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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Walk On

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
of simply

the spirit of Shankly on the Kop
as it empties to Torres’ and Carra’s
applause and on Gerrard walks: walk on.


Background Artist said...

another few years dave, ten more, that's all, before they're relegated.

only joking, i'm the same mate, red and blue through and through. spent my childhood reading dandy and beano every saturday in the old alfa romeo in the garage, two sacks of comics on the back seat gav down the road found and roped me in to have them away from the back of the shop, on the railway embankment they was.

seven years old, hit gold and it took two years to get through, listening to Elton Welsbey on Radio City, one week Fortress Anfield and the next, Goodison.

The audio backwash to two young boys and, as often as not, alone reading, taking it in, soaking up the slumbering now forgotten games, too many to remember, in a second-hand remote live setting of the motor car wirelss set, Welsbey a professional you could trust, authority in his voice, a winner by osmosis, just by standing near. age seven to sixteen the Bob Paisley era, '74-83 like Fergie now but then and different.

Like your grandad, no airs and graces, simple rules. Start with defence and work out and everything else, takes care of itself. It wasn't about winning, but not losing, to defend and let nothing break the back wall. Fortress Anfield. Exactly what it says on the tin.

"If you're in the penalty area and don't know what to do with the ball, put it in the net and we'll discuss the options later."


Jimmy Case, the hardman, chopper i think they called him, Steve Heighway played for Ireland and started at Skem United before the reds, Callaghan

Jimmy Case and Terry McDermott, Alan Hansen, Sammy Lee, Graeame Souness, Ronnie Whelan, John Toshack and Kenny Dalglish, lore, life and


A legend can be written
from tales which will be woven
into myth around firesides
when they tell of how the night
belonged to a squad of incredibles
who stole it for the fans that
travelled to Istanbul,
or watched it on the box
in homes wherever the red
terrace anthem is a hymn sung.

Numerous men will speak
of how they took shirts off
and waved them around their heads
in contagious celebration
crying at the finish
unable to take it in,

many yielding to a moment they had prayed
would return all their adult lives,

last witnessed when a curly headed
Souness held old Big Ears aloft
as his last devotional act
for the fanatical supporters.

The Milanese may say our Grobbellar
wobbly goalkeeper was illegal
but we will just laugh and raise a toast
to the soccer gods blessing a team
unbeaten all over Europe in 20.05

For faith has been restored
to those who never walk alone
and pride once more brought back
in true Scouse style
to football's spiritual home.

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!

happy daze.

Anonymous said...

Shades of the Anfield Rap.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Walk on, stroll on , jog on.Whatever way ye do it ye'll be doin it empty handed. :)

Mad Aunt Bernard said...

Great poem, really like it - I'll be showing it to 'himself' who I'm sure will also like it (though he's a reading supporter and I don't think they're doing well enough to warrent even a limerick)

Jon said...

Hi there,

was wondering if I could pick your brain for a bit about a Beckett project you did some time ago (know how terrible that sounds... some time ago... uggghhh...)

I found your site through the beckett resources and links site which lists a blog project you did (i think) about 10 things on different aspects of beckett...

would appreciate (if you have the time and inclination) to hear your opinion on a couple of things...

about your post here...
was always a bit of a chelsea fan... not to do with my being canadian, but more likely that i lived in dublin for a few years and found more approval for th blue shirts than the red... sunny that in a place like dublin don't you think???

puthwuth said...

Ask away Jon, and I'll see if I can help.