Wednesday, 16 May 2012

The Revelation Of Simon Wendlestorm: Short Sci Fi Story

The Revelation Of Simon Wendlestorm

The nitty gritty of spaceflight has often been recorded on the planet Earth, where on other planets the like of such is often taken for granted depending, of course, on the planeside spiritual ‘state of the art’, so to speak.  As an example I could quote the Mars of Heinlein’s “Stranger In A Strange Land”.  Heinlein’s tale involved something of the cultural differences between the two planets, Mars and Earth, and the notion of planets habouring secret aliens, in either Martian or human guise, was thus introduced.  (It also introduced the idea of Editor's demanding two-cents worth before publication!)Screen movies such as “Starman” and “The Man Who Fell To Earth” have reinforced this notion.  Further examples may be found on television, such an “Alf” or “Doctor Who”.  Indeed, so advanced is the notion that recent excursions into the realm of interplanetary cognito such as “ET” or “Alien Nation” have almost negated the need for secrecy at all.

Simon Windlestraw was all of these things, and none.  Simon wass a short-order cook who served up meals for a select band of misfits, second-rate musicians, brick-brains, potato hats and straight-forward-of-late hippie dropouts.  He did this day by day, for he lived, in essence, day by day.  His ‘clients would call, for a meal, and leave perhaps a few crumbs of their passing, which, as Simon Wintlestraw loved his chance clients very much, was a perfectly satisfactory arrangement.

Simon Windlestraw knew he was an alien from another planet, but not in a month of stellar Sundays would he try to prove it.  The planet Earth held itself as far too beautiful a place to ever want to leave.  And besides he was deliriously happy being a short-order cook for his clients.  The concept of being a ‘starman’ was thus delegated to but a forlorn desire hidden darkly in his stove-coloured complexions, and only occasionally would this desire surface to ripple the his skins as an almost visable blue-tinge.  

Mind you, Simon Windlestraw also thought of himself as a temporarily displaced dolphin.  Simon Windlestraw tended to think exist at temperatures below those of normal human beings.

Simon Windlestraw was not without resources however.  He had a secret profound effect talent for the meticulous care of all his thought processes which he kept hidden in his blinding memories, only to be revealed on Saturday nights when he found occasion to party, either with his clients or, more often, with a desire to be with his clients.  Then, of course, he babbled incoherently, and the elusive, illogical and yet topical flow of his thoughts  (for he often reminded himself of only slightly relevant ‘items’ when speaking of ‘subjects’), which caused others to think of him as a little ‘loose-minded’.  Simon’s more academic clients, of course, merely thought him loopy.

Simon’s cuisine however, was excellent.

Simon Windlestraw also possessed an almost galactic hope that one day the United Federation of Cosmic Entities (his ignoble personal description of the automobile industry, often stressing the omnipotent nature of the last two syllables in reference to planetary resources) would one day truly unite, that is, including the planet he now served upon.  Not that he was want to complain.  Simon’s delusions also harbored a secret conceit that he was, in fact, a time-traveller.  Although he defined this imaginary situation as the Universe time-travelling within, rather than
he, the time-traveller, time-travelling without.

But that would be so much galactic smelly.

Simon Windlestraw had a minor car accident one day whilst trying to wipe a client’s windscreen.  He was, at the time, chauffeuring his client through a stormy winter’s day cross-town traffic in his client’s excessively expensive limonene, and personally wiping the windscreen, rather than the expensive wiper, which was typical.  The accident changed his whole perspective on life.  This is how it happened.

Simon Windlestraw had a revelation.  There on the third wipe it dawned upon him that he was not Simon Windlestraw at all.  He was, in fact, Whistlebred The Intergalactic Gardener, a very, very cosmic metamorph from the planet Whistlethorn.

Simon’s client, of course, was totally unaware of this sudden revelation.  How could the client possibly be aware of the sudden blistering visits of serene lineation of ancient galactic vegetable matter that swept across Simon’s brow and then on through his mind as if the planet had personally passed through his head!!

Imagine if everybody’s head was a planet, he thought.

The vision was only momentary, of course, but very very real to Simon.  We all visualize, but this phenomenon was involuntary, and sufficiently and plausibly striking for Simon to realize that he was at least akin to this wonderful new vegetable planet...the wonderful remarkable planet Whistlethorn!  And that is how he knew for certain that he was now Whistlebred, the very very cosmic metamorph.

Simon was a smart cookie however, and kept his cool.  He continued to wipe the windscreen.  Simon (now Whistlebred) notices a ‘machine’ on his client’s arm.

“What’s the time?” he asked, “Please?”
“About 9.15 by my watch, “ was the client’s reply, “If we hurry we’ll make the ferry  with about half an hour to spare.”

Simon Windlestraw was escorting his client via a ferry to a golf range situated on one of the city’s offshore islands.  Simon had agreed to buggy, or rather, Simon’s client had agreed to let him buggy, provided he paid his own fare, and, later, after the client had been driven home, and Simon had found his own way home (having cooked a three-course evening meal of course) Simon hoped to gain some time of his own during the day, possibly when his client retired to the clubhouse for refreshments, to collect a few seashells from the island’s many beaches, and these he would use to decorate his short-order cookery.  Simon had brought a bucket and wore a coat from Germany in case it rained, which, of course, it was bound to do all day.  Simon's head easily became an expandable umbrella on command you see. In fact the rain had already started, and, that was why he was wiping the windscreen.

Simon’s client was younger than Simon, and very rich. Simon’s client would rather of attended the links with anyone but Simon, but his sense of luxury had insisted upon this day, and noone else had been available.  In order that Simon should therefore appreciate the privilege, Simon’s client had insisted that Simon provide a short-order lunch, lovingly prepared the night before.  Simon’s client made sure Simon understood what a great honour it was to buggy for him.  Very few of Simon’s clients preferred to see Simon beyond the realm of the kitchen.  None, in fact.  Simon was a bit of a Cinderella.  Simon’s client was a bit of a pop star.  Isn’t that modern!

