I remember when I were a lad

Sundays meant only one thing. Church.

And the real possibility of missing the footy

On ‘World of Sport’ with Dickie Davies.


Entering the chilly, severe building

In my best Sunday hand-knitted tank-top

Absorbing the unique smells of

Wooden pews and well-thumbed hymn books.


Admiring the ceilings, the windows

Admitting a watery sunlight

The Pulpit, covered with its purple cloth

Set up on high, to convey its power.


But, behind the pulpit, those magnificent

Organ pipes, rising majestically to the ceiling

The dimly-lit kiosk where the organist sits

Pushing and pulling on those stopper things.


He’s pounding the planks below his feet like a madman

Maybe, just tapping out the beat

As the sound echoes round the room

And the gathered throng belt out the hymn.


Once sat again, and in-between deciding

What colour I would give Paddington’s hat today

I contemplate those organ pipes again

And, as you do, I started to wonder.


What if a mouse was stuck in one of those pipes?

Making the B-flat more squeaky than usual

I imagine the poor mouse being blasted

Up the pipe, before falling down again


Until the next B-flat was struck.

This, of course, led my young mind

To wonder what if a mouse was stuck

In every one of those grandiose pipes.


When the next hymn came along, I stood

And imagined that invisible, balletic symphony

Of mice rising and falling within the pipes.

Unappreciated by the naked eye.


Now the Service has ended and I am trying

To shoo Mum and Dad out of the church

So we can get home, eat Sunday dinner and

Enjoy ‘World of Sport’ with Dickie Davies.


But I know that from now until next Sunday

I’ll be thinking of the mice resting until

They are rudely awakened next week.

And Paddington’s hat was red, of course.

Church and fun

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Harry O'Neill

Sun 23rd Oct 2016 15:47

Ah church!...this reminded me of the time my mate Alec felt a mouse in the lining of his jacket in church (and thought the devil was `getting` at him.

And later passing the same devastated St Bridgids church (with fatalities) to traipse through the debris to the window-shattered St Josephs with it`s glass strewn floors for Sunday Mass.

Thinking of the probable fate of later German churches makes be ponder on the `all in togetherness` of this kind of stuff.

Your invisible symphonically balletic dance of the squeaky mice is fine piece of boyhood imagination (but how did Paddington get mixed up with the mice?)

And if you think Dickie Davies was cutting it fine m.o.t.d.
repeat is unearthly for us Saturday night missers.

Mind, the family Mass today was a bit of a happy clappy wake up and celebrate do. ?

(I like the way you`ve poetically `got` the furniture of the church)

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