Richard Pierce

Richard Pierce – author, poet, painter

Poetry, Sport

Goalkeepers – in memory of Senzo Meyiwa

It is always awful when one of our Goalkeepers’ Union is taken from us. Even more so when it’s through violence, not age.

So, in memory of Senzo Meyiwa, two poems from my past (which have probably appeared on this blog before), about those most noble of football players.


It’s always like this.
The last line of defence,
The final cliché.
We are the ones who suffer.

Even in victory,
Each weakness, misjudgement,
Is sentenced a callous on our selves,
And in defeat,
Ours is the honour called to task.

We are the guardians of the grail,
Keepers of spirit and soul,
The mysteries of the game,
Always carrying guilt and glory
In our bootbag.

Lev Yashin

He dreamed he was in goal again last night,
watched the ball in flight,
caught the star with an outstretched arm
against the gleaming night, the golden night.

He dreamed he was out on the green last night,
heard the crowd call him,
flew through the heavy air like breath,
black against the shining light, the silver night.

He dreamed he was whole again last night …

(This poem was read by Josh Wicks, then DC Washington goalkeeper, at the Kicking & Screening Soccer Film Festival in Washington, D.C., in October 2009).

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