A January welcome ……

Lots to mention this month, plus a few links for you to explore.

January brought us 15 new poets, they being (in chronological order of appearance on the site) :

Jack Smith
Christopher T. George
James Francis Bodi
Jim Bennett
David Whippman
Jacques Lacan
Seamus McAfee
Alec Finlay
Philip Johnson
George Kirby – the Boro Bard
Jim McDowell
Pete Bowler
Jon Monsour
Matt Stewart

We extend a warm welcome to everyone of them.

I’m particularly pleased to welcome Christopher T George to this site. I have enjoyed Chris’s poems on the internet for the last few years. He contributes to the Dublin Writers’ Workshop and gives very warm and helpful reviews to all the contributers there. Chris is originally from Liverpool, but has lived for 36 years in America. More information on Chris can be found at his website,

Chris also introduced to us, Liverpool poet (Everton fan), Jim Bennett, who now runs the Poetrykit website at www.poetrykit.org .

The Football Poets website made the top 5 nominations in an inaugural award run by the Poetry Kit organisation. Congrats to Larry Jaffe who won the ‘Internet Poetry Site’ award. Our thanks to whoever it was, that proposed the Football Poets website.

I’m also pleased to welcome George Kirby – the self styled Boro Bard. George is 73 years old and only took up an interest in computers and the internet on his retirement. His personal website can be found at
www.theborobard.co.uk –
we send our best wishes to George for a forthcoming event on his diary.

This month, for your delectation, I’m re-producing the following selection of poems :


in the refugee camp
people wear t-shirts
that come as gifts
on a lorry
from England

some sit
eyes distant
others wait in line

a child looking
at the driver
“How are Manchester United

others kick cans
and play football
in the dust

© Jim Bennett

A belated Happy Birthday to Chris George!
And so many good poems to choose from (25 at time of writing this editorial).
Plumped for this light hearted retrospective poem.

Direct Hit, Calderstones Park, 1967

In the Quarry Bank lunch hour, I play footie
with Andy, Garth, and Billy Lynch.
We lay our blazers down for goalposts
on the grass near Calderstones mansion.
A mongrel runs up, pauses, and pees
on a blazer. Everyone but Andy laughs.

© Christopher T. George 2005

This is one of several footie-related poems I am adapting from my 1976 chapbook, “Toxteth,” which comprises a long biographical poem about my younger days in Liverpool. I turn age 57 tomorrow (January 10, 2005). Wow, this is history.

The final whistle

The final whistle’s blown its blast, the Man walks silently away,
The crowd stare where he breathed his last, their eyes all misty grey,
The goals, the cheers, the heartaches too, flash by as on a screen,
We watch in awe as Lisbon’s Lord departs the final scene.

The rock hard jaw, the ready smile, the care, the love, the Man,
From Wales to Glasgow he spun his web of football’s simple plan,
And at each stop along the way, where folk will reminisce
They’ll raise their thumb and thank you John for days of sporting bliss

And then we all will realise that no-one comes by chance,
Those stunted teachings of your youth discarded like a glance,
For gruff and surly though you seemed, you’d stand your ground and fight,
For what you knew deserved your faith, for what you knew was right.

And now for all that you have done, for dispelling bigots lies,
You’ve ascended from the holy ground to the original Paradise,
And up on Heaven’s hallowed turf, you’ve picked an angels’ side,
At last with you to organsise,.. the devil’s on the slide.

© Matt Stewart 22nd January 2005

Written on staring dumbfounded and teary eyed at the Television Screen as the Scotland versus Wales world cup qualifier ended on 10th Serptember 1985. Scotland won the match, but lost something and someone far more important that night…..The night Jock Stein died!

Resection Surgery, April 1982

just a minor edit, he said, as he put me under
all their hands were quickly inside me
the whole team

an onion bag was tugged out

we played football
manchester united 1 Liverpool 1
one minute to time

the ball came to me at the pefect height for a volley

their goal was wide open
all I needed do was make connection
the crowd, in anticipation, began to roar

come on Philip, wake up, its all over, we’re back on the ward

© Philip Johnson

Source: http://footballpoets.org/news/2005/02/04/a-january-welcome/