Preposterous Universe

Wednesday, September 29, 2004
God, A Poem

By James Fenton.
A nasty surprise in a sandwich,
A drawing-pin caught in your sock,
The limpest of shakes from a hand which
You'd thought would be firm as a rock,

A serious mistake in a nightie,
A grave disappointment all round
Is all that you'll get from th'Almighty,
Is all that you'll get underground.

Oh he said: 'If you lay off the crumpet
I'll see you alright in the end.
Just hang on until the last trumpet.
Have faith in me, chum-I'm your friend.'

But if you remind him, he'll tell you:

'I'm sorry, I must have been pissed-
Though your name rings a sort of a bell. You
Should have guessed that I do not exist.

'I didn't exist at Creation,
I didn't exist at the Flood,
And I won't be around for Salvation
To sort out the sheep from the cud-

'Or whatever the phrase is. The fact is
In soteriological terms
I'm a crude existential malpractice
And you are a diet of worms.

'You're a nasty surprise in a sandwich.
You're a drawing-pin caught in my sock.
You're the limpest of shakes from a hand which
I'd have thought would be firm as a rock,

'You're a serious mistake in a nightie,
You're a grave disappointment all round-
That's all you are, ' says th'Almighty,
'And that's all that you'll be underground.'
Please rest assured that Mr. Fenton is a Major Poet, even if the above example of his work does seem like something Eric Idle should be singing.

Ideas on culture, science, politics.
Sean Carroll

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