Baker’s Dozen

by Anna Vaninskaya:

One day God came to Man and said:
Behold!
You have the writer’s pen and painter’s brush,
To people’s eyes and ears you can unfold
New worlds I’d never thought of in my rush.

Your efforts are indeed worthy of praise,
The name of Sub-creator you deserve,
I think that you have earned a little raise:
I’ll make you God and the results observe.

So Man went forth to ply his new-found trade…
But it was lunchtime, he suppressed a yawn,
And rested on the first day in the shade,
Then made himself an awful rose of dawn.

He dabbled first in wars, and then in newts,
He raised up mountains and cast down the hills,
He harrowed hell and he gave speech to mutes,
He tore up his great heap of unpaid bills.

So slipped a week by, God knocked on the door.
And what have you been up to? He inquired.
But Man was lying passed out on the floor,
A Smirnoff in one hand. The chap was tired!

God left him sprawling, and surveyed his work:

Before him stretched as far as eye could see
Some wilting clocks on rocks, some kosher pork
Half-eaten on a plate, some cups of tea
Brewed à l’anglaise, some houri virgins shy,
Playing a game of hide and seek among
Half-finished Roman arches, and some sly
Investment bankers flying to Hong Kong.

I tell you, God was not amused that day.
He stormed back to the house and thundered out,
Thou fool! What meant thou by this child’s play?
Durst thou my awesome will and power to flout?!

But Man was long since gone – he’d left a note
Pinned to the table by a three-pronged fork,
En route he’d nicked God’s many-coloured coat
And in its place he set a crumbled cork.

God took that short note up with trembling hand,
He had not seen its like in all his days.
It merely said, with modesty, Dear Friend,
I move, like you, in quite mysterious ways.

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