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International friendlies

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 How to explain the significance of
The International Friendlies
Identifiable as the week
The Premier League relaxed its hold
On our thoughts and perceptions
Last night the Ivory Coast at
The Wembley cathedral of sound
England harvest three of the best
Voices gathered in unison
In patriotic England, red, white
And blue shades of jovial jingoism
Although not necessarily so since
That would be too extreme
An overly emotive comment
Perhaps
Since the English love to see
Their white shirts soaked with
Tributaries of sweat rushing,
Cascading down from the terraces
Time for endless endeavour,
Hugging the flanks, tattooed
Tapestries of midfield passing
Weaving, stitching, carving,
Nipping, depicting illustrations
Of colour through Grealish perhaps
Sterling definitely, since his relationship
With Wembley has sentimental value
Brought up within the Arch on
Vibrant council estates
He knows the geography of
Every blade of grass within
Brent. Where Wembley Park
Tube train cries and whistles in
Tunnels where history
Still remembers the agony
Of the Euro 2020 Final
Defeat to those Italian
Stallions, it still hurts
The second half kick in
The metaphorical ribs
Pain etched on English
Faces, like the lines
Of crumpled, yellowing
Parchment of old
On Saturday England edged
Past the Swiss
Never a missed opportunity
To announce early World Cup
Bulletins when the deserts
Of Qatar welcome the globe
Opening up new frontiers
When the richly extravagant talents
From the world’s finest dining tables
Bring us Brazilian caviar, German
Varnished efficiency, Latin Argentinian
Tango verve and salsa sensuality
Then last night Ivory Coast
Reminded you of those nights
Under the Wembley lights
When the old stadium roared
And growled in defiance
When Rattin once stormed
Off the pitch like the proverbial
Bear with a sore head and
The garden of fruition yielded
Green acres of 1966 fertility
Hurst, Moore and Peters, Hunt
Stiles and Charlton leaving gentle
Breezes of Jules Rimet Cup imagery
World champions once but one
Day it will happen again
Fear not
Switzerland and Ivory Coast
Were amiable and placid visitors
To the white cliffs of Dover
Nobody told us since you
Were much more concerned
With the gleeful, well heralded
Arrival of our ten week old puppy
Barney, not Rubble he’ll never
Play in claret and blue East End
Pulsating dramas
But his left foot could take
A mean free kick or corner
Or gently lob the keeper
From the half way line
And yet international friendlies
Barely acknowledged
In the heat of battle
Where Premier League trophies
Will shortly be born

6

Notes

My take on England’s two friendlies against Switzerland and Ivory Coast.

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/international-friendlies/