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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:


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
    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
    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,
    escape to a world with a different view of reality
    blurred by speed
    in a sports car.

  12. Janet Rice Carnahan


    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,
    escape to a world with a different view of reality
    blurred by speed
    in a sports car.

  14. Pat Carroll Marcantel

    LSU Football


    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 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
    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


    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


    as the target is pierced
    with a satisfying

  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


    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


    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


    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

    P. Wanken

  26. maxie2


    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


    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.

    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


    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

    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…


    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
    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.

    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


    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
    or feel the pounding of some male hand
    the weight
    of that whole big
    solid world?

    It hurts underwater, too.
    But you feel shiny
    and tendony
    the stretch of fingertips
    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
    unwavering, unbroken movement.
    Feel the heat of those eyes
    wretched whistling
    the man you must please.
    That mammally skin
    the weight of nights
    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.

  44. deedeekm

    I cannot kick a ball
    Or run
    Or jump a hurdle
    In the sun
    I miss the hoop
    Can’t make the shot
    And soccer scares
    No matter what
    I’ve never been athletic
    Sports have never been my thing
    I’d rather stay inside and read
    A mystery, romance, scifi, poem
    Is what it takes to make me sing
    So when it comes to choosing sides
    In filling out your team
    Don’t look for me
    I won’t be there
    I’m sitting by a stream
    Or curled up in an easy chair
    Just look for books
    And find me there

  45. ely the eel

    If ESPN Aired Poetry

    If this was a prize fight,
    they’d stop it, right now.
    We came out punching
    in rounds 1-7,
    400, 500, 600 shots,
    haymakers all.
    Then, around rounds 8 or 9,
    the ring card girls
    started getting more attention
    than the writers,
    more comments than poems,
    still weighing in
    with 300-400 left hooks and right crosses.
    Maybe, like those heavyweights of old,
    we’re simply taking a round or two off,
    saving up for the final five,
    hoping to impress the judges
    with a flurry at the end.
    Still, it was pretty defensive here
    in round 25, with less than 170 jabs,
    the occasional uppercut.
    Hopefully, the ref won’t think
    we’re out on our feet, and
    even though it’s been a long battle,
    will let us go the distance.

  46. ina

    Bitter to sweet

    The family tree
    that flowered neatly
    and completely
    until the disappointment
    that is me. What greens
    are these? What muddy
    petals? The bark onion thin,
    the branch right angled
    to the sky? This shoot,
    rejected by the
    root, is living proof that
    even the attached
    cannot be controlled.
    And the sport will
    live. It will flower. It
    will seed, at its latest
    latest hour. And it
    will see before it dies,
    a sapling below it,
    singing to the sunshine
    with muddy petals
    and odd leaves, its pale bark,
    its hopes pointing to the sky.

  47. seingraham

    Say Cheese

    I am all for athletics, most every kind of sport
    Especially games involving kids – I like to show support
    Baseball, hockey, tennis, golf – just to name a few
    But one sport that gets little press demands some notice too

    Every year on Coopers Hill in Gloucester in Great Britain
    Seemingly mature adults run flat out in sunshine or in rain
    They race against each other as they chase a wheel of cheese
    They start out standing upright; they’re quickly on their knees

    Coopers hill is very steep, steeper than some cliffs, and very often wet
    No racer makes it running; they all chase cheese, asses over heads upset
    Injuries are minor and are few and far between and those who enter once
    Return addicted evermore for the sport of chasing cheese can be intense

  48. Walt Wojtanik


    Taligating in a treat,
    plenty goat’s head soup to eat.
    Again Afghanis take the lead
    Buzkashi battles are indeed,
    the thing to see for game and sport,
    if you are the Afghan sort
    who pleasures in this kind of court.
    Horses drive Buzkashi players
    (the sport does have its naysayers)
    the object of the game is this,
    drag around a goat carcass
    bring it to the point area
    as fast as your fine steed can carry ya.
    And the headless goat. Soup anyone?

