2012 April PAD Challenge: Day 25

For today’s prompt, write a poem about a sport. Pick any sport you want. And yes, feel free to bend and stretch the rules as far as you wish.

Here’s my attempt:

“Cross”

In horse racing, there are horses
that prefer a sloppy track–one
covered in mud. My blood always
raced faster when we had a creek
to cross or rain. Something about
the rhythm of my hair against
my face, the heaviness of my
wet shoes and socks–drove me harder.

*****

 

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297 thoughts on “2012 April PAD Challenge: Day 25

  1. foodpoet

    Faded Roses

    The run for the roses
    This year all that is left is thorns
    As memories wilt and fade

    I will watch alone the race
    That was a family tradition
    This year all that is left is thorns

    The race with grace will be beautiful and sad
    Sipping mint julips
    As memories fade and wilt

  2. Arrvada

    Never Understood
    By
    Arrvada
    I’ve never been one
    To be drawn into the competition
    At least not as the spectator
    Who sits in the stands
    With others sweating under the sun
    Or sitting on my couch with bag of chips
    At hand.
    There are little sports I can enjoy
    Either too slow, too blurred
    So confusing with all the rules
    I would like to say it is because I am refined
    Above such barbaric and archaic
    Acts of male barbarism
    But then you changed the channel
    And I am enthralled watching UFC
    My inner barbarian rears up
    Ugly headed and chanting for blood.

  3. Marian O'Brien Paul

    The Emperor Played Baseball

    When the Emperor of the World was young
    he played baseball with the Little League.
    What a southpaw he was! No rag arm had he.

    On a camping trip in Turkey once, he’d helped
    his father strike the tent. Seven scorpions hid
    beneath the canvas floor, tails raised to sting.

    The Emperor-to-Be collected seven stones,
    and David-like but with no sling, he aimed
    and threw his deadly shots, hitting each one.

    The problem was the future Emperor had no
    skill at hitting balls or catching them. Playing
    safe, the coach dispatched him to stay outfield.

    No matter, for the Emperor remembers things
    much differently: in his visions ran the bases,
    scoring home runs and so his team always won.

  4. po

    King Basketball

    Living in Indiana
    you understand
    basketball is big.
    Only attending one
    game with my Uncle
    you might think
    I dislike the sport.
    The opposite is true.
    So excited, I was
    rabid all night, didn’t
    sleep a wink. I never
    went back, afraid I’d
    make a fool out of my
    calm midwestern self.

  5. AC Leming

    No Enemy But Time

    I make a sport of it.
    Think, If I’d only said,
    “I can’t do this.”
    If I had packed
    my paraphernalia
    after our session ended
    and left. Instead, I let
    my bad side out to play,
    the side of me that counts
    no future cost of wanting
    to have him becasue I wanted
    to have him. Circular reasoning
    at it’s worst. Instead, I play
    the scene over and over,
    like a stunned loser
    determined
    to find the moment
    I lost the match.
    The moment
    I succumbed
    to his charm.
    The moment I lost
    myself in his touch.

  6. Jaywig

    Day 25 – a sport

    It’s that season again –
    the bunting, the ads
    for insurance around
    the field, and the players
    need it. I say to Mum:
    How they suffer! What
    bruises they must
    take home to tender
    hands. (Actually, I
    don’t say the bit
    about the hands).
    We regard them as
    performers, clowns,
    the way they leap
    and tumble, roll or
    sprawl – high drama!
    Since laughter is good
    for the health, I love
    the footy season.

  7. richard-merlin atwater

    The Long Distance Runner’s Coach
    R.M. Atwater—high school and college track and field (Long Distance Runner) 1960-64 TA; 1968-73 WSU

    “Looking back” through all those years I still remember how
    “The Coach” reminded us that victory goes to the team
    Who collectively and individually doesn’t hesitate now
    Or ever, to stop a moment and “look back” over the shoulder and seem

    To think that “I may be overtaken” and thus must keep an eye
    On him who may be “faster than me” in the end and pass me by
    Towards the finish line with just rewards of victory. Therefore Why
    Should I surmise to “not listen to”—“The Coach” who knows how to vie

    Is necessary “to win” the laurel wreath without “looking back”
    Along “The WAY” that leads to Eternal Life, midst strife and consequence,
    For He is “greater than I” to understand, since He has run the race through flack
    And chaff and circumstance of life, and knows how to counsel, coach, and recompense.

