John Giles

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 If no footballer can be an island, never to drift
alone over the sea-green of the surface,
breaking the binds of the leaden-foot gaoler
how close he came, how unique his gifts

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 Expecting the pass, demanding the respect,
the recognition for this instinctive positioning
his creative mathematics, the confidence
drawn equally from ability and responsibility

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 The booted foot, at turns gentle then punishing
First, the caress of the possession pass
the tender, true conveyance of the ball
knowingly timed to meet the stride of the target

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 Next, the coiled spring, the leathered steel
The effortless power, the predatory purposefulness
When to threaten, when to intervene or assert
Then float once more into the open unseen, unwatched

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 An intelligence, an awareness, the understanding
Metronomic, rhythmic, metering the contest’s pulse
how to quicken its beat, when to flow, when to slow
The singular pursuit of perfection in placement

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 A footballer of rare beauty, his sting withdrawn
but bared to those whose more modest capacities
led them to destroy, to capture, to net his flight
to seek in vain to pin his wings to their board


Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/john-giles/