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.



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

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