Sports Poetry posted June 20, 2014

This work has reached the exceptional level
soccer madness descends on Brazil

The World Cup

by mfowler

Where mighty rivers course  through jungle heat,
piranhas feed as carcass bleeds in water.
A ball, and sweaty men with fungal feet
are playing games where 3 to nil is slaughter.
While Amazon takes mountain mud and flows
through forest, city, town - the Cup begins.
The ref and players  tense, the whistle blows,
the ball's in play; the main concern - who wins?
In darkened forest, poisoned arrow flies
to wound the jaguar heart. Here people cheer
the Canarinho on; they must not lie
down; Brazil's fate - to win the Cup this year?

In Italy, the vino flows, the blue
must win; in Spain, La Roja, champs of twenty
ten, crowds anticipate their nation's crew
go top again with football stars aplenty.
In Africa, where balls are kicked on roads
through lion plains, the village stops to cheer,
as soccer heroes beat through football codes
the colonial foes of yesteryear.
While thirty two, the chosen ones, are vying
on fields of green; on Rio's hills, the slums
pile high, as drug lords rule, the poor are crying
'eleven billion spent on stadiums'.
The world's alert, as champions take stage.
These battles - ancient wars of modern age.


Canarinho: a Brazilian national team's nickname. Means 'Little Canaries' in Portuguese, a reference to the dominant gold on uniforms.

the blue: the dominant Italian team colour; the Savoy Blues

la Roja: the red of the Spanish national team who are current world cup champions

thirty two: 32 countries are playing off for the World Cup

'eleven billion spent on stadiums': reference to the cost of staging the cup. Many groups have protested the extreme cost in light of the poverty suffered by many of its people, especially those who live in the favelas (slums) on the slopes of Rio's hills. Here drugs and crime rule the day.
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