Me... Ole man of Salliver Tom.
You got him jailed. I pay back, scum!”

He had a pistol in his hand...
he had one more pint of rum
then said: ”Off with your rags! Strip, bum!
Off of the choo-choo! Shoo... and land!”

And as he said, he kicked, the brute
of a scally of Connecticut.

32.
Ouch!.. oh, yes, it so did hurt,
but... he survived, Apollodor.
He only sprained an ankle bad
and got a (big) bumb on his head
and got a gushing scratch, no more -
as he could count, up from the dirt.

So he limped on, plop-plop, till night
bemoaning at each step his plight.

But what was that? Do the woods snore?
Yes, fretting, still. Plus ( in no hurry)

slow slouching by the River Missouri.
There he halted, Apollodor.

33.
His voice rang loud inside the night:
Apollodor bewailed his plight.

“He kicked my tush! He kicked my butt!
the scally of Connecticut...
Got flesh bumps, bruises black-and-blue...
South Pole, South Pole, where are you?
oh, South Pole, South Pole, where are you?”

Missouri sloshed splashed babbled, too,
as he blubbered himself wet through...


Apollodor – Chick from Mars

34.
And when he halted, Apollodor,
the wind blew into his ear
the screech of some... odd thing a-near,
squealing in pains, like rotten to core.

By and bye he saw... her... a truck!
fuming smoked, number plates gone,
rickety-rickety, like a lame duck...
so he boarded her, on the run.

35.
Hitting the road, Apollodor,
(smoky with smoke, rusty with rust
scorched by the sun, dusty with dust),
sprawled on the truck’s scrap-iron floor.

He wailed (what else?) Apollodor:
“I’m broke...and nude, and all so poor !
I’m heading for frozen South Pole...
though hot now, better be wise! ”
He looked around, all forlorn...
and eyed an armor, peppered but whole
that a knight’d’ve proudly worn...
can you believe! like cut his size.

Donning that armor, Apollodor
benighted himself Lord Tenor!

36.
But no later than a minute
a horrible hurricane broke
rocking him sooo cruel in it,
spinning him sooo high... that he woke
inside a cloud. “What a joke”
thought he “ fly like dandelions!
What howls – like a roaring lion’s!
Now I know I’m gonna Di!”

37.
What the diary does write...
is that he dived head down, that is
crashed some street in Saint Louis
in a hullabaloo... by light,
so Savant Fergus Mac-Piggott
(famous scientist, bit bigot)
could clearly see... and yelled like shot:
”A satellite! ... A satellite!”

But... had a summit behind bars
with the automaton-brain head...
and took it back! He snooty said:
”I take it back! It’s Chick from Mars!
And forty loafers, one like all,
shouted: “Long live! Hip Hip Hurray!
The Chick from Mars! Now come what may!”

He was so glad, Apollodor,
to hear them greet him in a corps.

38.
And how they did bicker and gall!
those forty dropouts, one like all,
over Mars Chick Apollodor:
“Let’s vote him be a senator!”
“Better a boarding junior!”
“Why not a telivijn actor!”
“Why not a ’varsity doctor!”

Then Mayor Bigg of Saint Louis
stood up and took the floor... like this:

”All of the above I veto!
Here is what we do: we spread
a tarp, wide... sew it in thread,
and raise a tent. On the Mart. Ditto!

Next: inside, we will install
for him a gaudy pedestal,
whereon, in chains, atop the stars
on the side... Ta-taa! Chick-from-Mars!

If you do good, you good must see!
Is Mars Chick glad? He’s too, Siree!
As glad will we, then, get to be:
you wanna see? You pay a fee!”

They did as told, no thing amiss,
by Mayor Bigg of Saint Louis.

39.
Did that last long? Dunno (bet you
don’t either)... but the fact is
that in the town of Saint-Louis
Apollodor was... a statue.

Just as clear is the fact
that Savant Fergus Mac-Piggott
probed the chick’s hide (next what not)
and wrote a thesis, no farce!
i.e. Famous Chick from Mars
(whereof we quote an extract)

40.
THE CHICK FROM MARS
by Fergus Mac-Piggott

CHAPTER ONE.
All Mars chicks – slim, stout or wide
are rolled inside many a hide:
first and foremost, one mean, evil...
screechy metal (I have tried
it myself, on) – Maddy-Evil!

