Matthew Paul

The Steepler

a John Player League match between Surrey and Glamorgan at the BAC Ground, Byfleet, 25 July 1976

Off some military medium
portly Intikhab Alam,

erstwhile captain of Pakistan,
peremptorily entertains

in his cultured slogger way,
breathlessly tortoises

between the creases
to the beer-tent’s delight;

skies a friendly full toss
so unbelievably high,

electricity-wire high,
that it’s never coming down,

it’s never coming down,
it’s never coming down . . .

until it plummets
like a cartoon anvil

straight through the hands
of deep mid-wicket –

who’ll be beneath it
forever in his dreams –

to make a foot-wide crater
in the cow-corner dust.



Matthew’s collection, The Evening Entertainment was published by Eyewear Publishing in 2017, and he is a participant on the Poetry Business Writing School programme. Matthew is also the author of two collections of haiku and co-writer/editor of Wing Beats: British Birds in Haiku, published by Snapshot Press. He tweets @MatthewPaulPoet and blogs at https://matthewpaulpoetry.wordpress.com/.


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