On four separate pylons, one per corner
The things to look for, Proper Lights
Not strung out beads along the top of each stand

A symmetry of steel sentries attending the stadium
Perspective rotating the shining pins
As the train curves into town
Or the main road breaks into capillaries
Until proximity fixes the view

Neck craned I'd seek the service ladder
Wondering who had nerves steady enough
To climb, climb, climb, climb up
Change a bulb, weather the descent

Would he need to count the rungs up to do his work
And then again, count down until safely grounded
To help concentrate on scaling each spire
one hundred and thirty-four feet six inches high

Visible from the crest of Portsdown Hill
Lights that marked my Home, Pompey
Lights that turned Roker's terrace roofs silver
Or from the M6, over Birmingham
Lights arranged in two pairs A and V
How bright they were at Aston Villa

The No 19 moving slow on the High Road
Spilling passengers outside the ground
Beneath the illumination of White Hart Lane

At Barnsley, the lights' glow drawing the crowd
Into Oakwell over the gentle rise
gantries emerging from below
as we step closer through feeble snow

Easing into Crewe, Peterborough, Swindon, Ipswich
Eyes fixed on the lattice work
Head rotating to hold the sight
To note the architectural twists
to relive or dream

Another football ground for the lists
Been there: won, draw, defeat, abandoned, postponed
Not been there: next season if...or in the FA Cup

"I can see the lights"
I'd shrill as a child
And still, as a child
when no more a child


n.b. The NaPoWriMo 2023, Day 7 prompt a list poem, that is not quite a list, but has list poem qualities.

I have two lists on the go and I am not the only one.

CLP 07/04/2023


  1. Ah, the joys of ticking off the 94, or how many ever there are now, from Field Mill to there and home again, the footy cathedrals called us to prayer.
    Nice work, and the nutmeg at the end is lovely.

    1. Thank you, Graham. I think we’re back to 92 now!

  2. kim881 says:

    I love poems that are about familiar things and place, and this is one of them! My first time at White Hart Lane was amazing – the green of the pitch, the noise, the lights! You’ve captured the illuminations and the things that make your home ground special.

    1. Thank you, Kim. Night matches are something different, aren’t they!

  3. Beautifully written my friend 🖤

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