December 11, 2006

December Poem Of The Month (Part IV)

Advent Calendar Selection Box

from Sheer Paltry

Bard Of Bristol

"You’re supposed to be at ’ome!!"

Standing in my team red before a game, yelling the chants - in and out of sync,
The main feeling is of being a complete fraud.
It's not that the team doesn't matter to me:
It matters enough to give me a heart attack.
It's just that, with only distant memories of 2-3-5 to fall back on,
I never really understand what's going on.
There are fifty blokes with a view I could ask from anywhere around me
But they each seem to be commentating on a different match.
And I live five hours from Bristol so it's hard to stay in touch.
And, however you market it, the match atmosphere is just like you get in a men-only garage -
Oily, reductive, ferociously competitive about everything and nothing-
Aggravated by six pints of booze and ten thousand men-brains,
The kind of thing I went to University to get away from.
If it weren't for the tightening in the stomach every match day,
The inferno of baying noise - purged by love and loyalty
(And comradeship and chantorion and cheer,)
The shiver of the perfectly pitched pass,
The tantalising tactical one twos, the toothsome tingling tackles,
The faith-affirming final ball through the box,
The frantic flash of foot through frenzied ball
The fluent flight of ball through air into flapping net,
The fabulous tapestry of red against blue over green,
The red knights tilting at perfection,
The pavilions of banners, pennants and scarves,
The child’s red and white Christmas of the goal consummations -
Then I probably wouldn't bother.

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