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A Tale of Marrakech and Ashley Grimes

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 I went to the market in old Marrakech,
For there wasn’t the sign of a Spar,
And I bought a few dates, ‘cos they looked very fresh,
As I wandered around the bazaar.

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 I looked at the carpets, and wallets and bags,
But resisted entreaties to buy them.
Then, followed around by young urchins in rags,
I pulled out the dates for to try them.

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 I took out the first in a nonchalant way,
And held it ‘twixt finger and thumb,
Scarcely suspecting, on that perfect day,
The wave of excitement to come.

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 “Ashley Grimes!” cried a young lad, barefooted and tanned,
To my total and utter astonishment.
He tried to reach up to the date in my hand,
But I stopped him with a gentle admonishment.

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 I stared at the fruit, purchased in the bazaar,
With a feeling of rising hilarity.
For the date that I held, and the ex-Ireland star,
Bore a rather uncanny similarity.

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 “Ashley Grimes! AshleyGrimes!” called the lads at my feet,
And I felt a small increase in tension.
I looked for a place to escape from the street,
And avoid the unwanted attention.

7 Leave a comment on verse 7 0 But now, quite a sizeable crowd had assembled,
Old women and men and stall-holders,
And I amn’t ashamed to admit that I trembled,
When they hoisted me up on their shoulders.

8 Leave a comment on verse 8 0 Through the streets of the city, they bore me on high,
As I held up the date for inspection.
“Ashley Grimes! Ashley Grimes!” came the colourful cry,
With a little Moroccan inflection.

9 Leave a comment on verse 9 0 The Marrakech mayor came rushing post-haste,
Attracted by all the commotion,
And the crowd lowered me down, and we firmly embraced,
His face overcome with emotion.

10 Leave a comment on verse 10 0 He looked at the date, and his eyes filled with moisture,
It broke my poor heart just to see ‘em,
And he said, “Now I see why the crowd chose to hoist ya –
This fruit should be in a museum.”

11 Leave a comment on verse 11 0 “It’s only a date,” I protested, quite rashly,
“Though the resemblance is certainly striking.”
He darkened his brow and replied, “You know Ashley
Is much to Moroccan folk’s liking.

12 Leave a comment on verse 12 0 ‘We worshipped him when he performed at United,
And later at Coventry City,
Though in our great land he has never been sighted,
Which to us is a terrible pity.

13 Leave a comment on verse 13 0 ‘This fruit that you bought with his likeness thereon,
Ginger hair and the deathly-pale pallor,
Is surely a sign that he’ll visit anon,
With the will and the goodness of Allah.”

14 Leave a comment on verse 14 0 Well I handed it over immediately, for he
Believed in the omens of fate.
And that, my dear reader, concludes this strange story,
Of my most remarkable date.

15

Notes

Written, unsuccessfully, for a radio competition entitled “My most remarkable date.”

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/a-tale-of-marrakech-and-ashley-grimes/