Martin Parker: On Hold

For many millennia Man's prayed to Your most
puzzling assortment of heavenly host.
But the lack of replies from each name which you boast
suggests none of them cares – or they're deaf as a post.
So, for better results, what we ask should be done
is to cut back the number of gods to just one . . .

'We value your interest. Really we do.
Please hold on a moment until you're put through.'

For, may we suggest, it's against all the odds
that the world still needs rafts of omnipotent gods,
several of which have for years been redundant.
A pantheonful now seems over-abundant
for conducting a godhead's most urgent affairs
such as manning the switchboard and answering prayers . . .

'Thank you for calling. Your prayer's in a queue.
We'll play you some music until it's put through.'

In most crucial battles we've set out to bat in,
in tight spots too tight to swing even a cat in,
with very few seconds to get prayers off pat in
those moments we thought we might all be KER-SPLATT!! in
we've called for some help. But no one's called back in a
manner befitting a Deus Ex Machina . . .

'Your prayers, we regret, are still held in a queue.
And it may take millennia before they're put through.'

And what we all feel when we fail to get through is
it's hard to believe that the best gods can do is
to leave us on hold all alone in our void
with that classic excuse which gets callers annoyed
and would test, we are certain, the patient restraint
of long-suffering Job or the saintliest saint . . .

'Like you We can see Man has too wide a choice.
Like you We'd prefer Us to speak with one voice.
But before We can do that We need to agree
which of Us is The God with a capital G.
So, until we've decided just who should be Who,
You might hold on forever and never get through!”