The Lament of Handsome Stevie

[I was discussing poetry with a friend last night, and we mentioned in passing The Song of Hiawatha. Later, I went and looked at some stanzas. As often happens after reading Hiawatha, I can’t stop the rhythm banging away in my head. So I thought I’d just let it out in an homage ]

The Lament of Handsome Stevie

On the byways of the high Plain —
The plain that stretches across Wiltshire,
The high wide Plain that’s north of Salisbury –
Drives the handsome Stevie Dewey
In his jaunty silver Honda.
On his lap there sits a camera,
Such a big black Sony camera;
A camera with a mighty zoom lens
An almighty Sigma zoom lens:
To photograph the running roe deer!
He parks the Honda in the tall gorse,
Hides the Honda in the tall grass,
Waits in silence for the roe deer!
Sees instead a hawk a-hunting,
A handsome harrier on the quarter,
Swiftly raises heavy Sony
Goes to focus mighty Sigma
And finds the grasses foil his focus!
In a panic hunts the button
That will switch to manual focus,
But instead he starts to film
The out-of-focus waving grasses,
Curses Sony button layout,
Stops the filming, reverts to stills.
Now the bird is growing distant;
Cursing Stevie exits vehicle
Trips on seatbelt, presses record,
Begins a film of dusty byways.
Curses more, pokes random buttons.
Finds the proper camera function,
Scans the Plain for distant bird-sign:
Cannot see the hawkish V-wings,
Cannot see the big bird hunting.
Can only see the big sky empty!
Sends foul language to the heavens
Fills the Plain with many curses,
Scares away the timid roe deer,
That had been nibbling the tall grasses
Just the other side of silver Honda.
Handsome Stevie kicks the Honda,
Damns all fauna to extinction.
On the byways of the high Plain
Stephen mutters imprecations
Blind to falcons, hawks and red deer
That mock him from the trackside hedgerows
And the photogenic wide blue skies.
So our cursing handsome Stevie
Leaves the byways on the wide Plain,
The high wide Plain athwart the county.
Lists his cameras up on eBay
Takes up knitting, watches telly.

Plainly, a Surprise Plane on the Plain

As usual, Lizzie and I went to the Plain today to see what we could see. We packed crisps and a flask of tea, and I stuffed my bag full of lenses, and put the lenses into Foxy and headed off. Twelve miles later I realised I had left my own camera behind!

Urk alors! So we drove around the byways for 20 minutes, then were about to return home when Lizzie noticed a biplane in a field by the side of the byway. How lovely!

Kindly, Lizzie lent me her camera (because I had left my camera at home, we had already placed a Minolta 100-200mm lens and a Kenko 1.4x teleconverter on her camera for any bird-related excitements). Just in time, as the plane was away and airborne! It was surprising how little field was needed before the plane lifted off. And then it was up, up away towards North Wiltshire…

When I arrived home, I checked the CAA GINFO database and discovered the plane was a De Havilland Tiger Moth (DH82A).