Tag Archives: sport

The Fighter:A Noble Art (Rebooted as Reqiuem For A Fighter ,3 Jan.2020)

Chico “The Bull” Torres
practitioner of the pugilistic arts,
was considered by his employers
the “Men” from Reno Nevada
as the best light heavyweight
prospect of his generation;
Chico would’ve gone on to challenge
the renowned Hagler and Hearns
and like them had his glory,
become beatified and transcendent
in the hearts of his compatriots,
but the moon crossing Sagittarius
made such a moment inauspicious;
repeated adrenalin thrusted blows
spurting fountains of haemoglobin
the viscerality of their acute pain
of bone on bone on bone
sending The Bull and his compatriots’dreams
crashing down down into canvass oblivion;
his brain torn
slashed kidneys bleeding
and oxygen failing,
for Chico “The Bull”Torres,
the moment of glory
had already passed.

(Louis Kasatkin has asserted his Right under the Copyright,Designs&Patents Act 1998 to be identified as the author of this work)

Four-Four-Two :(The best poem about Soccer,ever.)

A Poem of Two Halves

two halves,
first one side
then the other,
to and fro
contesting middle-of
-the-park, 4-4-2,
Versus 5-3-2,
Yellow Card!Red
Card!Yellow Card!Red
Card!, the touchline
fight, the linesman’s
Flag! waving vainly,
As the Home fans
Roar ” OFF SIDE!!”
No doubt Still
It’s a
G O A L
And
The
AWAY fans
Go away
HAPPY !

(This performance poem works best with large classes split into 2 groups and have them alternately “ooh” and “aah” terraces style,at the end of each line.it has proved to be the most performed and enduring of all in my poetry masterclasses in schools over the years)

Remembrance :( Northern Union Final Pre-War )

Beneath faded picture card skies,
uneven lines huddle outside
(Belle Vue,Fartown,Headingley)
elysian fields where empty
terraces beckon down-at-heel
conquistadors searching their
deepest pockets for a hidden
El-Dorado of Ha’pennies,Tanners
and thrup’ny bits;
Worn out archaic faces peer at
children playing on the corner
where a temperance band greets
the trams disembarking volunteers
for the autumnal Mardi-Gras,
a feast of mesmerising havoc,
where legendary warriors
(Wagstaff,Goldthorpe,Parkin)
are again released from sepia-tinted
summers’siren thrall to engage in
rites of combat that’ll be retold
in troubadour ballads of the golden age;
A golden age whose lanterns grow
dim and exhortations expire and
charabancs hoofbeats recede as other
hoofbeats herald a darker destiny under
foreign skies for figures the colour
of a Lowry drawing hearthward bound,
past fast fading Charlie Chaplin at
the Picture House,Karno at the Royal,
through silent grainy tableaux where
steam whistles shrill and pit wheels
spin,above Balaclava,Inkerman,Mafeking,
uneven huddled streets down which
sepia-tinted warriors shall never come
marching,never come marching home,again.

(“Remembrance”a.k.a.”Northern Union Final Pre-War”was first published in the official matchday programme of Wakefield Trinity v.Halifax,19/3/2000 and the poem was performed on 5/7/2000 at the anniversary Monkey Bar now the Cow Shed on Northgate,Wakefield gig.)

Gone..

The last gate has been locked,
the last groundsman has gone,
Stands empty now,
soon not a brick or heap will remain;
(boots in the locker,jerseys on the floor)
Clarence Street and Fartown no more.

Clouds pass and the deserted
neighbourhood’s murmur fades
leaving the open field to its destiny
Void and awake,silently talking
to the silent travelling moon;
“The day has passed,they have gone”

Names that were once our fortress,
thirteen giants on the horizon
to which our dreams aspired;
(boots in the locker,jerseys on the floor)
Crown Flatt and Parkside no more.

Lonely and still the phantom
Stands glisten,the goalposts
symbols of our aspirations,
etch their gaunt shadows across the
turf,whereon the last try was scored,
(boots in the locker,jerseys on the floor)
hopes and dreams,no more.

Footnotes
(this poem was first published in Total rugby league magazine on 14/6/2000 and appeared in the official matchday programme for Wakefield Trinity v.Bradford Bulls on 23/7/2000.)
*Clarence Street was the historic home ground of York RLFC;Fartown was the home of Huddersfield RLFC-the team Tommy Smales played for-;Crown Flatt was home to Dewsbury RLFC and Parkside belonged to Hunslet RLFC.*And all before the noble Northern game of Rugby League sold its soul to NewsCorp and the Summer superleague.

Last of the Hard Men

Mud-stained
blood stained,
distraught
getting caught
out in the
rain and snow
with nowhere to go;
nowhere to run
nowhere to hide,
nothing left
to lose but that
sense of pride of,
battling and standing
up to the likes of,
Knocker,Big Jim and Kurt;
face ground in the dirt,
fists flurried in the scrum
sound of trumpets,
beating of the drum;
Ref.blow the whistle
let battle commence
and then..
tell me about the
last of the hard men.

(First published in the official matchday programme for Wakefield Trinity v.London Broncos,27/8/2000 and then in Total Rugby League magazine a week later)

Bradman : ( The Legend )

Sepia-tinted were our memories of those summers
just before the War,sounds of those childhood days
like half-remembered nursery rhymes were snatched
from us at the coming of the Hellfire and its roar
of the Heinkel and Messerschmitt;

A solitary green and gold cap gleamed with an aura
of invincibility as animated Movietone crowds roared
as the ball soared again and again,making scoreboards
flicker in black & white with streams of harsh cadences
from a battle-hardened bat,that echoed across verdant
pastures moistened by the dew of legends,at Old Trafford,
Headingley and Trent Bridge;

An unostentatious eminence simmering in the cauldron
of confrontation at the Oval,a peerless mastery of hostile
bowling denying,so often,too often the Lions their spoils
on the hallowed turf at Lord’s,where a solitary green and
gold cap gleamed with an aura that made the ball soar again
and again and made those summers rekindle our childhoods
and their half-remembered nursery rhymes.