    “The runner and the sinner” with “nuggets of TRUTH” such as: how one must not
    “Look back” and lose the stride that takes him forward in the fray of NOW—“today”,
    Whence TIME has passed, then comes “the second wind” that only “long distance runners” KNOW, begot
    The chance to cross “the finish line” in triumph on “that FINAL Day”–for those who followed “The WAY”.

  8. richard-merlin atwater

    Great to be GONE—somewhere falling in love: have been in Eastern Europe (Ukraine-Moldavia) past 3 weeks and missed all prompts. Maybe I’ll try to catch up in the last 3 days, got re-engaged to my engagement (Princess Snow White–Julia Kolednik), of last November for a summer fling of happiness upcoming set for July 1, 2012–wedding bells to peal from the high steeple! RMA –photos on FACEBOOK under Richard Merlin Atwater

    Hence: a SPORT POEM
    R M Atwater April 27, 2012

    Come Skate with Me

    Be a good sport, and put on your sport coat, and come with me,
    Put on your ice skates, and a colorful scarf around your neck to fly
    High in the wind as we go racing by, ‘cross the ice of the pond, to be
    A harmonious pair of skaters, the musical duet of the skater’s “high”.

    Come skate with me, partners we’ll be, Skating as lovers in sweet harmony.
    Together my darling in oneness of ease, Out on the water of a frozen sea,
    First, we will glide like swans on the wave, Then we will jump, together we’ll leave,
    The ice and the ground for a sail in the air, as you jump and split as I lift you with ease,

    We’ll skate around the great city Christmas tree, Together as partners we’ll be,
    Man and woman, boy and girl, male and female, Everyone will happily see,
    As we do loops, and figure eights, a swirl of a whirl, In perfect harmony as boy and girl.
    Bundled up with my scarf and you with your curls, Like a flag lifted up to surly unfurl.

    We will sway in the breeze, as i carry you with ease, Up in the air, over my shoulder,
    I’ll carry you with ease, a darling pair of skater’s we will be ever so fair, stunts that are bolder,
    Of skaters on ice, a harmonious pair we will waltz to the tune of elegant Tchaikovsky,
    Waltz of the Flowers, and the Skaters Waltz will take us to dreams of a skaters pair, frosty

    And free, come skate with me, partners we’ll be, skating as lovers in sweet harmony,
    Awake to the wonder and glory of a new horizon day, skating as lovers as it should be,
    Out on the ice of a frozen sea, in sweet harmony, together we’ll be, skating as lovers again,
    Musical duet of ‘blades on the ice’, gracefully capturing the full score of judges with “Ten”!

    Duet ice skating (male-female) world championships have always been my favorite sport!

    to be set to the tune of “The Skater’s Waltz”

    can’t see to get it to post???

  9. richard-merlin atwater

    Great to be GONE—somewhere falling in love: have been in Eastern Europe (Ukraine-Moldavia) past 3 weeks and missed all prompts. Maybe I’ll try to catch up in the last 3 days, got re-engaged to my engagement (Princess Snow White–Julia Kolednik), of last November for a summer fling of happiness upcoming set for July 1, 2012–wedding bells to peal from the high steeple! RMA –photos on FACEBOOK under Richard Merlin Atwater

    Hence: a SPORT POEM
    R M Atwater April 27, 2012

    Come Skate with Me

    Be a good sport, and put on your sport coat, and come with me,
    Put on your ice skates, and a colorful scarf around your neck to fly
    High in the wind as we go racing by, ‘cross the ice of the pond, to be
    A harmonious pair of skaters, the musical duet of the skater’s “high”.

