Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Match Day, 26th of May

Black liquid slips
             down the red inside

           Even here, there's British shapes
                                  some itching strains

What are the rules then
                    the remaining
                           still, a waiting hand

                  a rest     a minim rest

Talking is somebody's house

        raw laughter by unlit fire

  heavy men     and thinned men

         We'll be drinking
                           holy water from the cup

Chair skins swell
                   and a table breathes

            Hibs, blue painted
     ghost about the pitch    

       out of hiding corners stare

                What's the face you get round abouts


  1. The pub in Ballycastle we were drinking in, you would have thought it was an Old Firm match. Chock full of Celtic fans, every bloody song turned about the Rangers. Not one mention of Hibernian. Lord knows what they're going to do with the Gers out the picture.

  2. Now I don't anymore if I'm in England or in Scotland or in Ireland. I'm such a slow one. I guess I'll have a sip of that holy water whoever won :-)
    And just to confuse me a little more, my anti-robot type-in word today is Burlington! I like that.

  3. It was Northern Ireland, Ulster or the 6 counties (depending on who you're talking to). I felt a fair bit disorientated myself. Both familiar and foreign; Irishness or Britishness blown up and made strange.

    The pub was Catholic. Given the family connections of the friends I was with, this was the wise choice.

  4. Well, it probably was more necessity than choice.

    Hoops supporters, then.

    Duncan, if we ever chance to meet, I shall have to rummage through the ruins to dig out my Celtic shirt.

    But I do like that Hibs song, the sentiments... well, the sentiment.

    The Proclaimers: Sunshine on Leith

    In my childhood environment, by the way, Ulster was a very bad word. As a boy I did not know what it meant, except that one ought not say it without considering the consequences... very, very seriously.

    And of course Rangers -- the depths of the scum of Ulster.

  5. Scots of course were generally loaded in with Ulster, discrimination being a stranger to prejudice. For that matter England was also regarded as merely another part of Ulster; it took some time to grasp that in fact 'twas tother way round. (Mind, geographical nuance never particularly figured in these intensely local-community-bounded flat-earth equations. A Protestant is a Protestant is a Protestant.) When I left home forever and sailed away into the great godless heathen larger world, the son of Kerry and daughter of Westmeath who had brought me up pretty much wrote me off as a lost cause. BUT -- ENGLAND -- asked my grandmother, uncomprehending -- WHY?

  6. Maybe with Rangers gone from the scene, they may see a little of that sunshine. Just maybe.

    I'd love to see that Celtic shirt some day.

    The Reid boys are true songwriters: four sorrows and then four thankyous and no messing about. "Your beauty and kindness". Hard to keep a lump from the throat with them all singing and I'm not even a footie fan.

    I've never been quite sure what it is to be English. Catching up with the family in Conwy, I can taste Welshness in the air, that same blood, temperament, as some small part of the make-up.

    There's something about the Ulsterman that seems to me tragic - holding on to a notion of Britishness, a larger mythos that would mean very little to most people on the mainland. Nationalism's a different business this side of the water - a less definite shape to it.

    Iestyn, who was with us, his Mother's family's from Kerry. May get to pay a visit there some day.