Wednesday, 2 January 2013

In memory of Christopher Martin-Jenkins, by Adrian Buckner

It started for me in '71: rumours
of an Indian with a withered arm
running through England at the Oval -
"Chandra" , the conjuring, chantable
abstract of Bhagwat Chandrasekhar.
The following June,
my ear to a radio with batteries wearing down -
Boycott taking Lillee's first over after rain delay.
I ran back to school, wondering
about bad light, an early lunch, a seamer's paradise.
From that moment, it was all epic to me.
You confirmed it on the page:
England Expects you wrote
when Boycott stepped out again
to open at Port of Spain
and when he mis-hooked Boyce
with only six on the board
the ball hung in the air for half a page.

"The book I refer to in line 13 is Testing Time which CMJ published in 1974 after England's tour of the West Indies. I was 12 at the time and read that book at least a dozen times." AB

'For CMJ' was published in Adrian Buckner's Contains Mild Peril (Five Leaves, 2008)

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