    Come skate with me, partners we’ll be, Skating as lovers in sweet harmony.
    Together my darling in oneness of ease, Out on the water of a frozen sea,
    First, we will glide like swans on the wave, Then we will jump, together we’ll leave,
    The ice and the ground for a sail in the air, as you jump and split as I lift you with ease,

    We’ll skate around the great city Christmas tree, Together as partners we’ll be,
    Man and woman, boy and girl, male and female, Everyone will happily see,
    As we do loops, and figure eights, a swirl of a whirl, In perfect harmony as boy and girl.
    Bundled up with my scarf and you with your curls, Like a flag lifted up to surly unfurl.

    We will sway in the breeze, as i carry you with ease, Up in the air, over my shoulder,
    I’ll carry you with ease, a darling pair of skater’s we will be ever so fair, stunts that are bolder,
    Of skaters on ice, a harmonious pair we will waltz to the tune of elegant Tchaikovsky,
    Waltz of the Flowers, and the Skaters Waltz will take us to dreams of a skaters pair, frosty

    And free, come skate with me, partners we’ll be, skating as lovers in sweet harmony,
    Awake to the wonder and glory of a new horizon day, skating as lovers as it should be,
    Out on the ice of a frozen sea, in sweet harmony, together we’ll be, skating as lovers again,
    Musical duet of ‘blades on the ice’, gracefully capturing the full score of judges with “Ten”!

    Duet ice skating (male-female) world championships have always been my favorite sport!

    to be set to the tune of “The Skater’s Waltz”

  10. richard-merlin atwater

    have been in Eastern Europe (Ukraine-Moldavia) past 3 weeks and missed all prompts. maybe I’ll try to catch up in the last 3 days, got re-engaged to my engagement (Princess Snow White–Julia Kolednik), of last November for a summer fling of happiness upcoming set for July 1, 2012–wedding bells to peal from the high steeple! RMA –photos on FACEBOOK under Richard Merlin Atwater

    Hence: a SPORT POEM
    R M Atwater April 27, 2012

    Be a good sport, and put on your sport coat, and come with me,
    Put on your ice skates, and a colorful scarf around your neck to fly
    High in the wind as we go racing by, ‘cross the ice of the pond, to be
    A harmonious pair of skaters, the musical duet of the skater’s “high”.

    Come skate with me, partners we’ll be, Skating as lovers in sweet harmony.
    Together my darling in oneness of ease, Out on the water of a frozen sea,
    First, we will glide like swans on the wave, Then we will jump, together we’ll leave,
    The ice and the ground for a sail in the air, as you jump and split as I lift you with ease,

    We’ll skate around the great city Christmas tree, Together as partners we’ll be,
    Man and woman, boy and girl, male and female, Everyone will happily see,
    As we do loops, and figure eights, a swirl of a whirl, In perfect harmony as boy and girl.
    Bundled up with my scarf and you with your curls, Like a flag lifted up to surly unfurl.

    We will sway in the breeze, as i carry you with ease, Up in the air, over my shoulder,
    I’ll carry you with ease, a darling pair of skater’s we will be ever so fair, stunts that are bolder,
    Of skaters on ice, a harmonious pair we will waltz to the tune of elegant Tchaikovsky,
    Waltz of the Flowers, and the Skaters Waltz will take us to dreams of a skaters pair, frosty

    And free, come skate with me, partners we’ll be, skating as lovers in sweet harmony,
    Awake to the wonder and glory of a new horizon day, skating as lovers as it should be,
    Out on the ice of a frozen sea, in sweet harmony, together we’ll be, skating as lovers again,
    Musical duet of ‘blades on the ice’, gracefully capturing the full score of judges with “Ten”!

    Duet ice skating (male-female) world championships have always been my favorite sport!

  11. LCaramanna

    Sports Car

    The world has a different view
    from the driver’s seat of a sports car,
    racing red, streamlined, top down,
    built for speed or built for desire?
    Behind sunglasses, face radiant,
    elite status accentuated by
    adrenaline rush,
    stick shift power in hand,
    accelerate,
    escape to a world with a different view of reality
    blurred by speed
    in a sports car.

