All v All Blitz – a poem

In these strange times we’d like to share a chess-themed poem, by our very own wordsmith, Anderson Armstrong – please enjoy.

All v All Blitz

September in Battersea,
Workers’ club Tuesday,
All-v-all chess,
Five minutes each contest,

Any age,
Any gender,
Parents came,
Children tender,

Though some parents misbehaving,
With their fixture rearranging,
Each assigned opponent,
Matching strength component,

Total concentration,
Stilling senses and features,
Smiley-faced youths,
Become fearsome stony creatures,

Like dragons and tigers,
Flanking Oriental doors,
One sitting still,
Opponents’ piece in other jaws,

Tensions on the board,
Contorting body’s language,
Fingers twisting mouths,
As if searching for a sandwich,

Nervous tics appear,
Like scratching behind ears,
Frownings gather ominously,
Over pieces unawares,

Once positions broken,
Postures change as if awoken,
Runaway pawns,
Offest tanks on chequered lawns,

“Got him with a Marshall mummy!”,
Sweet-faced girl said,
Boardrooms between rounds,
Revealing inner-life stress,

Leaders checking masters,
Biting nails over draws,
Lesser players high-fives,
Swindling points within laws,

Dads beside daughters,
Having taken several buses,
Two Chinese-looking sisters,
Wondering what the fuss is,

People skirting rules,
Tapping clocks with captured pieces,
Announcers remind all:
During match all talking ceases!

Sisters play each other,
Agreeing no ‘sister act’,
Younger playing safety,
Pre-empts Marshall’s feared attack!

Strategists mug tacticians,
Pawn-grabs lose positions,
Dreamers drugging schemers,
Masked deceptions people scream at,

When flags drop,
Shoulders belly-flop,
Once clocks stop,
End-games never stop!

Shaken hands,
Clenched to fists,
As all parties gather,
Positions checked on the lists,

Yummy mummies find each other,
Chubby hubbies chat like brothers,
Cocky youths a-hoop like groupies,
Older players walking movies,

Boys to men and men to boys,
All making too much noise,
Kibitzing over plays,
Mates overkilling joys,

Later ratings greater,
Rival pairings still debating,
Refuting unseen matings,
Like dates delaying parting,

Boards and pieces put away,
Heat and clocks dialled down to zero,
But with no-one playing hero,
The games await another day.

AA 26 03 20

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