Stopping By The Ground On A Snowy Morning

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 whose ground this is I surely know
unrecognizable in snow
and I my glee can barely hide
to find these gates all open wide
my little dog must think it strange
to stop with neither fan nor game
he gives his furry head a shake
as if to say ..”give me a break”
as icicles upon the stand
hang pointing like some outstretched hand
more purer than the blankest page
this dazzling winter football stage
more magic now than old cup ties
when we the giants would surprise
or days when sun beats down on grass
as golden as some stunning pass
but where so many stand and yell
there’s only me to feel and tell
save for a flag with pigeons on
who with a flurried flake are gone
no markings here to see at all
no ground-staff player coach or ball
but I’m enraptured by the sight
of snow-bound terraces of white
I think on all who ever stood
or sat through seasons bad and good
a hundred years upon this hill
the driving winds the biting chill
from Bovril to our own Q-Pie
the fans who came in suit and tie
from bobble hats to hoods of black
who wish the olden days were back
the players we have loved and seen
from black and white to dayglo green
The South Stand up to VIP
for vegan fare in luxury

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 I ponder on it on my own
while standing silent and alone
as all around in empty streets
brave motorists will make retreats
and slide through Nailsworth’s transformed land
like skaters in some wonderland
upon this hill which winds us home
I think of who’s up next at home
and hope this snow will all be gone
and that our game will still be on
but I have roads to face as well
with words to write and rhyme and tell
and soon so soon I must return
to where my cottage fire will burn
but still I stand like referees
upon awarding penalties
to share in wonder as I go
the beauty of a ground in snow



Forest Green Rovers from the South Stand where I stand and drum.
The Bolt New Lawn . Another Way, Nailsworth. Glos. 14 December 2022.

Poem :
Inspired by and crudely adapted from one of my all time favourite poems: Robert Frost’s ‘Stopping by Woods On A Snowy Evening.’ *

*I first wrote a (Chelsea) variation of this poem in 2004 after one of many football poetry worshops on anti-racism with local young students for Chelsea FC. One of the sessions took place in a suite at Stamford Bridge which overlooked a snow -covered empty ground in December that year. The session was part of the club’s innovative Education Through Football Programme. It also appears on this site among my poem published under the title : ‘Stopping By The Bridge On A Snowy Evening.’

Source: https://footballpoets.org/poems/stopping-by-the-ground-on-a-snowy-morning/