Poetry Archives

This archive contains every poem that has been published on Football Poets. They are listed ten-per-page in reverse chronological order so the most recent poems appear first. Click or tap the arrows in the corners of the page to navigate between pages. It's easier to use the search form below to find a specific poem.

Strawberries and dream / different strokes

Cold, hard steel smites tightly wound rubber banded core – Fore!
The least times the better

Thwack! (grunt!)
Steely-eyed metronome smites steel-edged hi-tensile cat-gut against
Rubber-encased pressurised air, over a taut net
The least times the better

Thwack! (grunt!) ouch!
A steel-edged hoe smites rock solid ground
To little or no horticultural effect
The least times the better

We’re now in that hazy, lazy void of a calendar
Even post AfCON, Copa America, WWC
Oh how I long for the surety
Where each thwack, could be boot to ball, or
Well-timed clash of well-honed bodies colliding, fairly
Where each strike of the ball is aimed, to settle squarely
IN the net
The more times the better

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would choose / chews wood

On a glorious mid-summer’s day
when the solar-source commands us to
and even gets us to

instead, I watch the dogged determination
of the crinkly, wrinkly-nosed pup entitled Archie
as he gnaws animatedly on numerous sticks
a demented shredding machine, but with no baler!

I switch back to the Sunday paper –
ignoring the front pages, which are covered
in choice Christening snaps, of Archie’s privileged namesake;

no, my interest is purely in the Sports Section
(too soon for any significant Tour de France news)
so it’s the footy feature that fascinates:
Lamps set to shine again at the Bridge
Pogba stirring
disappointment of 4th place for the Lionesses
and just general transfer gossip, like….
Who will switch to whom?
Who will end up with splinters on a new bench?
Who will put in wooden performances? Perhaps at Forest?
Who will be going of their own volition?
Who will be going as a makeweight?
Who’s next, for Pep to make great?
All sizzling tittle-tattle, on a sizzling day

the sun continues to perform its searing miracle
the incessant rays shutter-down the eyelids….
Archie continues to chew / coo (take your pic) (sic)

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WWC 2019 Semi-Final: Lyonesses

we watched
and we willed;
a whole Nation –
that wanted to be thrilled

display wise, we were
of that, there is no doubt
but all that was missing
was a winning shout

VAR worked against us
but then went our way
only poor Steph Houghton (mighty captain)
couldn’t put the penalty away

valiant losers:
an all too familiar theme
but this Nation salutes
this laudable Ladies team

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Angels of Wallasey

As when the present is slightly off –
Bourneville, Perrier, a Foster’s crate
for the beachfront whiteout game –

we’re back again for testing and a psychometric probe
at just the time we had unwound, drifting
beyond the training app’s regimen
as Angels of Wallasey with no V02 max,
indeces of saturated fat or inner coconut dimensions
to the flight from scrambled bi-planes
over the Wirral of our past.

Now the mind and body, in thrall to algorithms,
have become suspended negatives in an abandoned darkroom
as sprinklers refresh a path between cones
through fenced-in fields to cryogenic rooms
where Mary used to supervise tea urns and pies
as dusk encroached on the 5 on 5.

Now every moment is measured and digitised,
walking on water is due to a platform &
levitation just a trick of the mind.

But we’ll sort through old cuttings,
weighted training vests aside,
for unexplained fragments of time
outside your sports science,
think of the angels of Port Sunlight
alive beyond distant treelines
while a spreadsheet notes how we should have passed.

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There’s a kind of hush….

All around the country
There is a gathering pulse-beat, a small yet vital sign of life
The first heads of the green shoots beginning to push up and out into the light
New kits on the block
Relegation battles over, and now new dreams to dream
New songs to sing
The eternal optimism of the football fan
A never-ending love, albeit unrequited, most times
But the start of a new football season
Is like the first day of spring
The birth of a new born,
Heralding hope, however the journey ends….

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Lauding inclusivity
Garments now display a delicate rainbow stripe
Brought to the catwalk of Scottish football, by Partick Thistle
Timely concept, we want no red cards, nor spoiling whistle
Quixotic notions, put in motion
Idealism, made practical
All of us hoping, there is no tactical : retreat
Plus it enhances a welcoming call, for all, to compete

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State of Mind

This wonderful Women’s World Cup
makes me forget Manchester City, Real Madrid
and PSG

In life people in love
forget the things around them easly

But here and now there is
The Women’s World Cup
which brought me
this Real Madrid-alike forgettness

I don’t know who and when
(probably City and L’pool)
was involed in the “tightest title race ever”

I even don’t remember which team
played in the worst ever Champions Leage Final

I never heard of Neymar

But now, we have
this wonderful Women’s World Cup

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Football Education (History, Literature & Philosophy)

When I was in high school all those years ago
In English I was taught Keats’ “Ode To A Grecian Urn”
And whilst I loved this bright star’s resilient rebellion
Not one single word other than those in the title did I retain
But Rushie’s goals the style technique I’d practice practice practice
Kicking a ball against the kerb until just one toe poke poacher’s goal I’d mastered
The tireless heart of Razor Kennedy his crosses I’d read
Each collective noun bursting with football life for me…

In English the subject I loved most whose language was rich with
Lennon’s sarky verbs and Lydon’s snarling adjectives these were the
Words that spoke loudest to me not those of Jane Austin’s
Pride and Prejudice and Jane I was told was a genius but not compared to the
Genie Dalglish who could trap a ball and then cajole by pure instinct alone
Now that was dialectic artistry for me and Kenny’s boots not Austen’s prose
Who thrilled my willing soul and taught me sense and sensibility….