That be as it may.  Simon Windlestraw had an accident upon one of his final wipes (just as the windscreen cleared) and never made the ferry.  He hit an unfortunate unforeseen speed hump at about 30 mph and hit his head on the very same windscreen that he had been cleaning.  This collision temporarily confused him.  Simon yelled and sprang back clutching his forehead, temporarily forgetting all about steering the car.  Simon’s client, quickly and accurately assessing the situation, rapidly leant over from the passenger side to the wheel to take temporary control.  Unfortunately Simon’s client failed to take proper account of the car’s power steering and accidentally swung the vehicle into a lamp-pole, severely denting the bumper, and causing poor Simon to again strike his forehead on the windscreen.  Lucky for Simon’s client Simon had applied the brakes shortly after striking the speedhump, so the damage was relatively minimal.  It all happened very fast.

This time it was his client’s turn to yelp!

“Crackers!” he cried.  (The actual language was a tad harsher!)

And, as it was noone’s fault in particular, Simon quickly took the blame, and issued a rapid spiel of apologies.

“Goodness gracious!  No intent!  Terribly sorry sir!  Damned rain!  That’s no excuse of course!  I really am so very very sorry sir!  Entirely my fault!  Goodness gracious!  Most anything I swear I didn’t mean to do that!  My intention, wrong as it was, was to make it to the ferry in the peace you deserve sir!  I’m so so terribly terribly sorry sir!”

This was uttered as a chorus of traffic banking up behind them began conveying its disapproval with loud toots and horns.

“Oh nuts,” said the poor client.

Simon’s client’s name was Junior Walker.  He is a complete exaggeration of a pop star.  Which is good.  Twat is good in some industries.  He sings about all the right things that he doesn’t personally believe in himself and makes outrageous amounts of money.  He also claims to be a long-term fan of Jimi Hendrix.  (As if anyone could be!)  He claims Jimi always reviewed his work, selecting and refining before release, and it is up to his disciples to make this discipline their own.  It is why the work, Jimi’s and the Junior's, is so worthy.  What a great guy eh!!

“Chestnuts,” said Junior Walker, promising himself not to ever blow his cool again by inviting Simon Windlestraw anywhere beyond the realm of the kitchen.

“Well,” said Simon, feeling absolutely miserable and wishing he was dead.

Both characters stared resolutely at the lamp-pole each contemplating their mega tonnage misfortune.  The beeping horns became relentless.  An irate Italian was banging at Simon’s window, whilst outside Junior’s window a Polish banshee blanketed the Universe with assorted European slang.  Junior waved, awkwardly.  Neither Junior nor Simon had any intention at this point of time of addressing the situation by winding down their windows, one of which was adamantly stiff anyhow.  It was all too distressing in a Galactic Star Wars kind of way.

“I’m afraid I’m going to have to leave,” said Simon, very slowly and carefully.

Junior turned to him, somewhat in awe of what his ears had just witnessed, and said:

“What?  Now?”

“Yes,” said Simon, feeling really really guilty,  “You see I’ve just had a revelation.”

Junior was aghast.  He couldn’t believe this was happening to him.  To HIM!  He sat rigidly, fuming.  Whatever happens, he told himself,  I must not lose my cool.

There was a loud bang.  A tyre exploded.  The hiss of the deflation was clearly audible.

“Revelation!” spat Junior Walker, gritting his teeth and hoping to God his hair looked alright with all these people around. 

“Yes,” said Simon, “I don’t possess a driver’s license.”

This statement almost tore Simon’s soul.  He was genuinely very very sorry. 

Junior, had he not have been such a pop star, would probably of thought this funny.  As it was he groaned and sank his head between his knees.  Simon Windlestraw got out and began pushing his way through the crowd.  He was very angry with himself, and it showed, as he sparked blue-green and barked at the maddening crowd.

“Yeah yeah!  All’s fair in love and war! Yeah yeah!  Do your own navigating next time!  And a cherry on top mate!  Yeah yeah!  And I’m Henry Kissinger!  Kiss my fat one you cheap dime-store perverts!”

It really wasn’t like Simon Windlestraw at all!!

Whistlebred proceeded up the street at a quick pace.

The street was called King.  It ran cross-town from Main to High, with several intersections along the way.  It was still raining.  Whistlebred paused about halfway.  There was commotion at the Northern end.  This was the end to which Whistlebred was travelling.  An expensive automobile had collided with a lamp-pole, severely denting the front bumper.  An irate businessman, the apparent owner, was lamenting the failings of modern driving practice in a loud voice.  Melees of obstructed vehicles were adding their own comments with tools and horns, whilst a number of onlookers milled about.  Several teenagers, true to the day and in colourful garb, were also looking on, jostling and laughing.

Out of this commotion strode one Whistleborn.

Whistleborn looked almost the mirror image of Whistlebred, except that he sported a beard and was possibly a little older.  Both wore the same unfashionable jackets from Germany and equally unfashionable Ug boots.  Both carried buckets.  The inhabitants of the planet Whistleborn are easily the worst dressed creatures in the entire Universe.  And both, of course, were disgustingly ugly.  It was a hideous rendezvous.  And that was no excuse.  Practicality, let alone physical beauty, has never been an excuse for poor fashions, and that is true of the entire Galaxy, as many a freezing model would testify.

“Clothes maketh the man;” said Whistleborn, his hand held out in a Star Trek greeting.

“New planets maketh the alien,” replied Whistlebred, “How are you.”

