I am a retired high school teacher and presently creative writing tutor, living in the far West of Wales, about 30 miles along the coast from Dylan Thomas's Boathouse. Although I don't see myself as unduly competitive, I have recently won the Prole Poetry Pamphlet competition and my chapbook entry, Robeson, Fitzgerald and Other Heroes, will be published soon by Prolebooks.
In a Minor League
Haverfordwest County 3 Prestatyn Town 2
This game is not being played in Medialand,
and no-one will massage and prink the passion.
There are men here today,
as at every game, in twos, threes, and often
singly, each an absorbed sufficiency.
Many came first with their fathers, decades
ago, when games felt like coloured carnivals,
like flagged, brass-banded things.
Now these men are perched
on the river bank of a gathering age,
gazing out on shoals of movement.
Like fishermen, they know that quiet hours
sometimes need to pass. But for them
it sometimes seems that goals can be
coaxed from the shallows as you might
tickle trout. And only to these watchers,
only to these, is a winning goal as pure
and certain as a salmon’s leap.
First appeared in Other Poetry, 4.4, 2011
The Edge of the Map
At the round earth’s imagined corners, blow
Your trumpets, Angels ..
-John Donne, Holy Sonnet 7
When Raleigh and those boys first stretched
the geographical and exploration envelope
and built that empire, you know the one,
there were maps of the earth, the old flat earth,
with angels set up in the corners, trumpeting.
If you look at our new empire, on its map,
you’ll see a mountain of wealth.
The magazines on the coffee tables go unread maybe
(The National Geographic and The Field),
but the runes of the new order are read right down.
The mantras mingle, there are enterprise and family,
bucks and bonuses and business wives.
Little is known here of borderlands and margins
and only a few will venture to the corners of the map.
But are there still angels to be found, I wonder,
over the edge?
First appeared in Other Poetry, 4.5, 2012
© 2017 Robert Nisbet
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