December review

For the first nine days of December, it didn’t look as if there were going to be any new contributors to the site – but now we can announce almost a whole first XI ;

Steve Linstead
Ian Beesley
Andrew Smale
D Aiken
A Cosgrove
Ken Bushnell
Richard G Nyland
Samia Iftekhar
Andrew Foan
Gerry Speed

I’ve included poems from Steve and Ian below.

Ian Beesley is a professional photographer, who has a website well worth visiting. He’s the sort of photographer who turns his lens away from the action on the pitch and focuses on the crowd instead. Certainly relevant to all Bradford City fans, but deserving of a look from all football fans everywhere.

The Blue Bus

Tuscan shrubberies trickle and scurry
Down the hillsides from monastery to fattoria.
My tapping toe flicks a dusty rock
Away, past the rear of the rumbling coach,
The colour of an Azzuri shirt,
Full of hungry Europeans
Waiting for my connection.
The network responds.
Beneath the distant hissing
The words crackle in the handset.
Birmingham 0 …Barnsley 4…
Even Harry didn’t believe 4 away goals!
In the late spring play-off evening
The rustling pines and vines of Sangiovese
Echo to the roar of the blue bus.
Avanti Rossi!

© Steve Linstead

I was outside a monastery near Siena in 2000 trying to get the result of the Division 1 playoff semi-final at St Andrews over my mobile. As the signal kept cutting in and out, I kept a bus full of people waiting to leave on a trip to a local winery, which in the event was ecstatic – I celebrated with an American Crystal Palace fan. Harry is of course Dave “Harry” Bassett. This was a great football moment, all the more poignant for there being no ball in sight. We went on to lose the the last competitive final to be played at Wembley 4-2 to Ipswich.

Team Selection

Why wasn’t I picked?
Why weren’t you picked?

I wasn’t picked cos I’m fat
Why weren’t you picked?
I wasn’t picked cos I’m crap
Why weren’t you picked?
I wasn’t picked cos I’m black

All of us, the unpicked, knew then
That a different kind of rejection
Had surfaced.

© Ian Beesley 16/12/2004

Based on an incident at school, when a new boy lined for team selection during games.
A gang of us were used to not getting picked, but we were shocked when this new boy was rejected and he knew exactly why.

I’m sure we’ve all been shocked and deeply saddened by the natural disaster that occurred in South East Asia on Boxing Day. Here are two responses.

Beach Football
There’ll be no half time in Phuket
No substitutions in Phi Phi
No team tactics in Tamil Nadhu
No beach football in Sri Lanka

Results don’t matter today
The crowds have gone.
On a tide of tears.

Game over.

© Alan McKean December 2004

When Life and Death is more important than football

The Indian Ocean
Beautiful peaceful blue jewel
Carries her dead
From the land in silence
Her rage grown quiet
Her anger subsided
Her power withdrawn
Once more beneath the
Ebb and flow of tides and waves
And life.

© The Footballer

Lest we forget.

Source: https://footballpoets.org/news/2004/12/30/december-review/