Wednesday, 8 January 2014

WAYNE by Mary Jones


by Mary Jones

WAYNE by Mary Jones
If you ever think of Angels,
that bright band of heavenly brothers,
you may not know,
 some angels are more heavenly than others.
There's a certain pecking
 order in the Lord's celestial choir,
for though all angels sit on high,
a few sit even higher.
Archangels get the highest
billing in the heavenly show,
and after them the Seraphim,
 in order high to low;
below them are the common Angels;
under them again
come the smallest of the Cherubim;
and under them—there's Wayne!
Now Wayne is an apprentice on an
 Angel Training Scheme.
He's spotty, small, and none too bright,
but still he has a dream:
he wants to bring to
humankind the news of peace and joy.
He's in Gabriel's department,
 as a junior errand boy.

One Christmas, Gabriel said to Wayne,

"It's time you had a try
at bearing tidings by yourself,
 so come on, don't be shy.
I know you're not too confident,
but why not have a shot?
Just go for it, my lad,
and give it everything you've got!"

"I will," said Wayne, and flew to earth,
 determined to do well,
and overjoyed to have the
chance God's messages to tell.

Alas for Wayne! The world has changed
a lot since Gabriel's day.
No simple shepherds in the fields
Wayne found upon his way,
but crowded cities,
packed with people suffering from stress
who wouldn't hear Wayne's voice –
 in fact they couldn't listen less.

So when he hovered in the sky and sang,
"Good news I bring!"
he soon felt rather foolish; no one saw or heard a thing.
"O.K.", he thought, 

"My first mistake. I see I've aimed too high.
I'm really not high-powered enough to try to fill the sky.
I'll need to set my sights a little lower, I suppose;
I'll pick a smaller group of people first, see how that goes."

He focused on one household,
and he really tried his best.
He sang outside their door for hours,
without a stop for rest.

He shouted through the letter box;
 he tapped the window pane;
then paused for thought,
and soared up to the roof to try again.
He tumbled down the chimney,
and with soot upon his wings
he fluttered round their living room
and sang of wondrous things.

But no one even noticed him,
 as round their heads he flew;
they were all glued to the telly, watching "Terminator 2".

A sadly disappointed
Wayne next tried the Christmas shops,
but there he fared no better,
though he pulled out all the stops.
The more he tried to broadcast
 joyful tidings far and wide,
the more the hurrying shoppers
pushed him callously aside.

He was muddy and bedraggled,
with his wings still stained with soot,
and he only just avoided getting trampled underfoot.
Twice people poked him
in the eye with sprigs of festive holly,
and once he got bowled
over by a charging Coles's trolley.
At last he found his
way inside a massive Superstore,
and suddenly he knew
he couldn't stand it anymore.
He perched upon a
high shelf where the
tinsel balls were kept
and, cold and tired and miserable,
he hung his head and wept.

Then, as he sat and sobbed
until his wingtips gently shook,
he heard a gasp of wonder,
and a voice said, "Mummy, LOOK!"

An angel! It's an angel."
 and a child stood there before him.
Wayne's heart leapt up;
his sobbing stopped - at last, somebody saw him.
Her mother said,
"Oh no, my dear, it's very plain to me,
it's just a rather scruffy ornament
 to hang upon the tree."

The little girl looked up at Wayne;
her wide eyes never blinked,
and then he slowly raised his head,
 and looked at her, and winked.
She clapped her hands with joy,
 and cried, "Oh Mummy, can't you see?
He's a really truly angel,
 and he's looking straight at me!"
The mother smiled indulgently,
and turned her daughter round,
but not before the child
 saw something floating to the ground.
The girl bent down and picked it up,
and as they left together,
her fingers clutched one single,
shining, slightly sooty feather.

When Wayne reported back,
 the Angel Gabriel said, "Well done!
We'll make an angel of you yet -
 you're getting there, my son."

So if one day you hear the message
that the angel brings
from a rather spotty messenger
with slightly grubby wings,
please listen to him carefully,
then as he flies away
just give the lad a friendly wave -
you'll really make his day!

I’m a writer and performance poet living in Mornington,
having migrated from England in 2008.
I’m a member of  FAW and Peninsula Poets.
I’ve had poems published in ‘The Australian Writer’, ‘Pearl Magazine’
and two anthologies, won competitions and slams,
and had a commissioned poem set to music for choral performance.
I’ve just had a poem accepted for ‘Quadrant’ magazine,
and I have a sonnet due for publication in an
anthology to be launched in London in April 2014.
My first collection, ‘Lines Dancing’ came out in 2012,
and is available through Lulu and Amazon.
I blog at

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