  12. Janet Rice Carnahan

    DOWN HILL

    Dad and I loved sports,
    He taught me everything I knew,
    About basketball, ping pong and tennis,
    Downhill skiing was something we learned together.
    Older brother would ski off by himself,
    Mom stayed with the two little girls,
    Dad and I headed to the highest mountain,
    Being the big adventurers we were!

    On two occasions,
    I distinctly began to question,
    Dad’s true intentions,
    We got up higher on a mountain,
    We were not really qualified for,
    And when we saw the actual height,
    Dad quickly had me go first,
    To check out the slope speed, depth and quality,
    Of the snow!
    Or so the story went!
    Not more than a few feet down,
    I hit an edge,
    Tumbling the entire way to the bottom,
    Head first,
    Not at all a pretty sight!
    He came down slowly behind me shouting,
    “Good, you showed me where the pitfalls were,
    Nice job!”
    Skiing past me, of course,
    To reach the actual bottom first!
    Next memorable moment,
    We had been trying all sorts of slopes,
    Determining the best technique and way down,
    Riding up a small, short hill,
    We saw a lady struggling to stand up right,
    Dad leaned down, swinging the chair lift,
    “Pardon me, Madame”, he said in a rather loud voice!
    “Just point your navel down the hill”!

    My embarrassment lasted the rest of the day.
    We skied together a few more years,
    Each time,
    Another funny Dad moment,
    After college,
    Memories of skiing with Dad,
    Faded when he remarried,
    A lady from Norway,
    Who skied since she was two years old!
    Dad enjoyed learning more about the sport,
    Loving it year and after year!

    His wife also rode horses,
    One day, during a horse show,
    Her horse reared back and threw her,
    Just like Christopher Reeves,
    She sadly became paralyzed,
    After she sold her horses,
    They never skied again,

    From that time on,
    Skiing and many things,
    Especially, for Dad . . .

    We’re all downhill!

  13. LCaramanna

    Sports Car

    The world has a different view
    from the driver’s seat of a sports car,
    racing red, streamlined, top down,
    built for speed or built for desire?
    Behind sunglasses, face radiant,
    elite status accentuated by
    adrenaline rush,
    stick shift power in the palm of my hand,
    accelerate,
    escape to a world with a different view of reality
    blurred by speed
    in a sports car.

  14. Pat Carroll Marcantel

    LSU Football

    It’s

    not just

    a sport down

    in Baton Rouge.Tiger

    Stadium is a great cathedral,

    built for worship. Rabid fans eat,

    pray, love football. Tsunami waves of unbridled

    sound rise and fall, filling the bowl and drowning words.

    Miles rides the waves, a seasoned surfer, surviving even the Red Tide.

  15. Lynn Burton

    She’s such a bad sport
    no one wants to play with her
    she runs from herself.

    ***
    I watch from afar
    not partaking in the sport
    if it meant I’d lose.

    ***
    He wears a sport coat
    and a smug smile while he drives
    his fancy sports car.

    ***
    In the Outfield

    A ponytailed girl of 9 stands in left field.
    Some say there’s not a lot of action out here,
    but she catches all kinds of butterflies with her mitt,
    chases her dog in her mind,
    stomps ants with her fast running shoes,
    hits dandelions to watch the tiny seeds
    parachute in the wind, and runs out of breath
    for the fleeting moment when a ladybug lands on her arm.
    She scores a home run with each new find.

  16. ceeess

    Goofing Around on the Golf Course

    I’ve never understood the attraction
    for chasing white balls from spot to spot
    upon the grass only to deliver another

    tremendous blow that sends it skyward again,
    the hope it lands on the green and not
    in the water, the trees, the rough.

    Perhaps it’s because I am not tall, clubs
    too long for me, I send divots into the sky
    instead, bits of grass and dirt falling back into my hair,

    the loud thwacks from hitting the ground
    at the local driving range. It isn’t about
    exercise, is it? With golf carts and caddies,

    not much required other than that practiced
    swing, the long march from green to green,
    the hoist of glass and flex of elbow on the 19th.

    Carol A. Stephen
    April 25, 2012

  17. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    Footy

    Footy is soccer —
    except when you’re ocker.

    Up north they hold forth
    on the pleasures of Rugby.
    I find it ugly,
    a form of thuggery.

