“Bloomin’ Football: A Football Pilgrim’s Progress

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 “Bloomin’ Football”, a World Cup floral festival,
Early June, at St. Mary Magdalene’s:
World Cup flags draped from yew tree to porch,
Countries portrayed in displays of flowers,
Firstly, Brazil, created by Sarah from the Glebe allotments,
A deep ivy green evocation of the lustrous rain forest,
Clematis, Hosta, and a profusion of wild flowers.
Next, Spain, by Anne Finch and Doreen Evans,
The royal flag of red, yellow and green;
Alstemaria, carnations and chrysanthemums,
With Salvador Dali and Laurie Lee peeping out and walking out;
Then Denmark, created by Stroud College Textile Group,
Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales,
The Little Mermaid, red roses and a fountain.
The USA is created by Mary, Jane and Victoria,
Red, white and blue bedding plants,
In terraced and variegated order;
Italy is by Messy Church,
Red carnations, white roses and green ivy,
Together with rose petals, cress and white seashells;
Then past the Great War memorial:
“They were a wall unto us both by night and by day”,
To find South Africa, created by Rodborough Tabernacle,
Sinuous wreaths, masks and bushmen,
Snake, crocodile, elephant and wildebeest,
All contemplating the stained glass windows,
(Which includes the Reverend Audrey’s local creation),
While children play with a Thomas train set on the floor.
Noble Greece comes next, created by Brenda Head,
Drapes of deep blue and virgin white,
Light shining through azure bottles,
Garlands of gladioli, chrysanthemums and lily;
Peggy the vicar gives me a cup of tea,
And I sit in front of the altar,
Four angels guarding the flags of the world,
While Saint George, with red and white roses,
Slays a sculptured dragon;
England, created by Brian Ludlow.
To my right, Switzerland,
Created by Wendy Fowler of the choir,
An alpine scene with drapes of red,
And a basket of red and white flowers.
Next I see a stained glass Great War memorial,
A Tommy at the foot of the cross,
Beneath which, we find Nigeria,
Created by Joyce Brackpool and the Mothers’ Union,
The green and white barred flag,
Exotic clothing, wall hangings and animal magic,
Giraffe, rhinoceros and elephants,
Oblivious to the crucifix,
Advancing towards the white wax candles,
Wreathed in green ivy.
Next comes the Netherlands,
Created by the Toddler Group,
Diminutive orange shirts, hanging from a clothes line,
Paper tulips, daffodils and wind-mills,
Holland in taffeta.
We then come to hot, dusty Mexico,
Created by Philippa Dyson, Rodborough School,
The horses and donkeys of the Conquistadores,
Sheltering in the shade of green, red and white,
Petunia and Alemanchia.
Japan comes next, with fans, prints and wind chimes,
Geisha girls standing in a gothic window-sill,
Beneath which is a streltzia, standing in pebbled water –
This tableau, created by Marian Beasley.
Then just path the Remembrance wreath for World War Two,
We find France, created by Rodborough Poultry Club;
There struts the cockerel, in the red, white and blue
Of Iris, stocks, rose, jasmine and clematis.
Australia, created by Iona Ludlow,
Stands upon a table, where the wildlife of the outback,
Beneath an antipodean bouquet,
Stare out of the ancient, open door.
New Zealand stands blue and red and white ,
Created by Marie Langley and Pat Harrison-Plad,
Sheep and a kiwi making their way through the pews;
Opposite, stands Germany,
Black, Red and Yellow balloons,
Red and yellow chrysanthemums in a glass vase,
A red draped table, dark leaved fronds below.
(John and Rita Walker)
The only numbers in the church denote hymns,
Not goals or score lines,
But today was a Football Pilgrim’s Progress.



I am so lucky to live in Rodborough, in Stroud. An astonishing floral display called “Bloomi’n Football” at the parish church – 18 countries of the world depicted. Can Crispin Thomas compete with this? We look forward to his opening the fete on the 19th – the World Cup being the theme.

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/bloomin-football-a-football-pilgrims-progress/