Cape Town 2010

Cape Town 2010  by Michael Keeling
 
Fan Walk to the Stadium

Bursting from buses,
alighting from cars,
scrambling from taxis
and tumbling from trains,
they spilled out of corners,
the streets and the alleys,
from bridges and paths
and little known lanes;
vuvuzelas and scarves
and uncanny hats,
they followed the vibes
like the Pied Pipers rats.
 
Old ones, young ones,
kids up on shoulders,
the ordinary people
from so many lands;
multicoloured,
multitongued,
multiplying
multitude;
shuttling,
shuffling,
shifting
sands.
 
Jostling and joking,
caught up in the tide,
past skipping ropes,
stilt walkers,
stalls on the side;
acrobats tumbling
in breath-catching deeds,
souvenir sellers,
shaped wire and beads.
All to the rhythm
of drumbeat and song,
the river of nations bonhomied along.
 
200,000 (from newspaper talk)
headed for Cape Town to walk the Fan Walk.
It was fun, it was funky, footloose and free,
right there, where The Mountain sweeps down to the sea.

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The World Cup

The World Cup by Michael Keeling

There is a poetry in soccer,
when played at its finest,
that begs forgiveness
for professional cynicism.

Of all games
it is best understood;
played with minimum equipment;
a sport made for the underprivileged.

Soccer is now a business.
There is little sport left.
An association
turned corporation.

It has become
the showplace
of cheating;
the portrayal
of snide behaviour.

Here, in South Africa,
where a tin can
is kicked between
goal posts
of sticks or stones
and kids shout Bafana Bafana,
has not enough damage been done?

Should not their idols
on the field of fame,
remember their small beginnings,
and, by example,
show how to play the game?