Ashes to ashes? A poet’s eye’s view

David Fine, Arts Council England’s Ashes Poet in Residence, and a new member of the SJA, is preparing to relate England’s cricket tour in verse.

Here, he anticipates the first ball of the first Test:

Who Will Win?
10.30am local time, The Gabba, Brisbane

The toss, decision to bat or bowl, team selection
and media games, noises off the field.

Set and survey, bat makes mark, bowler back to his


admidst the hush, arm comes over, bat into line,
each grooved, almost automatic. Whatever its outcome

wicket, boundary boards, full face or edge, play
and miss, a middled middling dot in the scorebook

the glance between bat and ball as the field resumes
its mark for five more balls and many more
over five five-day matches will tell all

they’ll know before sledge or smile
who has won the very first ball

You can see this and other poems on and join in the chat on Further Ashes tour poems will also appear online on the SJA webite.

David, who is from Derbyshire, also reminds SJA members that there are no tarts in Bakewell, just puddings.

SJA member finds rhythm in rhyme

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