“Miserable now I’ve dented my client’s automobile.  What’s the problem?”
“Fire away.”
“Machines.  Parking metres tick, and traffic lights tick very fast.  Like a rap.  Multiriders also tick, but very very fast, like a crunch.”
“Inventry."  Also referred to as M.E.R.L.I.N.  Mechanical Engineering Requiring Lines In Networks.  Quite special.”
“My client sings of nuclear weapons.”
“Nuclear weapons are the beginning of the end of war on this planet.”
“Direct descendants from the invention of the wheel.  If you don’t agree with it catch buses or walk or bicycle.”
“The secret of Life?”
“I feel better now.”
“You are welcome.”

Bye, they both said together.

Meanwhile Junior had explained the Universe to the crowd in terms of The Gospel According To Jimi Hendrix and thus won their hearts forever.  Simon returned for long enough to replace and fit a new tyre, at his own expense of course, before being told his services were probably no longer required.  Junior dropped a malignant tit-bit or two of gossip about Simon that he always had up his sleeve, and the crowd then savaged him, forcing him to flee. Junior contracted the Italian man as his personal driver and proceeded to seduce the Polish woman in the back seat.

“Being a pop star is great,” he explained, “But the food tends to lack inspiration.”

Simon Windlestraw returned home through several dangerous neighbourhoods and the pouring rain to prepare a cute little evening meal.

Robert Ellery Phillips

Monday, 14 May 2012


Thankyou for viewing my work.

Animations (good!) robertemerald at Youtube, also (art, short stories) (photography - WA) (music) (me)

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Perfect Stranger

You met a stranger at a fair
Whilst wheels turned everywhere
So you drew a perfect circle
And you wore a perfect square

But the edge of anything
Is to be close to the clouds
The source of all your water
Do you feel a rich man now?

I too am a fool like you?
Was there anything I could do?

You can draw a perfect circle
And you can draw a perfect square

At least I know real bastards
Like Neptune and Venus

Conceited foibles
No one would read
The land of spiral attraction
Dime poetry
And suburban clam 

The lights have gone
The ships have sailed
The dead have graves
The magic lingers on

Robert Ellery Phillips

(About a psychic bitch I didn’t meet. Not a woman. That bit got me fooled.

Not now.  Howler monkey.  Where they can all go find themselves.)

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Ant Leaf


I was right
Ants wood
Did you notice ants?
Ants bush
Shining abdomen
Lamps under pale moons
Not really anonymous ants
Faced with debris
a little known fact
they kick back
Like ants through the looking glass
You guys sure pour into my place
Leaving the white powdered remains
Of the day, my lunch, pants
Come from that lightening fast Universe
Converted sands no laws of science
Fast, the translucent carcass of a fallen comrade
A meal, garbage under arrest
Hopping on new sand and shakes wings
and disappears quickly too
Nearly killed and underhat things

Toward the dusk
The silent ant hill rings

19 03 96
From observations of Cables Stations beach
Robert Ellery Phillips

Little Bird

Rare, and unusual
Delicate,  and in full bloom
Beyond where they house the Sky Gate
All slave and hesitation
A little bird doth call
On a perch so sweetly
And the choice,  as all good birds do
Of freedom.  prediction,  empires crumbling
Is only to briefly stall


Thursday, 10 May 2012


Follow if you will, the path of The Greater German Reich on its road to perfection.

It is the first of August 1941.

It is the Russian Front, German troops in position and within striking range of THE GREAT RED HEART, THE GREAT RED TERROR, THE GREAT RED EMPIRE,

That Grail, Moscow.

The Fuhrer’s specially camouflaged plane has brought him to within miles of the front proper.  Travelling with him is Colonel Schmidt, whom has the honour of being the Fuhrer’s companion driver.  A large Rolls Royce has met them at the aerodrome, flanked by jeeps and motorcycles, a special guard of SS, and a generally welcomed by onlookers, well-wishers and special German photography group from the leading Berlin Institute. We take up the story as the specially camouflaged car and its entourage ride to the most important conference at the Novy Borisov headquarters.

The Leader scratched his eyes.  A wall, a visual arena, broke into his outer eyelids as he was rubbing, the vision quickly broken by a bank of stars popping and a relieving asteroid zooming about under the lids, already disintegrating.  Blinking, the Leader tried to focus.  There was a mild tremor up his right arm.

“Almost lost myself,”  he murmured, “Oh yes…where was I…ah yes… the war with Russia.”

He had dozed only momentarily.  Colonel Schmidt fondly thought the Fuhrer immersed is some sort of private joke.

Actually there was more to it than that.  The Colonel thought the Fuhrer in fine form.  Only the Leader could be so offhand, he thought, turning the magnificent car through a forest glade and absorbing some of the dapple there.  Novy Borisov was now a backline position; most of the countryside had been cleaned up of debris.  There was, however, considerable danger from above and any passing partisan movement, and, indeed, the meeting would have been forestalled, but the Leader, ever right, had insisted upon his schedules.  He must remember ever his bearing.  The Fuhrer was enjoying his first official capacity as the brave new ruler of Lebensraum, of course, (not to mention his first chance to talk to the men on the frontline), and was likely engrossed in all sorts of mathematics as to the road ahead (not to mention dinner and cakes!) and would emerge from his many and talented anecdotes with a reminiscence of his first Great Struggle.  1914, when the Leader was only a humble corporal yet to earn a distinction, or a humble soldier about to earn his corporalship, depending how he chose to tell the tale.

The Fuhrer had assented to a Death’s Head medallion for his epaulette before the day’s journey, a typically honoured touch that had much pleased the Colonel.

“Sure enough”, mumbled the Leader, oddly, taking a moment to gaze out of the side window.  His eyes beheld a bevy of peasants (likely stranded he thought, and learning a new place in anew and better world) crest a rise (as Americans might say).  Soon he would have to deal with that problem personally.  Now he was busy.  Victory had become his middle name.

