Two More Poems about Carswell from Mark The Muse


If you could hit straight drives when those about you

Are hooking left or slicing to the right;

If you could mark their line though both men doubt you,

So find their balls – then hit yours out of sight;

If you could wait while fours in front are crawling,

And still stay calm and hit right through your stroke;

If you could stand aloof from all name-calling,

And calm your partner’s rages with a joke.


If you could meet with bunkers and with water,

And treat those two dread hazards with a grin;

If you could putt in just the way you ought to,

And chip – and always chip straight to the pin;

If you could bear to see the green you’ve driven

Pocked like a teen-aged anorak with spots,

And bend to mend the pitchmarks – may they be forgiven –

Left there by all the other thoughtless clots.


If you could watch the shot you thought a cracker

Blown by the wind a finger-breadth off course –

And find you’d shared the fate of every hacker,

But never find the ball – it’s in the gorse;

If you could stay unfazed by this disaster,

And hit your new ball slap up to the flag –

Then sink the putt to show the course who’s master,

And stay blob-free with two points in the bag.


If you’d got forty points down on your score card

And put it in quite sure that you had won –

And then found out some undeserving bastard

Had handed in a card with forty-one;

If you could sit and smile to see him win it,

And clap as if you’re really having fun,

You’d win the Cup of Life with champagne in it,

And – which is more – you’d be a Saint, my son!

MAWB November 2005


 (an elegy for the Kermit bunkers on the fourth hole at Carswell)

I must down to the sand again, behind the bunker’s wall,

And all I ask is a clean shot an inch behind the ball.

And all I ask is a view of the green as I settle to the task,

And shuffle my feet and waggle my club – is that too much to ask?


I must play out of the sand again, for the first was a miserable mess;

I’ve scuffed it up behind the wall and now I can see even less.

So all I can do is play out to the left and hope to avoid the rough;

Then hit over the pond and stay in bounds? Even Tiger would find that tough.


I’ve got it out of the sand at last – a horrible hoick with my wedge.

It shot past the lads teeing off on the fifth and nearly knee-capped Reg.

I’m four shots adrift and the other chap is on the green in three:

It’s not a question of mastering golf – those bunkers have mastered me.

(with acknowledgement to John Masefield)

MAWB April 2007