In English our teacher was alright, you could talk to him and in spaces
Between classes we’d moot the dark energy of Jim Morrison, the exploding
Freedom of Hendrix, the electricity of Dylan (Thomas) and I would ask
“Sir, why can’t we read about what we want to learn,
The way Steve Heighway twists and turns, Shanks’ prose and Paisley’s post-match clipped adverbs?”
But our teacher would smile and shake his head and point the way to the
Poems of Post-Modern Poets ensconced in Faber self-indulgent awkward forward penguin idolatry
Yet the canon of football with its bold thunderous boots spake, aye, more eloquently….

I was a child of Liverpool, Football, Punk, & Rock & Roll
A runtry grunty skinny outcast with not even factories left to be fodder for
Served my YOP apprenticeship alt to Maggie Thatcher’s endless desperate lines of dole
And we huddled in the warmth of the Armadillo, sneaking into Eric’s before the Larks in the Park,
‘til we pitched back up in school, and our teacher
Would smile and shake his head and lead us on to exam regulatory
“You have to read what the (now defunct) JMB Decrees”
But me (the bored) thought “Not for me” and jibbed school as
Quickly as the door allowed and left those “Essential reading” books in
A forgotten corner of an unused sold-off playground…
With Liverpool Fc programmes stored lovingly
Those Boot room proverbs and poems became my history, literature, & philosophy
With a nod to Bowie, I can’t change time, but it won’t change me.

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Captain Klopp

Ladies and Gentlemen   welcome aboard   I’m your captain for this flight
We are on a journey to Madrid  a 6th European Cup in sight
I hope you like our uniform   it’s a pretty all Red costume
My name is Captain Jurgen Klopp and I go Boom Boom Boom
My crew are full of legends who have lifted The European Cup before
At the front is Stevie Gerrard number 8 he wore
In the middle is Graeme Sounes hard as nails and more
He held The European Cup aloft in 1984
Beside him is Phil Thompson who lifted it in 81
When Liverpool beat Real Madrid  Alan Kennedy what a run
At the back is Emlyn Hughes  a legend  a Liverpool great
Who lifted The European Cup twice in 1977 and 78
This is Captain Klopp speaking we’ve touched down in sunny Spain
We are going to lift number 6 and make up for last year’s pain
The fans they start to disembark   thoughts turning to the big game
Klopp’s got one thing on his mind   to beat Spurs his only aim
The captain changes his blazer to his tracksuit and his cap
The Liverbird upon his chest   his passion we have to clap
The game now it has started we score really early on
A penalty from Mo Salah the Egyptian King  a new Liverpool son
Its not the best of finals   Spurs giving as good as they get
Some brilliant saves from Allison keeping the ball out from our net
1-0 the scoreline it would stay until the 87th minute of the game
When up stepped Divock Origi to enter Liverpool’s hall of fame
The Belgian made the score 2-0 the European Cup was coming home
All you could hear around the ground was You’ll Never Walk Alone
Captain Klopp had done it   Number 6 for me and you
And Jordan Henderson took his place in Captain Klopps elite crew


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Within The Women’s Game ~ WWC 2019

I remember the first time I watched doubles at tennis
it was too fast
points over too quick and low on rallies and drama
but i got into it and stuck with it and now I love it
just like all those enforced Queen’s newbies this week
when Andy Murray marked his return in doubles
in front of suddenly packed houses late in the day
what’s in a name indeed?

it was like that with my first real women’s live game
there on the screen in the early days
a Women’s FA Cup Final : Arsenal v Chelsea
but at Peterborough or somewhere in front of maybe 5000
mainly mums and little girls
the levels weren’t there yet
the atmosphere like a school swimming gala
and shock horror a girl commentating!

but I watched it
and I’m not proud to admit
I watched it
not just because it was on the BBC
and not just because I loathe Sky BT et al
but because it was on and because it was free

but it got me into it
and yes it took a while but after a bit I was hooked
and I realized and remembered there and then
that aside from some grainy black and white WW1 footage
and two great books on Lily Parr and the wonderful Dick Kerr Ladies
(before those in charge took it on themselves
to ban the Women’s game from 1921 -1970 )
I’d never really bothered to take a look more closely
why….concepts concepts concepts maybe?

and then the proverbial penny dropped
this game we love
so macho and male dominated for so long
was for everyone and always has been
but for whatever reason
neglected un-supported and not taken seriously
un-encouraged for decades by the so-called ‘powers that be’
no doubt compounded
by that archaic and totally un-pc suggestion
from the unbeareably creepy Sepp Blatter
“‘Let women play in tighter shorts'” ***
god forbid!

fortunately times have moved on
money and funding worldwide has begun
and yes Women’s fooball
still has a long way to catch up
but sitting here entralled
watching this Summer’s World Cup in France
free on terrestrial TV to boot
the skills the endeavour
the celebratory atmosphere
the colour and noise from travelling fans in their droves
from here Canada Australia Nigeria Japan USA and beyond
but above all
the new levels of sophisticated and stunning football
from incredible goalkeeping and sturdy defending
to sweet moves and fearless strikers
is something else and a joy to behold

if you haven’t done so already check it out now
you won’t be disappointed
it might just grab you
and have you saying to yourself too …
there is so much to admire and enjoy
within the Women’s Games

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Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/