I pity those gold medalists who now
must find another path to amble down
with no track lines or baying crowds to show

the fortuitous corners they must turn
after the big sponsors have rode the buzz
of their triumph until the spark is gone—

before the speech circuit, reality shows
and openings of musty village fetes.
I empathise a little for I know

that all these quirky Cantos that I write
will soon be relics in the cyber cloud
when I down tools in almost a fortnight

to find some other ways to be ignored.



Usain Bolt, Ennis and Farah…
with their triumphs my scepticism waned.
Russell Brand, Spice Girls, the horror…

Hooray, I hate the Olympics again!


Pole vaulters, I do not effing get you.
Putting Freudian foibles to one side—
running a massive rod into a groove

to ride its twangy shock wave to the sky,
to arch one’s back over a trip wire arch
and effortlessly fall the other way,

does not strike me as natural or smart.
Although there was a time,  when fishing leaves
between two banks, about six feet apart,

I lost the sure grip of my size ten feet,
plunged towards the murky, freezing waters
and improvised a pole with my leaf net

to push to safer ground. My body hovered
above quivering lip, then plonked right in
to roaring waves of my co-worker’s laughter,

my wet pants stuck like lycra to my skin.


As the winners of mutual lotteries
of genetic and social privilege
compete before a billion worldwide eyes—

the Curiosity Rover comes of age,
beams back her Martian panoramic snaps,
that I glimpsed scrolling down a Facebook page

to make my escape through a finger tap
to view a world devoid or rain or snow,
more cause than podiums and victory laps

to sing, “Oh man, look at those cavemen go!”


The strange thing is that I always remember
where I was during those ten seconds
it takes to win the one hundred metres,

but can’t remember where I was last weekend.


You’ve smashed the record, won over the crowds,
you used to be no-one, but now you’re the star.
You’ve rendered a nation of sceptics proud.

Now stand for the anthem. Pee in this jar.


A cheer peels out from a tower block window,
I don’t know which exactly, nor which nation
just blundered their way to Olympic gold.

I get home and switch to the rival station
and let out a little cheer of my own
as Roger Moore skis off the snow capped mountain

to open up his parachute again.


If someone robbed me of a spare few quid
to go towards a fancy dinner spread
and offered me a spring roll, I’d take it.

So while you’ll never see me live or dead
down Stratford during that loathsome fortnight,
I might just watch it on my TV set

and hate it nonetheless. I paid for it.


The rain takes a day off, it’s well deserved,
hopefully he’s getting a rest in
before the product placement overload

with optional dressage and wrestling.
I head out twice, once with my daughter strapped
to girth from getting one too many beers in,

and once more for a slow, penitent lap
in an attempt to burn it all away
before my next high calory relapse.

It’s three years ’til my fortieth birthday.


I wonder which local tower block rooves
are nesting sites for rapier missiles?
Brooding sentinels, focussed above

for gatecrashers signaled by terror levels,
to hook onto the flailing Doppler shift
of that particular breed of evil

that seeks to blow up OUR Olympics.
Beneath the roof, some residents prepare
for imminent cuts to their benefits,

while job vacancies prove as rare
as bankrupt nations’ gold medal chances.
So jingoism circle jerks with fear,

we watch the sky for enemy advances
and ceremonial pyrotechnic flares;
’cause nobody is covering our arses—

our strategies are strictly ground to air.

Previous Older Entries

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,501 other followers