I – The Burial of the Dead (Ball)…
February is the cruellest month, breeding
Wickets out of the dead pitch, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull shots with spin pain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Home in forgetful snow, feeding
Ashes, live to Sky’s viewers.
Some may survive it, overcoming the injuries
With a shoulder of pain; we dropped our Paul Collingwood,
On went Oz, in sunlight, into the boredom;
The CB Series, it lasts days and hours.
Morgan broken finger; Swann out limping, and Broad.
And then there was Bresnan, straining at the calf, look;
My cousins: we’re going out on a limb,
And we are frightened. He said, “Ravi,
Ravi, hold on tight”. And down we went.
In the mountains, Dutchmen swing free.
I watch, much of the plight; odds grow long with no wins here.
Wafting the bats they clutch, at Bangalore
Out of this dusty skirmish? Son of man,
You cannot play, or guess, for you know only
A treat of broken wickets, where the sun beats,
And Chinnaswamy gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
And powerplays, no sound of bound’ries. Only
Is there singles under this dead block,
(Come in fielders, cut singles off this dead block),
India will show you something different from either
Your shadow in mourning, edging behind you
Or your shadow when bowling, diving to save two;
India show you fear in Tendulkar’s punch,
Is there a Win?
The next match to,
My Irish Kind,
What will they do?
“We gave you Ed Joyce first five years ago;
“We called up Joyce to see the world.”
– Yet when he came back, played, in that Joyce selection,
Our arms grew, and batsmen set; you could not
Strike, and bowlers failed; World Cup neither
Living nor dead, and we knew nothing,
Looking into the heart of light, the silence.
“Get Us Out Of Here”.
Madame South Africa, famous mathematician,
Had a bad cold, nevertheless
Is known to have some wizened batsmen in full hope,
From a wicked pack of cards, here KP
Is your card: The downed faux-English player,
(That’s a pearl to bring his demise. Look!)
Now are Bangladeshis, with Tamim – ne’er blocks,
The man for these situations
He misses less than he plays; now West Indies,
And here is Chris Gayle’s penchant, the scorecard,
Which starts blank, but something he carries on his back,
Which I’m forsaken to see… he’s on 99
Off sixty-one. Century by order.
I see crowds of people, walking off cricket’s ring.
Thank you, for you sent dear Mr. Strauss home,
Tell him we saw the horrors; hope it melts:
One must be so careful these days.
An exit, early;
Under the brown fog of a February dawn,
A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
Stayed away from Heathrow Airport, so many.
Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,
And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.
Now Sri Lanka, India; we shall prepare to meet,
But where the Saints of Cricket kept the hours
At Lord’s ground under the gaze of Old Father Time.
World Cup – one to rue, and hear them, crying “CATCH ‘IM!
“Dropped Pollard in the slips at Chennai!
No caught-and-bowled, last over of the innings,
The last man ends not out; it is gloom this year.
What if the six games lost were won instead?
“Oz keep the Cup far hence; so was it meant,
“To be? One-day woes, we dug up again!
“Shoo! World Cup spectre! – mon terreur, c’etait un mare!”