The Half-Back Flankers

We strive to run the lines until
the opposition breaks.
Imagination is the name
we give to our mistakes.



Photo by Rupert McCall



This poem appears in Strange Game in a Strange Land, a collection of short, playful poems about Australian Rules Football.  A big thanks to the Almanac community for supporting the book.  It recently topped an Amazon bestsellers list (Ball Games) and the above poem was tweeted, and later recited on SEN Radio, by half-bank flanker extraordinaire Bob Murphy.



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About Damian Balassone

Damian Balassone is a failed half-forward flanker who writes poetry. He is the author of 'Strange Game in a Strange Land'.


  1. Congrats re Amazon best sellers list,Damian ! ( waiting on my books arrival personally) good plug from,Bob as well

  2. Hi DB

    I’m reading this excellent observation/poem as someone who found their best as a half back flanker.

    I’ve always thought that there’s a PhD or psychological study in character formation as understood through the position you played in junior sport. You have nailed one possie in 4 lines. Beautifully.


  3. Kevin Densley says

    Nifty, neat and well-observed, DB – nice play on the Oscar Wilde line “Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.”

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