CLIVE, THE FEARLESS
BIRDMAN
by
Pam Ayres
Clive the fearless birdman was convinced that he could fly.
At night he lay in bed and dreamed of soaring through the sky.
Of cruising through the clouds, of winging far out into space.
And he had a leather helmet and a beak stuck on his face.

Clive the fearless birdman had a wife who did not care
For his fly-by-night ambition of cavorting through the air.
With mocking and with ridicule, she did her best to kill it,
And cruelly filled his breakfast plate with cuttlefish and millet.

But in his little potting shed he'd built some mighty wings 
Out of balsa-wood and sticky tape and plasticine and strings.
Up to his neck in feathers which had taken months to pluck 
He laboured with his Evo-Stick, he fashioned and he stuck.

He tried it on at last and slowly turned from side to side.
So wonderful it was, that Clive the birdman slumped and cried.
So shiny were the feathers all in silver and in black,
With eiderdown all up the front and turkey down the back.

It strapped on with a harness buckled round his arms and throat, 
All made adjustable to fit the thickness of his coat. 
Just to see him walking in the street made women shriek
As he flapped by in his harness and his helmet and his beak.

So Clive announced to all, the culmination of his search
And told the local papers he'd be jumping off the church.
Seth, the old gravedigger, with his face as black as coal 
Said, 'If he jumps off the steeple, I shan't have to dig a 'ole!'

And so the day arrived, and all the people came to stare, 
Police held back the crowds and all the local press was there.
Clive read out a noble speech, an address to the people
That nobody could hear, for it was windy up the steeple.

He stepped out in the sky and flapped his wings just for a minute,
Far above the Vicar's garden as he plummeted straight in it.
He lay there in the cabbages without another flutter
And the beak came off his helmet and went rolling in the gutter.

But far away in heaven, Clive the Birdman reigns supreme,
Soaring through the air without the aid of jet or steam,
So at the Pearly Gates if it's with Clive you wish to speak,
You can tell him by his harness and his helmet and his beak.
The end