Brian Allgar


Heaven or Hell?


Is that an angel sitting on a cloud?
She’s very pretty, dressed in shining white.
I always thought they wore a kind of shroud,
But this one’s robe is skimpy, sexy, tight.
I’d love to have her, but it’s not allowed;
However much I’m tempted by the sight,
We disembodied souls are not endowed
With what it takes to spend a carnal night.
Yet when I think of all the girls I’ve ploughed,
I’m saddened by my incorporeal plight,
And weep as I recall that nubile crowd
Cavorting in my bed till morning light.

This angel can’t be had, although she fell;
I curse my luck for ending up in hell.


To tell the truth, this place is pretty boring;
The other souls are all so very nice,
So virtuous, so piously adoring,
I sometimes hanker for a whiff of vice:
A glass of whiskey and a cigarette,
A snort or two of coke, a pipe of crack,
A concupiscent girl, or better yet,
My neighbor’s gorgeous wife flat on her back.

In fact, my life was always so depraved
I’m puzzled as to how on earth I got here.
But still, I should be thankful that I’m saved,
And grateful, too, for everything that’s not here.
There is indeed one priceless consolation—
Though there are goody-goodies everywhere
All droning on about their own salvation,
At least I shan’t be meeting Bush or Blair.

Brian Allgar, although immutably English, has lived in Paris since 1982. He started entering Spectator and New Statesman competitions in 1967, but took a 35-year break, finally re-emerging in 2011 as a kind of Rip Van Winkle of the literary competition world. He also drinks malt whiskey and writes music, which may explain his fondness for Mendelssohn’s “Scottish” Symphony.