The Lads’ Poetry Project 1 (The Sistine Chapel Contract)

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To start, one has to go back to the beginning, to when the idea first crawled out of the primordial slime and wriggled across a landscape previously devoid of wriggling things. I want to use words like “protozoan”, “bosphoric”, “euphratic” but I can’t find a context and besides, two of them are not real words, so…..

I was talking to Slim about the paucity of themes or rather the sameness of subject matter in European religious art. You’ve got the crucifixion, the annunciation, the beheading of John the Baptist, the ubiquitous Madonna and Child , the endless emaciated martyrs staring skywards like Brazilian soccer players in a post goal celebration.
Slim, who had just spent the weekend watching back to back Guy Ritchie movies, shrugged, scratched the location on his head where there used to be hair and said: “Paucity? No one says that anymore. It sounds like a terminal disease. ‘He died of late onset paucity. It was the paucity that got him in the end’”. He then stomped out of the room, hitching up his sagging jeans as he exited. He can be an eloquent bugger at times.

Later that day, he came back with this

The Sistine Chapel Contract

Me and the lads are in the studio
working on our Madonna and Child
when in walks Mike
with a strange look in his eyes
and cool as you like
he says
They want me to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
We say: Wha’?
He says: The Sistine Chapel.
They want me
to paint the ceiling of
the Sistine bleedin’ Chapel.
you could have knocked us over with a feather.


and thus, The Lads’ Poetry Project was born.



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