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Stopping By The Bridge On A Snowy Evening

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 whose ground this is we surely know
yet so unrecognizable in snow
and I my glee can barely hide
to find these gates so open wide –

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 my little dog must think it strange
to stop with neither sound nor game
he gives his furry head a shake
as if to say “for heaven’s sake”

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 as icicles upon the stand
hang pointing like some outstretched hand
more purer than the blankest page
this dazzling winter football stage

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 more magic now than euro ties
or times when we the giants surprise –
or days when sun beat down on grass
as golden as some Zola pass

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 and where so many sit and yell
there’s only me to feel and tell
save for a flag with pigeons on
who with a flurried flake are gone

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 no markings here to see at all
no ground-staff player coach or ball
but I’m enraptured by the sight
of snow-bound terraces of white –

7 Leave a comment on verse 7 0 while all around in empty streets
brave motorists will make retreats
and slide through London’s transformed land
like skaters in some wonderland..

8 Leave a comment on verse 8 0 how to a standstill weather brings
a stop to more important things
and where there should be Wolves at home
I stand here silent and alone –

9 Leave a comment on verse 9 0 and think on all who ever stood
or sat through seasons bad and good
a hundred years upon this bridge
more cold and bleak than any fridge..

10 Leave a comment on verse 10 0 from Bovril to rosettes and tea
from hooligans to luxury
from Lawton’s hair to Dynamos
Roy Bentley to John Sillett’s nose

11 Leave a comment on verse 11 0 from our old Shed to private suites
to walking home through crowded streets
Paul Cannoville and Nevin’s style
I ponder on it all a while

12 Leave a comment on verse 12 0 but I have miles of motorway
twixt home and all that I survey
and soon so soon I must return
to where my cottage fire will burn –

13 Leave a comment on verse 13 0 but still i stand like referees
upon awarding penalties
to share in wonder as I go
the beauty of a ground in snow

With deep respect to one of my favourite all-time fave poets Robert Frost (b.San Francisco 1874).I wrote this upon being invited this year to run and undertake football poetry workshops with schools in London this Winter in conjunction with Chelsea FC…… and in particular to attend with the children involved a special Christmas Party with the players at Stamford Bbridge in December 2004.
It set me to thinking of a long gone post-Christmas winter one January when as a sensitive and highly impressionable child the famous Big Freeze set in, and games were off for what seemed like weeks. Because my school (Sloane Grammar in Hortensia Road, Chelsea), overlooked the Blues’ ground , I noticed during one cold Friday lunch-break that the big old blue wooden gates (also now long gone) had been left open ! I nipped out of the school-yard, crept in, and found the hallowed space empty and covered in snow.I have never forgotten that moment . I decided to use a bit of free-licence and to bring it up to date a bit ,memories wise, as next year is Cheleas’ centenary (and Charlton’s!) 1905…

Sadly, I never actually had a dog as a child, but I did have cat at that time called Shhhhh (you can imagine my mum calling out it’s name at night), but sadly my cat was found frozen in that freeze outside my home in Wharfedale Street one morning that cold winter. Anyways..the dog bit fiited in, and is another respectful nod.. to not just Robert Frost( who i nicked the whole idea from of course ),but also to my fellow editor, spiritual mentor and football poet Stuart Butler who has lived and breathed his trusty dog Basil into an England magerial candidate icon. (sad eh?).he also does a lot of work supporting football poetry, charity and Waitrose of course… but doesn’t like to talk about it in a Smashy and Nicey type way ..(hi Stu!)

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/stopping-by-the-bridge-on-a-snowy-evening/