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PART 1: A Few Stories and Ballads

This first poem takes us back to the beginning. I mean the absolute beginning when there was only one person around, called God, and nothing else existed until He decided to make a few things, like people. But – were we the first?



hirty billion years ago (Give or take a week or so), God sat glumly on his own, Contemplating life alone. Feeling perhaps a touch annoyed, He glared morosely at the void And thought "That's it, then - no more waiting: I'll spend the next six days creating�.

He started work on one small planet Made some limestone, made some granite, Then, in wellies, spent some time Laying down primordial slime. The Big Bang came upon Day Four With stars and galaxies galore And, as he placed them in the sky He thought "It's fun, this D.I.Y."

He sorted out the day from night: How long the dark, how long the light. He separated land from sea (And thus invented Geography), Then filled the planet overall With plants and creatures great and small Including one He called a horse (Because it looked like one, of course.) He made a man to look like Him, Then made a woman from a limb. Oh, sorry, no, I tell a fib: He made her from the fellow’s rib. And, just to give them something nice He made a place called Paradise. "These things are good!" the Lord God thinks, "And now it's time for forty winks." But, sad to say, before too long Upon the planet things went wrong: 'Twas Man that caused the dreadful mess With politicians, tabloid press, Famine, war and revolution, Global warming, mass pollution, Till at last all life was spent, And then the full-time whistle went.

So, fifteen billion years ago (Give or take a week or so) God sat glumly on his own, Contemplating life alone. "Oh, well" he sighed, "I tried my best, But Mankind simply failed the test. I even sent my lad along To teach the blighters right from wrong. He put his feet up for a while, But then he gave a thoughtful smile. "Perhaps I didn't get it right. I'll try again tomorrow night. This time I'll make a place of worth And call it - let me see now - Earth."

Let’s stay with the religious theme: if you pick up your Bible, you won’t have very far to look before you find the most famous of all love stories. Yes, it’s right there in Genesis, Chapter 3. And here now is that wonderful story – in verse, of course.



nother day in Paradise: Adam stretched and rubbed his eyes And studied Eve on bed of hay, As naked on her back she lay. Thought Adam, with a puckered brow, 'He's different, but I can't think how.' Eve stirred, and climbed up from the hay And said "Another gorgeous day! I think I'll have a wander round, There's bits of Eden I've not found. I'll bring some food back for our lunch Some tasty fruit that we can munch." "Then stay away from you-know-where, I think I'd rather have a pear" Said Adam, thinking back with dread To words Almighty God had said. "Don't worry, Adam, I'll watch out. There's loads of other fruit about: There's fig, banana, orange, banyan, Damson, too" said his companion. With that she ran off with a giggle, Giving her behind a wiggle, But this caused Adam not to fret For sex was not invented yet.

Thought Adam 'What shall I do now? Make a basket? Milk a cow? Or perhaps I'll have a swim, and then I'll practice counting one to ten.' In fact, he whiled away the hours By climbing trees, and picking flowers Until at last Eve reappeared, With an apple, as he'd feared.

She said "I met this sort of snake. He pointed out which fruit to take." But Adam screamed "You've brought a flippin' Outlawed Cox's Orange Pippin!" "Come on" she said, "Just have a taste, We mustn't let it go to waste." With that, she cut the fruit in two, "There's half for me and half for you." "OK" sighed Adam, "Let's not quibble" And took a most reluctant nibble. But then to his intense surprise He felt the scales fall from his eyes. "Why, you're a girl!" he cried with glee. "And you're a man" said Eve, "Whoopee! o now we've sorted out the muddle Let's go and have a little cuddle."

And so they did, but straight away Eve put an end to fun and play With those immortal words outrageous Said by women down the ages: "It's not that I don't like you - but I think your toenails need a cut." And handing him her apple parer . . . .

. . . Said "Go on then, make them squarer." So, with a sigh and looking pale He shortened each offending nail.

That evening, as he took a walk, Adam heard the Lord God talk: "Where are you, Adam?" said the Voice. 'I'd better hide, I've little choice' Thought Adam, crouching 'neath a bush And gazing at the land of Cush. "Why are you hiding?" said the Lord. "Because I'm naked." "What!" He roared, "How know you this? Ah, now I see, You scrumped an apple from that tree. For this you'll be forever banished." "Please ...." Adam said. But God had vanished.

"You're sure that's what he said?" asked Eve, "That bit about we've got to leave?" "Too right. I think we've got till Friday, So let's at least leave Eden tidy." Then with this task they 'gan to grapple: Between the segments of the apple Adam stuck each toenail bit A handy place, they seemed to fit. Then, conscious of their sin horrendous, In noting differences in genders, They fastened fig-leaves, neat and trim, Three for her and one for him;

And then they both picked up their goods And set off glumly through the woods Until they reached the edge of Eden. "Come on" said Adam, "No use pleading." So Adam, followed by his mate, Left Paradise and shut the gate. And, thanks to their forbidden feast, They wandered round the Middle East. And from that day small toenail clippings Are found in Cox's Orange Pippins. In fact, all apples have a few. I know I've seen them - haven't you?


Intro to a book of poems

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