(Cut-price models, our own pride,
are in sale at Th’Ideal Hide)

CHAPTER TWO.
We double-checked and did measure
(in our shop-time and leisure):
Mars is far; how far we ignore.
Any Mars chick is a tenor
and jabbers about the North Pole
more, Alaska less (there’s the hole
they come smack through, for pleasure).

(Any Mall that can afford
markets items branded Ford.)

CHAPTER THREE
THROUGH THE END
With my genius and my worth
(and so on, and so forth...)


Apollodor chicknapped

41.
Many times I have reread
this fad before I went to bed.

But... let’s just hear a bit more
of Saint Louis and Apollodor.

Winds blew with zestful intent,
ruffling the grisly spooky night,
as he stood in chains, upright,
on his pedestal, in that tent.

Was barely brooking, wee and weak...
when the door flew wide aside
and forty masqures burst inside,
in that darkness. Mute and meek
he eyed those foul gunmen on pay
who searched the place each every way.
Those glum dogs who showed no fear,
grinning grim, ear to ear,
were headed thither by the rot
scalawag of Connecticut.

42.
Couple of them grabbed him tight.
(clean chicknapping, Apollodor!)
while the rest were heard to roar:
“Move it! Fast! Don’t take all night!

They tied him up in cotton rope,
then inside some hardy sack...
and jerked him bad, from back to back,
down jagged roads ( my, my, what pains)
and heinous lanes with wicked names.
He’d lost all hope as the rogues stopped.
The tower clock struck half past three.
And there they were...and so are we.

43.
In front of this mansion they dropped
him... window panes were gleaming sly,
gates gripped in ratty locks, awry,
door bells jittery (you could tell
by how they yelped)... A dangling pan,
scribbled in chalk, could still read well:
“Headquarters of the KU-KLUX-KLAN
(Hush-Hush Top Secret Cartel)

44.

The forty masquers petered out
inside the belly of the mansion,
like bats passing up attention.
He felt carried in by... some mutt...
right again! who else? no doubt,
the scally of Connecticut.

45.
He found himself, Apollodor,
beaking the flowers of a carpet,
chucked off the sack, on the floor
of a grand hall (kind of a cockpit).
And of masquers... there were more,
now some beastly fifty-six... and,
hidden behind masks (less risky!),
sulking, blue, pistol in hand...
pretty run down, given how they
were slow sipping their whiskey.

46.
Then they mumbled the night through,
whispered whispers, beak to ear,
did sign language, wink and coo...
that’s why none of them did hear
it all... so what I’m telling you
(maybe not quite crystal clear)
is my copy-paste solution
from following resolution:
KU-KLUX-KLAN
CLAN RESOLUTION

«We, Gatherees of Saint Louis,
in the due hurry and scurry
met... and wrapped up: he who is
Perpetrator that We worry
about (for he dealt a hard blow
to Our Fellow named below,
eminent Salliver Tom)...
so... this midget no-name gnome
gets to be shipped to the Moon.
He can’t be back any day soon
so he’ll breathe his last those spaces
which is nowhere near our places,
no skin of our teeth, not of our own.
Compact Logistics to be had:
inside our hanger Spacely Flights,
Department (quoting) Moony Kites,
there’s one spaceship, busted bad
good to split off in, neat, hollow...
one of those they call Apollo.
Therefore We, Undersignees,
of the Clan, We, Gatherees,
canvass a boss for one full year,
for a Big Chief, to steer Us clear
among rapids, far and near
best Boss in all Connecticut.»

