For My Grandson Ethan

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Ethen and Noah put to sea, in a beautiful pea-green boat.

They waved goodbye to their Mummy and Daddy, then struggled to stay afloat………………………….

Noah handled the sail, leaving Ethen to bail, as they rode the cresting foam

Then above the wind’s shriek, the bending mast’s creak,

They heard a mournful moan


Up from the depths, a sea-serpent leapt, its tentacles curling and twisting

they reached for the boys, with a scrabbling noise,

and set the boat spinning and listing


Staring in awe at the monster’s dark maw, their future looked terribly bleak

Each caught round the waist, they were dragged face-to-face

With huge eyes round a monstrous beak


But from deep down inside, a kindly voice cried: “Ethen, Noah you’re invited to tea!

The King and his mermaids, were told it’s your birthday.

Come, join the King of the sea!”


To the sea bed, with the serpent they sped, to a cave full of music and song

The king with his crown,  gazed regally around,

At his guests and a merry-some throng


Starfish on the ceiling, by their warm glow revealing, a most enchanting scene

Merfolk, in pairs dancing,  with seahorses  prancing

As clown fish shimmered and gleamed


A cake was unfurled, decorated with pearls, and “Happy Birthday” was joyfully sung

A treasure chest long concealed had its contents revealed

And gold coins round their necks gently hung


Then a bellowing call, echoed throughout the hall, and a giant of the sea now appeared

“Your ride has arrived” and the King winked his eye

As a whale beat it’s tail and drew near


On the backs of 2 dolphins, they perched just like Sultans, and rode to the creatures broad back

The boys cheered and waved as they swept from the cave

Into waters both cold and ink-black


To the surface they flew, launching into the blue, neath a sky now prickling with stars

Appeased and now calm into the Sea’s gentle arms

They settled and gazed up at Mars


To their ears came sad songs, deep notes, slow, prolonged, as the mermaids bade them good bye

Their boat no more needed, as a gift Ethen ceded

And they turned towards home with a sigh


The sudden flash of a light set the mermaids to flight, Ethen slowly took in the scene

There was Mum at his bed, gently stroking his head

The adventure had been but a dream.

Peter Rich


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