I’d love to take the credit for this poem but I can’t. My only credit is knowing the utterly brilliant Rosie Miles. Fans of Greenbelt Festival, read and enjoy.
If heaven (2)
If heaven might happen
it would look like a racecourse
full of people not horses.
Everyone would have a place to pitch their tent
and there would be lots of mud and weather.
We would all be the same as before
except our bladder functions would have dried up.
There would be a place
on the top floor of heaven
to be very quiet.
There would also be skateboarding,
bands playing underground where the average age is fourteen,
a smörgåsbord of stalls to get food.
The programme of What Is On In Heaven
would be very full.
There would be a soundtrack of eternal drumming.
The Big Drummer would slow the rhythm
so everyone could get the beat.
You would be able to sit in one corner of heaven
and watch the amazing wide sky.
In another you could listen to a man
speak clearly of how he fought for human rights
when he was alive. You could hear
a politician, a priest, a poet, a shy stuttering actor,
a Dominican monk, a cultural commentator.
You could wonder what would have happened
— what might still happen —
if Jesus had come as a girl.
You could learn to jive or tango
(step, two, three, four).
You could do none of these things.
You could sit on the steps of heaven’s grandstand
and play monster Connect 4 with the friends
who helped you pitch your tent,
watching all the people wearing wellingtons
imprinted with smarties or jelly beans.
Ten-foot transvestite angels would waft past
blowing bubbles of ambient music.
Strangers would smile at you
and people would have brought their dogs.
There would be a Big Top and jugglers on monocycles
and all the people on the doors of heaven’s venues
checking that you were wearing heaven’s wristband
would be unfailingly cheerful.
You would marvel at their ability
to herd an impossible number of people
into a finite space.
Blessed are they who signal to others the end of the queue.
In heaven they shall be the salt of the earth.
And you would belong there – really belong there –
because heaven would not be about
keeping your doubt out
or your many questions.
In fact, if heaven might happen there will be
no certainty at all
just a community of the wounded
who are as lost as you are
eating churros dipped in chocolate
trying to sing
the intelligence of the heart.