Saturday, December 22, 2012

Another Holiday Poem from Ken L. Jones

The Toymaker And Good Old Ralph
Ken L. Jones

There’s a part of town that few venture to because it’s not very nice
And it is at its most foreboding on snowy December nights
It’s no place for a child to be I’m sure 
Not even a runaway called Good Old Ralph
But that in fact is who found his way to there
On the night before Christmas day
Now there stood at its center an old factory brooding and broken down
Where once child laborers had toiled there in another century
Before President Teddy Roosevelt first shut the whole place down
Now these days its sole inhabitant it was said is a maker of toys and a carver of marionettes
A shadowy personage few ever see or still remember the name with which he had been born
And yet since his skills yield treasures that the rich and their children crave
So he is allowed to work and live in that place
That is as quiet and twice as cold as the grave
Now the urchin of which this tale is told Good Old Ralph
Had much from which to runaway and hide
For his home was a hell on earth that he could no longer abide
So after the latest beating by his ever furious Pop had sent him on his way
Somehow Good Old Ralph had found the path to this most severe precinct in the city
A place where only the desperate found their way
And over the years their numbers had been many
Still the youngster was full of pluck and spunk and a survivor surely was he
And so he found himself drawn like a firefly to an open flame to this old factory
Now though the windows were boarded up a knothole he did find
And what he saw going on inside of there sent shivers up his spine
For there revealed was the old toymaker now seen as what he truly was
And it was far from human and struck the boy quite dumb
For this was some slimy tentacled shambler from some very distant star
And it was operating some kind of gizmo that emitted dozens of rainbow hued pulsating rays
And they were aimed at a young urchin female
Who resembled The Little Match Girl overly much you’d say
And as the thing that was not a man shined his device upon the poor little tyke
She froze and shrunk and turned into a toy
And then was placed upon a shelf crammed with others of her kind
Now Good Old Ralph should have ran away and went to the authorities
But he knew from past experiences that was an exercise in futility
And so he spotted a stout plank that had once been a slat in a wooden crate
And it was studded with nails rusty and long and looked as if it could serve
As just revenge if he used it without debate 
And so thus armed he worked his way inside
Staying to the shadows with a stealth like he was one of the Navy Seals’ own pride
As through it all the monstrosity mumbled in a language that was definitely not of this Earth
While pacing around in circles leaving a snail trail from his locomotion that looked like afterbirth
And then the boy fell on him and started to flay its large pulsating brain
Merry Christmas you sick old freak Good Old Ralph hissed through clenched teeth
As he struck him again and again 
I don’t know about goodwill towards men but this thing I wield will surely restore my planet’s peace
And never more will a girl or boy be turned by you
And your devil science into an unholy toy I’d say that at the least
And then the old toymaker was dead upon the floor
With Good Old Ralph towering above him
Screeching out his triumph much like an lion’s roar
As then a strange thing happened for with the ET’s death
All the toys there were restored to life
And once again breathed human breaths
And with a shout of joy Good Old Ralph led them out of their imprisonment
As the sun came up and all were yelling Merry Christmas
As in all four directions they split up and went about their business
Now ahead of them lay who knows what but anything is better than being some rich man’s toy
And where’s there’s life there’s always hope for any girl or boy
And so my tale is concluded believe it true or don’t
But the next time you see a toy check it out real close
For behind all its fun might lie a story oh so tragic
And unearthly that it could bring a tear to the most hardened eye
Like this one about Good Old Ralph just did that I told you most emphatic.

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