Faith, Hope and Charity

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 I’m sitting in the Shed writing this,
No, not Chelsea, but Porthgain,
The Shed Café and Bistro,
Complete with uncool definite article,
And a very nice cream tea,
(Though not for you Jardel)
In Porthgain, Pembrokeshire.
It’s that generous time of year
When the hedgerows are full of fruit,
When the sun sinks behind corn field stubble,
The first football manager gets the sack,
Mars and Earth are close together,
And the Pompey Chimes ring out from Newnham Church,
Down on the banks of the River Severn,
Where three boats lay rotting in the mud,
A bit like some football clubs, I suppose,
Or Faith, Hope and Charity in a Board of Directors.
You get to this spot, opposite Newnham,
Through the village of Arlingham,
Where a barber’s kiosk stands in the Red Lion car park,
(Less of a kiosk, more of a broken down van really)
“Be smart for your next appointment,
No need to book”,
A bit like agents arranging transfers, I suppose.
But I lay down on the bank of the Severn for a few minutes,
And drifted away, listening to football and the Test Match,
Listening to the crossword clues, watching the clouds float by,
Reading “Life Of Pi” – no definite article there,
Listening to my mother-in-law, singing and humming
“For Those In Peril On The Sea”,
A bit like Pi with a Royal Bengal Tiger, I suppose,
Or terra firma Wolves, whose visit to Old Trafford,
Neatly coincided with the equally rare meeting of Mars and Earth.
I picked up the paper and read about the Hutton Inquiry,
Where spectators queued for an equally rare statement of the Truth,
And also read of left wing bibliophiles,
All waiting to buy Luther Blisset’s “Q”;
Not the Luther Blisset, of course,
Instead the anarcho anti-capitalist authorial collective,
That named itself in honour of the Watford-Milano misfit,
And now in line for the Guardian Book prize;
But now I’m writing this, watching the wind in the thistles,
Sitting by St. Non’s Chapel, near St. Davids,
And what can a secular rationalist do
When near a shrine near the shining ocean?
Drop a coin and pray for promotion, of course,
For if Luther Blisset can win the Guardian Book Prize,
Then surely Swindon can grab a play-off spot?
Faith, Hope and Charity is all I ask for.
I made my way to the chapel and in the darkening afternoon,
I found, by the altar, this popular Irish blessing,
“May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
And the rain fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.”
And so whatever your God might be,
And whether atheist or agnostic,
I wish you a good season –
Unless your team is in Division 2 of course.

Source: https://footballpoets.org/poems/faith-hope-and-charity/