Having had a nostalgic conversation regarding childhood reading matter, I went
home and unearthed a poem I had written years ago on the same topic that
Carrie, Clammie, Brassie and I had discussed in Costamuchamoulah cafe earlier
in the day.
Here it is!
What MI6 Didn’t Tell Us
That summer Enid Blyton had a lot
to answer for. We all turned detective,
solving mysteries, prying into what
was forbidden fruit, having invective
shrapnelled at us by parkies and wardens.
If someone chucked an Embassy packet
over a hedge, into neighbours’ gardens,
we deduced that a KGB racket
was involved. Honor Blackman and Mata
Hari, The Man from UNCLE, Keyhole Kate
were our role models. We conserved data-
benchmarks, registration numbers lent weight
to our magnified evidence. We saved string,
coins for the phone, balloons, Elastoplast,
an old police whistle, chalk and anything
useful for a rescue mission. We passed
some hours on a cemetery wall,
keeping watch on a newly-opened grave,
convinced that bodysnatchers at nightfall
would steal the corpse and we would be the brave
Famous Five, Secret Seven, defending
decency, earning a Blue Peter badge.
There would be no use in them pretending
innocence, as by our espionage,
we had collected many fingerprints
with Cherry Blossom, to eliminate
the guiltless from our enquiry. Hints
on disguising one’s appearance and gait
were avidly studied, But penknives’
blades suddenly folded, keys were returned
when one gang member divulged human lives’
origin, so-called facts of life. Cheeks burned
and we decided to investigate
no more. Shortly after we would trail boys,
but only in the manner of I-Spy,
and not with the sophisticated poise
which fabricates an instant alibi.
We were to some extent still in the dark
and flaming angels barred us from the park.