and the POLI-KAR-POV

 When tales are told of chivalry
And brave deeds full of pith
So often one can not be sure
It’s not just another myth
Remember the ugly duckling
That became a graceful swan
Well sadly in this story
It somehow went all wrong.

 Unlike the shapely ‘Spitfire’
A symphony of elegance and grace,
Someone took the ‘Rata Mosca’
And punched it in the face
I know you’d say such action
Was crass - Not very nice
When some other Russian ‘Bozo’
Went and squashed it in a vice.

 But as so often happens
A champion did arise
To take that Poli-kar-pov 
And sail it through the skies
From out of the Ural mountains 
With his Papakha pulled on tight
Rode Count Dave Mont on Cisco
A most impressive sight.


 Of course Cisco was a stallion
 Full of strut and hard to ride
But the Count clung on proudly
With his Shashka by his side.  
The crowd all cheered loudly
When a boy yelled, ‘Look at That!
Unless my eyes deceive me 
That Cossack’s got no hat’.

Among the famous fables
Was ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’
Well indeed this situation 
Was a bit like one of those.
The crowd could not believe it
‘SO MUCH ... thick curly hair?’
Not likely! when the rest of us
Have so little left to spare.

So it probably was just envy
Nought to do about the cost 
Cause it would have brought dishonour
Had his Papakha just been lost …..
 But what about this story!
Oh dear, I must confess
It was all such a distraction
That I fear I do digress.

 Well he rode up to Poli-kar-pov
And regarded it in awe
Amazed to think this pot-bellied thing
Could lift off from the floor.
‘I’d like to have a go in that
It’s like Cisco with a wing
But instead of bouncing round on top
I’d do very well strapped in’.


He found a little ladder 
And clambered up inside
And tried to place his Shaska
So he could settle for the ride
He studied all the instruments
Indeed he took great pains
But was very disconcerted
When he couldn’t find the reins.

He was facing this dilemma
When a mechanic popped up his head
‘No, in an aeroplane, you see
We use that stick instead’
‘Roger’ shouts Count Davo
Though he didn’t know his name
This was of little consequence
Cause he answered just the same.
 ‘Just push that lever forward
I’ll have no more to say
And above the deafening roar
Just shout out ‘Chocks Away’
You’ll roll down that there runway
And when you’re going pretty quick
Close your eyes, say a prayer
Then haul back on that stick’.

 So down the dusty runway
The Poli-kar-pov raced
With a very nervous Count inside
Who did not want to be disgraced.
Eventually, opening up one eye
It came to him as some surprise
That he and Poli-kar-pov
Were zooming through the skies.

Some said of this great exploit
That, ‘That Cossack Count was bold’
But really, those Russian soldiers
They just do as they are told.
No matter, for the audience
By this spectacle were quite awed
As ‘Poli’ through the Heavens
She looped and rolled and soared.

Count David in the cockpit
Not sure what was amiss
Waving round his joystick thinks
‘I’ll soon get the hang of this’.
His thoughts were then averted
By a change in engine sound
Perhaps now I should be thinking
How to get back on the ground.

 Lining up the runway 
He pulls the blunt nose round
And throttles back the engine
Hoping to slow down
I wouldn’t say he panicked 
But as the earth approached
He certainly was regretting
That he hadn’t first been coached.
 It wasn’t very pretty
There was no gentle touch
The undercarriage crumpled
With a loud ungainly crunch '
'Rata Mosca’ cart wheeled
And landed on its nose
I’m told  the Count here hurt his back
That’s how the story goes.


You’d think he’d be disheartened
No doubt he hit his head
Cause he towed it to the workshop
And fixed it up instead
So the Poli-Rata ‘Newy’
Rolled out for a second round 
But ‘C‘est la vie’ was all he said
When again, it hit the ground.

So began an obsession 
Not unlike that rogue ’Mr. Toad’
Who after every accident
Put a new car back on the road.
With so much dedication
The Poli-kar-pov really flew quite well
But sadly with each landing
There was another sorry tale to tell.
Thus began the legend 
Of yet another flying ‘Ace’
And Percy Perseverance,
they all called In reverence to his face.
He joined the ‘Flying Circus’
Out on Gibson Field
And very soon to everyone
All his talents were revealed.

 Such was the anticipation
When Poli-kar-pov came to land
That everyone would stop and stare
With their hearts held in their hand.
Count Percy was a showman
And with feats, liked to astound
So in the final moment thought
This time I’ll go around.

Oft times all is determined
By the fickle hand of fate
For at that crucial moment
It was already much too late
He’d lost so much momentum 
Couldn’t climb in such a state
When the stricken Poli-kar-pov
Just started to gyrate.

 Count Percy held on grimly
When with a dreadful thud
Rata Mosca dropped a wing
And dived headfirst into the mud.
All the loyal members
Declared it was a shame
For they doubted such entertainment
Would come their way again.

 Investigators over coffee
Poked through the wreck in vain
And announced, just another case of
Pilot water on the brain.
The final images have been censured
For such carnage we deplore
But alas poor Poli-kar-pov
Will grace the skies no more.

Rodd  Sherwin

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