The Kingdom of Heaven
Caudwell, Christopher. Collected Poems 1925-1936. Manchester: Carcanet Press, 1986: 86-87.
1I walked down a long, tiled corridor.
2There were notices on the walls.
3WHITE TIES PLEASE. NO NIGGERS. PLAY THE GAME.
4DO NOT SPIT.
5THIS WAS TO THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.
6I went down the long tiled corridor
7And at the end someone clattered lift gates.
9I preferred to walk and went up the stairs.
10I rapped on the office door and asked for God.
11The manager was bald and apologetic.
12The manager told me God was out.
13I walked back down the stairs, down the corridor.
14There are offices it seems across the way.
15He may be in there.
16PLEASE USE THE SUBWAY.
17I used the subway. I am still walking.
18I have met many of my friends. Some of them are dead.
19The place is well-organised. The commissionaires
20Are civil, and put their harps aside
21When one speaks to them.
22Once there were animals here; insects even;
23But they grew tired. They went out to play.
24The curiosity of men seems endless.
25Even I am too curious to blow my brains out.
26I will go on walking although I know it is useless .-
27I heard the manager muttering in his sleep.
28."If they find God the place will have to close.
29That is why I tell them God is only Out.
30Don't tell the boys God'll never be In.."
Point of Departure (poems 1928-1936)
RPO poem Editors:
Ian Lancashire, assisted by Ana Berdinskikh