Said Mr. Steed to Mrs. Peel,
“I think we make a splendid pair.”
Said Mrs. Peel, “I also feel
we are, since clearly we both dare
to do the sort of things that some
may think are somewhat outré and
consider to be rather dumb.
The fact is we both understand
each other’s style and know it’s rare
for other people to.” She spoke
at greater length than he, aware
he merely hoped she’d make a joke.
Inspired by a poem Linda wrote to me for my birthday, inspired by Pushkin, whose “Eugene Onegin” she is currently reading ina translation recommended by Nadya’s father. Since she addressed the poem to “my Steed, “I was reminded of Mr. Steed and his colleague Mrs. Peel in “The Avengers,” one of our favorite TV programs before we left the UK.
A Birthday Pushkin for my Steed
There is no other man on earth
Or even under it I think
Who fills my days with words of mirth
Or makes me weep great streams of ink.
I was forewarned, I must admit,
They told me ‘Grasp that horse’s bit
And hold tight as he gallops wild
But keep your mind and senses mild.
If you hang on and gallop he
Will come to love his rider who
Without his realizing steers true
And he will never want to flee’.
I tried it till we reached the camp
Where nightmares reared their heads to stamp.
One mare named Whinny chomped and chewed
And boasted of her untrod path
Where Eve was weaving, Adam hewed,
And loved hard in the aftermath.
I’d read it all: they told me if
Not only was I much too stiff
But seeming loose, I’d drop the reins
And he’d go trotting over plains
To see himself if Whinny told
The truth, that gold is woven straw
and if not, if there be some flaw,
the virtual straw is counted gold
and can be bartered at the bank
of campus cohorts’ quick think-tank.
I was about to write this verse
Like brushing down my steed who ran
The fastest and made clouds disperse
Across our global campus span.
Then Whinnie whinnied and he stopped;
Her whinny had my poem topped;
I spilt the shampoo on the ground
And threw the sugar on the mound,
Yet carelessly he munched it, then
He galloped up to me and nuzzled
As if to say, do not be puzzled,
You are my rider once again.
So till our next ride, I will wait
This race out, with my horse, my mate.
© 2009 Gershon Hepner 5/3/09