Eli's Search for Funny Bald Men
lone wanderer with Lotus in hand
Left his land behind in the dust and sand,
To spread warnings against evil doings
And the harbingers of dreamy deceit,
Lotus-eaters and eaters of dog meat,
Who, we should say, are the Hawks' and Thieves' kings.
Eli's land was a majestic realm,
That nurtured many states from one grand helm,
Whose virgin quarters became infested
With Lotus-eaters who spread deceit.
Eli was committed to defeat
This vile plague his people had ingested.
in the chase from his village,
Where Lotus-eaters, through deceit's pillage,
Took over a good people's community,
Eli dared not preach as he had before
And decided to seek only the poor
Who weren't yet deaf due to prosperity.
he drove on through the Great Grassy plains,
Which were his home, to Pacific domains,
Beyond the mountains at a dozy azure sea.
Now and then he'd stop in a rural town
But would be thrown out, nevertheless, being jibed a clown,
After ministering the forebodings of misery.
one day it came to pass--it was morn--
When he awoke to hear a high trumped horn
Coming from the lead of a long caravan.
He had parked in a camping area
And awoke to find a tiny greenish paw
Beating on his truck's window with a rusted pan.
up!" he cried, "You're blocking our way!"
He banged harder while more campers horns' blared.
Eli rolled down the window and inquired
As to the problem; the other effusively perspired.
"Out'a the way," he grumbled, rubbing his reddish beard.
saw thousands of campers nearby
Parked off the road in a flattened field of rye.
"Yes sir," Eli said, and he drove away
From the entrance to the lush but now littered mountain park.
Then campers drove in and resumed to park,
Turning the park from a deep green to gray.
the park turned gray under gray walled motor
Stretching to the horizon. Then tiny gnomes
Crawled out of those walls and spread toys in glee
In this refuge of our paradise lost.
Then at once the place was a holocaust,
Of the burning pyres they carried from the city.
approached the head camper, but tripped
Before he got there due to cans just flipped
From drinking drivers who hindered his course.
With curiosity over this messy hoard, he asked, "Where go you?"
Being watched with suspicion by the retinue.
leader sniffed the air, "Ah, paradise;
Smell the fresh spring charcoaled air, ah it is so nice!
And look at the green trees, blue green ferns,
That cold bubbly brook, its banks and spring seeded with flowery scent;
Ah, yes, smell those fumes heaven sent;
For this, our childish hearts each year yearn!"
gasped in the air in one big breath,
While the head camper stood like unto Macbeth,
Wringing his small hands to cleanse the day's dirt.
The camper smiled, "You like it too, yes?"
He shrugged through stained teeth, hoping to impress
Young Eli with an offering of his rust cooked flambé, their desert.
to say, Eli choked, bated though,
So not to reveal the displeasure and woe
He felt after being invaded by the scent of the rusty, rotten food;
The smells of the garbage scattered around,
And dirty diapers dipped in the dreamy spring now browned
From the splashing hands of the washer woman and her dirty brood.
then the camper politely said, "I must be off,"
And went into his metal home so to doff
His camping clothes for the hunter's attire.
Thereupon he returned in clothes blood red,
Holding a high-powered rifle and lead
Ready and armed, destroyer and terrifier.
breathed quite heavily, anxious for the hunt,
And his red plaid shirt, sweat stained over its front,
Gave off wisps of odor repulsive to the doe;
So this great red greenish hunter would doubtless find
A deserted hunting ground whereever his blind
Should be set in wait for the more prudent roe.
that as it may, the hunter set out,
Followed by other red plaid, red bearded greenish gnomes to scout
The forested paths and hidden glens,
Leaving Eli there midst hard working dames
Cleaning their campsites and their hunter's names,
Escaping not their urban regimens.
took conversation with one lass
Who was then cleaning some finely wrought glass.
"My good lady," he asked, "Are you happy
In this hunting paradise and way of life?"
"Yes," she giggled, "For we've escaped the town's woe and strife
And can now raise our children peacefully."
to tell her the city was carried there,
Eli discretely said, "But ma'm, beware,
For I feel you've escaped not your city,
For I sense that all of its trappings may have been brought here.."
"Alas," she answered, "This was my greatest fear,
As the hunter rules in this tribe; such a pity."
took pity on the lady about to cry
As she bowed her head, an eye shadowed tear streamed from one eye
Then her shaking voice replied, "No, I cannot change
The fate of man; I pray that my cries, perhaps my tears,
Will affect him by and by; it, I know, will take many years,
Should fate and fortune so it arrange.
then told Eli all she had fought; Eli answered,
speaking of light,
And the fires he'd seen which led him through the night,
To follow his lonely way, righteous teachings having set the path,
Knowing the burden of man's extremes
Which infringed upon our hopes and dreams.
"Help me," he begged, "For I am the allopath!"
she replied, "I cannot take your side,
For these bonds you see around my heart commit me to matricide,
A terrible fate to endure,
And I am far too weak of heart, I fear,
To deny my man's ways or interfere.
Go now, spread your words so fine and pure!"
a quivering lip she turned her back
Upon young Eli and took to her rack
Of daily toil, caressing smiles for infants, breasts of grace.