The notes to the Reich National Anthem went over in the Fuhrer’s mind.  The daylight dapples flashed a bright little holding key in his thoughts of American films.  Little was said; the Colonel saw no reason to disturb.  The Leader was a great man.  Last night the Leader had watched “The Leader”, a Charlie Chaplin, to profound roars of merriment from the SS detachment in Ravensbruck, followed by a sing-along.  What had been the song?  “Lost It There Joe”?  Oh those men!  Sunday had it been?  Such good men! (The Leader had dropped recently dropped the appellation of ‘boys’ in regard to military relationships.  His new propensity seemed to please him.)  And it is that same spirit that he thinks of now and hopes to imbue to his generals, who no doubt would have been informed by now of the itinerary.  The Leader really loved his warriors, the very backbone of the Greatest Adventure Of All Time, his beloved Reich.

A line of poplars either side tunnelled the entourage.  One was obviously singed.  Unnessaessary but understandable, thought the Leader, whom knew exactly what night operations can be like.  He was an expert on such things.  Of the countryside, well, there was certainly very little evidence of any German defeat, a broken cart or a shelled cottage here and there.  But enough of this, he thought, the skies are a cherished blue, and fluffy white clouds are like my warriors, bold and moving on.  A little frost still lay on the ground.  Cows grazed the fields.  (None looked up)  The Leader imagined the temperature.  It had certainly been chilly at the aerodrome.  The wind most likely.  Trenches and such are bearable if one is prone or in some way out of the wind.  My mountain climbing Wehrmacht won’t have a problem with that.  He snuggled closer into his standard issue military gentleman’s fur lined coat.  Berlin did have its uses.  The smoke stacks on the edges of the landscape (billowing quietly now) gave him a profound feeling of new found treasure.  He really felt refreshed.

They arrived at Army Group Centre Novy Borisov.  First the motorcycles pull in, followed by the jeeps, (machine guns pointing this way and that, always alert), the Rolls, and an armoured car that had taken up the rear.  It was not, unlike a gangster movie, thought the Leader, whom supposed of a moment, and wondering if he’d need glasses again to follow the maps.  (He’d see them al any moment, von Bredow, Bock, Guderian, Hoth, Kluge, Horch,  Hoss,  Brauchits, Halder, Heusinger......)

Wait!  What is this!  Beloved Bormann is there to greet him!

An ebullient bubble of formalities as the Leader spills from his secretly armour-plated fur lined door.  Many warm handshakes.  Salutes.  The Leader is nodding, smiling, pleases, very grateful.  Compliments.  Pats on the back.  Elbow touches.  Quick confidential word or twos, hurriedly whispered.  A Lieutenant catches all this on his new Kodak colour camera.

A light rain falls.  (Very heavy rain, but thin, thought the Leader poignantly.)

The conversation trails away.

“Oh yes mine Fuhrer.  Good German ways.  We heard of your knock knock with Mr Chaplin.  Ve hopes vous have enough laughter vor the Great Adventure, ha ha ha!”

“Yes my Fuhrer!  You must see the progress we are making!”

“I will make Moscow into a dairy full of fat German cows!!”  laughed the Fuhrer, with, as usual, his infectious quick wit.

“Oh my word yes gentlemen!  Soon the birds will sing not only for Germany but for a Jew free Russia.  They will sing in German too!! (several approving ah ha’s) But they will sing for Germany itself.  I prophesize gentlemen.  Any Russian bird that does not sing Uber Allies will be replaced by good German Arian bird stock.  You mark my words.  Nature itself must bow.  The future is ours.  Onward our Great Adventure!!”

A young man stepped forward and saluted, boots a ripe shine.

“Ah! Schulenburg!” exclaimed the Fuhrer.  “How is my cultured Count from home!?”

“My Fuhrer! (snappy Nazi salute) Your Army Centre is proud to receive you.  How, may I ask please, was Ravensbruck?”

The Fuhrer, nonchalant, turned momentarily to watch one of his SS patrols ride the perimeter, spick and sparkly span as a new rubber glove, with a number of running wolf dogs running alongside (The Fuhrer had bought these dogs especially for the unit.  As always, like a God, he controlled all and everything!)

The Leader returned quickly to his audience.

“The Wolf’s Lair is fully operational.  As I’ve said before, no schweinhund will ever eject me from there!  Not the British, not the Canadians, not the Scots, not the Welsh, not the Polish, or the Greeks, or those dirty Slavs, not the Canadians, or even those bastard American swine! You need not concern yourself for my well-being.  No bomb will drop!  No partisan will infiltrate, no traitor will double-cross!  I have secret weapons you know!”

The Leader cocked his beautiful head.  The moustache quivered as if it sniffed something on the breeze.

“But quickly now good soldier!  Assume the position!”

“Sir!!” (Another real snappy Nazi salute!)

Schulenburg produced a whistle and blew.  Within seconds all circling patrols had run, closed ranks, produced firearms as if by magic and goosestepped past the Fuhrer, rank after machine rank, Heil, Heil, Heil!!!

The Leader stood like a Statue of Determination.  A God.  Victory will be ours!  The salute was a little floppy though.  The Fuhrer is human too!!

Now the staff group, full of sun, grit and honour, turned away from the brief pomp (even Paulus is here, thought the happy Leader), set to the bunker in a strange cacophony of assumed importance that ran like a catalogue where every item was slightly more important than the next yet no item was actually letting on.  Ah, protocol, thought the Fuhrer with a quick glance over his shoulder.  His next thought, he kindly thought, as he stepped the polished steps into the electric lights underground, was ‘responsibility’.  His third thought was for the front line men he would be reviewing in the afternoon.  All was going so well!