Apollodor astronaut

47.
At dawn they set out, two by three,
(the chosen few were due, you see)
hoods pulled low over their faces,
pistol in hand... passed by places,
reaching Spacely Flights - my, my,
how Apollodor yelled Bye!
Now I’m surely gonna Di! -
hush hush headed by the mutt
of a scally of Connecticut.
By and by they reached the roomy
hanger hall, murky and gloomy...
and lo! behind the front door,
pickled in the mud she’d wallow
smug in for ages... ship Apollo!
They shut in there Apollodor,
in the main flight cabinet,
turned the key twice... and the motor
started purring. What did follow
next is so mind-boggling, that
for you to judge, I simply choose
to copy-paste, for you, the news:

48.
SUICIDE IN SAINT-LOUIS
«At five past five sharp o’clock,
by bip-bip-bip and knock-knock-knok
we learnt that in Saint Louis,
in street (no-name), number 6 bis,
Mars Chick did himself right up!
Pecked the dregs in his poison cup,
next – off his rocker, as inspected –
gibbering wild – as expected –
the stiff set out for the Moon,
inside some ship. So, pretty soon
part of Saint-Louis was steaming
splitting hairs, even creaming...
while, at jinx hanger Spacely Flights,
(that is Department Moon Kites,
where all this happened, this... havoc)
the mob is in a state of shock.

Savant Fergus Mac Piggott,
come to see, said: “I know now
what happened: chick ran somehow.
One thing is not clear, though,
namely: this stiff we saw go
off like crackers, was he, or not,
our Mars Chick, that we got
to statue for us, in chains and tails?”
And pigs fly! Savant Fergus ails!
Will be back later with details.»

49.
Here I stop quoting the news
spread around in Saint Louis,
by that useless paper. Nor
will I say what’s known for ages,
’cause we’re in luck! Apollodor
wrote, for us to read, two pages:
“Wanna know’ bout gravity?
‘bout im-pon-de-ra-bi-li-ty?
What’s it to you? enough to say
that I’ve lumped it, the hard way.
I crashed on the Moon. Was brave.
Passed up all of goings-out,
like for walks. Yes, I did crave
to see what it is all about.
Moon is a hot spot to scout.
Had a helmet and a radar.
Had cameras. Had a car.
Had a biscuit in my pocket.
Had powder milk in a locket.
Temperature was sub-zero:
had no coat, was not a hero.
So I pondered and slept on
it, then touched a little button...
and found myself heading home.
To the marrow in each bone
felt happy... boy, how I did croon,
to know that I will touch Earth soon. “

50.
That’s some footage, level-zero,
straight from the beak of Chick-Hero
willy-nilly astronaut!
We ought to act that meek, we ought!
But, since such gutsy bravery
surged from uncanny knavery)
remains totally ignored
(a thing in due time I deplored)
not even being broadcast!
(a mistake that will doubts raise!)
I rolled up my sleeves, and fast
wrote to Him a Hymn of Praise.


51.
HYMN OF PRAISE
FOR APOLLODOR THE 1ST
PENGUIN ASTRONAUT
May He live eternally,
Him, as brave as brave can be,
Who flew into the outer space,
Him, Who all weather did embrace,
whether hungry or fed up,
shut, all alone, in His fit-up,
Him, The Ist Chick on the Moon!
May She live eternally,
Her, Who did his old Ship be!
Praise to Her, engine real plucky
Who took Him away, so lucky!
Glory to Him, Apollodor,
Who steered clear of the stars
(and even of planet Mars!)
Glory to It, species Beast, more
especially It Which Him bore,
Him, Glory to all of His Kin,
Who brought Him up from next to naught,
Him adroit, Him smart, Him shy,
Glory to It, the starry Sky!
Praised Him be, Apollodor,
Praised the Weather, praised His Boat,
Praised His Radar, Which played Ball,
Praised His Screws, praised His Call,
Praised His Milk Dust, praised His Locket,
Praised the Absence of His Coat,
Praised His Biscuit, praised His Pocket,
Praised His Button so hot called for,
Praised His Helmet...PRAISED BE All!


Apollodor down the Mississippi

52.
Old Mississippi. On their back,
adrift on a log raft, why slack
it, River Jim and River Jack?

The raft floats slow among the stumps
of dried out willows, cracked by gales
The dirty yellow waters hums...
I wonder who’s to hear those tales?

Why beam so and why rack
it, River Jim and River Jack?
Because... they got one wet-back,
fished out dripping, poor soul,
dropped down from up there, quack-quack
quacking south pole...south pole...pole

Filling his pipe, River Jack,
(with fine tobacco from Drugstore),
he asked (to set him back on track)
“What is your name?””Apollodor!”
They shared their fish with him, and
gave him a calico vest. Black.
They smiled, kept mum and looked bland,
both River Jim and River Jack.


