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On Tommy Burns

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 “I saw you in your flame-haired youth
Play with fire on a field of gold”
Willy Maley

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 What do I remember of him?
Nothing of what you speak.
Nothing of that flame-haired youth,
Playing with fire on a field of green.
Nothing, no sight of him steadfast,
Staring down in floodlit black the wings of green.
A gold in green and white on green.

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 The day he died was a still day.
The Glasgow ground was dry,
And the May sun shone infrequently in the heat of noon.
I was walking along
When I saw the news on a billboard in George Street.
Someone opened a window in John Street.
Heeding only its action, I supposed
Someone else idly eating their lunch in Gordon Street
And, heading for a train, a sadness overcame a hunger,
And rumbled by itself and alone in my gut.

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 What do I remember of him?
Nothing of what you speak, and sing.
Nothing of that flame-haired youth,
Playing with fire on a field of green.
Nothing but his failure. But what a failure it was,
Forged in the flames of his youth
And blazing now with fire on a field of green!
Cadete loping down in floodlit black the wings of green.
A gold in green and white on green.
The gilded conquistadores and he, their Cortez, his eyes
And his bearing steadfast, no wild surmise:
Only surety, and certainty, of where he was,
And where he had been.

This is written in reply to Willy Maley’s poem “Perfect Passing”.

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/on-tommy-burns/