Football In The Trenches (Thankfully Revisited)

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 When War broke out, the British public cried
“We’ll be in Berlin by Christmas”. But
By Christmas hundreds of thousands had died,
As Mons, The Marne, Ypres and Messine cut
Down the youth of Europe, while Flanders’ flood
Drowned dying, dead and alive. Summer’s dream
Was swamped by winter’s mud, rats, death and blood
In No Man’s Land; a hell hole night mare scene
Of jagged wire, flares, shells, screams and shrapnel,
(A choreographed commonality
That saw each side’s men attack, flail and fall
In ceaseless dance of death’s banality)
Until, at Christmas, nineteen fourteen, when
Hamburg, Berlin, London and Manchester
Said “No!” to the killing fields’ mad mayhem
Ordered by Kaiser, Flag, Map and Officer,
And met instead in friendship, walking tall
And slow, comrades in war’s adversities,
They embraced in No Man’s Land and Football
Harmonised nations’ animosities;
And what if the playing of the Peoples’ Game
Had continued beyond that Christmas time?
What on earth would have happened next?
Well, I suggest to you that none of the following
Would have occurred –
The Battle of the Somme; Verdun; The Bolshevik Revolution;
The Russian Civil War; Stalin; Hitler; Fascism; World War Two;
Nuclear weapons; the Cold War; Remembrance Day;
Think about it.
And play the Peoples’ Game.



Editor Note:
This poem first appeared here back when we were fab. Back then our 15 year old antiquated site was still sparkling new, and looked not a little dissimilar to how it still does now !

Watch this space in New Year, (he said yet again.)

Penned in 2000 by Stuart, my nearby erstwhile long-time co-editor and performer for many years, this emotive epistle sparked an annual emotional outpouring of your poems, remembering here all those who fought and died and the Christmas Truce of course.

Repubished now again for those new here, who perhaps haven’t discovered its’ subtle message. Unlike this ageing site, it stands the test of time, and would doubtless fly off any shelf, but preferably not Sainsbury’s !

Stuart and I will be offering our own live take in poetry theatre, film and music on all things ‘The Truce’ at The Price Albert , Rodborough, Stroud (Free) with special guests John Bassett (Spaniel In The Works Theatre Co) + Jeff The Fuse form my band Out To Lunch on (guitar and percussion).

This unmissable event will follow the also free legendary communal fireside carol-singing that afternoon on Sunday 14th December and will start around around 4pm til say 6pm. Would be great if some of you in this region could make it.

For more info email Crispin: editors@football poets.org

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/football-in-the-trenches-thankfully-revisited/