On Playing x

Can you still call up that glee

in the pit of your guts

when wind picked up leaves and dust

devils spun the whole playground

into a delirious flock of crows

performing flips and twists

free-falling then swooping

up to hang on the vacuum formed

in the lee of a Scots Pine clump?

.

Arms out, fingers splayed like primaries

we whirled across the tarmac playing

kiss chase, ran ragged from wall to wall

making clattered flat-footed stops

and rushed to touch HOME! bricks

lungs aching from screams and squeals

of delight at being chased and disgust

at being caught and held and bumped

heads as a dry peck on chin, cheeks

or an eyelid or brow (only accidently lips)

except that wild day you let me

and it was so revolting and I ran away

and all the girls and boys joined in

the chase and held me while you kissed me

back and shouted out

with all your gut of glee

to the wind-whipped cheers of all

including the dinner ladies too

I HATE YOU, CHRISTOPHER PERRY!

~

n.b. Picture above shows that hateful Perry boy, now embodied in a larger frame, but with same lockdown (3) hair.

CLP 23/01/2021

On Playing ix

She asked him who he played as

Knowing every boy pretends

To be someone else when playing

They dream they can be better

He wanted to be Best

~

n.b. As a boy playing football I clearly had a failure of ambition. I pretended to be a Welsh international centre forward, not George Best. Who would dare to dream that big?

“The Fifth Beatle” certainly lived up to his name on the pitch, as in best in the world, for a time at least. Her dad went on to play football professionally and he scored a ghost goal that was allowed. He was clearly very good at applying his mind over matter from an early age.

~

CLP 22/01/2021

On Playing viii

As children we played

It, British Bulldog and Kiss Chase

until told not to.

~

n.b. See the power of words?

~

CLP 22/01/2021

On Playing vii

Look for quick singles

Yes! No! Sorry. My mistake.

Takes two to Tango

~

n.b. Continuing with the cricketing theme, communication between batters is either a strength or a weakness. It is about being in tune with your partner. As in cricket, as in life.

Here is a clip of a classic cricketing communication breakdown for your edification. Stick with it to the end to see the culprit’s body language. Oops!

~

CLP 19/01/2021

On Playing v

It had to happen

we crashed into each other.

Found – laughing in street

~

n.b. I am close to bursting, laughing out loud again, 45 years later. Mucking about on our bicycles we accidentally locked handle bars and fell to the pavement. Before we could move, get cross, or blame the other, a little girl’s face appeared over the adjacent garden wall, “Are you alright?” she asked and that was it, we dissolved in laughter. You had to be there.

I wonder if she ever offered unsolicited help to anyone ever again. Poor kid.

Thanks, Tim. Best accident I ever had!

~

CLP 17/01/2021

On Playing iii

Disregard of fears

leads you to discovery

of hidden talents

~

p.s. Play safe, or try stuff out for fun? What have you got to lose by trying? It’s only a game after all. It will be your turn to start next. ‘Mugs away’ as the saying goes.

~

CLP 16/01/2021

On Playing ii

Saturday at three

is when the fun really starts

Oh, yes! And the pain

~

n.b. A lifetime of training my body to endure watching Pompey all over England means my adrenalin and endorphins peak around 3pm on winter Saturday afternoons…what happens from there is a game.

I used to play a bit too, not at that level though.

Realising the ambiguity of the last sentence, I clarify, that I played far below the Pompey level, (although my grandma could have scored some goals that Pompey players sometimes fail to score, obviously).

~

CLP 16/01/2021

On Playing

First rule of playing

Learn the rules (in cricket “laws”)

Then let play commence

~

n.b. The first in a series inspired by the laughter of friends, family and strangers.

~

CLP 16/01/2021

On Memory xi

Nothing could stop us

when we let the music play

danced on ’til we dropped

~

CLP 14/01/2021

On Memory vi

Snow clouds shadow day

our wordplay consumes hours

as we each other

~

CLP 05/01/2021