Tuesday, 28 September 2010

The Poetry Bus - Magic Roundabout Spin

This week's excursion aboard the noble charabanc of dreams is hosted by Rachel Fox, poet extraordinare who set us a challenge here to produce something based around childhood characters or stories.

Go here for all the other passengers.  Now then, let's see.


As a kid, I loved things like Star Trek, Space: 1999 (it's OK, I've over that one now) and my most beloved toys were Major Matt Mason and Action Man.  Could these be the stuff of poetry?  Errr.  No.

OK, come on think, think! 


Ok, DON'T think, maybe that's the key.  Hmm, now that the monkey-chattering has stopped, just on the edge of my mental hearing comes the tiniest thread of a tune, dragging an idea along in its wake.... 

The rough-as-old-boots recording of this song is the last track in my ReverbNation widget over on the right.  I sound like I have a cold, but I don't.


Remember when we were just children,
With our heads full of nursery rhyme.
And with each summer's day came a new game to play,
With always one more tree to climb.
There was always some water to splash in,
A net full of newts we would catch.
Scrumping our tea from the old apple tree
As our secrets and plots we would hatch.

Magic Roundabout spin for the last time,
Spin me a magical tale.
Magic Faraway Tree, oh, won't you carry me
To that country where good things prevail.
Magic Roundabout spin for the last time,
Let me ride and play 'let us pretend'
Magic Faraway Tree, oh won't you carry me
Can't you turn back the clock, my old friend?

But we grew up as all children should do,
And we put aside those childish things.
The swings and the slides, all the places to hide
No more pulling off butterflies' wings.
Now the years, they have spun by in seconds,
All are gone in the blink of an eye.
We grew up, learnt a trade, there were bills to be paid
No more dreaming of pie in the sky.

Now the roundabout stands still and silent
Its music no more shall I hear.
The Faraway tree will not blossom for me
It's too late to replant it I Fear.
For time's arrow will fly only forwards
This is the lesson we learn
The play and the laughter are for those who come after
The roundabout gave us our turn.

Magic Roundabout spin for the last time,
Whirling orange and yellow and red.
Magic Roundabout spin for the last time,
Till Zebedee says 'Time for bed'.

OK, it still needs work and it's a lot of old cliched cobblers, but there it is.


  1. For me? This is one for the ages !!!!!

  2. So terribly sad. You mean I'm supposed to have put my toys away by now? Never! Don't care if I'm old(ish) and greying, the Roundabout will always be spinning. So there :P

  3. Wow, that's a heart-string -tugging tour de force if ever I saw one. Basically it makes me confront things I don't want to confront...

  4. Oh Argent this is a merry-go-round of emotions and memories! It's sad and happy at the same time.

  5. I don't even know what that thing is & I'm sad - but you should definitely sing it for us!

  6. That's a roundabout we're all on, methinks! I thoroughly enjoyed every giddy spin with your words...

  7. Helen - You're very kind, thanks you.

    NanU - The song is not representative of the author's feelings as such. I've still got my toys (bigger, more expensive) and will play till the day I peg it.

    Peter - Why does it have to be this way? Play on, I say!

    Gwei - Thanks, I was aiming for a sad/happy thing.

    Bug - The Magic Roundabout was a kids' programme on TV when I was a nipper. They tried to re-create it recently, but it wasn't the same - you might be able to find it on YouTube. The Magic Faraway Tree was a book by children's author Enid Blyton - the best she ever wrote, in my opinion. I have put the recording in my widget now.

    Jinksy - Cheers!

  8. Enjoyed the recording - hints of Billy Joel "Piano Man" (not very trendy these days Mr Joel but writer of many a good toon!). Maybe you could give my 'special needs' poem a tune too...

  9. So THAT's where I know the tune from! It's been bugging me. Oh, how derivative is THAT? Nothing new under the sun. I'll take another look at yours.

  10. And I'm sure he got if off something else in the first place... even if he didn't know it.

  11. for some reason i couldn't get the widget to work tonight - but i liked the words a lot. Sadly i couldn't quite get my ideas together for this pome thing this week or we might finally have found out what Hamble got up to when she went through the round window

  12. The speaker in this poem needs to climb a tree. Oh, my friends, sisters, and I shared so many dreams, secrets and stories up in various peach, apple, plum trees during our childhood. Thank you for this memory!

    My post is up here:



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