Three poems, totally different. The first one deals with football, the second one
is situated in his own country, England, and the third one shows us Majorca from an unexpected point of view...
THE DUTCH SCHOOL
In the cemetery of football lie
Hieronymus Bosch expressions,
like the devil arguing
with de Boer and de Wolf.
In P.S.V. land,
the statue of Mr. Philips
flicks the ball like a switch,
when no-one is looking.
A flat Brabant back-four
can turn as a windmill
waving rattles in the air.
A strong bright Orange
in Vincent's palette,
spreading to all corners of the frame,
from Munich to Buenos Aires
with Cruyff and Arie Haan,
painting goals of fire
with great technique
that somehow go beyond
the normal dribbling and trapping.
Just around the cornerflag,
in the Green Gallery,
a new English School emerges
from an apprenticeship
with Bergkamp and Gullit.
After centuries as an art form,
these young Vermeers
are painting in light -
and a very thick gloss.
I taste the diluted salt air
of the River Tyne meeting the North Sea.
I stand wondering how they built this bridge,
all those rivets with crude technology .
Then did it again near Botany Bay.
Skirting the Pacific under crimson cumulus clouds,
eucalyptus, and hot baking sun,
stretching through concrete office blocks,
pools and gardens
tamed from the outback.
Below, a landscape of movies:
red soil, parched, lizards wander among
From here, Newcastle is just a rumour.
VIEW WITHOUT PREJUDICE
I have not read the Catalan poetry
I have not read the Arab poets
who talk of Almonds and Oranges
like Eskimo's talk of Snow.
I have not read George Sand or Robert Graves.
I have not read the Tourist Guides.
But, I did gaze at:
the same Olive Grove
the same Citrus Tree
the same Pine Forest
the same Mountain
the same Cala
the same ratio of Land, Sea and Sky
and the scent of a Majorcan summer was with me.
Memory is smell.