The Beautiful Game

I had thought, moving to High Wycombe would mean the death of my footballing and the beginning of that ever looming belly. Grumpily I had complained about the lack of places to exercise as well as the shrinking drive to jog. I think it was out of a mix between Pity and ‘I have to stop him winging’ that my wife looked up football in High Wycombe, sending me an email with the relevant clubs and contact details. Sheepishly I said an almost tearful farewell to my London Club.

I have played a lot of football games, been a part of many teams. So today’s games weren’t supposed to be any different. The routine of working through training, patiently waiting for the next game and the chance to play was something I was already okay with. But something different happened today. There was a sense of peace that almost overwhelmed me when we all stood still for the minute after praying. Praying!. What a thing, to involve God in something so personal, so fun. That on top of the prospect of two football matches on the same day just made it dreamy. Granted there was the occasional swearing and a possible fight in the friendly but that was more than compensated for by the goals scored.

Sitting on the sideline is never pleasing. Watching football makes my feet itch so being kitted out and waiting was almost torture. Long story short, with 20 minutes left the substitution was made and 15 minutes late I was on the score sheet.

Good start Den. Good game St Andrews.

I leave you with this piece I wrote a while back that I think sums up today.

The Beautiful Game

My feet tingle as I wake, breakfast awaits
the golden sun like succulent bait
causes my heart, alive, to salivate.

The grass is greener now,
Winter’s slow howl makes
for the weekend a softened brow.

The slow ticking clock – a tease –
as I set my sights on my pilgrimage,
with thoughts on the soft breeze.

I know as in the forgotten night’s dream
reamed into morning, the greens
will welcome me again.

© Denis Adide 2010

Faith 002: What if?

What is Faith if not the presence of doubt;
Hope without certainty,
and evidence without proof?

What if, though not in six days actual days,
the world was still created?
What if we really aren’t alone?

What if that feeling that pain is unnatural was right,
evil paid the price for the suffering it caused,
and things will definitely get better?

What if this is not all that there is;
that there was more to life than the search for money,
less to death than loss,
and we could actually live forever:
never saying goodbye?




Short stories 005: Crossing (intro)

He took the ring off. Placed it on the table. The palm of his hand was still itching from the cuts that the hasty opening of the brandy had dished. It was a quiet house for now. “The sirens will break it; someone will hear”. Heartbeats and breaths turned seconds to an hour spent staring at the window: the curtains were drawn. She was dead. The doors were shut. Bar the empty bottle, he was alone. Like slow tears the fading lights trickled through the gaps in the curtains – caressing his sweating brow: dusk; and darkness.

She was dead. The thought, once ejected, resounded off the guitar in the corner, the low chandelier, the oak coffee table – that she had picked out, the leafless bonsai – a birthday gift, the clock…and the clock – she was dead.  Breaths consumed themselves, heartbeats chastised, and the second hand nailed him to the dusk: to the darkness. Dead!

He scratched his itchy palm, pulling more of the grazed skin off, winced, sighed, and yielded to sleep.

Short Stories 004: Ambition

His stomach was still trembling: last meals are never digested. The bitter taste of bile, now stuck to the roof of his mouth, proved impossible to rinse out. Drinking water only sharpened the inflammation in his throat: did death have to be so distasteful? He could feel the emptiness his stomach; desolate, scorched. His mouth was dry. A sudden thirst had overcome him. He looked at his watch. There was ten minutes left: time to move.

The disabled toilets at the station seemed so big. He’d never been inside one. Now, looking at himself in the lowered mirror, he couldn’t help noticing how everything seemed louder. He could hear the buzz of the hand dryers in the adjacent toilets, the footsteps of people walking in and out, as well as the slam of the door closing in their wake: all as silence compared to the thumping from his heart. Again he looked at his watch. Eight minutes to go; time to move.

Water mixed with sweat dripped down his face – it was a new face, he tried to find within it the things he would normally recognize. The eyes weren’t the same. these pupils were broader and darker, fuller, more intense, more worried, free, sad, sorry, angry, anguished, uncertain. This face was thinner; where had his cheeks gone? This beard was new. With a deep breath he closed his eyes. Exhaling, he opened them to his watch. Six minutes to go: time to move.

His hand reached for the door handle. The dryers began to buzz. He hesitated. Took a few deliberate breaths while waiting for the footsteps to pass. The less people he saw the easier it would be. The door slammed and the footsteps passed, it was time to move. He looked at his watch: five minutes to go.

The door opened. He’d hoped it would resist. The ticket queue had subsided. Left to the barriers. Oyster ready. His heart beat louder. He could feel his veins pulsate, echoing his straining heart. Right to the escalators. He tried not to make any eye contact. Under another deep breath, he closed his eyes. Once more opening them to his watch; three minutes to go. Just enough time for a prayer.

His stomach churned. His hands trembled as they felt through his coat pocket. It was in there somewhere. Right onto the platform.

