Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Jack Rushes Down the Beanstalk

Though the harp was
As light as the air,
It slowed Jack still,
Climbing with only one hand.

“Let me be,
Let me be,”
The harp plucked.
“I will sing only to those
I wish to see!”

“Oh, shut up!”
Said Jack,
A bit tetchy
From the exertion.
“You’ll grow to like me
Well enough, you’ll see.”

“No! Let me go,
Let me be,”
The harp sang.
“I will sing only to those
Who are pleasing to me!”

Jack kept climbing down.
Far below he saw the cottage
Growing ever larger
And the giant wife
Standing there
Beside his dear mother.

They waved their arms, imploring him, no doubt, to hurry along.

“I’m coming, really!”
Jack yelled.
“As fast as I might!”

Just at that Jack felt a mighty slam on the beanstalk.
And then a mighty sway to the beanstalk.
Looking up, Jack saw the giant appearing from the cloud.

“Fe, fi, fo, fum!”
The giant screamed.
“I’ll drink the blood
Of this Englishman!”

Hearing that, Jack’s heart
Failed him a moment
In his fright and he dropped
The harp from his grip.

And it fell, down and down,
Singing a final song—

“Alas for me,
Woe is I;
I have fallen now
And surely die.”

And with that
The harp smashed
To pieces
Against the ground.

“Fe, fi, fo, fummmm!”
Jack heard the giant wailing.
“He has killed my dear, dear one!
He has killed my music!
Killed my joy!
I swear to eat him,
This English boy!”

The Fall of the Beanstalk

As he climbed down and down,
Sometimes sliding
In his haste, grasping at leaves,
Jack felt a
Vibrating the stalk.

Jack’s mother was chopping down the beanstalk!

“No!” Jack cried.
“No! Don’t cut it!”

Jack rushed even faster, more
Intent upon saving the beanstalk
Than on saving his life.

“Fe, fi, fo, fum!”
Jack heard the giant
Shouting in his rush,
“I shall eat thee,
You have smashed
What I adored.
You shall be content

Jack’s feet touched the earth at last,
And at just that moment he heard
A terrible snapping and a terrible cracking.

And the beanstalk fell
From the clouds,
And fell and fell,
Until it crashed into the earth.

The beanstalk tumbled
With such a crash,
But the giant’s fall
Was mightier still.
The giant crashed
With such a crash
That his fall made
A deep, deep gash
--Called Giant’s Fell—
That is there yet today.

Happily, Happily

And so they lived,
Jack, his mother,

The hen who lays golden eggs,
And the giant widow,

(At least as happily as they could)

Ever after.


Yet Jack,
Despite all his riches,
Often scratched his
Considering Cap
And wondered. . .

He mourned always
The loss of the music,
As sweet as honey,
As dark as molasses,
As mysterious as
The darkest night.

And Jack kept always
An eye out for a man all in black

Who might have a magic bean,
A bean so magic

That it might get him
Once again
Back to the castle in the clouds.

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