Ashes Test Match Commentary

Lords cricket


This will probably only be of interest to avid cricket fans! TMS (Test Match Special) is ball by ball commentary on radio 3 and is famous for the conversations off-subject, which are often humorous.

All’s Well With the World

TMS is on and they’re discussing whether Geoffrey
would make a good James Bond. The Aussies are thrashing us
while the sun beats down. There’s a lady in orange
in the white seating area laughing, coming in for the kill.
This is as good as it gets: Saturday of a Lord’s Test, home
of cricket. Stuart Broad is The Spy Who Gloved Me.
Alistair Cook is in good form, needing two runs for his fifty,
a lovely stroke, that’s his first target; back to the wall,
no real flourish, now doing some gardening. Resolute.
James Bond’s on view from the boundary – he knows
where his off stump is; soft hands curled round his trigger,
primed for action. He moves like silk like a mink through water.
So far England are fighting back; Blofeld’s plot to take over the world
will be foiled; he doesn’t know 007’s got an enormous sun-powered ray gun
stashed inside his sleeveless sweater (cashmere). The sun
continues to shine; old father time looks down on the pristine green
as an aeroplane edges towards the Shard. It’s a silly point
to suggest that Armageddon’s balanced on its tip and remarkable
that you can walk upstairs at 30,000ft. (Rather surreal actually)
It’s not easy to save the day at this stage of play – especially
if you take your eye off the game. Look, there’s a predatory white cat
stalking the outfield. Blofeld’s backup plot to poison all the tea in England
is a no-brainer; it’s easy, Bond’s on the job, flashing his outside edge.
This must be the end; the off stump’s cartwheeling past the keeper.
The Aussies are closing in for the kill, looks like there could be a follow on
after England’s collapse. It’s the very last ball of the day;
the security guards are wheeling in the gigantic space lasers
just to be on the safe side. Let’s hope for a fine day tomorrow.
(Ashes Test Match, Lords, 18/07/15)

Nightingale Farewell


I’ve still got nightingales on my mind! This poem is pretty accurately what happened on my last day on holiday. For those of you who don’t know the intricacies of bird behaviour, song birds sing for mainly two reasons: to attract a mate and to hold territory for nesting and feeding. Nightingales migrate from Africa to Europe in spring, returning at the end of summer. They have the reputation of being the most musical of the European songbirds. One individual can sing up to 300 song phrases.

Last day in France – binoculars at the ready –
after sudden rain I walk along
steaming tarmac into pine forest shade,
pulled by bright sobbing and glissando glide –
I know you’re there by your jazzy come-on;
I’ve tuned my ears to see round corners!
My first glance upwards towards the telephone cable
over-shoots – the bird on the wire looks so plain –
I don’t catch on to your whispered tones. When I catch up,
you’re magnified in a circle – I marvel
at your modest plumage, warm brown tail
and throbbing throat. A little brown jizz!
Your bel canto leaps, your triplets and tremolos
are a high wire cabaletta – heard only by me.

Maybe tomorrow you’ll fly south, silently tracking
the fine line between light and dark, between
seeing and not seeing, while I fly north towards grey skies,
terraced houses and blackbirds in the park.