  49. taylor graham


    Sparrows scatter
    as she pushes through tall weeds,
    brushing past seedheads
    already turning dry and brittle –
    like puppyhood, changing
    with the hour, the season, a day’s
    shadows. She flicks her ears
    to something I can’t hear; suddenly
    alert. Some instinct that’s all
    in the family of dog.
    The hunt, the pursuit. This puppy
    from a different lineage, whose parents
    I never knew; never rubbed
    flea shampoo into their rough guard-
    hairs and down to the soft
    undercoat. She’s a different color
    than any dog I’ve owned.
    Neither bicolor nor black-and-
    tan. She’s sable. But there’s nothing
    fictitious about the tracing
    of blood down pedigrees, how it loves
    to run to the next horizon.
    She flicks her eyes back to see
    if I’m following – the gaze
    of an old dead dog she never knew;
    my once-best friend, my partner
    in the chase – perhaps her
    present spirit guide.

  50. omavi

    “… Ready, Set, …”

    Heart beating heavily this is
    The moment just before ultimate freedom
    Express, muscle tight wound aching
    For the sudden release as adrenaline glands
    Pulsate and start to contract as mind
    Is wiped and focus trained on the finish line
    No worry no world nothing can distract
    Breathing becomes the metronome
    For the dance of mind and muscles
    Waiting for the sound of the starting gun
    The finish line is all that matters

  51. Sara McNulty

    Good Sport

    My husband

    is such a good sport,
    running off
    to the store
    when, again, I’ve forgotten
    an ingredient

    right in the middle
    of cooking
    tonight’s meal,
    because I don’t stop to read
    the whole recipe.

  52. PassionateQuill

    “Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack
    all dressed in black, black, black…”
    their song rings out above the trees
    and skips weightlessly across the clouds
    as girls scuff their Mary Janes
    to the jump rope’s swirling beat

    “…they jumped so high, high, high
    they touched the sky, sky, sky…”
    tired eyes watching from nearby porches
    cast silent prayers heavenward, that
    their hearts would always be this light,
    and their laughter last a lifetime

    1. Walt Wojtanik


      The sheet is just as cold,
      and the markings are a bold
      contrast from the hockey rinks we played.

      End-to-end with brooms in hand,
      this horseshoe/bowling/shuffleboard game,
      I remember watching curling games

      on the CBC Saturday afternoons.
      The stones they used had handles
      and no one I knew could hold a candle

      to the way these curlers threw the “rock”
      I would watch, I loved to catch
      the matches when I was young.

      Hockey was my brothers’ game
      and I don’t blame their choice, but
      curling was my favorite when we were boys.

      1. Walt Wojtanik

        Sorry PQ, not sure how this ended up here. In my haste to leave the library, I must have not been paying attention. Been enjoying your work all of April, BTW. They’re ready to close and I have to scoot. Good night Poetic People!

  53. Sara McNulty

    April 25, 2012 – Day 25
    Write a poem about a sport


    In my mind, visions
    of sitting in a boat
    drifting across a long lake
    in morning mist, a rumor
    of sun slipping on horizon,
    slanting over the steel
    of my fishing pole.
    World of silence
    except for ripples
    of lake life, and swaying
    limbs of encircling trees.
    Perhaps not a sport
    as such, but as I have
    never done this,
    I dub it, Sport.

  54. claudia marie clemente

    *the most dangerous game*

    one high school teacher
    was a literary sadist,
    i can see her now, cackling
    over home brew and homework
    her heels slung over a sofa.
    it was just a story, but no,
    ‘the most dangerous game’
    what kind of game?
    i can still feel for the first
    time that victim’s pounding heart
    as he raced through the forest-maze
    for life — a rape —

    that hunts me to this day,
    like when i happened by chance onto Abu Ghraib –
    in that Athens gallery: Botero’s
    cartoon figures of men and women, rabid
    dogs set on hooded human
    bodies; smiling and posing;
    mrs. meisel cackles from new york
    to the middle east:
    you can travel continents, run run
    run far from home, but never escape
    the rules of this game were set long ago:
    no one escapes. i told you so.

