Ashes Poetry - cricket

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David Fine, Ashes poet in residence in Australia 2006-7

England vs Australia.
Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne, Sydney 2006-2007

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Sunday, December 31, 2006

Melbourne Days 4&5+NYE

“Due to no play being required on the fourth day of the Melbourne Test, Ticketmaster will give 100% refunds to all patrons.”

So much for no Melbourne Day Four and Five talks. Any complaints should be directed directly to the England Cricket Team.

What to do – here is a poem on Day Three Old Trafford, where doubtless Pakistanis with a yen to complain took it up with their team.

Old Trafford Triptych 3rd Day 2nd Test England vs Pakistan 2006

Looking Ahead

two days to spare
what will we do tomorrow?

lick wounds
savour the taste of victory
naughty boy nets
what will we do tomorrow?

cancel a thousand barm cakes
dismantle tents and portaloos
ask landladies, scratch our heads
for other things to do
return quarters early
to a backlog of diy
ring the temp agency for other jobs
just above the minimum wage
what will we do tomorrow?

get so stupendously blotto
tomorrow falls out of the question
absent-mindedly switch on to 1500 metre
long wave to wonder why life in Ambridge
hasn’t yet stopped.

what will we do tomorrow?
maybe the outcome was never in the balance
one thing for sure
unlike Macbeth it’s all over
before Birnam Wood and Dunsinane Hill
came against him.

"Any rubbish there at all?" asks the Virgin Blue steward onward to Sydney Test Five. England cricket team, I say, which is perhaps unfair because there is a chance of redemption or final rites in the fifth test. Will it be a sly Tuffer’s post-coital gasper, or a fag-end of the most one-sided Ashes Series since Warwick Big Ship Armstrong Mcgrathed John Won't Hit Today Douglas's England side 5-0 in 1921-2. Who can say but read BowlingPlanGate in tomorrow's

New Year’s Eve Sydney Harbour Bridge tonight appearing on Radio 5 Live’s Julian Worricker show, and here’s a poem to prove it. Have a good one, one and all, not least the England and Australian teams and all their followers.

Harbour Bridge – 00 00 Monday 1st January

a city and land defined by sea, a far greater bridge:
Flinder’s circumnavigation never left its moorings
from Donnington’s dominion. Seventy-five years
is nothing more than a life-time bearings.

Over and under, each passage changes yours
a fraction of a second or degrees more abruptly.
The click of rail tracks, ferry
boards or calendar make each journey
a new year for someone far or near;
Greek, Chinese, Korean, Indian, Thai, Mediterrean, Slav,
the city is a restaurant of nationalities,
not just UK nor Australia.
A two century skin to countless millenia
of aboriginal lands: hard to come to terms with
what Cook first saw when missing harbour
or orginal cooks sixty thousand years earlier,
each passage changed their being.

Every one of us history.

after commissioned fireworks and similar paraphenalia
are dustcarted and dumped with any scent of sulphur,
the world becomes again what it was before,
edged on a little further from its origins.
Rail meets gunnel, steel the sea,
Kirribilli, Neutral Bay, Karra Point,
Mosman, Manly, Watson’s,
Pyrmont, Balmain, Parramatta,
all points compass Circular Quay.

Nothing’s left.
In the wind, rain, flood tides
and fogs, steamer horns stygian
the clatter of trains anchor chains
knuckling the bridge under. The smell of oil, riches,
ghosts of spices, wheat, sheep, cattle,
hides and fleeces, unwashed, chaffed, settlers too,
awash within the pattern book of antiquity’s development
the bridge pays its tolls to.

Watch the ferries dance their first footings
to dawn’s indiginous tune.