A May Welcome ……

A warm welcome to all the new poets posting in the month of May.
They are, in chronological order ….

Erin McDonagh (if the name seems familiar, it’s Daniel’s 10 year old daughter)
James H. Gavin
Monty de la Touche
Trevor MacSlattishly
Daryl Ellis
Daniel Fletcher
Elliott Conway
Mr A. Sharma
Catherine Inglesby
Elaine Kilshaw

plus one or two others, not sure how authentically ‘new’ they are.

We don’t keep records, but I’d hazard a guess that this was the busiest ever month on the Football Poets website!
And why wouldn’t it be? Look at the inspiration :
– Chelsea win the Premiership, their first League title in 50 years.
– Liverpool come back from the wilderness of 3-0 down at half-time, to win the Champions League on penalties, versus AC Milan.
– Arsenal defeat Man Utd in the FA Cup final, also on penalties.
– Rangers win the SPL on the last game of the season.
– Celtic win the Scottish Cup and say a very tearful goodbye to Martin O’Neill – (we extend our best wishes to his wife in her fight against cancer).
– The Premiership relegation battle was probably the most fascinating ever.
– Malcolm Glaser’s takeover of Manchester United.
– And of course, down through every level of football, there is unforetold drama but a last-gasp shot away!

Any wonder some of us have the desire to pursue it in prose.

Out of curiosity, I compiled the following stats (a one-off!) for this month of May, 2005 :

270 poems submitted, under
43 names (taking into account known and presumed pseudonyms, perhaps 32 different poets)

That’s roughly 8.5 poems per day, some going!
Thank you to everyone who has contributed throughout this season.

I was going to say that without any World Cup or European Championships, this should be a quiet close season on the site.
But then, there are World Cup qualifying matches in June, and also the Women’s European Championships, being hosted in England.
Plenty enough to inspire, I’m sure.
Even so, roll on next season!

Given the month that was in it, I’d love to showcase all the Chelsea / Liverpool / promotion / survival tributes, but there’s just too many. Here’s just a smidgeon …

My favourite Liverpool tribute :

Two Rounds

A haggard old boy,
been around the block,
fought from the streets,
to the majesty of grand stadiums,
My Da has confidence,
I only hope.

I’m in the red corner.

The prize fighter from Milan,
equally experienced,
the current king of the ring,
the world awaits his expected triumph,.

He’s in the white corner.

Bell rings.

Round 1.

Such a big stage,
so many people cheering me on,
but he punches first,
a heavy blow,
I’m reeling.

Get up, Get up,
they shout,
it’s o.k,
still plenty of time.

I regain my composure,
but only for a bit,
I’ve forgotten how to fight,
and He doesn’t let up,
Keeps pounding and pounding,
but suddenly I think I’ve connected,
but the ref won’t have any of it,
and while I’m busy complaining,
he floors me,
I’m in pretty bad shape.

Need the bell,
need to last till the bell.

He has other ideas,
He now sees the kill,
and already 2 to the body,
the last to the head,
I collapse,
all hope looks lost,
can’t believe the sorry state I’m in,
my detractors gleeful witnesses,
worthless they call me,
my body floored,
the canvas now urging me to make a bed,
give up,
take the 10,
need the bell.

It rings.

My Da looks at me,
and calmly with nothing more than words,
he asks me to lift my chin,
get some pride back in ya lad,

Bell rings.

Round 2.

Destiny is about to make a mockery of despair.

© A. Sharma (26th May 2005)

a poem from Sharon Ingle which summed up perfectly the hopes of every fan approaching relegation day.
Sharon was thrilled (and we’re all delighted for her) to read this out on Radio Norfolk.
My heart goes out to her as I re-read her final request :
“i managed to give out the website address, can i swop brownie points for three points?”
Oh Sharon, if only we could, if only, …

If – dedicated to Survival Sunday 2005

If you can take your chances when all around you
Are missing theirs and don’t know what to do
If you can trust yourself when others doubt you
But make allowance for their ‘keeper too
If you can play for ninety minutes plus
Without playing too deep, don’t play too deep
Don’t give way to tackles, get up, no fuss
Yet don’t back off, nor fall asleep
If you can defend and not make defending a disaster
If you can pass and preferably to a team mate
If you can serve your public and your master
And rely on skill and effort, not on Fate
If you can bear to hear the final results
Misread by presenters who know not what they do
Or watch the team you gave your life to – insulted
And cheer and build ’em up, belief renewed
If you can keep going to the final whistle
Risk it all on one toss of a coin
If you lose a goal, don’t forget to dodge the missiles
And not mention that you’ve strained your groin
If you can force your legs and heart and scar tissue
To mark your man long after they are gone
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Gaffer who says to them ‘Hold on’
If you can thrill the crowd and keep them singing
Salute the board, but make good your first touch
If it hurts you when you are not winning
If all goals count for you, flukes and such
If you can fill the unforgiving minutes
Added by mean officials just for fun
Yours is the Premiership and everything that’s in it
And – which is more – you’ll be a hero, Ashton

© S B Ingle


and smiles,
all in our scarves,
in our hearts,
in our children’s eyes.

Give us what we have given you,
do what we cannot.

© A. Sharma (17th May 2005)

The Unrequited Love of Football

Sweet the old dreams
That linger in silence and shadow
So many moons that sailed
The cloudless ocean
My old nights washed away
Red wave upon each wave
Standing terrace warm scarf
Frozen toes and frozen fingers
But still the songs found freedom
Met with the skies dipping down low
Mud on studs and tackles flying
Crunching bones and meatless pies
Bovril gravy ‘ard as “Smithy”
Golden days, now I realise.

© P Maguire

Ode to a Swan

Give me the play offs
my wintry Welsh loves
I give you my soul
on the stands of Vetch Field

A place in the play offs
for the pride of the Miner
Whose coal smudged face
Portrays the tear of years past

A simple goal
for a proud people
whose passion runs away
like an attractive sheep in a Welsh village.

© Monty De La Touche
Swansea in the play offs…..come on my little lava bread beauty

Have to acknowledge the genius of Peter Goulding (some of his general poems are being aired on national Radio in Ireland, recognition long overdue) :

Twilight of the Gods

The evening sky behind the stand
Exploded into light.
The setting sun worked swiftly and
Composed a wondrous sight.
Mottled pink-flamingo braids,
Contrasted with pale blue,
While vivid rose and salmon shades
Were all laid out on view.
A hint of grey, a touch of beige
Completed the parade.
It was a most imposing stage
For football to be played.
And Bobby Ryan got the ball
And slipped it through to Jay,
Who chipped it on at Richie’s call
To keep alive the play.
And Richie’s volley burst the net,
A quite majestic score.
The New Stand, black in silhouette,
Exploded in a roar.
And up above, Apollo’s brush
Erased the glowing paint,
The colours which had once seemed plush
Grew timorous and faint.
And in a bubbling Tolka Park,
All hope was lost for Bray,
As sure as light is turned to dark,
And nighttime follows day.

© Peter Goulding 8th May 2005

And finally, congrats too to Crispin, who’s too modest to mention that in the June issue of the Chelsea Club Magazine, under the heading of :

Meet Chelsea’s Poet Laureate

there is a double page spread (and middle age spread?!? sorry couldn’t resist and probably not true) about Crispin’s poetry and about his Shed.
He’s also mentioned on the cover of the magazine, alongside Joe Cole.

(My thanks too, to AS & all the contributors who spot our silly mistakes – keep us on our toes – we get leaden footed sometimes!)

Source: http://footballpoets.org/news/2005/05/31/a-may-welcome/