Short Cuts (Home And Away)

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 Tottenham. East Stand…
Fade up on an animated foursome,
cold noses and ringed eyes,
surreally in working clothes,
his chauffeur suit and hat matched neatly
with her care-home matron’s uniform;
a redhaired daughter’s renal unit overalls
offset by young son’s A&R man Appalachian look.
Long hold on the family,
defined now, in this place,
intently following a small white sphere
outlandishly empowered,
through planned shapes and baulks,
to rare goals, near-misses, triumphs and defeats.

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 Flashback. Argentinian with prophet’s beard
weaves a path through lame defenders
as the mother-yet-to-be leaves home, stunted and unloved,
for a mousehole in Tulse Hill, and finds herself in hospital.
Down disinfected halls she meets a hopeful cabbie,
practising the knowledge like prayers,
but with primal fears so focused on his bladder
in the face of journeys, he drives only round the bend.
Nelson plagued with sea-sickness, and Nightingale fatigue,
they rise to take their crosses, marry after weeks,
with what prospects only they foresee,
they talk so stiltedly and hug like clipboards.
But fate has settled they will be suburban pioneers.
All they need now is to find the spot.

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 Cut to when patrols round B&Q are ambushed
by the cabbie’s childhood memories –
on a beer-crate watching Blanchflower –
so the pair fall captive to the force that drills the years.
Paint this in a dream-scene,
every surface round them strewn with home shirts,
away kits, tickets and programmes.
As she shudders with him, overlap each breath
with birth-pangs, first words, echoes of school playgrounds,
cries of wounds and victories, tomfoolery of feast-days,
footsteps along halls of work, banter in a black cab,
ribald outbursts in the stand – fixed by clips of cup runs,
laced with commentary, struggles up and down.
Culminate when their lad comes out as a mascot at Wembley.

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 Cue a second half decline, how luck shifts perceptively.
Close up of the boy’s eyes, glittering, inspired,
yet already mirrors of his mother’s illness.
Enter through them to another weave of spaces
where the years unfold to hostile chants and handclaps.
Overlay their bitter voices: mistrust, poverty, and grief.
Hold on his father, beaten, head in hands.
Silence for a legend, split by a shrill blast.
Segue through the slow burgeon of recovery,
across spare echoes from the training ground
sounds at home now edged with hard intent
found only in acceptance, and the need to change position.
Focus on a full screen Christmas card: self-portrait, faces mud-smeared,
under the new chauffeur’s caption: Well, Stuff Happens…


Editor Note: Evocative, stark and gritty writing as ever Nick. To be published shortly in a new hard copy collection from Waterloo Press.
For the record, “Refugees”(of Love) remains one of my all-time fave and seminal McDermotts Two Hours songs , as relevant now as ever. For songs,videos, recordings and Levellers collaborations visit McDermotts Two Hours on My Space and…
An Introduction to the work of Nick Burbridge – Poetry-Prose- Drama and Music . Explore and investigate. Crispin

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/short-cuts-home-and-away/