Popular Posts

Sunday 12 May 2013


I called him uncle, who was cousin --
distant and yet close.
A hero to me -- probably my first.
A footballer in peacetime.
Professional, who played in goal,
but now in uniform, he drove a tank.
I basked a lot
in his reflected glory
and the jealousy of friends.

He took me to the beach one time --
and took the ball along.
We played a bit. He tried
to teach me a few skills. Nearby,
two rivals building castles in the sand.
One, younger than the other, got my vote.
The older boy was furious,
and bombed and kicked his vier's castle
back into the sand. That done,
he stood upon his own and sang.
Loudly he sang, repetitively, to us all:
I'm the king of the castle,
I'm the king of the castle...

Over and over and louder and louder.

Finally, I ran up to our ball
and kicked it hard in his direction.
Here memory is wanting. Did I score
a direct hit? Or did I miss
and did he lose his balance as he ducked?
At any rate he fell, and I,
to the final strains of I'm
the king of the castle...
Get down you dirty rascal!

I still am tempted to take down
those who are too triumphant when they win
and who delight in seeing their opponents,
not just beaten but destroyed. You see it
often in the football fan. Perhaps his team
came top. Their greatest rival relegated
and he crows who has been given bragging rights.

Written to the prompt at dVerse Poets (Poetics) where Mary suggests we consider something that we find tempting.


Cloudia said...

I like your instinct!

from Waikiki
Comfort Spiral
~ > < } } ( ° > <3

brudberg said...

Ah, a good and decent temptation me thinks -)

jabblog said...

Well done, you - champion of the underdog.

Elephant's Child said...

A champion of justice.

Anonymous said...

A wonderfully told story - the way you start out as a bit of the king of the castle as your uncle's/cousin's favorite - and somehow the tank is a very telling and the goal - as he seems to be someone who naturally won respect and affection if not by bragging, and you are living in reflected glory and feel a sort of protection but also standard (goal) in his presence - then going to see the braggart - and the human drama of how it would affect you who is sort of the center of your day, both with irritation at being disrupted, and genuine ire at this different bullying approach. There is just a wonderful movement in all of this, and the details the background so pertinent. I agree re all the trumpeting! k.

kelvin s.m. said...

...i am never pleased by those who brags of victory... loved your temptations! smiles...

Cressida de Nova said...

The age of chivalry and gentlemanly behaviour in sport is long since dead
A depressing truth!

Claudia said...

ah that was brave...yeah..i sometimes wish for a football as well if people brag too much and even worse, putting others down to make themselves feel better...ugh...

Wolfsrosebud said...

liked how you found a specific memory and carried the thread though a lifetime

Mary said...

This was well written, Dave. I agree with Bjorn, that your temptation is a good one. I would say the 'king of the castle' received his just reward for his crowing.

Grace said...

Some sports fans go to the extremes, fanatics of their team ~ I would be tempted to see them flat on the ground~

Enjoyed the story telling Dave ~

Ygraine said...

Me too...I much prefer the underdog.
I find bragging so irritating!
Your instinct is spot-on. Haha:D

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

I also would like often to take down those who are too triumphant and bragging...especially one horrible individual who has been plaguing our country as a former Prime Minister for too many years, (we call him Mr.B., without any connection with the great Rowan Atkinson!!)

Eileen T O'Neill ..... said...


I enjoyed the recount of your story and your friend.
These days competitive sport, in the real sense has almost been lost. Lost to huge financial sums, and marketing opportunities etc. The celebrity has taken cenre stage, even on the football pitch....
Nice to support the lesser knowns, who are inclined to demonstrate old passion!!


Anonymous said...

I would have been tempted too.

Laurie Kolp said...

I don't blame you, Dave... you're kindhearted.

Anonymous said...

Love it. I find you can learn so much about others in sports and other competitive venues. I golf and, oh my, it's so miserable to be paired up with someone who just has to win. Hope that kid learned his lesson...though I have my doubts.

A Cuban In London said...

You hooligan! :-)

Just joking. On a serious note, though, I would have done the same thing. Thanks, that was a lovely poem.

Greetings from London.

kaykuala said...

Too good to pass off, Dave! Would have done the same too, I guess! Nicely!


Dave King said...

Thanks all.

I must confess that after I had posted it and read some of your offerings I was overcome by the feeling that I had chosen a too trivial example of temptation. Your generous comments have somewhat allayed the feeling. I'm very grateful for that.

Dana Dampier said...

Good for you!! Bad winners don't deserve to bask in the glory... they need to be taken down a notch!