Poetry Archives

It Came Upon A Midnight Clear

It came upon a midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
When angels bent down to the earth,
And changed machine guns into harps,
And turned leaden bullets into golden carols
That drifted across no man’s land,
And choirs of soldiers joined the angels
In a cease-fire of exultation,
While all the bloodied uniformed citizens
Of heaven above watched as silent knights,
As helmets and caps and whisky and schnapps
Were passed from frozen side to frozen side,
When a Tommy kicked a football up into the air,
And there it stayed, suspended high up in the sky,
Shining for ever in a continent’s memory;
A star of peace in a bleak midwinter’s century.

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The Noisy Walk Home

a Boxing Day drink
on the way to the football
strangely quiet streets

a ‘topping up’
in the Sir Robert Peel
before the match
talk of Christmas and how
we’d be pleased with a draw

outside the ground
we fuel up further
pre-match fervour
free beer and mince pies
provided by the club

our Leicester Foxes
famously beat Man City
the noisy walk home

Paul Conneally
December 26th 2018

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Boxing Day battering for Magpies

Liverpool 4-0 Newcastle

Boxing Day footballs on
Rafa’s come to town
Yet the Toon army leave
With a great big whopping frown

Joselu spurned a good one
Lovren stepped up to the test
With a cracking half volley
He is simply the world’s best

Salah causes havoc in the box
An early second half sting
Penalty despatched cleanly
By the Reds Egyptian king

Trent lays a tap in for Shaqiri
But still no sign of fatigue
A fourth headed home by Fabinho
Liverpool, Liverpool, top of the League

© emdad rahman

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Hey Kids would you like a cushy number,
A job which gives you hours of mental slumber,
A billet where the silences are hardly broken
By a few drops of language as a throwaway token?

You’ll get loads of moula just for being in the grandstand
And viewing on a screen the best footy in the land.
You’ll have a viewing partner for a little companionship
Who’ll make sure that no awkward TALK outslips.

Sitting there in silence with your best shotgun mate
While loads of us viewers are fuming in frustration,
Even though we know the players’ names (and how many of us do?)
We still want to hear their names, and all their passing throughs.

There’s now a worldwide audience for Premier League that’s signed up.
And how many of these viewers are familiar with the lineups?
Better Andres Cantor with his soul ”gol” Spanish spice
Than our Mr Beins and Tweedledee/dumb dealing teapot dormice.

Come back Kenny Wolstenholme, come back Barry Motson!
Sons of Martin Tyler, go dream in Liv’s lost Lorien.
Or back to work in radio, and learn to DO YOUR JOB!
Come commentators, COMMENTATE!, and don’t us fans off fob.

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Kick It Out

Banana skin thrown
and racial abuse,
so ban the culprits
just no excuse.
Football’s not about colour
it’s supporting your side,
throw out the Neanderthals​
give them nowhere to hide.
It’s called The Beautiful Game
for all colours and creed,
no room for these bigots
so please take heed.
Any abuse is ugly
but sadly it’s still about,
so all decent fans join together
and let us all Kick It Out!

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One Christmas in the Trenches ~ Centenary

one Christmas in the trenches
they stood in mud and sand
their loved ones and their football
a distant far off land –
the snow lay thick as thick could be
a bitter chill did spread
behind the sand bags and the wire
they stood among the dead

their sweethearts faces locked inside
their tins and bits of things
along with resignation
of all that fighting brings
on backs of Woodbine packets
around some cold tinned stew
like texts and up-dates of their day
the scores would still get through

December Nineteen Fourteen
upon that Christmas morn
when to a man an act un-planned
and instant truce was born –
behind the barbed wire barricades
all scorched and bleak and bare
a distant sound grew all around
a song hung on the air

that Christmas in the trenches
a hope blew on the wind
a carol in another tongue
from far off did begin –
we’ll never know who made the call
to move in such a way
but something somehow lifted them
upon that Christmas Day

forbidden breach of orders
we call it what we will
but hearts were stirred and greetings heard
the air grew calm and still –
from burrows then on either side
they met in no-man’s land
as enemy met enemy
with gifts and outstrethed hands

a football thrown between the guns
from nowhere did appear
and in that silence voices rang
and echoed loud and clear –
we’ll never ever know the scores
or just how many games
when Tommy Atkins challenged Fritz
upon that Christmas Day –

how can we dare to comment
what use these simple lines
if none of us can dream or feel
the horror of those times
as for a moment time stood still
when arms were left aside
the bayonet the rifle
the cannon hate and pride –

but one result is certain
as game and friendship ceased
the sudden opportunity
for peace was never seized –
and still we wonder how a man
can laugh and play with men
to then return like sheep to fold
to kill and kill again

one Christmas in that first Great War
of stench and blood and grime
their football brought them closer
for one brief day in time
and though commanders drove them back
their orders to obey
between the lines a match was played
upon that Christmas Day

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Saturday at Barracks Lane

As Welcome as the sight of allotment smoke in December,
a quiet bonfire in the winter stillness,
are the compressed distances of Sports Report,
fingers hardened in the dusk after hours
of working the ground, hat pulled down and boots muddied,
hour upon hour of solitude with little or nothing
to eat or drink, stepping home to the warmth
of football results, the heating on,
monastic beer or mulled wine in the silence
as lingering scraps of yellow light dip beyond the horizon.
You think of all the vegetables and no contemporary news
infiltrates the misty winterscape, the warmth you create
in the coldness, the clothes that insulate,
radio silence to guard the heart
against the moment – a tentative nursery garden
of all that’s left to the imagination.

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Ranieri Limerick 2

Let’s celebrate Claudio’s arrival
and his quest to ensure our survival.
By upping the wattage
down at the Cottage
He’ll surely spark our revival.

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The Ranieri Limerick

On arriving when Slav got the sack
Claudio stated (to put us on track);
“Smettiamo di perdere ora!…
…We need one more scorer,
And a tightening up at the back”

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Mid-Season Suspension

One day from under these floodlights
the sun will rise in early spring,
set like the memories you’ve left
in gathering blue over the river.

An extra layer will go, light jackets
the order of the day at some T-junction
of path and water where no-one knows
your name and you have nothing to offer.

Now, in the darkness of the ground, lit
for the night in unrelenting cold,
we have only the season’s doubts,
form tables and transitory odds,

winding runs of unreadable note
and mid-season suspension of belief,
for the team, in all that we know.

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Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/page/2/