This became an instant favorite of mine from the first time I read it.


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.'


James Fenton


For an excellent reading, I suggest 'SpokenVerse' on YouTube:


The Rev

Views: 104

Replies to This Discussion

My opening line is a bit redundant, isn't it?

Witty and pithy. Love it.
Nice Mathew, thanks for posting. Very funny.

Great imagery, unusual and creative rhyming ideas, and funny. Thanks be to you and to James Fenton.


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