Wild Court

An international poetry journal based in the English Department of King’s College London

Two poems by Oliver Comins

Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash


    An Away Match


One long and wide hall filled with dancers limbering and jostling
at each of three crowded bars, while a band in suits got ready
on an unlit stage, lean among the sequined drapes and shadows.

A padded door on the south-side admitted us to half-lit stairs
leading up to a quieter room, having plenty of space and tables.
In the corner, a raised platform with match board and oche.

The gathering up there was more composed, their large hands
resting on glasses or stroking gut as they waited in line to throw.
Snake arms struck, sent darts spinning for treble twenty, bull.

A trophy case on the back wall was full of silverware, most local,
some county and one national. Playing against an old town pride,
beyond the motorway’s end, we only hoped to hold our own.

The MC called for best of order as the first game got underway,
starting in a kind of silence. Floorboards vibrated on three chords,
House of the Rising Sun doing just that from the ballroom below.




Their garden was innocent,
with its wisteria and tulips,
a crimson peony and that
lilac rose whose fragrance
was such a talking point
on dusky summer evenings.

They would be sitting outside,
while a gramophone played
one delicate sonata after another
in the darkening lounge behind.
Those long adagios floating
in slowly moving, cooling air.

The years appeared and went.
No more ambitious plans
were made for transformation
of window views or flowerbeds.
Their inspiration and nurturing
gentled down to nearly zero.

Her time was not consumed
with chivvying and tending.
Nor was he available by then
to carry her bags of cuttings
down for compost or to coax
her back to sit beside him.

Some perennials they planted
do endure, so a gardener
has been hired, who comes
more often during Spring,
to deploy her subtle pruning
and impose a kind of order.

The garden cannot be blamed
for how things turned out,
although the role it played
was less than passive. Flowers
told stories of their planting –
red joy, blue love, sad lilac.



Oliver writes: ‘Gardening’ is another poem from the My Neighbour’s Carer sequence – earlier this year Wild Court published ‘An Evening Stroll’ from that sequence here‘An Away Match’ relates an event that occurred during my short career in the Yorkshire Darts Super League while studying at the University of York.





One response to “Two poems by Oliver Comins”

  1. Magic Darts* | Wear The Fox Hat avatar

    […] thought of it for a while, but that night popped straight into my head this weekend after reading this poem by the wonderful Oliver Comins over at the excellent Wild Court.It’s been what can only been […]