Another deep breath. His feet felt weak. His head felt heavy. The bag on his back felt heavy. He could hear the ticks. He checked his watch again; thirty seconds to go. He was in the right place.

Another deep breath. He sat on the floor. His head was pounding. His stomach wrenching. He could hear the ticks. He checked his watch again; twenty seconds to go.

Did death have to be so distasteful?

Another deep breath. He ignored the people now staring at him. His heartbeat was all he could hear. His stomach was in knots. He could feel the ticks. He checked his watch. ‘for the last time,’ he hoped. Ten seconds to go.


One last breath. Eyes closed.














© Denis Adide 2009



Intimate with Fear

“The world is not a safe place to live in. We shiver in separate cells in enclosed cities, shoulders hunched, barely keeping the panic below the surface of the skin, daily drinking shock along with our morning coffee, fearing the torches being set to our buildings, the attacks in the streets. Shutting down.” Gloria Anzaldua – Borderlands.


Surely there exists another way!

Short Stories 003: One of us was bleeding

One of us was bleeding

My feet were killing me. I had been carrying her in my arms for about half a mile and there was still no building in sight. In the company of dim streetlights and a haze of fog I found myself drifting from thought to thought, each sparked by the soft, warm, breaths that blew past my face. I think by this time she was already asleep. I had to stop briefly. It was only when I looked back that I realized there was a blood-trail in the snow: one of us was bleeding…

© Denis Adide 2009

Stage 001: On the bridge!


Scene 1


What you have is an illusion, a whisper, nothing more. You’re clinging onto a dream old friend: Let it go.


If a whisper, how loud: I hear nothing else, if a breath, how profound: I feel nothing else… You call it a dream but it haunts my waking steps. I can, but cannot and must; let it go

© Denis Adide 2011


ps: Might be worth having a look at Arthur Millers A View From The Bridge.

Poetry 004: Autumn



His hands clung to his walking stick
As though to loosen his grip
Would loosen his fraying flesh’s
Clasp on life.
Wrung was his skin by the wind.
His clothes, more a burden than a help,
As sails swung from his trembling trunk.
Watching was his helpless wife
As with a yelp he gave up,
Was blown within a fingertip of the salvaging scaffold,
And tipping past the barriers fell
Into the ditch left by the tea-sipping road-workers.
Teary his spouse, wrestling her umbrella
Walked toward his grave.

Her hands too feeble to save.

In haste I came to stay the hearse
The bride to death, clung onto her purse.

Solemn I thrust my hand to the nabe
“Fuck off! … Fuck off you ape!” He said

© Denis Adide 2010


Color: The Falling Leaves

It had been a cold and windy day. I was on my way home from university. there was a gaping hole in the pavement bordered by the plastic barriers that the road-workers had left when they clocked out. I remember thinking, as I made my way past the hole, that with the wind as strong as it was blowing, it wouldn’t take much to blow someone into the whole. It was at this point that the idea for the poem crossed my mind.

The dominant thought while fleshing the concept of Autumn had to with the manner in which human tragedy is colorless: we, like the leaves, all lose color and fall. The hole provided the scene within which to show how futile as well as ignorant racism can be.

Short Stories 002: Once Bitten!

Once Bitten

He lies there dying; a knife sticking out from his chest. There’s blood all over his jacket; it seems to fit in with the look of disbelief on his face. He can feel his grasp on the bunch of roses ease and with a slight sigh he let’s go. As his eyes turn upwards he only has time to whisper one last thing.

“I love you… Woman… I always have”.

She, kneeling right next to him, is somehow cool. She wears a collected countenance that seems somehow enchanted by the event. Her right hand, fully covered in blood, reaches for the phone she had earlier dropped. There is just enough time to watch as his pupils dilate. She holds his right hand in her left, clasps it to her cheek and smiles at him. He slowly stops breathing. She blinks, letting loose a solitary tear which rolls down her left cheek. After a moment spent staring into his lifeless eyes, she allows her attention to drift to her phone.

A few minutes later the sound of sirens startles her. She again turns her stare from his eyes and, kissing his hand, arises and picks up the roses before walking into the kitchen.

“Love!” she whispers in a huff to herself. “You don’t know the meaning of the word man!” she adds with a hint of malice…


© Denis Adide 2009


Poetry 002: Love is…

Love is

Love is your strength failing,
Drooping slowly as a flake of snow from grey sky
To melt upon her cheek.
Love is the last dish in the sink,
The pair-less sock stranded on the radiator,
The half empty glass of wine
The dance last night,
And the song you won’t forget
While love is asleep.
Love is a cold fingertip, lightly slid along a naked back.
Love is her warmth lingering with the scent she carries,
Feeling an empty bed while Love is using your toothbrush.

© Denis Adide 2010



Finding what Love is…

Largely inspired by the cartoons shown here, this poem is a collage of images that somewhat sum up what Love is: both the disciplined action of loving as well as the intangible sentiment.

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