Song to Singh

Dedicated to my friend Singh, a nice guy condemned to a ridiculous sentence for money laundering, some of which I shared with him at HMP Highpoint and HMP Hollesley Bay. There are many plays on words for which you may need to read the text. 
I used to read my poetry in the chapel and, indeed, write poems for specific events such as harvest time, end of year and spring holy days. The fact that I am an atheist/humanist came in useful for providing multi-denominational credibility. Nobody could accuse me of bias, although I do have some sympathy for Sikhism which is one of the most humanistic religions. For the uninitiated, the “Servery” is where prisoners collect their food to take back to their cells to eat.

Song to Singh

Our Singh is a singular Sikh

And no ordinary Orderly

This chaste and cheerful chap is of the Chapel

No Chapel could be cleaner

No Orderly more orderly

Let us sing loudly to the Lord, Singh

Lest He overhear the contents of our convict conversations

Let the whole Wing sing

Lest He hear of Singh’s humiliating habits

  • The nicotine nastiness he nearly mastered
  • The Gandhi glasses gruesomely discarded
  • The books of blatant bawdiness beside his bed

This Chapel Orderly’s choice of literature

Would make many a Methodist Minister mindless

Oh, Singh! Heavy set, head shaved, hunched shoulders

Clothed in his conspicuous cardigan and woolly hat

Let us lurch, listlessly along the linoleum-lined landings

Seeking some serendipitous salvation

Let us lift our worshipful weights in the gymnasium of jubilation

Let us feed the disenfranchised at the servery of spontaneous solace

Oh, Singh! Condemned by the curse of criminal confiscation

Let divine

intervention determine the benefit

Though prosecutors may demand millions

Let his defence deliver hundreds

Our Singh is no simple sinner

He managed money in Lucifer’s laundry

A dastardly but daring deed, indeed

Worthy of the wrath of the Lord, perhaps

But not years of pathetic, prison, persecution

Let us give thanks to his supercilious smile

And his generosity of spirit His kindness and candour

And other admirable attributes Let us sing to Singh!

Our world be worse without him

Seek and ye shall find a Singh

Sing and ye shall find a Sikh