Friday, April 8, 2011

Poetry Friday: Heavenly Playground

With Easter approaching, I find myself turning to some poems that lift my heart, that turn the ordinary things of life into something extraordinary. Though, I'm sure we all agree poetry does that most of the time anyway. This is one of my favorites. I love the pure fun of it. It comes from British poet and speaker, Adrian Plass. You may enjoy this interview with the poet.

For more Poetry Friday, stop in at Madigan Reads.

Heavenly Playground
by Adrian Plass

Oh God, I’m not anxious to snuff it,
but when the Grim Reaper reaps me,
I’ll try to rely on
my vision of Zion,
I know how I want it to be.
As soon as you greet me in Heaven,
and ask what I’d like, I shall say,
“I just want a chance
for my spirit to dance,
I want to be able to play.
Tell the angels to build a soft playground,
designed and equipped just for me,
with a vertical slide
that’s abnormally wide,
and oceans of green PVC.
There’ll be reinforced netting to climb on,
and rubberized floors that will bend,
and no one can die,
so I needn’t be shy
if I’m tempted to land on a friend!
I’m gonna go mad in the soft, squashy mangle,
and balmy with balls in the swamp,
coloured and spherical,
I’ll be hysterical!
I’ll have a heavenly romp!
There’ll be cushions and punch bags and tires
in purple and yellow and red,
and a mushroomy thing
that will suddenly sing
if I kick it or sit on its head.
There’ll be fountains of squash and ribina
to feed my continual thirst,
and none of that stuff
about “You’ve had enough,
surely heavenly bladders won’t burst.
I suppose I might be too tall for the entrance,
but Lord, chuck the rules in the bin.
If I am too large,
tell the angel in charge
to let me bow down and come in.


  1. Ha ha! I like the "oceans of green PVC" and the fun spirit of this one.

  2. Wouldn't a book of heavenly poems be fun? This is a laugh, and so very English with its fountains of squash and Ribena (we have some in the house right now, since my partner is from Manchester).

    Thanks for the comment on Alice Oswald--I think you were referring to your post on Poems About Fire? It is SO interesting to consider the broad but infinitesimal (did I spell that right?) differences in national culture and how they come out (or don't) in voice and tone and style--and always in sense of humor.

    Interesting also to read about your experiences as a sales rep...

  3. I'm glad you liked it, Robyn. I, too, love the pure fun of it.

    Heidi, on my first read, I had no idea what "squash and Ribina" was. Had to do a bit of research. I have a wonderful friend who's from England. When she was here in the states, she was forever laughing at things that I din't understand. She taught me to love curry with bananas and hot tea with cream.