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Mark Robinson, from A Balkan Exchange

Botev v Locomotiv, March 2005, Added Helicopters

Where the teams are named
for poets and revolutionaries
helicopters have been known
to spray rosewater onto pitches.
In a hotel guarded by Porsche 4 x 4s
I saw the Plovdiv derby
turn into a riot with one push.
The keeper let slip his straight red fate,
would not depart, the fans
and his teammates in a row
that grew like evening rain.
The fat little ref was simply lost,
did not know what he was doing.
Rubble showered the touchline.
In the centre circle all he could do
was twist the red and white band
on his wrist, neutral between yellow
and black and white, wonder
what he had done to offend
Grandma Baba Marta
halfway up the terrace,
a rock in her hand, singing
something rude about his father
until the helicopters arrived.