The briefing proceeds routinely.  The troops are wining everything everywhere, and even, ambitiously, some places have been annihilated that were not even on the map!!  All are glad the Leader is there to add his genius.  The period of disgruntled interregnum is at a close.  Thank Germany for the wireless!  Good German technology, solid as a plough!  At teabreak the Fuhrer called the meeting to order and presented Guderian with the Knight’s Cross.  Guderian, beaming, promised undying service and the Death To All Communist Swine.  The Leader asked him to not forget The Dirty Jews, and Guderian promised he would set his worse and best bullies from elite squads of Whemacht to sort them out.  Another rigorous session in the maproom.  The Fuhrer has to chastise one of his generals for smoking.  The meeting ran like German Clockwork, a compliment to the efficiency of the Leader.  The generals sparkled brightly.  It was all decided.  It was no dream now.  No more of this distension about warm woolly winter underpanties or anti-freeze for the tanks.  No more grumbles about the endless dust!  It is German dust now!  They were going to push on to Moscow (the High Road To The Fuhrer’s Heart), onward to teach that rotter Stalin and his lapdog monkey Molotov the real, Arian, Facts Of Life.

“Oh,” added the Fuhrer,  “It would not be right to deny our brave soldiers their rightful glory (all agreed, nodding) The men have come a long way this time.  Make sure they each have a bottle of laager when Moscow is secure!”

“They say that Moscow has some of Europe’s finest horses Mien Fuhrer!”

“We will make you a fine stable sir.  Of the Whole City!”

After the briefing a canteen field kitchen was set up in the courtyard, complete with candelabra engraved with swastikas.  The Path of the Third Reich was now straight and true.  The Fuhrer’s favourite cakes (hardly touched of course) played centre bill on the table.  They had swastikas too.  The tablecloth was bright red.  German red.  Blood and Toil.  Bread and Boots.  A great camouflage canopy kept birds from shitting on the Master Race.  Black coated SS men still crept around the perimeter.  The Leader ate and spoke as if he were one of the rabble  (though he used his table napkin correctly).  The generals were all devoted to a delightful mood on such a delightful evening.  Several of the orderlies, enlisted men of course, were permitted to drink beer.  No more the terrified drizzle of the ‘persona’ and the return of the Reichswehr which had preceded the Fuhrer’s arrival!

“War is ordinary”, the Fuhrer said quite suddenly, out of the blue, all Austrian stiffness and cultured tones.  The atmosphere became instantly alert.  This was wisdom with a Das Capital!!  His bowl of noodle soup was gently pushed aside, his spoon rested to one side, the moustache wiped daintily. 

“It is not the rollercoaster rides like some films I have seen.  Ordinary.  And hard work!  Just like our factories and our farms.  It is what makes men men!”

“I remember’, the Leader went on,  “I had several experiences in my past that might be helpful for morale.”

“Please tell us!”

“Oh do Our Leader!”

“Please, sir, have another bagel before you go on!”

“Yes, yes, oh YES!!”  (Such dignity!)  “Time is precious, even though we have those Russians on the run, but here the bare bones (a ripple of bright excitement, all are riveted, this is heaven!)  I remember once in the first awakening of my political consciousness, in my youth, I was but twenty-two, at the time I looked at a road and saw the correct path to power (everyone knew this prescience was referring to Mien Kampf, that work of genius that changed a Nation, changed our Lives…no soldier’s kit was complete without it)  I remember there was a pressing need to expand, to legitimize our cause with a legal vote, and votes must be earned my friends.  (Schmidt brushed a bright blonde hair from his forehead, but never knew that he did it, so rapt was his focus).  There was an occasion, say around that troubled period of our struggle, May, June, 1920..”

“You had your Mercedes then Mien Fuhrer!”  The young Captain was beaming (though not quite on the money, as he was thinking 1922)

The Fuhrer, slightly irritated let it pass.  Even smiled.

“That’s right’” he continued, careful scanning the audience,  “And it was in that vehicle that I travelled, as was important then, from Munich, which was my first operations base, to Berlin, that shoddy den of iniquity (a brief murmur, nods).  Berlin then was quite the degenerate capital of American nigger culture; it is so useful that I found Goebbels to rein it in.  Gentlemen, the gist of what I’m trying to tell you is that on the way there we were ambushed.  Yes, that’s right (horror on all faces, light flickers), it was, gentlemen, those filthy Reds.  Believe me, if you don’t command all sectors they will pop up everywhere, like jack-in-the-boxes!  But you need not be afraid.  We outsmarted them then and we’ll drive them back to Filthy China tomorrow.  That is what I am trying to tell you.  That is how long this struggle has been waged.  That and precisely that, is why our struggle is so true and why it must succeed, or before you know it even your handkerchiefs will belong to Comrade Stalin!”

“What happened my Fuhrer?”  Everyone leaned forward slightly, like alerted flamingos to a prowling baboon.

Bormann stepped to the Fuhrer’s side.  “You must tell my Fuhrer.  They so love you sir”.

The Leader was charmed.  As always he had his audience in the palm of his hand.

“It is no big deal,” he said with a wry smile.

He leaned forward.

Before he spoke, indeed, his mouth was held slightly suspended; there was a very small fart.  Heaven, thought the audience as one!

“There was a loud explosion.  Two tires of the car in front were blown out, probably by an airgun or by little brass tacks.  No doubt they thought that was the car I was in.  Reds are not smart.  Always remember that.  There was some broken glass as well.  I had a good view of the whole incident.  I had been expecting something like that.  My bodyguard returned fire but the perpetrators turned chicken and ran into the woods.  Fools.  It would take more than one silly explosion to dampen the spirits of the Movement and the Future of Germany.  Seen plenty of chickens in the First War of course.  Back then they were machine-gunned.  The point I’m trying to make, gentlemen, men, is that they missed.  History teaches us such things.”

