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                 THE CLUB

Allah and God in their Club
Wading through some scrumptious grub
Looking down at the fun and games
Being played out in their Holy names

“Ours is a most exclusive Club.
Our subjects are dying to join.”
They smiled again at the eternal joke
Thinking, “There’s nowt so queer as folk.”

Man had invented the Club
And gone on to make Allah and God
It had seemed a good idea at the time
When man had first crawled from the slime

Of course there were rules for the Club
To be administered by Allah and God
Which if man through his life did obey
Would allow him to join on the Day

But persona non grata at the Club
Were the followers of Beelzebub?
Who on Earth had flouted the rules
And got their comeuppance, the fools

Allah and God, one day in the Club
In walks the frightful Beezlebub
“Well really, of all the caddish gall
Whatever happened to the old black ball?”

“I say, old chap, this is our Club
Not some low down common pub.
Let’s face it, your no toff,
So please oblige and bugger off.”

Relaxed again in their Club
Sipping easily on some excellent Krug
“Beelzebub won’t dare again to show his face
In this most exclusive heavenly place.”

But so good was the Club
That Allah and God soon forgot
That they were mere figments of mind
And that the Club was designed for mankind.

Over coffee in their Club
Saucily served by a cheeky cherub
They viewed the carnage down below
And wagered on its ebb and flow

Getting maudlin in their Club
And rather drowsy in the fug
With a good cigar and a glass of port
What a day!  They’d had good sport.

But next day in the Club
Sobered up by a cold bathtub
They looked below and got a fright
There was no sign of the Holy fight!

Quaking now in their Club
And this really is the rub!
Instead of slaying in their name
Mankind had given up the ghastly game.

Mankind had formed another Club
All were welcome, there was no snub
The only rule, you must only love
Each other, and not the ones above.

Allah and God in their Club
To them it was indeed an Earthly snub
“We’ll send someone to force our case
To reclaim for us the human race.”

Pondering now in their Club
To both their minds: Beelzebub!
“He’s our man, with his fiery babble
He’ll get them back to a warring rabble.”

Time flashed by in the Club
Down below all was looking good
Beelzebub had infiltrated well
And brought about an Earthly Hell.

Later, sitting in their Club
Joined now by saintly Beelzebub
Who’d earned his spurs down below
Where, once again, ceaseless blood did flow.

So the moral for your Earthly Club
Don’t trust Allah, God or Beelzebub
You made them what they are today
Be strong, and make them go away.

Tell the porters at your Club
They’re not welcome, they’re no good.
Remember poor foolish Dr. Frankenstein
And keep your monsters well in line.

Else some day in your Club
Amid the peace and brotherly love
They’ll sidle through some secret door
And take you back to their Holy war.


It’s lonely in the pub
A hundred people having fun
All with their backs to me
Not even the barman wants to catch my eye
In case I want a drink
Or even worse, to talk to him
I’m better than them
I have a degree
And a career of sorts
My wallet is full, my credit is good
I’d make a good husband I feel
But I lack what they have
Whatever it is
That makes them at one with themselves
In the office I’m quite a wit
And tidy with it too
When I leave my desk is clear
My tie is straight, my shoes are clean
But I’m alone when they have gone
Their laughter haunting me
One day I followed them
Into the bar below
I must have been invisible
For they were unaware of me
When I sidled up to them
They said they had to go
Next day they went off one by one
Whispering their new venue
I did not follow in their tracks
I’m happy in my way
And better off than them
I can go in any pub I like
And have a pint or two
Or even three or four
When I leave I have no remorse
For I was never there.


             The Usual Rubbish

This poem was presented at the 2004 Cheltenham Festival of Literature Festival Challenge event on Sunday 17 October.  The subject, and hence the title of the poem had been announced by the novelist Jane Bailey the previous day.

All the rubbish that’s fit to publish
Screams the tabloid banner
Elvis Presley lives on Mars
And keeps his teeth in old jam jars
Win a night with Posh and Becks
Watch them while they’re having sex
Shock, horror! Prince Charles is gay
He had his footman, so they say
The Duchess of York is prone to fits
Turn to page 3 to see her tits
Make our readers lust for more
Oh, by the way, we’ve gone to war

All the rubbish we’ve heard before
Since Bush and Blair went to war
Ok, we found no WMD
But, I tell you honestly, we set them free
Saddam has gone; he was really hateful
The Iraqis will be forever grateful
No need now for them to grovel
Even when we bomb their filthy hovel
For this is the wish of Bush and Blair and God
To sling out Allah and his unholy mob
Thirty thousand dead is a small price for them to pay
And we’ve only had three troops killed today

Yes, it’s all the usual rubbish
That keeps us all at bay
We were born in Merry Eng-a-land
With heads firmly in the sand
Imbued with unquestioned loy-alty
To church and state and roy-alty
Each with our predetermined place
In this, the English master race
Just tolerating the Taff and Scot
And even that bloody Irish lot
Superior to the Kraut and Frog
Let alone old Johnny Wog

Now you see the mess we’re in
So put the rubbish in the bin
And use your heart and use your mind
And learn to live with all mankind.