Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Flighty Drifters' Ditty

Come child today we shall be learning,
Geography, while the Earth is turning.

Shall we start at the Prime Meridian,
Where once lived the Poet Sheridan.

Here Greenwich and London are situate.
Here Marx wrote of the masses’ opiate.

The Observatory here keeps the GMT,
The sights of The City are really pretty.

On the Continent ‘cross the Channel, in France,
Lies the fair city of Paris: Oh! Sweet Romance.

To the north lie Luxembourg and Belgium,
They’re rich ‘n’ have had troubles selgium.

Which brings us up to The Netherlands,
Why they call ‘em that one understands.

‘Tis the land of clogs (shoes), windmills, tulips,
Diamonds – their prices just meant to sew lips.

As you ford the fjords, further up the map lies,
Denmark and Scandinavia, lands of snow & ice.

And now we’ve reached, Oh lo behold!
The explorers’ dream, The North Pole.

They say that this is the very top of the World.
Watch, by the Earth’s rotation thee’s not swirl’d;

Into the planet’s atmosphere (the air).
For then you could land just anywhere;

On the Moon, or Jupiter, or Mars.
Presently we shan’t go that fars.

We’ll take advantage of the twirlin’ –
To meet the blonde Frauliens der Berlin.

They’re a tough city & tough country too,
How to beat adversity, Germany shows you.

No sooner the Aryan-Nazi onslaught failed,
On a war-monger’s cross they were impaled.

They came back with a bounce, though it hurt.
Rebuilt cities – Hamburg, Munich & Frankfurt.

Not a stone’s throw, as the crows fly –
Bits of the Austro-Hungarian Empire lie.

Of course, the empire is there no longer.
No, Hungarians do not all die of hunger.

Ah Child, if you do interrupt me so –
I wonder how ‘round the world we’ll go.

Though Jules Verne’s Fogg took eighty days,
Bright people since have found shorter ways.

But, come we must not miss the opportunity –
Lets slip into Switzerland – neutral country.

Land-locked, they’re abutted by nations 7 –
Their bankers keep confidences up to Heaven.

Of import ‘re Alps, watches and status neutral.
Another country having such status is Portugal.

After Columbus, from world affairs they refrain –
Influenced prob’ly by the only neighbour – Spain.

Whose other neighbors ‘re France and Gibraltar,
They have SeƱoritas and their lives do not alter.

We can now jump over to the long-legged Italy –
Who kick’d Cousin Sicily in the Mediterranean C

In the land of Ceasar, the Vatican and the Popes,
Each year, to bring order, new government hopes.

Here lies the enchanting city of Venice,
Canals (waterways) are its only arteries.

Eastward on the Albanian Sea lies ancient Greece,
The land of Aristotle, inter alia, the Golden Fleece.

Into its history many legends are sewn;
The Acropolis, from a marble hill hewn.

No child, Istanbul’s not in Kabul, but Turkey.
Which is next – but its history is very murky.

As to why that is so I do not really know;
But from here into 3 Continents one can go.

One is Europe, which we’ve toured hereinbefore;
Asia, the largest; and Africa – it is not a bore.

It’s the Dark Continent for more reason than one –
It is still not fully explored or mapped, my son.

The entry we take is from the strip called Gaza.
Egyptians had Pharaohs, and the Indians Rajas.

Except, their coffins (mummies) lie in Pyramids;
What treasures of gold & precious stones they hid.

The Sahara here is a Desert where it snows,
If the Centigrades at night are very lows.

The Fahrenheit are in the day at the heights.
Then you see mirages – they trick your sight.

The only river of note is the Nile,
It flows all year for many a mile.

The Ship of the Desert is the thing called Camel.
In the Desert he’s the only way people can travel.

So let us mount one of them and go –
To the rich principality of Monaco.

On the way we shall cross the country of Algeria,
Where once patrolled numerous French Legionaria.

To find out more, shall we look at the book:
Called Atlas, ‘cause of the trouble he took.

Oh Daddy! I thought you knew more.
Darling, Pet, pray do not be sore.

Though I earnestly hope from all my chattering,
You’ve managed to pick up knowledge smattering;

The truth is child; to tell this much I had to borrow
From Nash et al; I’ll tell ye more but on the morrow.

- by Vivek Murarka

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