Issue #10

Barnsley Sonnets


Today, he’s sporting nowt but a

pair of bright pink undercrackers.

On Halloween, he wore a mask

and a pumpkin filled up wi’ spice.

“Howzat?!” cries a drunken fella,

popping Johnny on his finger,

whilst his bird mounts the pedestal

in red heels that are half as high.

Dickie’s seen more action up here

than he ever saw down on’t crease.

Six feet of sculpted bronze, now used

as a giant buck-a-roo piece.

‘Inappropriate?’ Dun’t be daft,

It’s alreight. They’re only laikin’.

Oakwell in December

Four walls endure the bitter chill,

of winter winds that twist and swirl,

but leave untouched festive goodwill,

as viewers watch the plot unfurl.

Chants of Christmas carols, said,

fill Oakwell’s shell with frigid hope,

the stout support for the boys in Red –

broke by the silence of Pukka Pies.

The Barnsley faithful want one gift:

three points, be them hard-earned or stole,

to give these men the kind of lift,

that lights ten-thousand hearts of coal.

That gift won’t come. It rarely does.

The match was long. The walk home, longer.


The Joseph Bramah

If ‘Bramma’ was still inventing today,

would he like what we made for him?

A pub in his name, for locals astray

to soak up their sorrows in gin.

He hasn’t been here for two centuries,

without him, this couldn’t be here:

the man who has gone down in history,

for loos that flush, and pumps for beer.

The old and the young gather ev’ry night,

as soon as the sky turns to dark,

a pithy reprieve from the endless blight,

to give their lives that needed spark.

In memory of him, week after week,

we get pissed up, then piss on the seat.

Hometown Heroes

They are the immortals. Names that will last                                                 

as long as they are passed from Dad to lad,                                

the elder, glad to have witnessed their time.                               

“I remember him. When he reached his prime,                   

he was so sublime. The lead of the cast,                              

he was class. One o’ best we’ve ever had.”                                

Wistful nostalgia. They used to be slick,                                         

Now they’re just another brick in the wall.                           

Mortar and cement mean bugger all,                                 

I could pay a few bob for the same trick.          

A legend remains in his place for rent,                                           

lent between two names of no recall.                

Here’s how they reward them for all they did:                    

‘See your name here for thirty-five quid.    

Ryan Bramley

© 2014