God, A Poem –
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.’
When I am out walking however, I will often wander into a local church, just for a look around. I am not so sure about the christian story anymore, I was as a child and into my teens but moved away the more I got into the great outdoors and into the nature that surrounds us.
Personally What I find is OK about visiting an empty church is that I have time to think about the spiritual massage they attempt to bring , the very fact however that there is no priest at the alter, well preaching! at you, just gives you a little more space to think for yourself about your own beliefs. These days my own beliefs lay more outside the church as to me if there is a God then he is to be found in nature and not inside the walls of a church.
Its not that I have anything against a church mass or service, its more that I find being outside is more spiritual than being inside a church walls, to me like many, I feel that if there is a god ( such as the church depicts ) then he is as likely if not more to be found in the life that can be found in the forests and the fields as sitting down and listening to a priest.
I feel that if he is to be found then its along a path of discovery in the world of nature that surrounds all of us.
Inside Kilcash Parish Church