Tuesday Poem: The Wall, by Tony Malone

The sole guardian of the citadel is he,
the last hope of a billion souls and a billion hearts,
a warrior towering in front of his own Thermopylae –
through him, they must pass.

He stands, waiting, as so many times before,
with the calm of the warrior,
for the approach of the foe…

which comes again
with a fiery catapult
of blazing red
thundering down the pass
finally breaking his resolve,
shattering his defence,
ending his resistance.

The white-clad warriors cheer,
their victory dance mocking the memory
of the heroic struggle. The people roar
as the warrior disappears from view, yet…

In their joy is respect, and the truth that
with the falling of the Wall,
victory is inevitable – and complete.

Credit note: “The Wall” is published here for the first time by permission of Tony Malone.

Tim says: A couple of weeks ago, my Tuesday Poem was Ponting’s Genius by Meliors Simms. Meliors’ poem was about Herbert Ponting, the photographer who accompanied Scott’s expedition to Antarctica, but as I expected, some of my readers saw the title and though that Meliors’ subject was Ricky Ponting, Australian cricket captain.

One such was Tony Malone, an Australian writer, reader, reviewer and blogger who, like me, is a participant in the weekly South Pacific and Asia Book Chat (#spbkchat) on Twitter. I told him he was welcome to send me a poem about Ricky Ponting (and he still is!), but instead he sent me one about a cricketer I greatly admire, Rahul Dravid.

England and India have just finished playing a Test cricket series during which England overtook India as the #1 team in the world. In fact, England beat India 4 tests to 0. India were hugely disappointing, and only one of the great Indian batsmen stood up against the English bowling attack: Rahul Dravid, the man they call The Wall. Tony’s poem is a fitting testament to his skill and determination.

If you’d like to read some more cricket poems, check out New Zealand cricket poetry anthology A Tingling Catch, edited by Mark Pirie, and the blog he maintains that has carried on the work of the anthology.

You can read all the Tuesday Poems on the Tuesday Poem blog – the featured poem is on the centre of the page, and the week’s other poems are linked from the right-hand column.