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The Final

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 I saw it on a vacant afternoon. Lost for any other gross indulgence to dip at, I watched a football video. The Legend, a lollipop recant on the career of John Greig, was, honest, a sopping gift, a daughter’s indulgence. So, “Oh I might as well…” undressed my coy resistance to myself. Sterling fond conceit it gave me too, for old days’ class, no longer made, like that. Until. Wednesday the twenty eighth of May 1966. You see, that, the title of a calendar’s complacence, would just have kept them in their cell, the spinning frieze, each greyscale flick, the balletic frames of dancers in their Paddies’ Doos. It didn’t sink in, Graf Spey’s full weight in my guts, until a few seconds on. The match had been sprung open by the boot of Ralphie Brand.

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 In monochrome the event sucked me in,
Dulling other light, filling me with Capstans,
White Horse and Bovril, an atmosphere that clung,
Like a wetsuit, dragging at the hairs on my skin.

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 It’s the vast vulcanic cauldron, Hampden Park,
Scooped out huge, obscene from Mount Florida,
A floodlit sunken swathe, a hundred thousand heads,
Of corn, tight, capped and scarved, packed.

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 Swaying in waves of tension, breathing clouds,
Smoke belching into the blackboard sky,
Dissolving in the blasting, blinding beams,
From alien giants, warring in this world.

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 A hundred thousand baying, the wolves,
At their teasing prey, each ragged throated howl,
As it rises in the bitter air, transforming,
Blending into a rasping chord, a bass hiss,

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 Like a speeding train, then ascending to slice,
Into the city’s night, the reverse thrust roar,
A 747’s landing, as teams of emerald and azure,
Swarm as brilliant specks on the snooker baize,

7 Leave a comment on verse 7 0 Beatified in the dead calm pool of light,
Set in the middle of this roaring captive swarm,
This host, this holocaustic venom storm,
Frenzied hate is crashing venting eardrum spite,

8 Leave a comment on verse 8 0 Vibrating into every flesh, screaming wilting cells,
Into a friction heat, boiling visceral terrors:
The possibility of loss, winning’s scarlet fear,
The rank lust for hurt, to sink the deepest well

9 Leave a comment on verse 9 0 This is The Old Firm.
This is The Replay.
This is The Final.

4

Notes

I hope the prose opening can be retained, setting up the piece as it stands. If not then can it somehow be appended.

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/the-final/