Poems tagged ‘Christmas’

Just days to Christmas

And so we think back wistfully
To those nostalgia laced days
When football used to be played
On Christmas Day
It was you know
Now how did that one work?
When turkeys languished in
Ovens ready to be basted
Then cooked before the
Great devouring feast
Just before the much beloved
And deeply missed Her Majesty
Held court
Amid her tinsel and glitter
Our loveliest Queen
Flawless always
Arsenal in her thoughts
Her crowning glory
Maybe versed in the art
And impeccable technique
Of Arsene Wenger’s
But here we are on the threshold
Of snow embroidered windows
On second thoughts
Maybe wishful thinking
Since when did that last happen
Back in the year
When you were a babe in arms
1962 that had to be the year
And not even the remotest hint
Since it tumbled from leaden
Grey skies romantically
To those who adore
The Christmas intimacy
That wraps itself around
Families and friends
Who religiously attend Mass
Then abandon themselves to
Egg nog, brandy and
Elegant sermons from the
Pulpit of Pep Guardiola
At City, Mikel Arteta
Gunning for the virtuous
And good
Jurgen Klopp and his heavy
Metal band of fluency
And Teutonic influence
That beard and teeth
Which need no introduction
That body language
Speaks for itself
If only he could tell
The rest of the world
That Liverpool are the
Greatest of them all
Shanks would agree of course
He would, he knew by osmosis
Bill adored football’s
Seductive charms
Because he lived it,
Breathed it, talked and walked it
When Bill Shankly and
Bob Paisley were bosses
At Anfield
Every day was Christmas
And Boxing Day
Festooned with goals galore
Kevin Keegan and John Toshack
Delivering red coats
And white beards of
Glad tidings to the adoring Kop
Presents from corners,
Free kicks and penalties
Tied in the most ornate of ribbons
Before David Supersub Fairclough
Leapt from the subs bench
And straight into the crackling
Logs of Anfield’s warmest company
But then we were told quite rightly
Of course
That the trains used to run
On that holiest day
Transporting the hundreds
And thousands of scarves,
Thick trench coats, rattles
And hope
Through endless
Tunnels of devout devotion
Sorry vicar you had to
Be at Highbury or Stamford Bridge
By at least 10 in the morning
On Christmas Day
The bells may be beckoning
Us to prayer and worship
But football comes first
Particularly on Christmas Day
Ho Ho Ho! Young man
Once uttered Brian Clough
Football is a religion
Forget the turkey and the
No cranberry sauce
Or roast potatoes
On Cloughie’s plate
You’re playing son
Whether you like it or not
Forget the excess and expense
The fun and games
Wrapping paper draping dogs
In ecstatic frenzies
But surely no
Football on Christmas Day
It almost seemed sacrilegious
Forbidden by the clergy
A penny for the thoughts
Of the Archbishop of Canterbury
Santa has just caught the 2.15
From Lapland
And besides Arteta and Klopp
Are rubbing their hands with glee
Christmas they sigh
That’s for the children of
The world and their
Glistening faces painted
With smiles
But Christmas Day is not on
Football’s taxing agenda
No let up over
The holiday period though
It’s business as usual
VAR’s and offsides
Just a relentless
Bombardment of
One touch geniuses
Flicking and flickering
Across midfields
Heavy with far too much
To drink from the last
Bottle of plonk on
Boxing Day
Passes and pantomimes
But football goes on

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One Christmas During Covid

one Christmas during Covid
we stand but far apart
our loved ones and our football
confined to in our hearts
the snow has still to paint the land
but hope surrounds us now
with wipes in hand behind our masks
we carry on somehow

as we reflect upon our year
the strangeness and the cost
and think upon in sadness
all those that we have lost
and though we miss the human touch
the banter and the cheer
we’re grateful just to be alive
and simply to be here
reminded of a long gone time
our grandparents went through
the endless loss the dreadful cost
the lethal Spanish Flu

*one Christmas in the trenches
when deep in mud and sand
their loved ones and their football
a distant far off land –
they stood as snow lay all around
as icy chills would spread
behind the sand bags and the wire
they stood among the dead
on backs of Woodbine packets
around some cold tinned stew
like texts and up-dates of their day
the scores would still get through
December Nineteen Fourteen
upon that Christmas morn
when to a man an act un-planned
and instant truce was born
behind the barbed wire barricades
all scorched and bleak and bare
a distant sound grew all around
a song hung on the air
that Christmas in the trenches
a hope blew on the wind
a carol in another tongue
from far off did begin
we’ll never know who made the call
to move in such a way
but something somehow lifted them
upon that Christmas Day
from burrows then on either side
they met in no-man’s land
as enemy met enemy
with gifts and outstretched hands
a football thrown between the guns
from nowhere did appear
and in that silence voices rang
and echoed loud and clear
we’ll never ever know the scores
or just how many games
when Tommy Atkins challenged Fritz
upon that Christmas Day –
one Christmas in that first Great War
of stench and blood and grime
their football brought them closer
for one brief day in time
and though commanders drove them back
their orders to obey
between the lines a match was played
upon that Christmas Day*

and here we are in Covid
the strangest time we’ve known
for some of us it’s easy
for some it’s spent alone
and while we long to see our kids
and feel so torn apart
we wait so patiently and keep
their faces in our hearts
we do our best to just ignore
conspiracies that rage
and keep the faith as always
throughout this poignant age
we stand at social distances
but hope is growing now
behind our masks we meet the task
to carry on somehow

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Source: http://footballpoets.org/news/poem-tags/christmas/