wordsout by Godfrey Rust                                       The place where socks go   HOME



In Foyle's bookshop

Across the street from the main shop
above Psychology, Sociology and Yoga
on the top floor
lives God.

In the haphazard order of Foyles
this place is good enough.
It’s a hard commercial world out there
and each department has its claim on space

so management must strike some kind of balance
between a safe bet, like God, with a long shelf-life
and pounds per day per square foot of floor.
No doubt they are uneasily aware

God is not wholly pleased with this arrangement,
but don’t know exactly what to do with someone
who overcomes the gates of Hell
but can’t compete with Jeffrey Archer

for the browsers off the Charing Cross Road.
With no current tv series
or scheduled personal appearances
God is a steady, unspectacular line.

There’s always a demand,
and those who want to
will find their way to God,
following the crude hand-drawn signs

across the street,
up the leg-wearying climb
to the top floor,
beyond psychology, sociology and yoga.


Brentford, 1981. A period piece, wiritten at a time when Foyle's retained an air of the Dickensian. I was prompted to add it to the site for curiosity vale, prompted by Simon Jenkins' blog http://simonjenkins.com/entry/epiphany_in_a_bookshop/  .