Once I thought I might pilot a spaceship.
And conquer the Treens with Dan dare,
Unseat the Mekon from his dinosaur steed
And end his reptilian reign.
I would howl at the moon with Akela
After drawing the teeth of Shere-Khan.
I’d peer down Zam-zammah’s muzzle
Then slide down the barrel all day.
I would swing through trees with anthropoid apes,
Do battle with blue men on Mars.
I’d smash the machines of the morlocks
Give the Eloi sunshine and ease.
But I ate of the tree of knowledge,
Perhaps shades of the workhouse closed in,
So I know it would take billions of dollars
To fulfil my Venusian dreams.
Now Rice Boroughs’ apes are endangered
Shere- Khan’s pelt’s on a penthouse floor,
Mowgli’s no more than a cartoon film
And the Bandar- Log do as they please.
The Nautilus now lies rusting
Forty fathoms below the swell
With Nemo in Davy Jones’ locker
Entombed with all of his crew.
In Lahore they have fenced off the big gun
Boys can’t slide down the barrel today.
They’ll not hear the bang of jezails anymore
And the great game’s now played without rules.
Still, for me the fantasy phoenix
Will not be allowed to die
But at times be re-ignited in imagination
By a spark from a literary find.
There are nine lierary sources (including from comics) in these lines. See if you can spot them.