A July Welcome

A warm welcome to all the new poets who joined us in the month of July 2005.

And only enough this month to field a five-a-side team!

Obviously, a quiet month. By the time of the next month end, we’ll have welcomed in the new season! (in England)

In time honoured chronological order, the new joiners are as follows …..

Clare Johnson
Andy Maher
Paul Lavender
Joanne Richards
G V Perkins

The following is a selection of their poems.

Starting with Clare Johnson, who would appear to be a member of the media, giving us a different angle on the game.

Clare posted this poem up as her first offering, quite a provocative post, which drew some comments.

Everyone’s entitled to their opinions. I’d go along with some of her points, but felt the jibe at the Football Poets was a little unwarranted – some of the best poems (on a regular basis) are from a welcome stream of female poets.

It’s just another Boys Club

Football is a Boys Club
We’re tolerated aren’t we
Those of us with a little something missing
We who are “the other”
It’s a Boys Club football
And football poetry too
It’s all the same
The only women you see
Working in football
Are decorations
Eye candy they call them
Bagging footballers in their dreams
In the nets for tights
The rest of us
Who understand the offside rule
Who freeze in lines of sneers
And sexist comments we’re meant to hear
Know we’re tolerated just
But we’ll never really belong
Football is a Boys Club.

© Clare

Hiding Bias

I wish I could pretend
That I didn’t support this home team
I’m usually at games that for me
Are neutral
But when our centre forward
Cracked a goal from
All of 30 yards
I flung the press pack in the air
Leaped to the sky
And cheered with the rest
Of the ecstatic home crowd.

© Clare
Just lost it for a moment or two or three or four, usually very professional!

An inaccurate version of footballing history

Sir Matt Busby it was
The first one to die.
He went up to that great soccer pitch in the sky

Who are you? Said the Lord…
I’m Matt Busby, said Matt
The king of United, Old Trafford, all that….

I’m mad about football!
God said with glee
Come here, sit down and talk soccer to me

Then Catterick kicked off
For the game in the clouds
His passing was mourned by the Goodison crowds

And God looked at Harry
Said “Come in, sit down”
“Wer’e talking about Arsenal and Huddersfield Town”

Then Shankly came up
Saw Harry and Matt
And God – in the middle – on his throne he was sat.

And God looked at Shankly
Said ” I know your face”
I’m Bill Shankly” says Bill “And you’re in my place”…..

© Andy Maher 8 July 2005

In 1970, when pre-eminence was with three North Western football clubs, I wrote this poem, having heard the inevitable joke and because my uncle had promised a prize to the best poem produced by me and my three brothers

Hail the Horse (West Bromwich Albion v Portsmouth: May 15th 2005)

The Horse lies left-side-down on green, green turf,
so still that he could almost be asleep,
slowly stretches steel-forged sinews
to extend a studded boot one inch beyond the thin, white line.
Drawn in, as if by magnets, to the Zone,
this questing foot alone betrays his hunger for the fight.

The Horse is beautiful, but he is man not boy,
well past the age when to be young and fabulously fit is all the eye requires.
He is so solid: flesh, bones, dense with strength of purpose.
As he rises, every reflex is responsive; each muscle knows its job.
The eyes are carnivore: all focus, nothing missed;
the roaring crowd might not exist.

The Horse is skipping, darting, dancing on the touchline.
He is limber and alert.
He knows he can deliver, wears the mantle of belief.
It is time; the Horse is ready.
He is stripped down to his stripes,
revealing number nine emblazoned bloody on his back.

Announced by lights, he gains the field,
high-fives a lanky, long-haired lad retreating from the fray,
acknowledges the anthem sung exclusively for him
(to the tune of Bread of Heaven)
Feed the Horse! Feed the Horse! Feed the Horse and he will score.
Feed the Horse and he will score.

This Horse is the last hero in his General’s hand of cards.
He is Praetorian, Imperial, the Panzer tank of strikers:
his purpose is to act – not think:
fearless, unremitting, do or die.
Trot… canter… gallop;
the Horse takes up position, watches for the chance…

… which comes in less than thirty seconds.
Swivel… target… volley…Whoosh!
The stadium erupts into a cataclysm of joy.
There’s football history in the making: the Great Escape is on,
so hail the Horse! Hail the Horse!
Today, he is the one.

© Joanne Richards 22 May 2005
Watching Geof Horsfield warm up to come on for a sub for West Bromwich Abion on survival Sunday, I was inspired. Fortunately, so was he!

The Penalty

The dust has settled
The place has been picked
The goal like a gallows
My neck on the line

The keeper’s eyes
Round like dishes
Trying to suss
Which way to dive

He does his shuffles
Trying to outpsych me
He cracks his knuckles
Trying to entice me

A quick despatch
Catches him offguard
As I send the ball
Low and hard

His despairing fingers
Fail to connect
The ball now nestles
In the back of the net.

© Paul Lavender

the hook

what was it ?
the hook that got you.
a name?
a jumper?
a shout?
a song?
the ground?
the pitch?
a goal?
THAT goal?
THAT thirty yard screamer from the right channel?
what was it that got to you?
what was it?

© G V Perkins

Source: https://footballpoets.org/news/2005/08/02/a-july-welcome/