    Down south they are fools
    for Aussie Rules.

    As I was born and raised
    a Southerner — well,
    you would have a right to be amazed
    if I didn’t follow the AFL.

    Not a native Melburnian,
    I got to choose.
    ‘Carn —
    the mighty Blues!’

    (Yes, you have to be an Aussie to understand this poem — no apologies!)

  18. Paoos69

    Why the Killing?

    Many a precedent of
    Flawed hunting
    A little ripple in the jungle pond
    Hinting
    The presence of an animal
    Alert yet unaware
    Of the catastrophy
    To befall
    Many a pride broken
    Many a mob strewn
    To keep man’s bravery intact

    And yet when an animal seeks revenge
    Not half the damage done
    He is pursued with reckless avenge
    Until becalmed
    The treachery of species’ scarcity
    The notoriety of illegal killing
    And malady
    Was it not intended
    That a rich ecosystem co-existed
    Or was it only created
    Never to be flourished?

    Man, the only intelligent being
    Needs to curb his craving
    Shun his ego to prove superiority
    After all what is he after dying?

  19. mschied

    Bull’s-eye

    A slender shaft
    fletched at one end
    needle-point at the other

    held in suspension by
    two tightly-gripped digits
    and nestled snug against the string

    Sight
    Pull
    Release

    exhale
    as the target is pierced
    with a satisfying
    thunk

  20. Jane Beal - sanctuarypoet.net

    Viola’s Opal

    Sportive Shakespeare said playfully through him,
    Feste, twelfth night’s honest, clown—“Your mind’s an
    opal!” as he peered into the night’s dim
    and falling darkness, into which they ran:

    master and young man, a boy, but disguised,
    for underneath a soldier’s uniform
    a woman’s heart, beating fast, had surmised
    all her love must remain hidden—or be torn!

    Where is my brother? Lost under the wave.
    Where is my hope of being belovèd?
    So close we stand, hard by this rock sea-cave.
    We touch, untouched, but come not near to it.

    Bright-whirling fire beneath the white surface—
    still veiled—that longing for Love’s golden kiss.

    Jane Beal

  21. drwasy

    FENCING

    We go at it
    with our bladed weapons
    foils stashed under tongues
    epees hidden in our hearts
    brought out only under
    extreme duress
    when the parry fails

    We circle around it
    each spar a prick
    in this verbal blood sport
    and wait for the other
    to yield right of way
    but neither awards
    the other the point.

    ***
    Better late than never. Peace, LindaS-W

  22. Tanjamaltija

    D.A.N.C.E. Acrostic

    Dappaankuthu from Tamil; percussion; Bollywood.

    Ardha from Arabia; Bedouin; war-dance.

    Nutbush from Tennessee (City Limits!); line dance…

    Coček from Serbia; belly dancing; gypsy brass!

    Eisa from the Nansei Islands; memorial service – Ryūkyū musicians…

  23. Khara H.

    “Don’t look back”
    “Don’t look back. Something might be gaining on you!” ~Satchel Paige

    Hate and love for ages swelled in his oaky arms, dripping
    through his veins like sweat down his bicep into the fold
    of a pressed cotton shirt with stripes that made him dizzy
    if he looked at them wrong, that strange, disorienting
    juxtaposition of white against black, black against white,
    wood in his hand clenched to splinters as some sudden

    white thing buzzes past his cheek like an awkwardly failed
    kiss and the squat man behind him screaming out, abruptly,
    out, out of the blue like his ancestors fallen from the sky
    where they once had wings but shed them to plow the field,
    soak up ache and boy in the blood like wine, jump the broom,
    bate the mule, reap the cotton that hems its way through this

    disorienting juxtaposition, black against white against green
    against blue sky and red faces screaming him out sending him
    reeling back to the ditch his daddy dug first by shovel and then
    by hand just to show them, show them all, where he came from
    was a gutter and where he went was a hole in the ground filled
    with love, love, hate for ages, and knowing all he had been

    stripped of, pinstriped, lost in a sea of white against black
    against white against, banging, banging, swing and miss
    and finally that scream out that sends him reeling to waking
    where he casts of these dry cotton sheets and rises to throw
    stones in the night, pitching against the world, waiting
    for the one true moment to swing low and away to Jesus

    and steal away home.