In a final appeal, Eli cried out,
"Oh, my lady, please do not shut me out!"
She went her way, into the trees, midst her summer place.
him, she answered, " please go, for I cannot bear
Reminders of the things which I deplore.
Go and tell of your visions of good."
"But where?" cried Eli, "For no one hears me!"
She then said, "Seek our cousins in their high valley;
Seek the funny bald men to be understood!"
pointed in the direction of the peaks
Gracing the horizon, and with smeared cheeks
She turned once again to her relentless chores.
Eli solemnly boarded his broken down truck
And drove away for more souls to pluck
From a growing number of closing somber doors.
drove for days through winding peaked roads,
Now and then inquiring of the abodes
Of the funny bald men who should give him an ear.
Then one day, high above the billowing cotton clouds,
He found the high valley under the shrouds
Of a sunlit mist, a hiding place where light might appear.
cottages stood before him, made of rough hewn
Tucked in trees and shrubs as if they were sown
By a tried old planter of rare vintage vines.
Eli parked his truck and strode to some men
Nearby who were engaged in a council then
In some marbled ruins of antique Greek designs.
funny looking bald man (Three feet high
At most) caught Eli's curious young eye
And rose from his council to meet his guest.
"Hello," smiled Eli, as he showed the peace sign.
The man smiled and took him into their shrine,
Introducing the young lad to the bald headed rest.
was told that your people would understand
My story and cause, perhaps give me a hand,"
Said Eli to his smiling new found friend.
"Yes," we would love to hear words of your cause;
Please continue, tell us all without a pause!
Said the leader, "Stories of adventure we'll pay with a particular yen."
proceeded to tell them his woeful tale,
And they listened to every detail.
Though they were quite funny looking indeed,
With ruddy fat cheeks and bulging green bellies,
Balding heads and skin as green as green peas,
Their comical face Eli paid no heed.
all that day they begged him to carry on,
While now and then shedding tears from eyes bagged and sleepy drawn
From lack of sleep and long sessions, their customary communal talk.
The sun began setting while Eli spoke
With hoarse laded breath, on the infection of his folk,
Until, alas, he could voice only a feint squawk.
please go on, please continue some more;
To hear your story we truly adore!"
Cried a chorus of the funny bald men.
"I cannot," squeaked Eli, "I've barely got a whisper left,
Please," he whispered, "of a hearing I am bereft."
And on that appeal words gushed forth from all of them.
was taken aback to hear such chatter
And their high pitched tones (from clicks to clatter);
He heard as many as ten discussions at once
Coming from ten pairs of fat green rouged lips.
And with bulging eyes drawn red and rapid quips
The talk went on another morn, then past lunch.
chatter went on for three nights and three days
(Eli passed out after the first thousand essays).
Finally the fat little men, now dressed in whitened wigs,
And long gowns of colors red, white and blue,
Shook him saying, "We have a judgment for you!"
Eli quickened and rose from from his bed of roughly ranged twigs.
kind sirs," said he, "Then you will help me?"
One of them spoke for a bit, rhetorically,
And said, "Good lad, we are a democracy, you know,
The legendary home of great debates and oratory;
No others exceed us or our equal can they be;
Anyway, it is unanimous, you've got our Great Toe!"
questioned Eli, "What is this thing, the Great
He was shown a large voter's tableau.
"We vote by a show of toes, said one man;
We do this so to use our hands
For better things, gestures, rhetorical commands,
Or, when debate grows hot, for waving a fan!"
again pressed young Eli, "You will help,
You understand?" An old man said, "My young whelp,
We can't help but we truly understand;
Tsk, tsk, poor, poor lad, such a burden you've got;
Indeed, those Lotus-eaters should be caught
And thrown clear out of your lovely, persecuted land.
was shocked. "You understand? Then why–
Why cannot you help me as my ally?"
The funny bald men paced with wide greeny grins about.
"Tsk, tsk, indeed, indeed, tsk, tsk, poor, poor lad,
It is not our way to help; are you mad?
We can only decide, debate and love a rhetorical bout!
is your problem, not ours; we understand!
Is this not enough, must we give you a hand?
It is not our way, Apathians are we!
Why, why, lad, we would then be hypocrites; why, we aren't phony;
We'd be going against our nature, you see,
For we are apathetic and could never help thee.
sadly turned away with his thanks
And went to his truck parked near the banks
Of a sluggish, fetid stream channeled round and round
The village square. He wondered being a bit goaded,
Whether Demosthenes' Oration on the Crown
Is something upon which the funny bald men ever doted.
stepped into the truck, turned the key,
Looked back at the smiling faces waving so cheerfully.
As he drove away an old man said, "Wait!
If you need real help, seek the Stereotypes;
They live along the river Styx and nearby the twelve mourning pipes.
Hurry lad, for the pipes will close and you will be too late!"
thanked them all and drove into the blue
While behind he heard chattering, "Go with God and Adieu."
Another journey, another time,
Will lead him again in quest for the good,
To find men bound in true brotherhood.
They, of course, should be the living in the coming rhyme.
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10.19.97, updated 11.1.97; 5.27.2000; 3.17.05;
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