Poetry: Those empty seats

We all love clubs with membership that’s bursting at the seams.
It brings in cash to splish and splash, and helps fulfil our dreams.
Yet still and all, I’m wary of those ‘big crowd’ games. Here’s why.
It makes it far too hard to buy a pie.

When the crowd is thinly sprinkled, it is something of an art
To stroll downstairs at quarter time and walk up to the cart
With the ‘four and twenty’ seller in the purple cap and coat,
And buy a pie to shovel down your throat.

Alas, when throngs are surging there is little you can do
But take position meekly at the far end of the queue,
And if you choose to dodge the wait, and come back later on,
You’ll only find that all the pies are gone.

Now, you might tell me sternly I should bring a flask of soup
And a home-made salad sandwich to avoid this toxic loop.
I can’t deny your logic, but the prospect leaves me flat,
For a hot pie at the footy’s where it’s at.

From out of all the woodwork now the fans are coming, grinning.
It’s great to see their colours. It’s a sure sign we are winning,
Yet those empty seats still call to me. You know the reason why.
It’s so much easier to buy a pie.

About Stephen Whiteside

Stephen Whiteside is primarily a writer of rhyming verse. He has been writing for over thirty years, and writes for both adults and children. Many of his poems have been published in magazines and anthologies, both in Australia and overseas, or won awards. His collection of rhyming verse for children, "'The Billy That Died With Its Boots On' and Other Australian Verse", was published by Walker Books in May 2014. Stephen performs regularly at folk festivals around the country - mostly in Victoria. He is also a great fan of the Australian poet C. J. Dennis. He is a foundation member of the C. J. Dennis Society, and is closely involved in the organisation of the annual Toolangi C. J. Dennis Poetry Festival. Stephen is a long-suffering Melbourne supporter.


  1. Poetry Lover says

    Loved it. Don’t why the practice of amusing one another with humourous rhymed verse has so died out. It is a marvellous thing.

  2. Thank you, Poetry Lover. Be careful about encouraging me – you might live to regret it!

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