Tuesday, 20 November 2012

'All Time Top Three' by Steve Ely

Following on from the excellent interview with South Yorkshire poet Steve Ely, here's some of his work. I'll let it speak for itself, but remind you that his new book 'Oswald's Book of Hours' is available for pre-order from Amazon.

All Time Top Three

In reverse order:

Away, Kirkby Independent, 1993:
taking a long ball from Wack,
over my shoulder and onto my chest
in the channel by the right hand edge of the box,
with Popeye screaming for it square
and the centre half closing and jostling,
I let it bounce once
then took it on the full
and watched incredulous
as it screamed thirty diagonal yards
rising all the way
over the keeper into the top left corner of the net.

At home against the Harlequin, 1997:
I sprung the offside trap,
nipping in on a dinked ball from Growler.
The keeper dashed out into the ‘D’
making himself big
and leapt at me, a reckless imminent impact.
I did the only thing I could
and sliced across the waist high-bouncing ball,
sending it high and vertical over the keeper
before taking the clatter
and picking myself up
to see the topspin I applied
drop the ball into the net
and Benno diving on me and shouting 
“Who’s this fucking Brazilian we’ve got playing for us?”

Away, Spion Kop, 1987:
the ball broke towards their centre half
with plenty of time, but looking complacent,
so I sprinted at him
made it a 50/50 and won it,
the ball spinning loose
ten yards further towards their goal.
I jumped up and went after it,
two-footing the covering full back
sending the ball squirting
to the edge of their box
where I emptied the lunging keeper
and smashed the ball into the unguarded net
for my second and last goal
of the game, nevertheless completing my hat-trick
(Guy Marley, who scored a header
from a corner in the first half
was unregistered,
so Jamie, our manager and press liaison
credited his goal to me, incidentally bestowing
the back-page headline, 'Ely Hat-Trick Sinks Kop'
on the back page of the Hemsworth and South Elmsall Express.)


 Zack Wilson is the author of 'Stumbles and Half Slips' from Epic Rites Press. Also available from Amazon.com.

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