Cricket

The game of Cricket, I’ll relate,
Goes back to fifteen fifty-eight,
Upon a field in Guildford way,
In Surrey, many miles away.

The game was played by many more,
Up to the English Civil War.
The village game was in the swing,
With many people gambling.

By sixteen ninety-seven then,
Each side did have eleven men,
With many punters in the stands,
And lots of money changing hands.

The game was coming to the fore,
In seventeen hundred sixty-four.
The Star and Garter club would be,
The famous, future MCC.

By eighteen hundred, play was far,
As India and Australia.
But not in North America,
As baseball had developed there.

In Hambledon down Hampshire way,
For thirty years the game was played,
With bowlers bowling overarm,
As many batsmen came to harm.

And later on, we saw the face,
Of famous W.G. Grace,
A batsman who was always feared,
Who had a large and bushy beard.

By eighteen hundred sixty-four,
The game was popular for sure,
As Cricket knowledge didn’t lack,
Inside the Wisden Almanac.

And so up to the present day,
The game of Cricket we will play,
The sound of willow hitting ball,
Will echo over one and all.

 

 

Carousel

I am the lonely suitcase on the baggage carousel;
I should be on my holidays, but I’ve a tale to tell.
My owner has deserted me, he’s nowhere to be found,
So on this baggage carousel, I’m going round and round.

For he’s a Southern gentleman, I think his name is Paul.
It seems he made a big mistake and missed the baggage hall.
I thought I caught a glimpse of him, ‘twas just the other day,
When security arrested him and bundled him away.

Now other baggage comes and goes, they listen to my plight,
But soon they all get snatched away and trundle out of sight.
They leave me to another night of pain and misery,
A long-discarded pushchair is my only company.

So look out for my owner, for I’m sure he’s not gone far,
Perhaps he’s sitting in the coach, or maybe in the bar.
Or like the Flying Dutchman ‘till eternity I’ll dwell,
Here in this lousy airport on this baggage carousel.

 

 

Jeff Eardley lives in the heart of England near to the Peak District National Park and is a local musician playing guitar, mandolin and piano steeped in the music of America, including the likes of Ry Cooder, Paul Simon and particularly Hank Williams.


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7 Responses

  1. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Jeff, I love the poetic history lesson in “Cricket”, especially your mention of Surrey. My late grandparents lived in Surrey and my grandfather was an excellent cricket player. I remember spending many a childhood afternoon at a cricket pavilion, in my Sunday finery, partaking in afternoon tea. I think you should do a follow up poem that simplifies the rules… I’ve never got to grips with them.

    “Carousel” is a delight! It romps along smoothly with a tale of lost luggage that has me pondering on the crime of the negligent owner of the abandoned bag… “Carousel 2”, perhaps?

    Thank you for my Monday smile.

    Reply
  2. Jeff Eardley

    Susan, thanks again for your kind words. The labyrinthine (hope I’ve spelt that right) rules of Cricket are as nothing compared to the baseball and American Football that no-one over here can fathom out. I hate Cricket and only wrote this for a bet by a fan who challenged me to compose something for his parish magazine.
    The Carousel was an anthem for all the lone suitcases and pushchairs forlornly rotating in all the airports of the world.

    Reply
  3. Margaret Coats

    Two amusing jeux d’esprit! The rules of any game can become quite complicated, but as I ultimately figured out American baseball, I will say American football is more so. For a game whose basic rules might fit into a short poem, let’s have golf.

    Reply
  4. Margaret Coats

    The ball must move from tee to hole
    In just one drive, is the golfer’s goal.

    Reply
    • Jeff Eardley

      Margaret, I think this works without “is” on line 2.
      We have an expression over here that golf is “A waste of a good walk,” so I offer the following.

      When golf balls hit you on the head,
      There’s every chance you’ll wind up dead.
      So please be careful where you tread,
      And take a country walk instead.
      Thanks for your your kind attention as ever.
      Best wishes.

      Reply
  5. BDW

    Of the two works by Mr. Eardley, “Cricket” is the more informative. I had no idea cricket was that old, from the time of William Shakespeare (1564). It is less assured than Pope in the organization of its didacticism and its meter. Its topic and its polish link it to Mr. Whidden’s “Heritage as Hope”. On the other hand, if “Carousel” is less substantial in some ways, its topic and potential themes are more creative than any poem entitled “Carousel” that I can immediately think of, including all those I have written. Off topic perhaps, but on a tangent, I am reminded of the short narrative song by the Hollies, “On a Carousel”, which for all of its simplicity, has some metaphoric niceties.

    Reply
  6. Jeff Eardley

    BDW, we share a similar birthday (mine was June 2nd 1950) and as such have experienced, without doubt, the greatest popular music and the Hollies were right up there for me, progressing to the soundtrack of my life in the 70’s, Crosby, Stills and Nash. Thank you for taking the time to comment and for your lovely anagrammatic nom-de-plumes. We should all do it. Lee J. Fefardy.

    Reply

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