Apollodor and Cyrus Smith

53.
We miss, again, a page or two,
to tell this story whole and true.
How far he reached, Apollodor,
where’d the raft go... we clean ignore.
As for Jim, and his chum, Jack...
well, such news we also lack!
A piece of paper is all we got,
torn out of his note book (or not?)
room enough for all of our lore:

“...was slouching, beat, in New Orleans,
on scrap tar lain with sacks of beans,
as the captain, Cyrus Smiths
(a drunk’n loafer like you don’t see,
the one-eyed beast in the old myths)
called out: <You’ll be my tyro -
got sesame seeds from Cairo
for you to unload... right, for free!
Don’t like my mug? Don’t look at me!

Was once a grand sight to see,
old salt, big jaw, ocean to ocean...
just looking brutish by this cut -
he scarred me by his yataghan
as I sailed way to Yukatan,
the scally of Connecticut...
I hate his guts... son-of-a-gun!>

Soon later we left New Orleans.
Now I feed up this ship, with coal.
I’m sweaty, smelly, I’m no prince...
but it’s all right, we near South Pole.”

54.
And crossing for a few days more
the Antilles Islands and oceans,
he sailed his full, Apollodor,
on the mains of the Caribbeans...”

Emerald like was the sky,
you’d say a balmy lukewarm dish...
a-glitter! and do you know why?
’cause waters teamed with jellyfish.

What of Cyrus Smiths? His Lordship
dozed and dreamed, his upper lip
pushed high, to snore a lofty snore.
Meanwhile, deft Apollodor
grooming and steering the ship.

55.
And she glided... hardly fluffing
at all those sleek waves, a-puffing...
the sea felt tender like a muffin...

So grand a show you felt at a loss!
Deep in the sky, an albatross

flapped round, south of the Barbados;
and deep down, there flashed by, bad,
gangs of sharks, bound for Trinidad.

As for Cyrus Smiths, the captain...
told you: snooze and snore, he kept on.

56.
Then heat stung... like a swarm of bees,
the air’d seethe, the water’d smolder...
there was no cloud, no wind, no breeze...
the ship was walking the equator.

And some time later, Apollodor,
as he watched the sunset (unable
to make out that it looked like gore,
for beat up) he got this cable:

CABLEGRAM
(through cable jam)

«Hey, Cyrus Smiths, ya old salt,
still booz’n snooze, ya do, or what?
Mind ya well, if ya take aboard
a penguin, dropped in a fjord
smack from the sky, a dandy
dupe... ya give’m poison candy...
then... good riddance! feed the fish
his carcass, for a measly dish...
...or else! mind ya do that, mutt!»
Signed: Master of Connecticut.
As for Cyrus Smiths, his Lordship
snoozed and dreamed, his upper lip
pushed upper, to snore bust the ship...

57.
Just fancy poor Apollodor
live through that... him, famed tenor,
groom ship for his foe, low-cut
of a scally of Connecticut...
and slave the one-eyed beast in myths,
the loafer, drunkard, Cyrus Smiths,
paid by the very Ku-Klux-Klan...
Loopy mad at such tough luck
he picked up pluck, went up to captain,
and yelled: “You conned me...schmuck!”

As for Cyrus Smiths, his Lordship
snored put out, his upper lip
pushed high... counting leaping sheep...
did not so much as jerk in his sleep!

58.
What a pity, what a pity,
no camera was in his ditty-
box, so he’d shoot, Apollodor,
a reel on how, all on his own,
flashed round the ax... the ship flew blown
a mile away...probably more!

Seven times as much a pity
that no camera (no ditty-
bag was there, either) did shoot
weighty tragic magic minute
when the ship shook all things in it,
capsized and went down like spooned...
like a shark that’s been harpooned...

as for Cyrus Smiths... they say
that, at the time he passed away,
was deep-sleeping, his upper lip
pushed high, to snore bust the ship.

What a pity, what a shame
no film was shot! yet who’s to blame?!


Apollodor in Uruguay

59.
Well then, bit south of Ecuador,
he floated, somehow, Apollodor...
Long would he have (remember why?)
but he was fished (and did not Di)
by Pescador, from Uruguay.