  24. Brian Slusher

    FITNESS

    I’ve never seen my body
    as a temple or a weapon—
    more a platform for my voice
    and brain, yet sometimes
    when I visit our school gym,
    the squealing echoes
    of the players’ running battles
    become a scolding chorus
    my muscles understand,
    how untested they wait
    gripping the bones the way
    the slugger does his bat,
    the tackle his opponent
    and the blood sprints
    to my skin like soldiers
    rushing to breech a wall
    as the lost days race
    away, uncontested.

  25. pmwanken

    FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME

    before there was a clicker
    and a choice of three channels
    TV viewing was limited

    not a fan of Lawrence Welk
    or painting on public television
    Dad would resort to sports

    it was Ali, Kareem, Nicklaus,
    Staubach and even Secretariat
    who came into our living room

    I watched in fascination
    as the best of the best
    displayed finely honed skills

    today, when I watch,
    it is not a particular sport
    that captures my attention

    it is the athletes who show
    they are in it
    for their love of the game

    2012-04-25
    P. Wanken

  26. maxie2

    THE DRAFT

    The cameras and lights
    and parties
    and drinks
    and threats
    and bets
    and hopes that are pinned
    on dreams being achieved
    and money
    (we’re hoping)
    is well spent, well deserved
    and earned
    and returned
    to the ones who sacrificed
    their own
    the moms and dads at home
    cheering their American sons
    as they become
    darlings for a moment
    potential heroes of future
    fifteen minutes, and maybe
    someday the hall of fame
    knowing their name
    is not much safer
    on a jersey
    than it is embossed
    on dog tags.
    At least this draft
    is (supposed to be)
    the product of choice.

  27. Marcia Gaye

    Natural Selection

    Praying to be chosen last
    by the tean with all the jocks.
    They won’t care if I don’t play.
    Head down. Don’t make eye contact.

  28. Michael Grove

    Unwritten Rules

    You hit my guy, I hit yours.
    Don’t steal a base with a big lead or deficit.
    Never bunt for a hit when the opposing pitcher
    is throwing a no-hitter and never talk
    to your own pitcher if he is throwing one.

    Never put the tying run on base.
    Play the infield back early in games.
    Never make the first out at third base.
    If the center fielder calls it let him have it.
    Don’t steal second with your best hitter up.

    Fielders never walk across the mound
    and batters never walk in front of the umpire.
    If there is an on-field squirmish
    both benches had better empty.

    By Michael Grove

  29. cam45237

    We found a deer stand in the deep woods
    And I considered the hunter’s hunger
    Alert after hours
    Stretched long on six planks
    Nailed to a cross of branches
    Muscles stiff, nerves tight as twists of wire, eyes narrow
    Feather finger tightening
    Tracking the tell-tale dapple of sunlight
    On motion

    I’ve shot a gun
    And felt the burst
    Fill heart and head
    As the marked core of the skeet explodes.
    Fractions in the air
    Deteriorate down
    To the earth from whence they came.

    I know there is a pride and a joy
    In a clean shot well-taken.
    For me , a clay pigeon
    For him the beating heart of a deer

  30. Linda Rhinehart Neas

    What if…
    instead of paying grown men
    millions to chase each other,
    crashing gladiator style into
    padded bodies in order to play
    keep-away with a small projectile
    covered in pig skin; we gave those
    that run the halls of academia
    each day, defending education
    while hoping students will
    score without the need to
    tackle, scramble or scrimmage
    enough to pay their bills,
    feed their kids and
    maybe take in a game or two.

  31. Michael Grove

    Opening Day

    My patience with spring training
    always starts wearing thin by the third
    week in March. It’s nothing new,
    it happens every year. So I’m always left
    here waiting so impatiently for opening
    day when the umpire shouts, “Play Ball”.

    I’m waiting for the joy in Mudville.
    To get out there and have a brat and a beer.
    I still take my glove with me
    in case a foul ball comes near.

