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For These, Part 2

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 86 years ago today, on Bastille Day, my mum was born and on that day, July 14th. 1915, Edward Thomas wrote his poem “For These”, explaining why he was joining up. It’s a description of English country living, in effect. By the way, my mum’s name is Nancy Mary Lorraine – in honour of our French allies.

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 This is my list of For These,
This is the frieze I would weave,
Among the trees and the leaves,
On branches as high as the eaves:
Wind chimes wrapped in coloured paper,
Each piece signifying a letter,
Each tree planted on the factory,
The plastic football pitch manufactory,
In a heaven remade from hell,
So hear the liberty bell,
My reasons for anger and optimism,
My treasons of clangour and cataclysm,
For these are my hopes for the future,
My sandcastle soft architecture:
Zinedine Zidane’s brethren will not be transferred for fees
Resembling that of a Third World GDP,
For that is truly unforgivable and a blasphemy;
All football matches will use only old money for entrance,
And the cost will never be more than half a crown;
Every deserving soul will receive an old money bounty
Each week from the government,
And this money will be useable at football matches only,
Thereby generating welfare without inflation –
See how soccer socialism destroys the dogma of Brownite monetarism;
No football manager will be allowed to utter the jargon
Of management motivation-speak,
They will say instead, “ Go out and enjoy yourselves
And at the end of the day may the best team win,
As long as it is us.”
All players and spectators will travel to matches by train,
And railway “Football Specials” will replace the car and the coach,
Although interestingly bedecked buses may be allowed
On festive football occasions;
Old footage of football, be it video, film or photograph,
Will not be used in a tediously ironic
“Oh wasn’t the past funny and just look at their hair-cuts”
Post-Modernist sort of way,
But will instead be contextualised,
So that the past has its own coherent meaning;
All football players will receive equal wages,
As will all spectators, without complaint;
All individuals will have the right to kick a ball
On a common or in a field or in a carless street,
And village will play town and city
Through the length and breadth of our deserted motorways,
Passing the ball from Land’s End to John a Groats
Like some modern day William Kemp a morris man,
A-dancing all the way from Norwich to London;
All football grounds will have a chip shop nearby,
Or an Asian or Chinese takeaway,
And there will be signs in the window,
In a variety of languages,
“You don’t have to be mad to work here but it helps”;
Whistling will be compulsory in queues,
As will the wearing of bobble hats,
And the pacific swinging of rattles;
Every televised football match will have a warning
Running along the bottom of the screen,
“Watching Sky can seriously damage your wealth”;
Crowds will applaud the opposition,
No player will try to dupe referee
And referees will be consequently anonymous;
There will be no penalty shoot-outs,
Instead cup ties will be subject to endless replays,
Fixture lists will become anarchically clogged,
And there will be no police objections;
Only ugly footballers will appear in glossy magazines
And branding will be outlawed,
Unless it is applied to the skin of mercenary football directors;
Games will be shown live on solar powered TV all over the world
And there will be no advertisements at half time,
Apart from pleas for liberty, equality and justice;
And these are my pleas For These:
Bread and Roses and Money, too, please,
And all of them growing on trees.

Happy Birthday, Mum.

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/for-these-part-2/