The goals the songs the heartbreaks
Cabbages and kings.
A new season comes and we’re all filled with hope.
Hope, hope and the years slip by.
Soon it is May, and we can but mope.
Mope, mope as the years slip by.
Players are bought and players are sold.
Bought, sold for a fee sky-high.
But never a sign of bronze, silver or gold,
Out in the cold as the years slip by.
Managers hired and managers fired.
Hired, fired in the blink of an eye.
But this only serves to increase our ire.
Aye, ire, you heard me right.
Pledges are made and promises broke.
Made, broke like a child’s cheap toy.
Our once mighty Club is the butt of the joke.
Joke, joke and we can’t reply.
There’s much talk of Projects, Rome not in day built.
Build, build, yet the years roll by.
And we can’t help weeping at milk that’s been spilt.
Spilt, spilt and our tears won’t dry.
Can anyone tell us, does anyone know?
Where, where does the answer lie?
When once again we with pride will glow?
Glow, glow with our heads held high!
Denys E. W. Jones
Man of blood
Not impenetrable stone
Who gathered genius
Like fish in a net
Hewn from the same Scottish rock
Of Stein and Shankly
Game changer supreme
Father figure whose beloved sons
Perished in the cruel Munich snow
But whose spirit remained resolute
To find its peace in 1968
Upon a Wembley turf
Graced by the fires of Best, Charlton, Eusebio
And there resurrected
With the stolen hopes of youth
The scattered tears of benediction.
When I was in high school all those years ago
In English I was taught Keats’ “Ode To A Grecian Urn”
And whilst I loved this bright star’s resilient rebellion
Not one single word other than those in the title did I retain
But Rushie’s goals the style technique I’d practice practice
Practice until just one toe poke poacher’s goal I’d mastered
The tireless heart of Razor Kennedy his crosses I’d read
Each collective noun bursting with football life for me…
In English the subject I loved most whose language was rich with
Lennon’s sarky verbs and Lydon’s snarling adjectives these were the
Words that spoke loudest to me not those of Jane Austin’s
Pride and Prejudice and Jane I was told was a genius but not compared to the
Genie Dalglish who could trap a ball and then cajole by pure instinct alone
Now that was artistry for me and Kenny’s boots not Austin’s prose
Who thrilled my willing soul and taught me sense and sensibility
In English our teacher was alright, you could talk to him and in spaces
Between classes we’d moot the dark energy of Jim Morrison, the exploding
Freedom of Hendrix, the electricity of Dylan (Thomas) and I would ask
“Sir, why can’t we read about what we want to learn,
The way Steve Heighway twists and turns, Bob Paisley’s post match clipped adverbs?”
But our teacher would smile and shake his head and point the way to the
Poems of Post-Modern Poets ensconced in faber forward penguin idolatry
Yet the canon of football with its thunderous boots spoke, aye, more eloquently
I was a child of Liverpool, Football and Punk Rock & Roll
Maggie Thatcher’s endless desperate lines of dole and our teacher
Would smile and shake his head and lead us on to exam regulatory
“You have to read what the (now defunct) JMB Decrees”
But me (the bored) thought “Not for me” and jumped school as
Quickly as the door allowed and left those “Essential reading” books in
A forgotten corner of an unused sold-off playground…
With Liverpool Fc programmes stored lovingly
Those Bootroom proverbs and poems my philosophy
With a nod to Bowie, I can’t change time, but it won’t change me.
The Accrington Stanley fan got excited
when his team did score,
he jumped wildly in the air
as fellow supporters let out a roar.
His team were beating AFC Wimbledon
and they finally won 2-1,
but when he got home later
he discovered his false teeth had gone.
They must have shot out
when the second goal hit the net,
his beloved dentures were gone
so would he need a new set ?
But the fan was in luck
his gnashers had been found,
a steward saw them shining
on the terrace inside the ground.
The supporter got his teeth back
so now it was smiles all around,
but the next time his team scored
he stood still and never made a sound !
I witnessed a commotion in my local saloon
With an Irish fan ranting and acting the loon
“They stole our potatoes
now they’re after our Rice.”
He was so agitated he screamed it out twice.
“They took our potatoes
now they’re taking our Rice
I always knew Southgate
acted way too much nice.”
I soon came to realise it weren’t Rice from Vietnam
But young Declan Rice
who plays for West Ham
Southgate got young Declan to talk on the phone
And played him the song
Foot—ball’s Coming Home.
He told him he was the greatest
Young player he had seen
Who’d look better in white
Than wearing the Green.
“You’ll get plenty of endorsements
I’ll make you a star
And you’ll be in my squad
When we go to Qatar.”
So as the Irish fan by bouncers
Was thrown out of the pub
He still screamed of Rice
And the stealing of Spuds.
So who Declan will choose
It remains to be seen
The Three Lions of England
Or the boys in the Green.
still swapping shirts with Willie the Shake
taught us words can make the heart ache
showed us life is just a stage
where we run and strive and guage
this Peoples’ Game that carries on
until the day that we are gone
that changes unbelievably
into a money monster tree
as all our words and all our dreams
for ‘fave’rite’ matches players teams
the grounds on which we perched or sat
all down the years in scarf and hat
with rattles badges and rosettes
on terraces we can’t forget
when you and I like sailors stood
or sang on well worn seats of wood
and swapped nostalgia for the new
but still we write ..it’s what we do
and still we watch or listen on
like Shakespeare here our words prolong
for though we never really know
what lures us all to football so
we still swap shirts and words with Will
who taught us how love can fulfill
and make hearts burn and understand
just what it is to be a fan
to pen and share upon this stage
like grass our online printed page
eighteen years of verse
sixteen thousand five hundred
poems on football
Organizing – Pointing- Shouting Man-On
Where have all the great Captains gone?
Urging –Goading- heart on sleeve
When did all the great Captains leave?
Memories of Bremner and Mackay
For the cause prepared to die
Bobby Moore and Chopper Ron
Oh where have all our Captains gone?
I for one will miss
paper tickets for the match
when they scan my eyes