  55. zevd2001

    Oops, so sorry. I’m new at this,
    smiling, she picks up the ball,
    serves the small round projectile
    past the boy friend, dropping
    just inside the court . . . Beginner’s luck,
    he says, taking the ball, returning it
    to her. Serving him again, back
    and forth, arms swinging over, and

    under, from one side to the other, then
    ever so slowly, gathering strength, up
    and over, one more point. You said
    you were new at this, he says. Sighing,
    petulantly, My mother told me never
    to play the fool, to show my best side
    How else would a young men know
    me. He stands back, I see the way

    you move. It’s not because
    of your game, prancing about the green
    tantalizing my eyes, mesmerize
    my being. Let’s go somewhere else . . .
    let’s make love.

    Zev Davis

  56. pmwanken


    every game he was there
    in the stands, cheering me on
    my biggest fan

    without fail, he would come straight
    from work, still wearing that Bulldogs tie and
    brown suede coat

    I wonder if he knew how much it
    meant to see him there, even as I waved to him
    from the bench

    his unending love and tireless
    support, taught me the most about being
    a good sport

    his lessons continue as I watch my kids play,
    from my seat high in the stands, where I wear my coat
    and Dad’s Bulldogs tie

    P. Wanken

  57. barbara_y


    My cousin, the guy,
    the guy who did not lose,
    was an earthquake set loose on boardwalk
    was ants at a checkerboard picnic
    shuffled crazy eights into the 
    ninth dimension.  I,
    on the other hand
    was a good sport.

    Always perfect.  

  58. TShoe

    National Pastime

    They’re here! The finals of the Procrastination Sprint,
    the event you’ve been intending to attend sometime.
    Our featured contestant has been training all her life
    and would surely be one of the top national contenders
    if anyone had gotten around to calculating the statistics.
    Just look at her scores going into this round.
    Weeks, months, even years of putting off doing things
    have all added up to a solid run for the gold.
    And she’s not one of those amateur players, the kind
    that doesn’t put their heart into it. No, she cares,
    she feels the urgency of those to-do lists every day.
    That may be what gives her the edge in these sprints.
    Look, the deadline is approaching. She’s calculating now,
    waiting for the very last moment to start her race.
    Will she ever make her move? — Finally, there she goes.
    A late start that may cost her the trophy. Could the pressure
    be throwing her off her game? Or maybe she can pull it off yet.
    You never know till it’s over… Let’s sit back and watch.

  59. Buddah Moskowitz


    As an overweight child,
    I hated playing sports,
    but I did so
    mostly because if I didn’t play
    the teams were uneven.

    I would rather spend
    my time
    in my parents’ living room,
    lost in a pair of
    plastic over-the-ear
    plugged into the
    stereo (as it was called then),
    playing records
    I borrowed from the
    public library.

    Music was my earliest

    When I was 13,
    for Christmas,
    my parents gave me
    a pair of headphones
    that had an AM radio
    built-in to them!
    They even had
    telescoping rabbit ears
    antenna for
    improved reception.
    (Remember, this was 1976.)

    on Sunday mornings
    I would take my headphones
    and ride my crummy little
    two-wheeler up and down
    the eight block
    section of neighborhood
    where I was allowed,
    and listen to Casey Kasem’s
    American Top 40,
    and dream of making music
    that he would
    someday introduce.

    It was the only time
    I ever liked

  60. wolfbolz

    A Summer Day

    In Germany where I was born
    no baseball could be seen,
    just soccer balls on fields too large,
    too square, and barely green.

    I came to Brooklyn as a child
    midst concrete gray and black.
    The games were played on asphalt there
    with broomsticks as a bat.

    At eight I traveled to the Bronx
    to watch the Yankees play,
    with Yogi, Maris, and the Mick,
    the finest of their day.

    The sun was shining on the field,
    the jewel-stone cut in grass.
    A gentle breeze blew through my hair
    as hours quickly passed.

    I didn’t know the game too well,
    the rules were new to me,
    yet as they ran and paused and hit,
    it seemed a symphony.

    A summer dance on fields of green,
    the cheering of the crowd,
    and when the Mick picked up his bat
    the fans roared very loud.

    A duel between the pitcher
    and the Okie was begun,
    as tension filled the warm Bronx air
    and runners ached to run.

