Michael greatly enjoyed the following poem, which this web's designer wrote in 1998 shortly after MIDNIGHT COME was published. After laughing at it in his inimitable way Michael stated that this webmaster should stop wasting his time on "my rubbish" in that characteristic self-deprecatory tone of his.
The poem alludes to events in the novel. Sadly, the title
of the poem has now a double significance for me.
I’d had enough of cryptic war
(and valve-sparked, wire-mazed box of
and so I left my army corps
to start afresh with saner mix.
the Church had seemed a safer bet;
I little knew that glorious
gold copes could ever cause regret!
was my beat;
wags said, “it is quite à propos:
disabled wife and hair’s retreat
has led him to career’s just dose.”
Most times it’s been a bitter pill;
compared to this, the War was nought.
Give me those covert tasks to kill
deceitful spies before one’s caught.
Weird saintly garbs to proffer tea
and maniacs upon dank marsh,
eccentric priests in Holy See
and heretics, inured and harsh...
For nothing is just as it seems,
and miracles are formed of air;
the sun discloses iced moon-beams,
quaint cottage is a she-wolf’s lair.
Dark past revisits spectral grounds,
Cathedral bell tolls for its prey,
and from the Close hell’s greedy hounds
hear Satan’s orders and obey.
So why did I continue forth
with specious inoffensive job?
Would tropic swamps or polar north
redeem me from this clerics’ mob?
Can “Germany calling” be worst
than “Bishop requests” to my ears?
Could bubble of sanctity burst?
Can only Winnie know my fears?
Yet as a Christian I must fight -
malignancy cannot endure -
and when I am within God’s sight
He’ll point me to the Right, I’m sure!
Michael's dedication in our copy of his second novel
Acknowledgement in the third novel when Michael was still using the PCW 8256