"Seven bums and fourteen legs,
a brazen ecstasy which begs
the question some of us are asking -
is Peter Goulding multi-tasking?"

Martin Parker, Editor, Lighten Up Online

Sunday, November 20, 2011

More bloody football

Okay, this is the last match of the football season, so no more from me on the subject after today. We duly beat Estonia 5-1 on aggregate and achieved our first qualification for a major finals for a decade. The return leg in Dublin was never in doubt after winning 4-0 away, so, instead of biting nails and clenching buttocks, Emmet showed me how to make deadly paper aeroplanes with the green bits of paper left on every seat and this amused us no end.

It seemed an apt theme for a Balassi Strophe. A wha', Gay? A Hungarian rhyme form, that goes like this -

x. x. x. x. x. a
x. x. x. x. x. a
x. x. x. x. x. x. b
x. x. x. x. x. c
x. x. x. x. x. c
x. x. x. x. x. x. b
x. x. x. x. x. d
x. x. x. x. x. d
x. x. x. x. x. x. b

at least, according to Kerry on Toads on her Sunday mini-challenge.

Paper planes

The crowd’s collective roar
made the paper planes soar,
some crashing into the stand,
others reaching the pitch
and landing smoothly, which
elicited a big hand.
How they circled and soared,
our long-held dreams on board
before coming in to land!

Defying all the odds,
we sit up with the gods
and sing loud that old refrain
of Olé, Olé, Olés,
pre-empting summer days
in Poland or the Ukraine.
The Irish spirit sings,
borne on the fragile wings
of each tiny paper plane.


  1. Bravo! (And a round of applause HERE)

    You have folded up the aspirations of the footie fan so neatly within this form. I really love the last 3 lines. Ole!

  2. i like how you started with the paper airplanes in the first stanza, and brought us back there in the last one.

  3. So...is this the thing with bowlers and wickets, or the thing with headers and hooligans? I can never remember...

  4. On the other hand, we are headed for a different kind of football insanity in Canada.
    There is such a thing as Canadian football, very similar to American football, and the final playoff game is underway even as I speak. Next week there's apt to be a riot in my home city of Vancouver, BC, which is hosting the championship game.
    I don't know whether to sigh or swear.

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie’s Guide to Adventurous Travel

  5. Love this! And hooray for the qualification.

  6. Fun to read, even knowing nothing about the game--its about loving the hometeam and the sport, and that's universal.