A GAME OF TWO HALVES. A poem by Donall Dempsey

Ahhh the smell of the crowd
the roar of the vid screen.

Live players
with zoomed up fans.

trying to replicate the sights
and sounds of normalacy.

The unreal

One can be present
so to speak

upon a giant screen
40 metres long

and feeling
9ft tall.

A vast improvement
on the German game

which filled the stadium
with smiling cardboard fans.

But alas with their side
beaten 3-1

the cardboard fans
were still smiling.

A not very realistic

The Koreans placed
sex dolls in the stands

but they were not interested
and could’t understand

the offside rule.


Dónall Dempsey was born in the Curragh of Kildare, Ireland, and was Ireland’s first Poet in Residence in a secondary school. He has read on Irish radio and appeared in TV programmes there. He moved to London in 1985 and continued to write and perform his poetry there. He is well known for his dynamic delivery when reading, his surreal imagery and his tenderness as a poet in love with the world. Dónall’s poetry has been published in numerous magazines, anthologies and journals, both online and in print. He has published four collections, ‘Being Dragged Across the Carpet by the Cat’ and ‘The Smell of Purple’ in 2013, in 2017 ‘Gerry Sweeney’s Mammy’ and in 2019 ‘Crwaling Out and Falling Up’. In partnership with his wife Janice, Dónall is co-editor at Dempsey & Windle Publishing.

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