Requiem – The last posts

They are taking down the goal posts at my local football ground. The sky the posts once occupied is strangely bare – bereft – as though the air has been divested of some vital symmetry. Open wounds, ringed with dirt, denote the spot where each post stood.


I was here the day the posts went up – the evenings getting shorter, winter coming on. I took a seat by the clubhouse steps as the posts were raised and fixed apart: two big posts, front and centre; two smaller posts, aside.


Australian architecture. A four-post poem.


Now I’m on the boundary line, accompanied by the sun, as two men on the oval lay the posts to rest. Pallbearers at a funeral, solemn and attentive, they go about their business with a calm efficiency.


The wounds are packed with sand and dirt. The goal square is erased. When the final post is hauled offsite, the season slips away.


The last post: Paul Bateman, 2019


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  1. Colin Ritchie says

    Terrific piece Paul! You certainly conveyed the feeling of place and time in your post.

  2. Chris Bracher says

    The time-honoured pigeon pair ritual: removal of the goal posts and uncovering of the hard centre wicket. Southern Australia’s metaphorical time piece, calibrated as finely as Greenwich mean time.

  3. Really enjoyable, Paul.
    You’ve hit a chord here, beautifully synching the removing of the posts with the season’s end.

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