Only A Game (But Doesn’t Football Love Hurt)

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 ok it’s only a game
but doesn’t football love hurt?
and even if you’ve never been in love
or felt pride
or understood the sweeper system
or maybe just hate the game
who among us is not shaken..
and here in Bath on Walcot Nation Day
on England-France night
if you were a tourist today
you might be convinced
this still wondrous Roman-Georgian city
always reeked of hot beer
and had been daubed forever
in red and white.. by George. perhaps

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 how proud to be British then
when every other car for three weeks
helps make fortunes for tacky flag makers
as a country unites predictably once more

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 but here in this drunken loutish ravey vibe
me – i take refuge in the children’s park
watch belly-dancing
and drink a Pimms for £2.50 from a plastic beaker
watch endless kids have faces painted with that cross..
for a change…and see hope in every young face

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 several hours later..
counting down the time with the sofa stricken millions
I ponder..why do we subject ourselves to this
and just how like sheep.
as a team – as a nation – as fans we are

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 for here while so-called heroes
run round like children in the morning
that special first half of day
all full of hope and rush and bravery and style
how soon they fall
exhausted from the rushing
the heat and struggle
into the twilight of second-half
when full-time beckons like some dreaded bed-time call
overtired now – hanging on
and barely holding back the French tide
like Dover’s gorgeous cliffs
which incidentally – and excuse me
have never actually seen Bluebirds
Bluebirds are a semi-exclusive American feathered community apparently
and – according to Radio Four –
dreamed up to be ‘over the cliffs’
by some dodgy Tin-Pan Alley bloke in New York
until pre-Beck days when another era’s sweethearts
Gracie or Vera got hold of it and now we are stuck with it

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 I remember suddenly however –
on finding my Citroen surpisingly un-vandalised
while some slurring union-jack draped drunken woman
apologises profusely and repeatedly
for her equallly inebriated bloke
bumping into my sleeping grand-daughter’s buggy……-
that the only place i’ve ever seen bluebirds
was on the front of a Buffalo Springfield Again album
way back in the sixties..

7 Leave a comment on verse 7 0 which leaves us with this –
our war-song heritage
with much un-stamped lion egg on our faces
not blaming the Lord of The Bling
for the penalty miss
400 idiots chucking chairs in an over-fifties Portuguese seaside resort
but much to play for apparently..

8 Leave a comment on verse 8 0 driving home then – my heart at half mast
like a droopy flag at Womad …or some royal funeral
dread of riots – shock loss and despair overcame me
and when bed finally found me
along with Butler Yeats Blake and the other greats before
then slept a troubled sleep did I
like Yoda finding himself suddenly at Disneyworld
surrounded by babies with mobile phones
and dvd players strapped to their heads
along with those of their newly cloned friends …

9 Leave a comment on verse 9 0 I was heartened then on waking
by this lovely DVLA Newsflash warning..
which perfumed my Inbox today..

10 Leave a comment on verse 10 0 “In order to assist other motorists
in identifying potentially dangerous drivers
it is now compulsory
for anyone
with a lower than average driving ability
to display a warning flag

11 Leave a comment on verse 11 0 the flag (comprising of a red cross on a white background)
will be attached to the top
of a least one door of their vehicle.

12 Leave a comment on verse 12 0 for drivers of exceptionally low ability
additional flags ( eg one on each side of vehicle)
are now required

13 Leave a comment on verse 13 0 how delightfully apt – how ‘je ne sais Zidane’
and how fragile we are
as Sting once said
‘sting’ being the operartive word right now..methinks

14 Leave a comment on verse 14 0 but fear not and roll on the Swiss roll..
the Croatian play- station-.platform
and Spain in the quarters.
and even if we don’

15 Leave a comment on verse 15 0 remember – “love shall win” (a la The Waterboys)


Source: https://footballpoets.org/poems/only-a-game-but-doesnt-football-love-hurt/