Saturday, August 15, 2009

the helium museleum

The Helium Museleum sits way up in the sky,
it’s a great place to visit if you’re ever passing by.

Big round letters on the side say, quote,
“For The Preservation and Presentation Of Things That Float.”

You’ll see birthday balloons with their strings still attached
and parade balloons that got away and could never be catched.

There’s a store with gifts and helium prizes
and an exhibit that explains why helium rises.

The ticket taker greets the visitors and speaks:
“You’re the first guests I’ve had in a couple of weeks.”

The ticket taker’s name is Guten D. Goss
Owner, founder, handyman, boss.

While some folks are bankers and others are hatters,
Guten’s an expert on helium matters.

“We must not have holes,” he says, “so just to be clear,
we ask that you leave all your sharp objects here.”

“And if you find your head feeling light,
Air pockets are there on the left and the right.”

“Get in there quickly if you want them to work.”
“And what if I don’t?” a little boy smirked.

Guten replied: “Another boy once, too long he waited,
He’s up in the rafters, fully inflated.”

One day it happened, that out of the blue,
the king dropped in, and the queen did, too.

All hail the king, Good King Divine,
and his beautiful queen, the Lady Ermine.

As the king made his way down the helium hall
he tripped on his robe and he started to fall.

He fell head-first, fell all the way down
landing on top of the tips of his crown.

He got to his feet and rubbed the royal chin,
then noticed a hissing where his crown had just been.

A leak.
A ... ssssssssss ... LEAK!!!

Guten D. Goss rushed to the puncture
and tried to repair it with a big glob of gunkture.

But the hole became bigger than he could fix
proving that helium and royalty don’t mix.

Guten D. Goss rushed fore and aft
telling everyone to grab a lifewaft.

The lifewafts all had just enough air
to carry people down to the ground with care.

The sight of all those lifewafts descending
thickened the sky like a swarm unending.

When everyone else had fled the situation,
Guten D. Goss stayed aboard his creation.

As the hole grew bigger and the helium rushed out,
the museleum began to tumble about.

It lurched through the sky with a terrible whoosh
like an angry goosh or a moosh on the loosh.

The museleum spun around and around
falling ever closer to the ground and the ground.

With a thud and a thunk and a thunderous thump,
it crashed to the earth in a collapsible clump.

Guten crawled out, sore but not hurt,
and found himself in a field of fresh-tilled dirt.

He saw a road and walked toward it until
he got to a sign that said WELCOME TO PLAINSVILLE.

Just at that moment a truck happened by.
He waved and the driver looked him right in the eye.

The truck pulled up and there they sat,
a red-haired lady and a one-eared cat.

The lady said, “Hey, can I give you a lift?
Looks like your balloon has done gone piffed.”

Guten got in and straightened his tie
and told her how he’d dropped from the sky.

Before the truck had gotten too far,
he remembered his manners. “And you are ...?”

“The name is Jupiter Amulet Kimono Earthquake,
but most of my friends just call me Jake.”

The truck pulled into a garage with more cats
and a sign out front that said WE FIX FLATS.

“We’re the only place open these days in these parts
I mostly fix tractors and hay-baleing carts.”

“I can patch those holes easy enough,
but that much helium? That’ll be tough.”

“But I might know some folks who if they’re willing
would be delighted to help with all of that filling.”

Jake grabbed her tools, they returned to the spot
to see where the leaks were and were not.

She set right to work and started repairing
and tried not to notice that Guten was staring.

“It won’t leak now,” Jake said proudly,
then grabbed a walkie-talkie and said into it loudly,


In no time flat there came a collection
of clowns arriving from every direction.

Clowns with red noses, clowns with big flowers,
clowns who could do the chicken dance for hours.

The size of the sight left the clowns quite astounded.
Then they placed their helium tanks all around it.

They worked and they worked till their tanks were depleted,
and then when the filling was finally completed,

It slowly began to lift off the land
and hovered like only a museleum can.

With help from the clowns, Guten climbed aboard it,
then turned to Jake just before he unmoored it

And said, “Would you ... could you ... can you ... might you ...”
“Come along?” smiled Jake. “Yes, I’d like to.”

Though surrounded by helium all day and all night
never had his head and his heart felt so light.

Away they a-went, higher than high,
Till they reached that particular place in the sky.

The museleum reopened – up came the crowds!
(But kings and their crowns were no longer allowed.)

Guten and Jake lived their life in the helium.
They got married, had a son, and named him ...


(note: this appeared in The Charlotte Writers' Club anthology, "Journey Without," in 2009.)