Short Story of the Month

'On Winning' a rugby poem by Sarah Rowland Jones

This month we opened our monthly submissions to include poetry for our special one off 'rugby' theme that celebrated the Rugby World Cup. We had a great range of submissions but could only choose one to publish and so this month's Poem of the Month is 'On Winning' by Sarah Rowland Jones.

Sarah Rowland Jones has been a Welsh rugby supporter from her earliest memories of her father shouting at the television on match days. A former British Diplomat turned Anglican priest, she is now Dean of St Davids. Previously, at Cardiff city centre’s church of St John the Baptist, she liked to claim that going to matches at the Principality Stadium counted as ‘parish visiting’.

On winning    

There is winning, and there is winning.
There is winning as favourite,
     and winning as the underdog.
There is winning with a country mile to spare,
     and winning by a nose at the tape.
There is winning through wealth and strength and weight of numbers,
     and there is winning like David against Goliath.

 

There is winning, and there is winning.
There is winning when it’s a foregone conclusion,  
     and winning against all odds.
There is winning at an easy lope,
     and winning in scarlet-faced lung-rending agony.
There is winning while the roaring crowd cheers with every breath in their joy-filled bodies,
     and there is winning in petrified silence, supporters frozen on the edge of their seats.

 

There is winning, and there is winning.
There is winning by a comfortable margin,
     and winning by the skin of your teeth.
There is winning with style and aplomb,
     and winning shredded of all dignity and self-respect.
There is winning in the sun-kissed, rolling, golden uplands,
     and there is winning in the dark, despairing, mud and rain.

 

There is winning, and there is winning.
There is winning because you knew you had it in you,
      and winning beyond your wildest dreams.
There is winning cool as a cucumber,
      and winning in fear and trembling like a leaf in autumn gales.
There is winning when it’s a no big deal,
     and there’s winning when the future of the universe depends upon it.

 

There is winning, and there is winning,
     and then there is Wales,
          beating England,
               at Twickenham,
                    in a World Cup.          

 

[This was of course the World Cup of 2015]

 

 

Sarah Rowland Jones