Poems tagged ‘Wellness’

Season 2019/2020 – Missing Presumed Lost

Days stretched into weeks
No football, at all
Football is just a game, say those who don’t get it
To us, it’s all we’ve ever known
the centre of everything we’ve planned
Friendlies, cup, home and away,
Life on the calender was H A AHA HAA – not laughing any more
it’s all H H H H H H H H H home home home
no win situation, no draw
just loss (no change there then Norwich City fans)
Stay home – easy when we’ve got live football on TV – but now?

It’s a contact sport, being a football fan
We know each other, every child, woman and man
Some fans, we know by name
Others are ‘the man on the end of the row’ (yeah, catchy)
or the bloke who sits behind Peter
but now they’re all absent friends

The people you used to work with
The one you talk Only Connect with
Old neighbours you sometimes bump into
Not-quite-strangers give you a nod, or a wave
Others you look out for, to give them space to cross your path
With their age, their crutches or frame
It’s football – of course they still came

The one with a glowering, granite face who taunts the ref
But when we score it’s like dawn breaking
Beaming, he hugs two rows, but, first, his dad

People from down our road
fellow sardines on the 1.15pm train
Those we went to school with
the ones who share our load
Good to see you, all right mate
How’s the missus, take care
People no longer here, in this life
Still always in the crowd

Yeah, course we’re all hooligans to some
But there’s only love here, never hate
People of all shirts, giving banter, taking bait
It’s all been snatched away till we don’t know when
Who knows what next, some we’ll never see again

Its changed us for ever, this vicious virus
Our lives have changed, and yeah it is only football, but I miss it
To end, I’m mangling words from Billy Ray Cyrus
It broke my heart, my achy-breaky heart
And I just think you fans will understand.

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Un-wanted hat-trick

We see our boys
out on the pitch
giving their all
chasing the oppo
chasing the ball

we see our players
skillful and wilful
at the top of their game
but we see them having a ‘mare
and we mete out the blame

we see them on the telly
we see them being papp’d
we see them all too easily
but how about when they’re trapped?…..

an Irish chat show coup…
John Walters welcomed like a hero
post retirement, announcing
“my Achilles heel, was literally,
my Achilles heel”

“So, how do you feel?”
the presenter poses
and one supposes
we’ll hear the usual
footy cant
a cache of clichés

coaching badges, blah
punditry, blah
golfing, blah
a cushy life, yadda yadda

but we were un-prepared
for the baring of the soul
no care for Euro qualification
or the scoring of a goal

for John swerved
from “missing the boys, and the noise
from the stands”
weaving to
a “triple whammy”
a heartfelt admission
from an 11yr old boy, still missing his mammy

and I don’t have his permission
to present this commission
but as a fan
hearing the true story, the back story, the black story
the real behind the reel
“so how do you feel?”
and he draws us in
to the depths that he plumbed
loss after loss after loss
not, as in games or matches
but the tragedy of losing life
of family dispatches
and losing health
and sod the Premier wealth
for it brought no solace

he welled
he blanked
he tanked
he “corpsed”
but he showed us a way
to the man behind the “stoic star”
we were no longer
looking in from afar
but sobbing with him
approving of his disapproving
of the way he tried to be –
footballer first
wounded human second
suppressing the grief
of just days before
by training hard and pushing more
being “a man”
and taking it on the chin
of not wanting to break “the taboo”
of hardy men
and the barriers erected
against sensitivity
and the proclivity
to not share, to keep hidden
any susceptibility
that emotion might obscure
the single minded view
of winning at all costs
of winning ugly
and if not winning, then not losing
not losing points
not losing face
not losing your place
on the team…

no-one would deem
that this strong man fronted, for personal gain
for this portrait of pain
of a man, bowed by anguish
by despair, was all too obvious
showing us a man incapable of unburdening
at say, Burnden Park

but here he did
he swallowed hard
he caught his breath
he forced himself, he willed himself
to unload, to share
to show that it’s good to talk
and that we should never walk

Spoken like a true Scouse
Of proud Irish Heritage.

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Source: https://footballpoets.org/news/poem-tags/wellness/