Slowly the Leader smiled, a twinkle in his eye.  There was certainly no doubting words like that.  It roused the heart!  The enraptured assembly beamed with confidence.  We are bulletproof.  We are the workers of the world!  We cannot fail!  The Reds are idiots!  A few chuckles started swaying across each group of soldiers and generals, when…..


A series of explosions rocked the gathering (and indeed, was visible from the canopy).  The bombs exploded across a field to a nearby line of trees sending a poor SS troop, dogs and all, diving for a ditch that also ran alongside the trees.  It seemed over very quickly.  The Leader quickly emerged from beneath the table, a classic eyebrow raised.  Some of the junior men looked worriedly at their seniors.  There was never, however, anything one might call panic.  The German Reich has never had a moment of panic since 1867.  All the men remembered how the Fuhrer had said these words once. 

Then the true war began again as if by design.

Suddenly an orderly in crisp uniform was front and centre with a report on the incident for the Fuhrer to inspect.  The Leader quietly daubed his lips, then held out a hand that wasn’t shaking to accept it.

“A rogue canon sir” explained the young officer.  “We have it sighted sir and are returning fire.”

Another orderly rushes to the scene a few seconds later, his arm outstretched with an another report.

A quick Heil.

The Fuhrer accepts the second report.

“The rogue canon has been destroyed sir.  We killed fourteen men and two women, all in Russian Army uniforms sir, together with a family of partisans, and several families of Jews, one commissar, and ten gypsies.  Heil!”

A third orderly ran in with a third report.  The Fuhrer considered donning his spectacles.

“The neighborhood is generally safe sir.  We have secured the surrounding area to a radius of seventy miles, as well as all railway and crossroad junctions within a one hundred mile radius sir.  Messerschmitts are on aerial patrol every ten minutes above us sir, using a grid pattern as outlined in you Field Manual sir.  All local inhabitants within a two hundred mile radius have been evicted, put on cattle trucks and transported to work factories in Southern Poland.”

“You were right sir,” explained the first terribly excited orderly, “The enemy are like flies on a rotting carcass.  But we have them with a will now sir.  They will be swatted.”

“Our apologies to your table sir,” said the second orderly.

Three synchronised Heils and three robotic orderlies did a perfect 180-degree turn and marched out of the picture.

The Leader was busy grinning and wiping his moustache again.  Two Messerschmitts boomed overhead, droning across everyone’s heads like giant dragonflies.

The Leader waved his hand.  Bormann got him a chair.  Schmitt found his a mineral water.  Guderain dusted the back of his coat whilst everyone else generally applauded, a mixed bag of Herr Herr and Heil Heil.

The SS patrol re-emerged.  Shaken not stirred, in fact, not shaken at all.  That’s discipline folks.  German discipline.  Bugger an Englishman’s stiff upper lip!!

Even the wolves were smiling.


The next day the Fuhrer was up early as the beans he ate for breakfast and keen to review then forward positions.

“Onto Moscow men!” he cried before entering his Rolls to another round of applause.  “Remember, we are the true inheritors of the Earth.  And we’ll throw something hot in Ivan’s pants while we’re at it!”

The applause was so thunderous the wolves began to bay.

The Fuhrer salutes them all, generously, with his riding crop.

The entourage moves slowly to the front lines.  Everyone will miss the Fuhrer in his spanking new summer beige uniform, full-length leather jacket and jackboots.  My Lord!  It was just like Poland again!!

A tear in everyman’s eye.

Further up the road a burning horse momentarily causes the cars to slow down.  The Fuhrer does not feel sick.  Not a bit of it.

“Probably a Russian horse sir”, says Schmitt,  “The lads having a spot of fun sir.””

“Very good.  Carry on!” says the Fuhrer.

“We will soon be drinking beer in Moscow sir.”

“German beer my son,” says the Fuhrer with pride.

“Not that Jewish Red Puke,” he adds under his breath.  Schmitt is totally in love.

Mines were being laid on side roads.  The Fuhrer inspects this activity.  A few peasants are rounded up to test their effectiveness.  The day is promising to be a great success.  The Fuhrer spied a bird with his keen eye.  That one is from Madagascar, he said.  Schmitt made a quick sketch on his SS Notepad.  The Fuhrer has the keenest eyesight in the world, he thought, suppressing an odd itch in his long johns.  At mid-morning the Fuhrer ordered the flags on the bonnet to be changed from swastikas to the Wehrmacht flag, centre rather than either side.  The Fuhrer is an artiste, thought Schmitt, not scratching the itch.  At one point the car stopped for tea beside a flamethrower pouring burning gasoline into a burning farmhouse.  The Fuhrer, an expert marksman, took pop shots at the women and children who tried to flee.  Schmitt wondered if he would wear women’s clothes and lipstick when he got back to Berlin.  At another point they stopped beside a train of POWs.  The Fuhrer instructed the SS unit, all goggles and excitement, to spare the lives of anyone who spoke English.  And the rest sir, asked the Lieutenant.  They can live several weeks without food you know these subhumans, explained the Fuhrer.  Delicious sir, said the Lieutenant, and there was thunderous applause.  There was a stop at a field hospital where a man with no legs left proudly volunteered to return to the front line.  The Fuhrer made him an honorary SS soldier and gave him Deaths Head cufflinks.  Three men died just from the crazy happiness of it all.

“You know Schmitt’” said the Fuehrer back in the Rolls, minutes from the front.  “I have a super weapons program.  I’m working on a little box.  An idea of mine.  It will carry all the wireless messages and phonecalls and reports from all sectors and all parts of The German Reich.  All in a little box.  It will talk to me, and I will give it orders.  It will be the greatest marvel ever thought of my modern man in time of war.  I will call it the The Uberbox”

“A little box sir? But that’s genius!  How are our scientists coming along?”

“You know scientists.  Not fast enough,”  sighed the Fuhrer.

