The Caravan Club in Oakleigh, Melbourne, scene of recent Suburbs revival and triumph have kindly asked me to appear in their Grand Final Eve “Pie Night” function on – you guessed it – Grand Final Eve. Their usual poet/wordsmith is away so I’m plugging that gap and have worked up two football poems especially for the occasion. I may also slip in a footy themed song or two if I’m up to it after what promises to be a very demanding and enjoyable lunch with the Footy Almanac crew. Please pop in and say hello if you follow this blog or the Suburbs. In the meantime here’s a sneak peak of one of the poems, My First Game of Football.


My first game of football
I watched in the underbelly shadow of John Glenn’s orbiting capsule
and with no less wonder than him
slack-jawed at the spinning orb dangling just beyond gravity’s grasping fingers,
the memory still lingers
the rasp of the hot-dog boy, the rustle of Budgets,
the whistles of men in white echoing on a wisp of wind,
the sight of the stripes white and blue,
Smith and Wesson thud on boot ignites a yellow Chesson into parabolic splendour,
the smell of dry cooch,
shouts in unfamiliar vernacular, spectacular as any funicular,
vehicular collisions of bone and epidermis,
check rugs, thermos,
an explosion of sensation that Nagasakied the heart of this eight year old and demanded forever devotion,
a secular rosary of team placings back page Friday’s paper to re-reading hot off the press green smudgy pap on Saturday evening as South African fillet stewed on a gas-cooker,
a novena, every March to September, remembered
a genuflection to perfection begun my first game of football,
a torrent of unidentified passions, inspiring words that could not be formed let alone spoken
but undeniably living in gestation, a plasm in the blood, spontaneous,
contemporaneous to the astronaut spinning over seven oceans
through stars marvelled at by ancestor hunters wielding nothing but bone weapons and he in a fish bowl helmet
exalted, a privileged witness to this triumph of man
but no more so than I, an eight year old boy on the hill at East Fremantle Oval watching my first game of football.


  1. See you there Dave. Hope the Dockers make it into the Grand Final for you. At least i might stand a chance of getting a ticket to the Granny if they do. Go Hawks. Cheers Kev

  2. Dave,
    Is ‘My First Game of Football’ meant to be a poem for footy lovers or an application to become the Queen’s poet laureate? You lost me at underbelly shadow? let alone novena? or exalted privileged witness?. Sydney has had an influence on you for sure, not all good (in my opinion). The Bicton people we watched the footy with at Moss Street would definitely struggle with that bit of ‘prose’. Maybe it’s not aimed at them. You’ve come a long way from our beloved ‘Suburban Boy’. Good luck to you.

    • I think it follows the lineage of African Summer and even Oklahoma which starts with a quote from King Lear. But don’t worry there’ll still be a place for Throbbing Knob or Old Stock rd!

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