    The next six months are pure fantasy.
    One hundred sixty-two played in one eighty
    and concluding with the classic in the fall.

    Opening day is the start of the season.
    It is the longest of the seasons
    and my favorite season of the year.

    By Michael Grove

  32. Andrea B

    Benched

    The ringing in my ears
    somehow made the
    world quieter

    the court, a foreign
    landscape with a
    uniformed guard
    limiting the population
    to 10

    here, you knew who
    your enemies were,
    who had your back

    and hurt
    was a bouncing ball
    finding a hole in the air

    the whistles and buzzers
    butted in
    benched you
    made you a sideline alien

    and the gatekeeper
    charged you with reality,
    “It’s only a game.”

  33. Bruce Niedt

    Finally! Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt was, again, tougher than I thought it would be: write a cento ( a poem composed entirely of lines lifted from other poems). This is my first attempt at one. I used baseball-themed poems by Donald Hall, Robert Pinsky, Marianne Moore, Robert Fitzgerald, Michael Blumenthal, BJ Ward, and Rob Vogt:

    Baseball Cento

    A night game, the silver potion of the lights –
    white the chalked-off lines in the grass,
    white the immaculate uniform,
    the white-knickered players
    tense, seize and attend
    against the bright grass.

    The pitcher walks back of the hill,
    establishes his cap and returns –
    left-hander curlicues called strike threes
    around the outside corner.

    But
    into the slice of percentage,
    that possibility of heaven
    that is a swing range –

    the bleached horsehide white:
    the color of nothing,
    caught like a cheek before it ducks
    by shivery hickory,

    and the crack is like a starter gun.

    The ball, a scintilla
    high in the black backdrop of the sky,
    is like a prayer,
    and you are the team’s only angel
    to catch it, snare what is speeding
    toward its treetop nest.
    Your glove turns into a blossom, the ball
    a bee-line from the sky
    into the sweet nectar of out.

    Even our thieveries, well done, are blessed
    with a certain luminousness,
    the fierce legitimacy of the neatly stolen,
    as the moon passes over the pitcher’s mound
    like the slowed stride of an aging shortstop.

    The stars hover like old umpires
    over the diamond,
    the emerald theater of the night.

  34. Michael Grove

    been a long day… just beginning to poem. Starting with a Haiku

    Submarine races
    were best viewed from the back seat
    of my old Chevelle

    by Michael Grove

  35. gtabasso

    Sport

    My only C in school was gym class
    where I broke my thumb doing squat thrusts
    (Who the hell invented that shit?).

    My cat, like Snoopy as the Flying Ace
    on the edge of his doghouse, is on the edge
    of his kitty condo in front of the window,
    contorting as birds nest for the night.
    The other cat plays with the foil
    from over-the-counter sleeping pills.

    That gym teacher told me
    I never would be good at sports
    because I was the last person picked
    for the team, slowest, chubby.

    But, she never saw me gallop
    a thoroughbred racehorse,
    do yoga binds and balancing poses,
    belly dance with a sword on my head.
    She is not anywhere near me
    when I do butterfly and ocean form.

    Every year, I go to Ciccone’s in Kent
    after the Jawbone Poetry Festival,
    to watch horses run for me, with me.
    I know what it’s like to be a jockey,
    present and mindful, praying
    and writing poetry with your body.

    Does she, with her caked makeup
    and stocky body, her frizzy hair
    and hidden affairs? She doesn’t know
    this strength or speed,
    this kind of stretch or need.
    She hasn’t even learned
    how to breathe, can’t begin
    to know me.

  36. tunesmiff

    HORSEHIDE AND FLANNEL
    ————————————
    The boys of summer played this game,
    Between the lines (and in their sleep).
    Despite some changes, much the same.
    The boys of summer played this game
    For love, if not the Hall of Fame.
    Runs, walks, and promises to keep;
    The boys of summer played this game
    Between the lines (and in their sleep).

  37. AndrewR

    Greetings everyone. I’m joining late but here’s my first go…

    Cruelty

    It hurt
    Every single time 
    Before gym, games, sport. 

