Poems tagged ‘Portsmouth’

77 Minute Haiku ~Peterborough v Portsmouth 16.03.24

go on go on go

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Is more than a postcode,
more than a famous stadium,
with steel riveted girders,
and those mock Tudor beams.
There is more to this place,
than Archibald Leitch,
a stand on each touchline,
and blue plastic seats.
This place is its people,
players, supporters and staff,
a community with purpose,
from boardroom to the streets,
where everyone is welcome,
we are solid in our aim,
our passion and pride is Pompey,
Hampshire’s most successful team.
One city, one club, one family,
with Heaven’s Light Our Guide,
standing strong together,
we bring this place to life.

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Portsmouth’s old High Street in Eighteen Ninety-Eight
Legacies were made in these pledging of deeds,
A field of potatoes to this place of dreams.
Years of victories from this April 5th date.

Up for the cup and championships run through,
Promotions, relegations all that’s between.
Poverty then prospering this island’s seam,
One city one club in the pink then the blue.

More trophies than most, (such as those down the road),
Players may change and the stadium reveal,
Each summer’s new paint until surfaces gleam;
Yet much is unchanged that mere time can’t corrode.

Put on your colours and then head to the ground,
One road to the next as rivers to the sea.
Memories in chatter all ages one theme,
Passionate and proud, to this we are all bound.

Each line joins another, towards Fratton Park,
Young and old in our faith, this one crowd to be,
Pass through the turnstiles and then upstairs we stream,
Launching into song with the whistle the spark.

And out on this pitch under floodlights’ bright beam
You’ll know by our roar why we’re held in esteem,
Underdogs, favourites we’ll shout, and we’ll scream,
Portsmouth one heartbeat, one city and one team.

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At The Reunion – For John Milkins

He holds out his hands,
says they are sore every day.
Old knuckles so swollen,
he’s never worn a ring.

No protection like now,
gloves thinner back then
those stitched leather footballs,
weighted with rain.

Yet recalling his history
he smiles at the past
a life fully lived,
in all its victories and scars.

Joining other players
on this anniversary date,
for wide grins and laughter;
for memories replayed.

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Like all those before we walk the streets
We walk the streets towards the light
The light of this place our one true calling
One true calling we hallow this earth
This earth this place this scrap of green
This scrap of green of nurtured dreams
Of nurtured dreams over so many years
So many years and my grandfather’s hand
Hand on my shoulder and ushering me through
Through clicking turnstiles to climb these steps
Climb these steps my son’s turn now
My son’s turn now for this is our faith
For this is our faith we proclaim in song
We proclaim in song with all those before us

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Bird in Hand

Bird in Hand

The FA Cup 1939 – 2008

We drink in the presence of greatness.
A glorious bird of paradise
that fills the room with life.
Wanderers to Portsmouth all roads between,
a coach trip ride through hedge-screened fields.

This monochrome world that we engraved
as so many lives were sliding past.
Waiting for the blackout to end,
as if nothing we did really mattered,
as if watching was all that there was.

So we taped up all the windows,
made do with any small victory,
turned out the lights and kept quiet.
As the radio spat static and crackled,
keeping our hopes in the dark.

And here we are only nine months on,
a country pub where they kept it safe
for five lost years as the city burned,
payloads emptied on a scrap of earth.
Abide with me all flags at half mast.

Abide with me and a sea of blue.
Wembley stadium and Kanu scores,
forty-something men so close to tears,
my daughters and I in our Pompey shirts.
The final whistle on a perfect day.

And here we are on the journey home,
brilliant colours will fade to none,
as the flags we carry are furled away.
Like Tommy Rowe at ninety-two
leaving all thoughts in the dark.

So drink to the presence of greatness,
for everything you do really matters.
Enjoy all of your victories.
Turn on the lights and sing out,
for living is all that there is.

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