No-one commented when the committee man selected
The horse racing channel, silencing the news
From far away that this politician had won,
That one had lost
And the race appeared in time for the favourite to lose by a neck
As I mused on the correct pronoun for a gelding.
No-one knew if the winer had any form, or if it
Was going to be one of those days when
Form had no useful function
Newspapers were consulted in the back to front order
That is de rigeur in the bar but no-one was any the wiser.
By the time you’ve worked your way backwards
To cartoons and TV the useful bits of the paper are done
So far as the gamblers are concerned.
Someone asked if the TV could be turned over to the
Greek channel showing the early Premier League match
As they had a bet on the time of the first goal.
I thought of all that news, all those political commentators
Talking with all the fluency and passion of the anonymous
Horse race caller describing how the five year old just got up
And might have a long career over fences when he moved up from hurdles.
I thought of the multiple screens around me, the men ordering pints
With a gesture as they wrote out their slips for the next race
And those political commentators, talking to each other despite
Viewing figures far lower than the horse racing, UK Gold
Or the QVC channel doing a nice deal on earrings.
In our corner we turned our backs, lowered our heads and
Replayed the bleaker moments of the last Exec meeting as we
Tried to garner the votes required to make a difference.
The screwed up voting slip of the first goal punter bounced
On the floor, before he mumbled an apology to the barmaid
Picked it up, drank off his pint and left.
Apparently his minute had passed and no-one had scored.