September 23, 2012

The Crowd



And today, as you walk to the match, I am beside you.
Proud to be alive. Proud to be walking beside you,
to take our seats together.
And you know my name. You know all our names.
We are beside and between you,
our souls, invisibly visible.

We are waking. We are smiling.
We are walking in your hearts.
And we are prouder still to know today,
tomorrow, next week, month or year
you will not chant us down again.
You will not chant us down in our sorrows.
You will not chant us back into the earth.

For we left the earth where we thought we were alone
yet we are beside you, laughing and singing and unbroken.
If you were to hear me among the crowd
you would hear a song.
Were I to pass invisibly among your jostling arms,
or carried to earth, you would hear me singing with you.
If I took you to one side and told you 'you were my brother',
what would you sing to your brother?
If I took you to one side and told you 'you were my sister',
what would you sing to your sister?.
You are my brother and you are my sister.
Nothing can kill me, for I am the crowd.

And the sun shone over Merseyside, over Manchester,
over the Pennines with its skylarks and brightening becks,
over Penistone and Stocksbridge and Hillsborough.
Liverpool fans in their buses - cheering the roof off -
anticipation, faith in the day and the song of life
no stronger than your own, just scousier.

You will not chant them down again.
You will not chant them down in their sorrows.
You will not chant them back into the earth.
And today, as you walk to the match, they are beside you.
Proud to be walking beside you, to take your seats together.
And you know their names. You know all their names.

We are walking to the same match.
We are walking on the same road.
We are arriving at the same gates.
We are waiting. We are laughing. We are singing.
And we do not know it but this is joy.
Nothing can kill us, for we are the crowd.


- 7 comments by 0 or more people Not publicly viewable

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  1. Eltjo

    Heard this on 5live read by Neil Fitzsimmons. It struck right to the core of emotion and thought; memory and truth. Thank you.

    23 Sep 2012, 12:49

  2. Maggi

    I heard your poem being read on the radio just now and it moved me to tears – beautiful and so apt

    23 Sep 2012, 12:54

  3. Paul

    I also heard this poem on Radio5 today. It is so moving and speaks to every football fan.

    23 Sep 2012, 13:41

  4. Stephen

    This stopped me in my tracks today. Thank you so much.

    23 Sep 2012, 21:08

  5. Tom

    Have listened to this poem on 5 live and again on iplayer. thought provoking, moving.

    23 Sep 2012, 21:57

  6. Cathy

    Heard this poem on 5Live and found it so profound and moving I had to search the Net to read it for myself . Ardent fan that I am I could never chant about the death (s ) of any-one in the world-wide footballing “family “

    26 Sep 2012, 15:21

  7. steve

    a great work – that keeps moving – thanks

    02 Oct 2012, 18:49


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