Him (hungry as a wolf, a-drip)
they took south on that wretched ship,
shared with him their lowly meal
made him drink bitter teas, to heal
(’cause he was down with flue, poor guy)
and in a hammock swung him feel
in sky six... up to Uruguay.

60.
We miss, anew, one page or two
to tell his saga, whole and true.

But (pure guesswork), given that
they raise livestock in Uruguay,
we wouldn’t wonder that much at
him on horseback, Apollodor,
ride like no chick rode before.

61.
So, saddle-sick, Apollodor,
close to south-end of Uruguay,
stumbled on a home nearby...
owned by Carlos Alfandor!
A fan of his, um Profesor -
what do you know? an ex-tenor,
part-time. Apollodor halted. Some.

Could’ve lorded it long, the bum!
For doting Senor Profesor
mollycoddled him like treasure
“’Tis my duty (and my pleasure)”
said he “that you get a future!
When I’m dead, this hope I nurture
that you allow and be my heir!”

Say silver-lining... see the cloud:
a scandal, upright and out loud,
he grew in his house, Alfandor:
a Jumbo Computador,
(a terror for Apollodor),
that never stopped computing, nor
could take a hint! Profesor
fed him soft (hard didn’t know)
and he piped glad, as quoted below:

”Today, my beloved tenor,
time-table’s a dream, a stupor,
at eight – meet tailor at silk store
at nine – curl dawn and die it d’or
at ten – we hear folks sing in a corps
one p.m. – lunch (a cabbage core,
baked in the oven, best less than more)
two – us two sing, we have the floor!
three – we go walk our dog, Azorr
(a most retrieving Labrador)

six – weave a mat for the back-door
seven – on TV, Crime and Amor,
eight - hit the sack, whether tired or
not yet, there’s a good tenor.
That’s what he says, Computador,
you do today, to suitably score.”

62.
Days rolled out like peas from the pod.
And he hurt so, Apollodor,
thinking: ”How happy we’d be, God,
one day without Computador”.

Say cloud... is this gold lining or
what? for same Senor Profesor
grew good news, too: a Robot!
It could wash, cook and make a cot,
little angel on juiced motor,
neat, nice, smiley and –what’s more,
of all things...Ta-taa! a tenor!

He got his fun, Apollodor,
with Robot around (a stupor).

Now and then this gifted Robot,
would feed him pine-apple compote,
he’d even bathe Apollodor,
or maybe knit him socks (to store,
for weather as cold as Labrador),
tugged him in bed and also hugged...
A sweet soul-mate, smartly jugged,
a guardian angel never bugged.

63.
Well, one day, Apollodor,
(his butt on a hot radiator,
legs crossed and arms akimbo
on a mat, as if in limbo,
‘cause so said Computador)
shook his head, sighed a sigh...
looked pal Robot in his one eye
and said: “I’m done! I’m cheese pie!
Can’t bear that, nor never bore!
Feel packed in, can’t breathe, I heave...
will conk out if I stay more...”

Robby bleeped ... and said: ”So... leave!”

He looked stunned, Apollodor...
then came round... and feeling better
acted like no Computador
him computed: he wrote a letter!

”Querido Senor Profesor,
naturally I owe you more
than words can say. But I bore
it enough, I must off. I deplore
to push my ways so... and implore,
you, Father, on all of my fours,
allow: CAN BE NO HEIR OF YOURS!
‘cause I meaduor my life of yore!

So... he was off, Apollodor.
And Querido Profesor
computed (on Computador)
his own self! and saw, candid,
that he could marry... which he did
and got one heir... then a few more.


Home sweet home

64.
How far he reached, Apollodor,
is no one’s fault that we ignore.
The road, say! well? had it been a
dread? he flopped in Argentina?
Did he maybe bruise his feet
crossing campos Patagonite?
He halted where? How many a morn?
Was it an isle? Was it Cape Horn?
And did he maybe, Apollodor,
find a new ship and left the shore,
or did he stay inland and march?
This I know: ‘twas the month of March.
The wind was blowing mighty cold,
the blizzard roared at sea, and bold
snow flakes flew like nuts, like sleet...
when he eyed, Apollodor,
past some iceberg... the Antarctic!
How puffed-up did feel, the chick,
to strut on floe of Gulf Terror!

