Mildew with the Luminous Thumb

(With apologies to Edward Lear)

There, through the vast and gloomy dark,
Moves what first seems a fiery spark,
A lonely spark with scarlet rays
Piercing the lounge at night,--
A Meteor strange and bright:--
Hither and thither the vision strays,
A single lurid light.

Slowly he wanders,--pauses,--creeps,--
Anon he belches, then flashes and leaps;
And ever as onward it gleaming goes
A light on the close-up mat it throws.
And those who watch at that midnight hour
From the Magic Castle to Aspen's Tower,
Cry, as the wild light passes askew,--
'The wandering magus who looks like a bum!
'Mildew with a Luminous Thumb!'

Fanning a deck while to patrons he speaks,
Deep in his close-up kit he seeks,
And because in the gloom he could not see,
He gathered a thumb tip and a battery
From a drug store freshly he'd come.
And he made him a wondrous Thumb,--
A Thumb as strange as a Thumb could be!
Of vast proportions with a silver band
From duct tape made, held firm to his hand.
--In a hollow rounded space it ended
With a luminous diode within suspended,
    All fenced about
    With Saran Wrap stout
To prevent his drink from snuffing it out;--
And with holes all round to send the light,
In gleaming rays on the dismal night.

And now each night, and all night thru,
Over those tables still roams Mildew;
And above the wail of Muzak and Juke
You'll hear his cards talk when they should be mute
While ever he seeks, that coin (two-bit)
With the hinge, that he threw in his close-up kit;
Lonely and wild--'til the sun has come,--
Mildew with a luminous Thumb!

Click for the unadulterated version of Mr. Lear's dark and wonderful poem, The Dong with a Luminous Nose.