“Of course, sir.  Scientist eh.  They should be in the Army sir.”

“Yes, that’s my opinion too.  You know, not all wars are won with guns and bombs and machine-guns you know.  There is supply and communication and administration too.  Napoleon invented the Baked Beans you know.”

“Well, I never.  Listening to you sir is like I just this minute have opened my eyes sir!”

“That’s the beautiful thing about war.  It opens your eyes.  War is a beautiful thing.”

The gleam in the Fuhrer eyes was indeterminable.  What genius!

“Why sir!  Your little box could send you all the love from all your followers sir!”

“That’s right Schmitt.  From The Reich!  One People, One Struggle, One Fatherland!!”

Troops with their shirts rolled up were waving madly outside the window.  Two or three had women prisoners attached to them by rope.  Schmitt thought he’d never seen anything so beautiful.  The Fuhrer waves like a King.

Just at that moment a loud explosion ripped up the tarmac ahead of the entourage.  All the forward motorcyclists were killed.  A splatter of blood and several wads of something jelly-like struck the Fuhrer’s windscreen.  There was a cackle of gunfire.  Smoke billowed like angry wasps around the cars.  Shouts.  Orders.  Concern for the Fuhrer, whom stepped outside for a moment  (What A Man!!) to show he was not injured.

The Fuhrer made, what was then called, an informed decision.  Indeed, ‘informed decision’ is a phrase first coined by our Fuhrer!

“Under the circumstances,” declared The Leader, checking his German made Swiss gold wrist watch,  “I think we had better turn back.  I have always had the feeling, since arriving, that the Enemy will make a landing attempt at Calais during my absence.”

“Profound Mein Fuhrer!!” concurred Schmitt, hurriedly barking out new instructions to the drivers and accompanying generals.

Schmitt was relieved.  During the explosions he had managed to dig a hand in his trousers and scratch his underwear.

Robert Ellery Phillips
03 07 97 (afternoon

edit   10 05 12  *evening)

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Minding My Own Business One Day... by robertemerald

Switch Witch

Witch is foul foul foul
A real bad mystery
On my beach but....
Which way?

Which world to Witchworld?

So, witches do come true
Which isn't easy
British, Australian, Witch?
Elvis never left is my theory
Not a woman at all

Maybe it's her computer game
But witch one
The curses of dragons and witches
Or steal my broom

"Absolutely no witch would be that cruel"

Looking in, again
Witch is almost every night
Came back and stayed at the Gingerbread's
Even after the Gingerbread's was eaten

Whatever you call that one
It isn't a nice one

Ley Lines are not a twig demons have to find little lakes
Little Black Magics

Hours, days, minutes, seconds, witch
Witch year was that

Year of a Rooster
Strangled by a Year of the Cat

It wasn't just a year though
It wasn't even a Sorcerer
Or a Wizard or Anything

Black magics

Which Middle Ages?
Which Medieval?

Rags to mendicant,
I pray that witch isn't                real

19 04 96  2 pm
Robert Ellery Phillips

The Beach Bum

THE BEACH BUM  a postscript to REEF DIARY

I don’t know why I should have been gathered to write this, by the massive skies, by the proof of God in that.  But I was, with countless hints and sand grains blasting my skull and nothing to stop me, and this is the result.  A disaster of a time, but once one moves from surfer to bum you get that continually.  Just off on the periphery, beyond even peripheral vision, until it becomes a stalking presence so clever at concealing itself and up itself that it must surely be visible to any spy satellite whom cares to observe.  I still surf, of course I do.  But that’s not cute anymore,  at my age, not a valid option.  There’s the rub.  Somehow I did it successfully anyway. Bought the postcard, so to speak, brought home the vial of white sand.  I was the best in the world at it.  Well, the best at below 5 feet waves, or storms.  It was too good a dream, too close to the sky to ignore.  The conservative voices (and oh so whimpered at his fringe body corporate) can be ignored.  Soon every minute is a wind of some sort, and you get used to it.  Until it morphs like a dune cicada into… into  … something else.  Something none will be able to define.

Leave that to God.

Anyway, I was surfing the other day and saw a seal, small, probably a female, fully grown, weaving up from the basin shallows to the channel edge, threading, not waving like a wave like dolphins do or any said such.  To watch it was like watching a movie in slow motion.  A nature movie of course.  A dart, an arrow, a radical re-entry. Water actually dripped from my head so I knew I wasn’t dreaming.

It was a highly self-motivated and agile little fellow, easily the best example of survival and adaptation I’ve ever witnessed.  Having fun whilst dead serious.  It stayed long enough to notice me, not a second longer.

I didn’t expect a seal.  It was stormy at the Cove and I was on the lookout for dolphins.  There may have been a big bull shark out there.

The actual dolphins were late this year, but luckily I was depressed of sorts and so, on the southern reef edge, you know, about to dive, when up she pops, faster than lightening ( the seal ), you know, no-one in bum land is short of money or anything.  As far as I know there is no seal on a stamp as yet ( bound to be dolphins, killer whales, whalesharks, and hunchbacks ) unless it was prompted by cosmic forces outside my attention.

I’ve decided there should be, even if the seal was likely Tasmanian.  From the far South for sure.  And that would be interesting to know.

I wish I could write more.  That was the highlight.  A bull seal got up the Swan River too, but that’s not really part of any tale.

I saw a car with GREEDY written on it the other day.  Then I got almost too drunk to leave the hotel.

Don’t respect me or anything.  You’ll be disappointed.  Actually I prefer to write science fiction, but that’s on hold.  This is a blast from the past slightly overdue. Don’t ask me how that works.  I don’t know.  Spies and lies I suspect. 

It was a long long time before the sea offered up this scarce resource.  That was no flies off a bum like me.  I had nowhere else, and the employment office had ignored me, possibly on instruction, since 1979.  I find delight in bottletops.  I didn’t need a seal.  Small mercies.