65.
All of the clan Apollodor
gathered together to meaduor
and greet their lost sheep of yore
just disembarked at Gulf Terror

Grandpa Apollodorin
(the wisest oldest penguin)
and Mom, Apollodorika,
(tiny, about as wise, but meeker)
and Dad, Apollodorell
(puny, bald... but feeling well)
and Uncle Apolodorini,
all tenors and tenorini,
neighbors, too... when rang the bell...

and they all peeped in a corps.
But hark! they heard, Apollodor,
(cov’ring them all) plentiful pour
well trained trills, unheard before.
Wonderful voice, magic tenor!
They partied all day on the shore
of the meaduored Gulf Terror.

66.
How did he feel, Apollodor,
on the dear floe of Gulf Terror?

Unspeakably! “Tis sheer horror!
Fridges are heaters – I’m freezing more”
thought wretched chick Apollodor
“Such blizzards I knew not, before...
I so meaduor my Circus... of yore”.

For he recalled, Apollodor,
hid brethren, singers in a corps,
like they marched in, by the front door:
Cotton Tail offered, once more,
his lettuce and crisp apple core...
Kitten Tut creamed his whiskers licked...
Sandky’d no more, in hankies, wail,
for she taught him a brand new scale...
Ole Bruin gave him berries picked
in the woods near-by, and winked...
Prickles offered him spines, pricklish,
and yarn, with loose ends so ticklish....

And he also seemed to see
beyond the floe, over the sea,
Maestro SeeASeaBeeFar!
(donned in velvet black like tar,
score sheets peeping out of his pocket),
smiling and pulling hard at his socket,
seated smack there, right on the floor,
asking: ”D’you miss us, Apollodor?

67.
On the floe of Gulf Terror
he sighed and sobbed, Apollodor,
while Dad, Apollodorell,
and Uncle, Apollodorini,
and tenors and all tenorini
crowded him over like pest,
flew fish at him, gave him no rest...
”Have this babe, there’s plenty more!”
”Can have them all, we love you best!”
”You mope no more, Apollodor!”
Sighed and sobbed, Apollodor:

”I wish I was in Bucharest!”

68.
Granpa, Apollodorin
(remember? the wise penguin)
thought a bit, jerked up his chin
then firmly croaked: “OK. You win.

I know what’s like to sit on a pin,
I know what’s like to toss and spin,
fry alive eaten with unrest.
Much better leave for Bucharest!”

And he was off, Apollodor.

69.
How far he’d reached, dear tenor,
pushed back to square one? or more?

Did he sail around the world,
taking Magellan at his word?
beat the waters, far and near?
crossed the southern hemisphere?

Or did he maybe, with less pain,
choose to fly over, in a small plane?
got lost anew, as went the word?
trotted anew the African world?

Did he halt on lands called the Ghanas?
Did he steer through Islands Bahamas?
or Bosphorous? crossed th’Indianna?

Dunno. Got no thing to lure,
you with! The end! No more!

Anyway, one thing is sure:
Apollodor climbed every crest
Till he got back to Bucharest.

70.
Enough he’d knocked about the world...
The meeting went without one word:
Maestro SeeASeaBeeFar!
showed in his old coat black like tar;
Cotton tail held out bit more
lettuce (still one apple core);
Ole Bruin (who had berries picked
in the woods), now winked;
and Kitten Tut hugged him so hot,
wailing and mewling like shot;
and then happy Camel Sandky
smiled, her muzzle in her hanky...
guess what? meaduoring in a corps
their all-time greeting of yore:
“You’re welcome back, Apollodor!

Sighed he: “I’m home! I am my best!
What bliss to be in Bucharest!”

71.
Ever since...on the circus floor
you can find Apollodor...
In Mayfair Mart does not labor,
nor on their skating rink, no more.
He moved out. Whatever for?

Told you what: a different circus!
Piece of cake finding the place,’ cause
it’s dear Bucharest State Circus.

There he labors. As a tenor.

One more thing I still ignore:
WHAT does he SING, Apollodor?