Poet's Corner

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Is Sport a substitute for War?

Fuera fuera maricones
Negros  vascos  Catalanes
Words of wisdom from the Neu Camp
Racist chants from the Spanish  fans

In Nineteen hundred and sixty  nine
Not so far from the Argentine
Honduras played El Salvador
And it was called the football war

And in Santiago and the Bernabeu
And all great arenas like the San Siro
They sometimes played behind closed doors
To re-enact their private wars

The fans in Ireland know their fate
And scream and shout in sectarian hate
The Orangemen in the afternoon 
Play their flutes to a military tune

And even near to our home shores
They re-enact their football wars
In local derbies they espouse
Rather be a paki   than a scouse

And then again in the Italian league
Milan and Juventus had to concede
to the southern darkies from Napoli
led by  Maradona trickery
So when in World Cup Italian time
Maradona played for the Argentine
The northern racists changed their tune
and cheered the blacks from Cameroon  

And the grimmest story that I could tell
Is from Afghanistan that land of hell
Where war is common and lives live on threads
They played their football with their heads

And later with the revolution
The Taliban took retribution
On women who had western breath
And in their arenas they met their death

So here a simple question I pose
To go from here and repose
To all of you who know the score
Is sport a substitute for War?

Why do it?

A grey and shabby brutal place
Your mums a slag, I’ll smash your face
No rest or peace a numbing din
Litter strewn around the bin

Broken windows broken doors
Peeling paint and filthy floors
Smokey , chokey , breathing space
Clear your head and fix your face

But amongst the mad the sad and the bad
A happy girl a lovely dad
So in the mayhem a wink and a smile
A joke and a laugh , is it worthwhile

S. Trebaczyk

Sacred Turf

Hallowed turf, you field of dreams made real
each Friday night.

Toiled for turf, we lobbied for you, petitioned
for you,wheeled & dealed for you, until the
deaf ears of the committee of football
phobic philistines relented.

Synthetic turf, you conglomeration of Flexible Foam
Gel coats and Stealth Coated Technology’  

You amalgam of resins, epoxies, polyurethane’s,
polyureas, silicones, acrylics and butyls.

Ball to turf, you rubber innovation offering up
resistance to 4 pounds and 99 pence worth
of 3rd world child exploitation.

So where is the nostalgia for what was? 
There is nothing more than a glimpse.

Rust infested turf, your granular skin,
black where the colour of red brick once was.

Forgiving turf, your excuse of the divot,
the untrue line, when it was the excuse
that was untrue.
Spoiling turf, your offering of the missing
board that foiled a certain goal every time.

Guarded  turf, your fence of horror that
threatened disembowelment, maiming
and the bollock crunching threat of castration,
nails protruding as if a chariots of war.
What reincarnation has transformed you from
chrysalis to butterfly, to our Wembley stadium,
our sacred turf?

Mark Newman


I was going
I was going to write a poem
I was going to write a poem
for you to hear
I was going to write a poem for you to hear
But it was clear
This would be
a bad idea

So I didn’t

R Tunstall
Dedicated to the
late great
Winston Braithwaite

Battle of St. Georges Day

 H’way the lads onto the fight
 After yet another heavy night
 The fans were strewn along the line
 This was now the telling time

 If Red Star  win then no team could
 Knock them 1st spot they stood.
 Or maybe the manager might get it  
 Or  legs may fail or the hamstring 

 So out they went to have their say
 so gallantly on St. George’s day
 Pumped up their limbs and
 strengthened their will.
 Went onto the pitch and got stuffed 


Dancing through the
coloured shirts
A ball

Tightened limbs
in the throat
The whistle blew 

Games in the head

Carlos Mejia Godoy

Ay Nicaragua, Nicaraguita
El Flor mas lindo de mi querer
Abonnada con la bendiga, ay Nicaraguita,
Sangre de Diriangen
Ay Nicaragua la mas dulcista
Que el mielito de Tamagas
Y ahora que ya sos libre, ay Nicaragua,
yo te quiero mucho mas

A song sung by Alix Hughes



Joined up football

Red Star comrades through and through
Teachers lawyers and accountants too
Maybe strong and maybe fit
But why can’t we just pass a bit

Friends and neighbours know the score
Drinking and bonding while on tour
Always trying and never quit
But why can’t we just pass a bit

Moaning groaning, all have their views
Recriminations when we lose
EP storms off with buttoned lip
Saying why can’t we just pass a bit

But from now on we could say
Joined up football we could play
With more awareness we could use our wit
Then we might   just pass a bit.

But now we sit between pillar and post
Pay fond regards to our fine host
Raise your glasses and do it quick
Then we might  get pissed a bit