The Beautiful Game
Football is art’s reflection of oneness
In a world of divisions; of beauty’s truth
Leaping muscle-bound fouls; the dreams of youth
Without its injured ordinariness
Or age’s silting of its genius;
The Best without its thickening uncouth
Slurred self-disgrace or bruising disproof
By yobs in boots; the angel dance of studs:
-Like Pele’s pass, to gift a certain goal
He’d made his own, to some more mortal bloke
He’d knew without a call or look was there;
-Or Maradonna’s second that turned a whole
Defence, a childhood’s poverties, to air
More light than hand of God or head of coke.
Note: For some reason, my mind is turning to football - and the World Cup - this June. This poem is from the Tribes section of "Exile In His Own Country" and celebrates the Pele-eyed vision of the whole event. It's a more serious version of my football fantasy piece, "Imaginary Madrid" in which Bristol City win the European Cup 4-0 over "Real" Madrid and Calway gets the third. I really do think that football can be "art's reflection of oneness in a world of divisions." Really. Of course, if it's England's World Cup, the oneness will be that much easier to feel, but it's there anyway.
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