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Charlton Athletic poems

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 Going Going (apologies to Philip Larkin)

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 Driving up lee way,
I knew to avoid Lewisham, Blackheath,
Eltham to Shooter’s Hill would be crowded,
I parked in Charlton Park Road.
The village was shopping its Tuesday shop,
People working away the day, aimlessly.
Charlton Church Lane was not crammed
Full of cars, parking on pavements,
Forcing their way into minute spaces.
Seas of red did not emblazon the sky
Prophesying Premier League expectation.
Nor did bantering fans tail back excitedly
Jostling happily from floydd Road.

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 Empty… almost empty

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 GATE PASS.
Old fans die hard and
Durham voices discourage friendship
Between fans wanting tickets for Wembley.
Berkhampstead is a long journey
For a Sunderland man working south,
Whose club had sold all their tickets.
Old fans pass ticket stubs to journeying fans
To get them through the gate.
And twenty fans calling for ticket stubbs
Can kiss my ass
‘cos We are through – and breathing steady
TWENTY FANS?

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 Well this ain’t no Stadium of Light.

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 SASA ILIC SAVES.
And is buried in a mound of
Red and black tops – beige suits.
We’re up and dancing, hugging each other.
Sasa Ilic saves
Wiping away years in the wilderness.
Ground sharing at Selhurst and Upton Parks.
‘Curbs’ is on the pitch
Players shaking hands and waving to the crowd.
“Going up, going up, going up,
Going up going up going up
GOing UP.”
Sasa Ilic saves – wiping away
Jokes about being a Charlton fan;
“And I’m the other one.”
Flanagan and Allen (Hales).
Fireworks explode – showering silver shale,
Freddie Mercury: full volume-
“WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS”.
We are a flag waving, banner shaking
Mass of red. “Su-per super Clive
Super Clive Mendonca”.
SASA ILIC saves – giving value
To those who formed the valley party.
The RETURN TO FLOYD ROAD.
Kinsella raises the trophy.
Reds blacks and suits leap, dance
And throw themselves around the pitch.

7 Leave a comment on verse 7 0 SASA ILIC SAVES – red and white stripes
Converge like accelerated toothpaste
Down the exits.
CHARLTON ARE PREMIER LEAGUE.

8 Leave a comment on verse 8 0 GOING HOME.
The ‘Appian Way’ is a slow procession –
Red and white stripes sagging
Against the afternoon sun.
Flags furled, chants of praise
Rolled into discarded lager cans.
Calls of “CHARLTON” suppressed
In respect of defeated warriors.
Songs folded into victorious programmes
Given to grandchildren.
A woman writes herself into childhood history:
Gives a boy her hat.
Policemen mount guard on a whistle tune…
Peep, peep, p peep peep – “CHARLTON”
Quickly put back.
Together we pile down the tube.

9 Leave a comment on verse 9 0 MIND THE GAP.
Consoling a crying fan
With the cold truth of our expectations,
“Don’t worry mate, next year,
When you’re on the way up,
We’ll be on the way down.”

10 Leave a comment on verse 10 0 All from Charlton Athletic F.C. The greatest team on Earth.
Poetry in motion. One fan’s Nationwide div 1 Play off Final
1998 reprinted 2000.
ISBN093429601 £5.99.

11 Leave a comment on verse 11 0 HEROES.
Although I’m older than my heroes
Their young faces in old photos
Still look old to me

12 Leave a comment on verse 12 0 Now I’m older than the faces in the photographs:
I’m more than twice their ages
Of nineteen or twenty three.

13 Leave a comment on verse 13 0 But today they are even older;
In their seventies, maybe eighties,
I think of them youthfully.

14 Leave a comment on verse 14 0 They sit silent in their photographs
Locked in youth for eternity
But forever older than me.

15 Leave a comment on verse 15 0 Now I’m older than my heroes
Of nineteen or twenty three
I repeat myself, quite frequently.

16 Leave a comment on verse 16 0 Because I’m older than my heroes
Locked in youth for eternity.

17 Leave a comment on verse 17 0 From Football: Pure Poetry. 2. Creative Energy Pubcns. 106 pges
ISBN 0953429652. £8.99. Anth of fans poems inc Stuart B, Crispin,
Dennis G, Ian Mac, Roger Mac, John Fashanau and Abt 30 more.

18 Leave a comment on verse 18 0 ENGLAND Vs GERMANY 1936
Sieg Heil – Sieg Heil. Hitler we don’t salute you
We raise our arms and turn our heads
To salute the union flag above you.

19 Leave a comment on verse 19 0 WAR TIME CUP FINAL.
I can’t believe our luck
Charlton in their second War time Cup.
(Two more yet to come).
How can this be fun?
As I’m the best believer,
Stuck at home with scarlet fever
Temperature and an aching head
But mum’s done out my room in red
And white.
ALRIGHT!
Listen on the wireless,
Hoping it won’t be a mess.
hiding here, behind our settee.
Spilled my steaming cup of tea
And we have beaten Ch..el..sea.
Come on.
3 -1.

20 Leave a comment on verse 20 0 CHARLTON CENTENARY CELEBRATION.
Looking down across the Valley:
Images of teams in red.
Men who played for Charlton,
Some are living, others dead.

21 Leave a comment on verse 21 0 Inhaling player’s embocation,
Rolled tobacco, beery breaths.
The smell of brand new programmes.
Bankruptcy – impending death.

22 Leave a comment on verse 22 0 Tales of managers – directors. Of players
Who saved or scored or played the ball around.
The inspiration of the Valley Party,
Those who rallied to save the ground.

23 Leave a comment on verse 23 0 How relegation doesn’t matter
How inside it really does.
How promotion is jubilation,
Excites, delights to the skies above.

24 Leave a comment on verse 24 0 Gasping breath at near misses,
Thud of boots and heads when balls
Hit bar or posts. The spontaneity of
“Handball” or of an “Offside” call.

25 Leave a comment on verse 25 0 The roar of baritones and bases
Expanding sideways and above,
The standing salutation, “Goal.”
Expressed with unembarrassed love.

26 Leave a comment on verse 26 0 Looking now across the Valley
We rise with pride our heads
Held high. A family club encased by stands.
One hundred years of Charlton red.

27 Leave a comment on verse 27 0 From Charlton Athletic Centenary Celebration Publication,
“Bartram Saves The Day.” 2005. No Sale Price.
Crispin contributed good poems.

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Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/charlton-athletic-poems/