The Writers Bureau Short Story Competition 2019
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Poetry Competition 2019 - Second Place

Sim Smailes

Sim Smailes

The Hotline to Heaven

I discovered, whilst browsing, the 'Hotline to Heaven,'

Where prayers can be answered from midnight till seven,

I heard they were charging a premium rate

But dialled all the same, too excited to wait.


Within seconds a voice let me know Iíd got through:

"Thank you for calling. You are held in a queue.

Press one for the last rites, press two for a cure,

Itís three for bereavement, for famines press four..."


"Your call is important," or so I was told,

"Your prayer will be answered, continue to hold.

A priest will respond if your faith is in doubt,

Just press button five and weíll send someone out..."


"Six is for prayers for your family and pets,

Seven can help with depression and debts,

Eight is for blessings with water and wine

But whatever you do, don't select button nine..."


Intrigued by this message, I couldn't resist the

Temptation to press number nine on the list,

As soon as I did I could hear a lone bell

And a voice saying, "This is the Hotline to Hell."


Sim Smailes is married to Sarah, has four cats and teaches at an independent school in Essex. Originally from Yorkshire, he enjoys writing poetry and short stories, mainly for children. He won the Children's Poem category of the Plough Prize in 2011 and he has also won several poetry and short story competitions in Writing Magazine.

Sim particularly enjoys using rhyme in his writing and this works well in humorous poems like 'The Hotline to Heaven'.


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