Tuesday, May 12, 2009
It ain’t over yet, but since I’ve been writing this on and off since the Madrid game in March I thought I’d post this poem now as my keepsake for the season now almost over. This was the year Liverpool lost fewer games than any other premiership team, scored more goals, and easily won most games in the mini-league of the top four sides. And also, yes, couldn’t beat Stoke. There but for Fernando Torres’ hamstring would not have gone the unspeakables (hellfire and pestilence upon them), I naturally but firmly believe. But now for the poem:
Pass and move, said Shankly.
Clatter of seats on the Kop.
Ping of the ball off Torres’
heel: the back-line cowers,
stranded. Belter from Gerrard
knocked wide. Walk on!
Memories of Rome awaken,
Rome 81. Frankly, Mr Shankly,
the position we’ve held looks geared
to trouncing them. Kop
that, Madrid! Cuirasse
of a through-ball driven home by Torres.
Corner: Carragher towers,
holds the line. Will not weaken.
We all dream of a team of Carras.
A kind of socialism, Shankly
wanted: red flags on the Kop,
and Franco’s own left gored
by matador Gerrard,
who scores from the spot. They argue the toss
but winded Madrid can’t cope.
This I want to see week in
week out, Stevie arms wide like the Shankly
statue, one caress
of the ball away from a third. Of course
we’ll stuff United next: on guard,
unspeakables, prepare to sink low
as it gets when you play at ours,
I daydream, as the cattle wagon
of the Madrid defence cap
the evening with a gifted fourth. Their cup
run ith over. Ah victory, crass
and delicious. And so we walk on,
the chant’s last line roared
and rising to a trace
the spirit of Shankly on the Kop
as it empties to Torres’ and Carra’s
applause and on Gerrard walks: walk on.