Poems

The Brothers is the epigraph poem to Heroic by Phil Earle (Penguin, 2013)
Heroic – Phil Earle

 

Denis Irwin Invented the Toothbrush, in Under the Radar Issue 11, June 2013 – Nine Arches Press

Hutong Song Bicycle Song featured on And Other Poems (Feb, 2014)

Two-one, or not two-one appeared in The Moral Victory, a Dulwich Hamlet FC fanzine (Issue 3)

FullSizeRender (14)

After Mercer in ‘Southern Poets’, Poetry Now, 2007 (ed. Aimee Vanstone)

The Removal Of Terry Street in ‘Poetry from London’, Forward Press, 2007 (ed. Mark Richardson)

A Journey in ‘North East Delights’, Arrival Press, 1993 (ed. Trudy Purdy)

HARBOUR ARM

We met on a harbour arm,
cradling the town
under sea-people shriek,
and strolled on
promenade, avoiding
the cracks
in the street.
You were a clown prince
parading down town,
knew these shifty sands
like the back of your
rollercoaster
hand,
the rise and fall,
the charring.
We glanced sideways at the
nothing
’til we reached some wooden seats,
another broken shelter
from the slap-slapping sea,
north of here, out of reach.
And at that bend –
tilt your compass, you said,
my friend –
and waver.
And then you left,
big feet lapping
at the beach
beneath the streets,
slap-slapping off
into the night,
mumbling
‘blessed are the cracked
for they
let in
the light’

Two poems from The Breslau Elf

BULGAKOV’S CAT

have a smoke to calm your nerves, then toss back a strong drink to tone your muscles

Lev Yashin is
Bulgakov’s cat
A master to the
Margerita
Black panther
Dressed in black
Cloth cap
Clawing
On an
ice face

THE NORTHERN COUNTIES EAST FOOTBALL LEAGUE WELCOMES DR SOCRATES

Saturday 20th November 2004,
Garforth Town versus Tadcaster United,
Wheatley Park, Yorkshire:

Having spent much of the game
shivering in the dugout wearing
a woolly hat and gloves

he came on for his first competitive
game in fourteen years,
twelve minutes to go, snow falling.

Doctor of Medicine; captain marvel,
Brazilian legend; democracy fighter,
Philosopher, thinker, shape-shifter –

Sixty cigarettes a day and a tankful of booze,
nine-a-side football with a musical
flair: vote the beautiful game,

Vote Democracia! All six-foot-four of it;
head-band wreathed over the beard of a King,
or a Yorkshireman –

Sócrates Brasileiro Sampaio de
Souza Vieira de Oliveira,
Yorkshire, Yorkshire, Yorkshire:

He tested the keeper with a
twenty-yard shot but faded as
the game ended two-two

All poems Copyright © Michael Wagg 2013

Back to Top