Jesus ? My word ! Oh my lord, it’s the boss…
I never expected to see you today –
Except perhaps hanging out up on your cross…
It’s funny, but when as a kid we would pray,
And Reverend Thomas instructed our eyes
To always be tight and respectfully shut,
I’d sneak them half-open and squint at your thighs,
Expecting you’d come down a moment and strut.
With no-one to see, would you take up the chance
To get down to stretch, and to smoke, and to dance ?
The words of the prayer were quite lost to my trance,
But you never showed even the hint you’re alive.
You hung just the same when we sipped on your blood,
And you looked down as glum when we learned of the Flood,
And seemed as remote when our prayer-books would thud,
And we mumbled or massacred hymn forty-five.
But anyway, never mind my reminiscence,
How long must it be since you came round my way ?
Somehow you faded in slow evanescence,
Your black and white certainties merging to grey.
And Reverend Thomas was no help explaining
The problem of evil or problem of gays,
Till finally, even my lifelong ingraining
Could not keep the wonder or stem the malaise.
But reading the papers, there’s plenty of good news:
From leprosy vaccines to movies and blues,
And juries and voting, and self-tapping screws –
Abandoned, alone, we learned how to be great.
I waited and waited back there in your church
For some word or some action to come from your perch,
But unheard my questions, and unseen my search.
Till now, when I find you, I find you too late.
As I was heading to Saint Ives,
I passed a troupe with many lives,
With many plays and songs and dance,
As I was heading to Penzance.
As I was heading to Saint Just,
They played for me, as well they must,
And bid me “Come and join us, Friend !”
As I was heading to Land’s End.
This piece of nonsense was inspired by the famous nursery rhyme, even though that probably refers to a different St Ives (who’d have thought there’d be two saints named Ive ?) The town in this poem is the Cornish seaside resort on the Penwith peninsula, which is also home to the Minack open-air theatre.
Oh dear, dear F1,
You’re oh so keen to jump the gun.
The slightest knock, and up you pop,
Just barging past and to the top,
And begging to be asked a question,
Or to make a cool suggestion –
Anything to lend a cyber hand.
Your happiness is my command,
And, oh, you’ll never understand,
F1, old son,
You simply can’t !
I want Escape ! I want F2 !
I’m sorry, son, but get it through your key:
If help I need, it won’t be you, you see.
It’s never you.
As a kid, I had a Bible,
But I only read the bits I knew.
Yet in the front, it listed all
The books therein, and quite a few !
I read the titles, wondering,
What ancient tales they must contain –
Though most were called by random names,
Which sounded boring, sounded vain.
But one stood out – The Book of Numbers !
Was it all divine geometry ?,
Secret cyphers ?, Sacred fractals ?,
Heaven’s holy trigonometry ?
Did it declare why the speed of light
Is the very speed it is ?,
Or how the cosmos banged so bright ?,
Or how the atoms whizz ?,
Or how entangled is the quark ?,
Or why is so much matter dark ?,
Or are the anti-particles still His ?
I should have known –
Nothing but a census, a way of keeping score.
When asked for facts, the Lord has shown
That nothing matters more than tax and war.
Gargoyles: always too damn small,
A squander of a spitting spout –
An impish whisper, not a shout.
Apologies atop a wall,
Embarrassed to be there at all,
When always far too mono-grey,
And always, always too damn far away.
A shame, because their gothic clout
That any stonechip ought to flout,
Is blurred into a lump of flint.
And yet, there’s so much hidden booty
In their twisty, gnarly beauty,
If we’re just prepared to climb or squint.
But otherwise, these witty beasties –
Masterpieces, have no doubt,
A burst of sneer and snot and snout –
Will never scare the nuns or priesties !
Make them bigger ! Carve them deeper !
Ev’ry goblin, troll and creeper,
Give them gravitas and grout !
Let us see each gruesome grizzle,
Else the mason works their chisel
Long and hard for all of nowt,
And all those wings and fangs and scales
Are lost to time and frost and gales –
But most of all, to apathetic drought.
Don’t leave them overlooked, forgot,
Or we shall lose the lonely lot,
And long before their warts have weathered out.