February 08, 2011

Welsh Rugby

Welsh Rugby

John scores a hero's try
and breaks his collarbone.
It's only a Games lesson
but it feels like The Grand Slam.
I took his drive for the line
right on the boil on my upper lip.
"Nasty place to have a boil," muses Terry Cobner,
the Games Master: Pontypool, Wales, Armageddon,
the Great British Lion who taught me everything
if I come a second late to his lesson
he hits me so hard on the backside with a redflash dap
I can't even cry with the pain.
Last week, Rhys broke his shin failing to make a mark.
I saw the white bone
hanging out of the skin, and the chunks of blood:
one look was enough.
then up to Ma Kinnock's for 'istory:
leather jacket, hard consonants, Llewellyn the Last and
"well boys, did you see the match - Cardiff and Arsenal?"
(no r in Cardiff, none in Arsenal).
The break she saw me fracture Thomas's nose was the proudest break of my life
but she is as beautiful as the Barley Mountain in spring
and I'm getting to the age when I want to keep my teeth
(I don't want to be Gareth Edwards,
I want to be The Beatles.)
Last week, watching "Terry" hang out of the window
in the middle of another of his recycled RE lessons
yelling at someone on the Rugby field to tackle even harder,
I decided it was easier to study Prince Llewellyn
than to re-enact him on the pitch.
I know already that all peoples (even gentle ones)
who've had their sovereignty stolen by a superior force
produce males who all their lives have to prove
it's no reflection on their manhoods.
It's difficult for the English to understand this.
It's why Rugby isn't cricket in Wales
but War.

From "Exile In His Own Country" Bluechrome 2006

A school contacted me today asking for a poem suitable for Year 10. So I sent this. The shirt in the photo will be performing Arthur;Britain's Making at Venue 53 at the Edinburgh Fringe throughout August 2011. With me inside it.

No comments: