Arguing with Angels – by Peter Wyton


Arguing with angels isn’t easy.
Schumann tried it. So did Joan of Arc.
Visionary maid and virtuoso
found the process to be horses’ work.

Angels do not usually hobnob
at social celebrations. They fly
over, clap their hands to quell the hubbub,
say what they’ve been sent to say, then go.

Angels have a tendency to chuck rocks
when they want to emphasise a point.
Or they’ll wrestle with you till your back aches.
Into non-violence angels aren’t.

Frankly, it’s not worth opposing angels,
super-heroes of the heavenly host,
irresistible as toppling anvils.
I bit one once. The bastard broke my wrist.



Peter Wyton failed in algebra, geometry and arithmetic in his  junior certificate examinations. You had to pass at least two mathematics exams to proceed to senior school, so he left and joined the R.A.F.