Some say it’s been summer since the first of May. Other say June, but there’s that not-so-tiny population who associate a certain sports event with the beginning of a good summer every four years. And debut writer to Words, Pauses, Noises, Jonathan Brick showcases this fanaticism for football in his poem, ‘Two Elevens’, right on time for the World Cup 2014.
Written in the aftermath of the 2013/4 Premier League football season
There stands a craggy gargoyle, his feet all sunk in clay
He could never cut it when the cuttings were so cruel.
The gargoyle prowled, the younger version of the last
Without the nous or gracelessness or necessary vim.
Yes, they got into the last eight, but not into t’top four;
The money spinning dizzily, it landed on a tail.
They kept the number ten and brought another in,
And number twenty, injured, spurned him publically.
The captain didn’t want to fight, the youngsters wanted out.
And so, forty weeks later, the door was shown. He’s out.
The gaffer served a P45. Football. Bloody. Hell.
There stands a kindly Ulsterman, a trophy in his grasp.
He blended youth, experience and guile, and nearly won it well.
He blooded spaniels, kept a bulldog and the Rottweiler never stopped.
The dogs did score, as history beat down upon their shirts,
Justice done. They’re two behind still, 20 in their sights.
Their purpose – that was singular, their progress startled all.
Not least the gargoyle’s capo, who turned the Mackem down.
He smacked the ball with cunning, despite his funny run.
The winning run he helped to put together almost did it.
Back where they belonged. They went again but didn’t.
And there’s the kindly Irishman, never taking credit.
It’s refreshing to experience such a universal topic interpreted through verse. It’s an appropriate medium in the sense that most people would have a present, if not distant sports chant or verse in honour of their favourite team. Poetry complements the pace of sport and expresses what the fans can’t sometimes, without needing to throw a drink at the TV screen.
A quick reminder to all of our faithful flock, submissions are open to everybody. Feel free to dust off the file on your desktop and send them into us at kingstonCWMA@gmail.com