This July, we welcomed the following new contributors :
Simon Le Merle
Brian O’Dowd (all the way from Toronto)
Keith R Castell
From St Georges Catholic School, Southampton :
From the WHU Learning zone :
Shabana I Patel
And a sample of some of their work :
I’d heard the squad intended to follow the 442.
I waited at the bus depot,
hoping to follow them.
and we didn’t go anywhere.
© Simon Le Merle
SOME PEOPLE THINK FOOTBALLS A WAY OF LIFE NOT A SPORT,
THESE ARE TRUE FANS, FANS OF THE FAITHFUL SORT.
FANS THAT GO TO MATCHES TO LIVE THE GAME,
NOT WATCH IT ON TELE IT’S JUST NOT THE SAME.
YOU CANT BEAT THE NOISE AND COMMOTION,
THOUSANDS OF FANS UNDER THE SAME FOOTIE POTION.
EXCHANGING IDEAS & COMMENTS, WHO’S PLAYING WHERE,
IM SURE HE’S STILL INJURED IS THE REF GONA BE FAIR.
IN ALL TYPES OF WEATHER, RAIN SLEET & SNOW,
WE HUDDLE ON THE TERRACE FOR THAT WHISTLE TO BLOW.
THEN LET BATTLE COMMENCE TWO ARMIES OF ELEVEN,
AND JUST FOR THAT MOMENT THE TERRACE FEELS LIKE HEAVEN.
BUT THIS HEAVEN IS CRUEL. THERE ARE MOMENTS OF PAIN,
GASP FOR BREATH CHANCES, THE JUST & THE STRAIN.
SHOTS OF ALMOST ELATION SO MANY NEAR MISSES,
OVERWHELMED BY THE SOUNDS OF BOO’S AND HISSES.
THE FANS ARE MY NEIGHBOURS AND FOOTBALLS MY WIFE,
THE TERRACE IS MY HOME IT’S WHERE I SPEND MOST OF MY LIFE.
SO IF YOURE NOT A TRUE FAN AND YOURE FAITH ONLY A PART,
STAND ON THE TERRACE AND HEAR FOOTBALLS HEART
© MR GARY CASSIDY
The Roar of Lions
Dare we dream?
The sky, clear blue like the iris of some great beholder.
The kin of George prepare for battle royal,
spirits and ambitions of those,
who rally to the cause,
lifted by gusts of expectation.
my heart trembling
as blood pulses furiously through each vein.
Visions of yesteryear shackle my trepidation.
just hope that we might smite the enemy
as in wondrous two score years gone by.
Then twas lord combed-over-rocket-boot
who sent the foe scurrying…
amidst their disarray,
e’en though their class was tributed to all
upon our great blue ball.
The seconds tick,
the minutes drag,
the hours stubborn in their reluctance…
to let go.
Now something else intrudes
upon my solitude.
The roar of lions displaced,
the coming homes no longer play,
the red is whited by a single thought.
Beyond the mirror of optimistic hope
lies a demon more powerful
than any force our fair land ever saw.
A sentiment too bitter to accept,
too ironic to perceive,
the haunting melody of a tune played oft
that pounded sorely through our land…
till penalties were paid,
then laid to rest.
Yet who are we to doubt those there…
while we sit here,
the cursed sons of Henry.
My shame too bitter to admit,
my bed uncomfortable to the touch,
my eyes lowered when she,
the one I love, asks,
why are you still here?”
Then doubt is cast to the winds,
as one walks down my tree-lined way.
He proudly wears those colours true,
shakes fists at me and you,
sings praises to those deities
that delight on field and screen.
Now silence rules his path,
his intake deep as gasped,
the words pour forth,
a torrent to stir the emotions of all….
© John McGuire 2nd July 2006
I wrote this just 3 hours before the Portugal game. Now, sad… still paying the penalty for my over-optimism.
Ode to a FIFA URN
Who are these coming to the green altar,
What men or gods are these?
With their unwearied mad pursuit
What struggle to succeed
What wild ecstasy
What legend haunts their dreams?
Soccer historian, canst thou express
A tale more famous for our time
That can never fade?
Each English town by river, sea-shore,
Or valley with peaceful village folk
Their souls now only can silent be.
Why they art desolate
This team with fallen garlands drest?
Bold player never canst thou win
Though shooting near the goal.
Yet, do not grieve
The FIFA cup cannot fade.
Though thou hast not thy bliss,
Thou still unravish’d bride of trying,
Thou foster-child of Bobby and ‘66.
Now always and forever young,
All breathing human passion,
Leaves our heart high-sorrowful.
Played games are sweet,
But those unplayed are sweeter.
Therefore, ye players, play on.
Never to bid football adieu
More times to tensely enjoin
Success still waits to be enjoyed.
When old age shall this generation waste,
Will the FIFA cup remain again
Un-won by England?
That is all we on earth want to know,
And all we need to know.
(with help from John Keats)
© Brian O”Dowd