    The waiting in the locker room,
    The knowing I didn’t know what to do,
    The knowing I’d be standing there,
    Or running
    Unsure,
    Unwanted.
    Unwanting my life then,
    Not wanting
    To be there
    At all, at all. 

    It hurt. 
    It really, really hurt. 

  38. PSC in CT

    Swimming with the Sharks

    “Come on in”, he said,
    “the water’s fine”, so in I dove
    (sans hesitation or life jacket)

    I aspired for grace
    (he was set for speed)

    and it wasn’t long
    before it became clear
    I was in over my head
    and sinking fast

  39. Jacqueline Hallenbeck

    Polo Sport

    I vaguely remember the affair,
    but the way his scent stayed on me…
    and that wistful, yet confident air.
    I vaguely remember the affair;
    that distinctive and natural flair,
    and a body that inspired poetry.
    I vaguely remember the affair,
    but the way his scent stayed on me…

    1. ina

      Thank you for reminding me of something I had forgotten. I had a boyfriend who wore that cologne – never forgot it either. Obviously they did something right (Ralph Lauren, not the boyfriends :-)

  40. Linda Voit

    Poet Outside of April

    In the off-season she palms words
    dribbles them – one – two – three
    uses both hands, steadies her gaze
    then pushes them with her right hand
    to ride the arc she creates

    of thin air. Her breath suspended
    she watches them circle the rim
    around and around and just
    when she can hardly stand it
    they come to that almost stop
    undecided, teetering
    on the cold orange edge
    of just another pull of gravity
    or a score.

    They
    drop
    into
    the net!

    From behind the line
    she swears she can hear
    the white nylon fiber
    give way and wishes
    someone was there
    to cheer.

    Linda Voit

  41. eljulia

    DUSTY SUMMER BASEBALL

    my brother played baseball at the park up the street
    dusty boys in the summer heat
    I loved when he played those Little League games
    never found anything quite the same
    this little sister with my grubby toes
    barefoot girl as often as I chose
    running to the diamond in the middle of the grass
    waving at big brother as i’d dance past
    my brother played baseball at the park up the street
    dusty boys in the summer heat
    with me on the bleachers wiggling my toes
    and keeping cool with my red sno-cone
    dusty days in the summer heat
    never found a way it could be beat…

    1. De Jackson

      Don’t you just love poetic coincidences? Two sno-cone poems in a row (both spelled correctly)? Ya gotta love the universe when stuff like that happens. Except now I really, really want a lime sno-cone. I blame you BOTH. 😉

      Excellent poem, by the way.

  42. deedeekm

    Blond girl
    In summer sun
    A field of kids
    Run like guinea hens
    After the ball
    Except for you
    You sit in green grass
    Blowing dandelion fluff
    Corona around curls
    Into a sweet breeze
    t-ball days 
    Afternoon haze
    Waiting for the end
    And sno-cones

    1. eljulia

      i was just posting mine and thinking, “wonder if anybody remembers sno-cones, do they still have those?” and i looked above and there you were with “sno-cones” in the last line! :-)

  43. Cameron Steele

    It’s safer here
    quiet and shimmery.
    Couldn’t you be a fish
    or whale
    or some underwater mammal
    that doesn’t sweat
    cry
    or feel the pounding of some male hand
    the weight
    of that whole big
    solid world?

    It hurts underwater, too.
    But you feel shiny
    strong
    and tendony
    the stretch of fingertips
    pelvis
    quick pulsing toes
    and thighs.
    Currents are more natural
    than air.

    It’s worse
    when you break
    concentration —
    force the head sideways
    under armpit
    and breathe.
    In those seconds
    you miss —
    the black T on the bottom
    silent
    unwavering, unbroken movement.
    Feel the heat of those eyes
    wretched whistling
    and
    the man you must please.
    That mammally skin
    the weight of nights
    unnatural
    dull, the hours of it.

    Swim on, little fish.
    The race — isn’t
    the sisters
    in lanes beside you.

    They matter less
    than the dry
    dangerous place above
    where weakness
    is a virtue
    Sound a promise.
    Gravity the punishment of man.

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