This poem was commissioned as part of the Thinking Outside the Penalty Box project celebrating African lives in football. It was included in the Young Poets Network challenge of the same name and inspired young poets to write in response. This poem, alongside three other commissioned poems, the challenge winning poems, and poems created in a workshop with Kayo Chingonyi at The Poetry Society, appear in the free Thinking Outside the Penalty Box anthology which you can read here. To find out more about this poem and the project, visit the Thinking Outside the Penalty Box page. Nick Makoha is reading with Peter Kahn and Malika Booker at the Poetry Cafe on Wednesday 27th June

Lone Star

by Nick Makoha

 for George Weah

Lone Star, you were a man on the run
when you picked the ball up on the edge
of your penalty box. A planet at your feet,
San Siro stadium sealed tight so nothing
escapes. The crowd a pair of eyes as you
moved toward the light. One man in costume
dancing across the pitch as if he were liquid
weight, a flicker, black Orpheus with five minutes
to go. The opposition’s error believing that you
were on your own. Past the halfway line
was the future, wide open like the shores of Liberia.
You ran like a man with a ship to catch. Like smoke
you had a story to tell. The boy from a village
without a well, who never spoke of money or the war.
At their forty yard line you struck the ball like a match.
Released from your spell it curled into their goal.

The Poetry Society was founded in 1909 to promote “a more general recognition and appreciation of poetry”.  Since then, it has grown into one of Britain’s most dynamic arts organisations, representing British poetry both nationally and internationally.  Today it has more than 4000 members worldwide and publishes The Poetry Review.

With innovative education and commissioning programmes and a packed calendar of performances, readings and competitions, The Poetry Society champions poetry for all ages.

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Tweets @PoetrySociety

“Remember: the world is good, that leaping center is a tuned heart. I want that melody.” New York poet Leah Umansky @lady_bronte, reading at the Poetry Café 23rd July 7pm w/ @ruthpadel bit.ly/padelumansky

test Twitter Media - “Remember: the world is good, that leaping center is a tuned heart.
I want that melody.”
New York poet Leah Umansky @lady_bronte, reading at the Poetry Café 23rd July 7pm w/ @ruthpadel https://t.co/sxYlNHPCeW https://t.co/J3VjBekTA7

Great new ‘Behind the Poem’ piece from @ruthpadel on her poem ‘Clast’ out now – 1) read the article 2) read the poem in The Poetry Review Spring 2018 issue & 3) hear Ruth read on 23rd July w/ US-poet Leah Umansky @lady_bronte at the Poetry Café bit.ly/padelclast

test Twitter Media - Great new ‘Behind the Poem’ piece from @ruthpadel on her
poem ‘Clast’ out now – 1) read the article 2) read the poem in The Poetry
Review Spring 2018 issue & 3) hear Ruth read on 23rd July w/ US-poet
Leah Umansky @lady_bronte at the Poetry Café https://t.co/8JN118C6FJ https://t.co/mFw6Zumi34

Coming up on Sunday's @bbcpoetryplease - @Idharker picks favourite poems from the archive of listeners' requests. This week her choices also come from Carol Ann Duffy & @JackieKayPoet & inc poems from @HelenMort & @MissLizBerry bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0b…

test Twitter Media - Coming up on Sunday's @bbcpoetryplease - @Idharker picks favourite poems from the archive of listeners' requests. This week her choices also come from Carol Ann Duffy & @JackieKayPoet & inc poems from @HelenMort & @MissLizBerry 

https://t.co/yvu6eavFla https://t.co/st5RG9ZleT

And this is where I talk about all the ways Foyle Young Poets was Good twitter.com/PoetrySociety/… Retweeted by The Poetry Society

The @PoetrySociety were on @cerysmatthews @6_Music discussing the #FoyleYoungPoets competition. 🔊 ow.ly/rbyl30kY4rv Join former winner @ankitawrites for a poetry workshop at our #TellingTales Festival on 29 July. Retweeted by The Poetry Society

Our amazing #education team were on @cerysmatthews @6_Music yesterday discussing the #FoyleYoungPoets of the Year Award with the amazing #Foyle poet @mukki_s1. Listen to their interview here ow.ly/ZDke30kY38O #FoyleYoungPoets deadline 31 July 2018. foyleyoungpoets.org

Don't leave me without poems for that last hour at the Poetry Cafe. ONE slot left for 1-1 feedback 4.45pm, Wed July 25th: poetrysociety.org.uk/event/goss/ @PoetrySociety Retweeted by The Poetry Society

"Winning Foyle really kicked off my passion for poetry and opened doors to exciting opportunities." Hear more about the #FoyleYoungPoets of the Year Award and its impact on former winners in our third #FoyleFriday feature: bit.ly/foylefriday3 Retweeted by The Poetry Society