Möbius, The Poetry Magazine | “But is it Cricket?” | Nicholas Messenger

But is it Cricket?

By Nicholas Messenger

Migration Issue, 2015

What say you made it to the First Eleven and they told you,

incidentally, there are no rules left.

We’re sorry, but we’ve lost them.

Lost them? All of them?

How could you lose the rules?

We seem to have mislaid them.

How? Forgotten them?

Well, not so much forgotten, as lost confidence in them,

so when we went out in the field to play

we’d look around and somebody would grumble,

this is stupid! and we’d all feel stupid.

So you want me to go out there, and, do what exactly?

Play. Play up and play the game.

But there aren’t any rules!

You won’t need rules

as long as you can state the purpose of the game.

It’s harder to declare that, than to list the rules.

What is it? Ah! they say.

Ah now, we haven’t quite agreed on that.

There are several schools of thought –

a dozen or so – hundreds actually.

But all called ‘cricket’?

Look, it’s not that big a deal,

as long as there’s a way to score.

Just go on playing for as long as possible,

for days on end if need be.

Only, keep in mind

it’s not so satisfying if it all ends in a draw.

Sexy Tree

Nicholas Messenger had his first poems published in New Zealand as a schoolboy. He won the Glover Poetry award in the 1970’s. In recent years he has had work published in a good number of online magazines.
He was born in 1945, completed a degree at Auckland University, travelled extensively, and lived at various times in France, England and Japan. He has worked at many jobs, including seaman, security guard and demolition worker, and for a long time made his living as a teacher, of science, art, and languages, in High Schools in New Zealand, and of English in Japan.
Now he runs a small publishing operation, Konuoi Imprint, publishing his novels for adults  and young people, volumes of his poetry and fables. He has been married twice and has two grown-up children.

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