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The Taxman, he cometh
The Blob
    The Space Trekker
Ahab's Whale



Steve  Zervos


There was panic in the Hamlet when a runner brought the news,
That the taxman was a'coming to collect our tithe and dues.

There is wickedness and evil, there is sorcery at hand,
he will use his magic craft to cast a web across the land.

Get the Crucifix and garlic, light some candles, hide the cat,
throw some cow dung on the fire, let's destroy the "welcome" mat.

Get a wooden stake and incense, check what time the sun comes up,
and in case we're gonna need it, holy water in a cup.

Find a Rabbi and a Mullah, fetch a Buddhist and a Priest,
get the faiths to pray together, surely one can stay the beast.

Mix the cauldron, throw a bat in, lizard's tail and eye of newt,
from the wizard get a spell that we can cast upon the brute.

Burn some sulphur, hang a broom up, tie a harlot to the stake. 
Let's confront him with the good book, do whatever it will take.

Throw some offal on the Altar, drop some sheep guts at his feet.
Bring a virgin from the village to delay him on his beat.

You can see a bad moon rising, o'er a misty hillock's moss,
silhouetted on the summit stands a crumbling Celtic Cross.

Hark a church bell in the distance and the bleating of a goat,
incantations from the ruins, and a gargoyle's gurgling throat.

Crawling naked on his knees and tightly bound with chain and thorn,
flagellating head and shoulders goes a sinner, faith reborn. 

There are droppings on the cobbles so he can't be far away,
and the people cringe in terror on this dark and evil day. 

Harken, footsteps coming closer, block the cesspit, chain the door.
Throw saltpetre on the carpet, he might come up through the floor.

You can hear the Banshee wailing, by the river Charon waits,
and the triple-headed Cerberus is baying at the gates.

We can hear the clipper-clopper of some heavy cloven hoof, 
and unearthly creatures jiggling on the slates upon the roof.

Please deliver us from evil, call the hallowed by their name.
Lead us not into temptation nor submit without a claim.

Now the door rips off its hinges, 'tis the taxman, he has come.
We can hear a dozen voices in a low and droning hum.

In the greenish haze we see him, with his slitted yellow eyes,
and his nostrils belching fire, all our secrets he will prise.

He is looming in the doorway, and a carpet-bag he floors,
which he kicks toward our feet while in a thunderous voice he roars ---


copyright   1980, 2007  S. Zervos



He is oozy greeny bumpy
with a funny looking head,
he is sticky yukky floppy 
and he looks so overfed.

He is whiffy cheezy rotten
acrid putrid on-the-nose,
fetid pungent and offensive
he smells nothing like a rose.

He goes creeping crawling climbing
and he drags his lumpy shape,
as he goes from this to that place
with a most annoying scrape.

He eats anything that's tasty
even slippers and CD's.
Whether popcorn or computers
he devours them all with ease.

He gets dogs that bark and bite him
frightened adults run away,
all the children tease and chase him
but he wants to stay and play.

He was living in the swampland
but they filled it in with loam,
'cause they're building supermarkets
and a big humunga-dome. 

He is gentle, he is passive 
and he loves to snuggle up.
He can purr just like a kitten
and can lick just like a pup.

He is shy and he is house-trained
he is loving, doesn't roam,
and he wants a dear old sweetie
to be kind and take him home. 

copyright   1980, 2007  S. Zervos


The   Space  Trekker
Steve  Zervos  

spinning fast and flying high
silver saucer in the sky
comes down soft on solid ground
'Shape'  comes out to look around

disbelief at what it sees
dirty planet, makes it sneeze
writes in diary of its roam
"Earth no place to make a home"

sky not yellow, always blue
single sun and one moon too,
mountain cones that flare up high
shake the ground and cloud the sky

winds that swirl and suck up all
torrents pour like waterfall.
flooded rivers, clogged up dams
washed up garbage, causing jams

foul and smoggy every day
global warming here to stay.
nothing special to convey
just a rock beneath the clay

