The leather stitched oval

bounces up and up

towards the sky

and into the eyes

of all the players,

on the field and off,

who play this game

of fluctuations,

and to-and-fro,

from end-to-end.


And the crowd cheers

with the flying ball,

and the flags of passion

wave for team and colours

and fill their eyes

and become part

of their dreams,

part of transcending

the ordinariness

of their lives.


Through the kicks

and the passes,

the tackles, the goals

and the flying thrills,

this piece of

well-formed leather

finds the hands

of all the agents

of the match,

in their intimate

and shared striving

for the elusive Ark

of the Covenant,

the grand and mysterious

devotion of the game.


The ball becomes

the feature piece,

the iconic prop,

of this thrilling tale

that is an act of drama set

as if in theatres of old,

with heroes and villians,

pain and despair,

driven by the chance

of exhilaration and victory,

fame and the spoils of war.


The game ends

with tragedy for some

and vanquishment for others,

as the heroes revel,

like Achilles of the Trojan War,

and sing and shout

in the joy of the game

that has ended

with one ahead

and one behind.


Then from the arena,

which the Romans used

for their trials of

death and life,

the people with colour and flags

flow out the gates,

with sadness and smiles,

to their homes

and their jobs

and their ordinary lives.


They go home

and the lights go out,

and the flame of

football passion,

which once burnt and consumed,

is now but a vivid memory

in the minds of those

who witnessed and felt

its passion,

it triumph,

and its pain.