But I got one.  One happened.  Real as my eyes.

I’ve surfed this stretch of coast more than most.  Probably the most.  Hardly an outline I don’t know, or a sandbar I don’t expect.

I met an Irish Mermaid.  Banked in on a storm and a fat grey dolphin.

She was dead as a bone of course.  Invisible to all but the bum.  Real as my eyes.

I started to notice things.  It was a gift I guess.  Maybe she liked my dancing.  It wasn’t just surfwax and waves and suncream any more.  I noticed things like fish, live or dead, even blowfish.  Seashells filled my paranoid LSD filtered rainbow mind like new sequins, shivering and stammering seasongs in a winter sun.  I noticed a vast array of broken shells and shellfish, bits of crustaceans, wrappers from around the world, smoothed beer bottles shards and silver coke tins…. 

All this, bits and sparkly, well, its either what the Mermaid is going to eat, or what’s left behind.  Recycling I suppose you’d call it today.

That was a few years ago, as I write this, but many years ago as I rediscover this.  A memory burned within the brain walls of being something of an involuntary society experiment.  Peace and pleasant within.   Like Superman’s little ice castle.

Do you know what a Mermaid eats?

Believe me, the Sea is the equivalent of Eden.

It’s not hard to imagine.  Periwinkles the size of icecream cones.  Wentletraps the size of gargoyles. The occasional Spanish piece of eight.  Seaslugs the size of Doctor Doolittle’s Snail.  Worms like oars.  Green weed salad, red, kelp like a giant’s dream.  Sea apples the size of beachballs.  I found out all this by studying clam science.  Not abalone or squid of course, too tough, but in any case what a feast!

Of course, anytime a mermaid eats art is produced at the post offices and hotels.  Sailor’s knots, ships fair and free like the cold South breeze, giant gianormous earshells in howling cacophonies of happy bathers, sex, millions of crabs, reefs of stars and moons high above a cornetto or a bowl of oysters. All these things appear on the walls around town.

After a mermaid eats by the awy, though I don’t know why, there rises a thirst in every seaman in a roughly nuclear bomb radius and or there abouts, though Irish Merchant Men will be tickled by the radiation no matter where they are .  It is a thirst, almost a bloodthirst, for everything just about, including Rum.  I discovered I enjoyed this ‘party after’, but really didn’t need it.  Luckily there was lots and lots of dancing at all hours and weathers.

Mermaids, as you might, by now, tres well imagie, are full of secrets.  Boy do they like secrets!  If I wasn’t from Venus myself (four, no, five stars in house, though one is Torus) I’d be mighty mighty scared.  I’m sure all others are.  Sure of it. Terrified even.  But I’m just a beach bum.   Venus keeps no secrets.  What of it?

The ones she shares with bums like me are these:

The sea moves much less after nightfall, because that is the time of Moons, and there is everything to dance to. 

Spirits of the day ride rainbows.  Live for them.  Never disappoint.  Sure as your sunburnt nose.

The Irish Mermaid is the original surfer chick.  But no one noticed.

Venus noticed.  Sent me.

(This is also a little bit why the sea moves less at night, though it is just as spacey, and good for swimming, if you have the guts.)

The best seaweed is loosed by storms, only by storms, and it’s a telepathy thing.
And this time is the time when and where Mermaids and bums like me find the best restaurants. (Fishing for urchins and bottletops and trident shells and hammerhead oysters.)

Storms do not make for good surfing.  This is when things of the deep feel brave enough to bight legs. 

They will never bight mine.  I love storms, in or out of the water.  I am not an example to follow in this.

Phew, what a mouthful.  Glad we got that off our chests!!!

There are plenty of secrets we don’t know of course.

Do dolphins really herd their women, like girls at a hotel entrance?

Do seals swim back and forth from the Poles?

Do mermaids exist at two places at once?

I do not know these things, or if I do you will have to second-guess me.

Everything Oceanside gets about, or doesn’t, or so it seems.  Tides.

I’ve been surfing so long I sweat wax, my feet do hot dog bottom turns without thinking, or even looking.

Storms have a colour.  For that you have to look.  Is all.

Just as rain has a distinct smell.  In both our worlds.

I’ve seen Tun Shells and Violet Floaties and Plagues of Starfish and Swarms of Desert Flies Swarm On Rocks On The Seaweed Shore.  I’ve seen seadogs and sharks and stingrays and at least two types of gull, maybe three.  I’ve felt Neptune knock me off my feet on one ride and then put me right again on the next one.  I’ve had Venus save me from hundreds of reef collisions, and saved her back just as many times.

I’ve smelt colour and heard rainbows.  I’ve danced on shallow reefs in the rain and pirouetted on the crests of storm waves whilst currents howled divine justice beneath.  Way beneath.  I’ve kissed an Irish Mermaid and had an all day barney with Neptune, only ending with bloody feet and cut pride.  I’ve smuggled bars of sacred peat from South America to Jamaica.  I’ve carried a traveller’s pack further than the lodges go. I’ve got secrets no one should have.  Whilst Venus confiscated all mine.  I’ve been stung by Venus and tricked by Venus and had dreams stolen by Venus and then given back by Venus.  I’ve been so low I saw skulls at the bottom of shipwrecks, and so high and frightened I grew wings and escaped the Furies.  I’ve had tea with every Nerid in every harbour and weed break that was within my means to reach.  I’ve seen God in the West Australian Winter Skies and felt ordinary just like everybody else.

Yet there is just one more priceless piece of gossip.

Atlantis, by the way, is down and out and to be found mid Indian Ocean, just throw a dart at the map.  I’ve never been there.  I think the Mermaid has.

Oracle.  It will be found.  But not by me.

Around July, 1996

Robert Ellery Phillips