humans only have two eyes,
no antennae, not too wise,
noses short, don't reach the ground
head is flat and fungus crowned

tiny ears and simple brain
slow to function, too much strain.
have two genders, very strange
other worlds have wider range

reproduction not much fun
boring task for everyone.
lack of interest no surprise
not much difference gender-wise

picture boxes making din,
transport looks like bits of tin,
live in dwellings made from mud
three times daily chew the cud

sirens blare and angers flare,
hate and fighting, love is rare.
voters favour those with clout,
four years later kick them out

other trekkers been and seen,
all agree repulsive scene
space and years it took to find
gotta leave this place behind

"rockets on, all systems 
set the thrust to maxi blow,
let's get out as quick we can,
boggles mind how life began"

spinning saucer whizzing high
like a discus in the sky
seeking other worlds in space
gotta be a better place.

copyright 2006 Steve  Zervos



They sailed from port one morning when the weather it was fair,
a gentle breeze behind them and the crew without a care.

They sang and danced the night before and opened up a keg.
They sail to catch the monster whale that took the captain's leg.

The captain's name was Ahab and this voyage was his quest.
He vowed that 'til he caught the whale, his soul would never rest.

"A weighty purse of gold there is, for him who sees it first. 
Today we'll catch the monster whale, tonight we'll quench our thirst". 

"We'll sail back into port with song, no prouder man will be.
We'll show them all we captured it, the monster from the sea".

The captain told the crew about the whale that took his leg.
Their faces froze, their courage went, they downed another keg.

They thought this voyage would be joy, but now were in dismay,
They pleaded, even bent a knee, the captain would not sway. 

He walks the deck alone all day, a spyglass to his eye.
He shouts and swears some mighty oaths but nothing does he spy.

He stomps his wooden leg with force, the crew they back away,
A manic man with crazy mind, a debt he has to pay.

The sun was just a-rising when the lookout saw a spout,
he cried out from the crows-nest  in a loud and fearful shout.


That morning when they saw the whale, the weather it was clear.
The men aboard were white as sheets, the Captain had no fear.

"I'll take this whale meself" he roared "the weak can stay behind. 
The strong can share my glory and tonight they'll share my wine." 

The whale it came so close to breach, it seemed to fill the sky.
They lowered down the longboat and they heard the captain cry,

"Now bend yer backs and row me lads and take me to me whale.
For many years I've waited, and this day I will not fail". 

The whale it cast a laughing eye at this pathetic sight. 
A flimsy boat with motley crew, no challenge to its might.

The crew they bent their backs and rowed, their faces grim and pale.
The captain stood with grit up front, and never did he quail.

With one foot on the bowsprit and a spear held in his hand,
his eyes ablaze with hatred that no man could understand.

The monster whale approached the boat and looked him in the eye. 
The captain raised his spear and shook - his fist back in reply.

The whale it came up closer still, about to flip the boat.
The captain heaved his spear with might and rammed it down its throat.

The monster blew a roaring spout and lifted high its tail.
It brought it down and smashed their boat, like splinters in a gale. 

A hundred years or so have passed since Ahab and his men, 
went down to serve their penance deep in Davy Joneses den.

The whale it goes on living and it hardly bears a scar.
If anyone goes near that place a voice calls from afar.

"Now bend yer backs and row me lads, no prouder man will be, 
We'll show them all we captured it, the monster from the sea"

copyright   1976, 2007  S. Zervos


The true story of the monster whale depicted in this poem and which inspired the legend of "Moby Dick" will be found on the "Titbits" page of this website.


I wrote most of "Ahab's Whale" in the early 70's. My inspiration came after hearing an evocative sea ballad "The Whale", written and very beautifully performed by Fred Dyer and Terry Fielding in 1972. It was released as a single about that time and quickly reached the top five in the popularity charts. I have included some of  its lines in this  poem. "Ahab's Whale" is copyrighted by S. Zervos and the borrowed  lines belong to Fred and Terry. No part of it is to be copied or used without permission.



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