Flight of Fancy

The Flying Carpet by Viktor Vasnetsov (1880)

If I had a magic carpet or a giant set of wings,
I’d leave this world of parking lots and noise and motor cars,
And I’d fly to far off places, and I’d see a million things,
And I’d sleep beneath a canopy of fifty million stars.

So play a game of ‘let’s pretend’ and climb aboard my carpet
And we’ll fly away and do those things we usually cannot…
We’ll race the dawn around the world, as swiftly as a comet,
And set down in a gentle land; the Island of Shalott.

We’ll journey then to Scotland, to a misty rockbound coast…
And if we listen to the bleak seawind, we’ll surely hear the knell
Of a phantom church bell tolling for a long dead pirate’s ghost,
That wanders still the headland, listening for the Inchcape bell.

A horse drawn carriage waiting near a lake that’s frozen over…
The snow is falling gently in the wood that’s dark and deep..
But we have no time to tarry, this is just a short stopover,
For we have things to do, and miles to go before we sleep.

The undulating curtains of the northern lights are glowing
With their dancing colours beckoning as far as we can see.
We’ll see the Yukon’s frozen face and feel the chill wind blowing,
And we’ll rest beside old Lake Lebarge and talk of Sam McGee.

Now across the bleak Aleutians, past the snows of Fujiyama
To the top of mighty Everest, where we’ll enjoy the view
Of the Himalayan valleys and the mountain panorama,
And the one-eyed yellow idol to the north of Khatmandu.

It’s dawning; with the vista of the wide brown land before us…
Endless miles of golden beaches as our carpet brakes to slow.
I hope you all enjoyed your trip and none of you were nervous!
It’s morning, and there’s movement at the station down below.


Frank Halliwell, 2001


The Lady of Shalott
The Inchcape Rock
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
The Cremation of Sam McGee
The Green Eye of the Little Yellow God
My Country
The Man from Snowy River
Alfred Lord Tennyson
Robert Southey
Robert Frost
Robert Service
J. Milton Hayes
Dorothea Mackellar
A. B.’Banjo’ Paterson