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The Shroud and the Scrolls
by Gerry Haughey

 He was a student of religion,
Fundamental to the core.
Credentials of the very best,
Degrees earned by the score.

He’d studied all religions (twice),
To seek eternal peace.
His search for God could never end,
His reflections never cease.

He’d read the Holy Bible, and
Considered the Koran.
He’d studied Jews in Egypt,
Hindus in Pakistan.

But when he saw the Turin Shroud,
His hands began to shake.
He double checked the Dead Sea Scrolls,
In case of a mistake.

At last he’d found the answer!
The story was now clear.
So he organised a conference,
Of scholars far and near.

When he had them all assembled,
In a synagogue in Clare.
The atmosphere was palpable,
As he stood up to declare.

"I’ve studied and examined,
The famous Turin Shroud.
And figured from the evidence,"
(He told the blissful crowd).

"From the markings on the Holy Cloth,
The position of the body.
There is no doubt in my mind,
That Jesus was a Proddie!"

Word quickly spread to Dublin,
Where the Catholic clergy met.
The bishops stood around in shock,
The priests were most upset.

They questioned Father Sean O’Dear,
Who checked it on the Internet,
The answer quick, and brief.

It appears that we’ve misunderstood,
There’s not a shred of in doubt.
They’re all going to Heaven,
We’ve got Buckley’s chance, we’re out!

Simultaneously in Edinburgh,
At the Assembly of the Kirk.
The Reverend Aird considered,
Hari-Kari on his dirk.

He dropped his copy of the Scrolls,
His mouth was jammed agape.
He’d just resolved from his research,
That Jesus was a Pape.

The Moderator was aghast at this,
As though he’d seen a wraith.
But he called on the Assembly to,
Embrace the Catholic faith.

Meanwhile back in Dublin,
The bishops quashed the mass.
Took down all the statues,
Cancelled catechism class.

They sent a delegate to Rome,
To break of all relations.
Then sent a squad of Proddies to,
Go forth and teach all nations.

They phoned the Kirk Assembly,
And arranged to meet in (London) Derry.
The Moderator promising,
To catch the morning ferry.

Then all the clergy gathered,
Just beneath the famous wall.
To shield them from the weather,
They had hired an Orange hall.

All of them were desperate,
To preach the new found truth.
To parade their new religion,
And praise the clever sleuth.

But it soon became apparent,
That things were now inverse.
The temperature was rising,
The talk was getting terse.

Ex-Father (now the Reverend Flynn),
Called the Pope the evil one.
Told Ex-Reverend (now called Father Aird),
His mother was a nun.

When the Cardinal tried to moderate,
(That was his former role).
The new Moderator decked him,
With his copy of The Scroll.

But the hall was stunned to silence,
Outside, folk began to faint, when
The Grand Master of the Orange Lodge,
Declared the Pope a living saint.

There was a sudden peel of thunder,
And a shining light appeared.
From this illumination stepped,
An old man with a beard.

You fools! You fools!" He shouted,
Tearing out his silver hair.
"You’ll never get it right" he sobbed,
As he sank into a chair.

"It doesn’t matter what you are."
The old man tried to say.
"If you want to get to heaven,
The commandments show the way"

"I gave you lot an ample chance,
But you couldn’t get it right"
"So I’m going to end the universe,
Two weeks on Tuesday night."

"There is no point in going on,
So I’ll end it in a flash."
"My patience has just worn thin,
You lot have done your dash!"

With another peel of thunder,
He seemed to disappear,
A seconds silence followed then,
They all moaned aloud in fear.

"What can we do now?" whimpered one
His face was chalky white
"We’ve upset our Creator now,
"Cos we didn’t get it right."

"Lets set up a committee now,
And make a binding pact.
To establish the veracity
Of each religious tract."

Each creed had one committee spot,
It was five thousand strong.
So they hired a massive circus tent,
To hold the earnest throng.

They covered every inch of space,
There was only standing room
They were squabbling over who should chair,
When the whole lot went KABOOOOM!

Gerry Haughey

See also Gerry's Poem Who is a Scot?

Return to Poems and Stories


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