    Three times he swung with savage grace,
    three times he nicked the ball
    as right and left and straight behind
    the bruised hard orb did fall.

    Then on the fourth his eyes locked in,
    his mighty shoulders dipped.
    His hips unwound like tempered springs
    as at the ball he ripped.
    The crack of ball upon hard ash
    was heard by all in view
    as to the sky and past the clouds
    that beaten baseball flew.

    The battered warrior tipped his cap
    and trotted base to base,
    a limp from years of busted knees,
    a grimace on his face.

    The game was won and joy was mine
    on a perfect summer’s day
    when pinstripes ruled the fields of green
    as I watched the Yankees play.

  61. lionmother

    The Zen of Tennis

    Tennis had always
    been for me a
    racket dusted off
    for the summer
    and dragged to
    damp, dusty
    wooden boarded
    dwellings to sit
    most days unused,
    yet one summer
    when life encumbered
    me with family I found
    a few moments in the
    evening to thwack the
    ball across the net
    and I remember the
    first day of this class
    when the instructor
    after showing us how
    to hold the racket
    launched into a
    discourse on how
    we needed to experience
    the art of playing in our
    minds and imagine
    our rackets hitting the
    ball in the perfect
    trajectory over the
    net and away from
    our opponent’s racket
    The zen of tennis
    went through my
    head as I trundled
    kids back and forth
    to various activities
    and I was no longer
    the chauffeur, but
    the player center
    court wearing an
    oh so stylish outfit
    and wielding a racket
    like a pro, thwacking
    the ball consistently
    and truly
    in a beautiful

  62. Walt Wojtanik


    The old adage rings true when you try out
    for the most dangerous sport out.
    A keen eye and good hands
    on long arms is the key.
    Take it from me, tis better
    to give than receive. Leaving
    it all on the field. Blood, that is!

  63. Walt Wojtanik


    Five strong joined at the foot,
    kissed by fortunes good graces.
    In a race to puncture near the space
    close between. A serene concentration;
    an exhileration and excitement
    meant for other folly, by golly!
    Disbelieving eyes cease the sport,
    fine until the blood letting. A short
    jaunt with compression, learning
    a great lesson. Don’t play with knives!
    Does anyone have a bandage?

  64. Imaginalchemy

    (An Ode to the 5K Obstacle Course)

    When your arms are screaming and can’t lift one more sandbag
    You whisper: I am the warrior.
    When your legs are locking and can’t run one more mile
    You murmur: I am the warrior.
    When you’re on your belly in the mud, barbed wire scraping your back
    You spit out the mud and say: I am the warrior.
    When you feel the burn as you leap over the bonfire
    In mid-air, you call out: I am the warrior!
    When you throw yourself at the ten-foot wall, willing to climb over it
    Atop it you cry: I am the WARRIOR!
    As you ring that bloody bell at the top of that sweat-soaked rope
    Ring it as you sing it: I AM THE WARRIOR!

    At the end, with the mud drying in your clothes,
    The soreness settling in for a month long visit,
    And the finisher’s medal placed around your neck,
    You sigh and smile, knowing: I am the warrior.

  65. Anders Bylund

    Game, Set, Match
    Love is a match at Roland Garros,
    where you speak French or not at all,
    where you leave the court covered in red dirt,
    where you aim for the lines if you ever want to win,
    where the size of your racket matters less than your skill with it,
    where hardened veterans break down at match point,
    where you drink champagne in the stands even as the loser weeps
    and the biggest risk is not to play, or not to fight, or to take your balls and go home.

  66. De Jackson

    Of Kings

    My father says
    they are fighting for my
    and my hand,
    but I have seen where
    these ‘noble’ men’s eyes
    and I do not feel honored.
    And my hand
    would rather wield
    steel than lace.

    They race
    toward each other
    in their clinking armor
    lances raised
    faces hidden
    horses snorting
    the same displeasure my
    corseted heart cannot name.

    They do not know me,
    these same shining knights
    these would-be kings,
    in all their glory and gory
    grandeur. For them I am
    the painted girl in the box,
    spangled spectator to their
    sanguine sport,
    helmed only by golden hair
    and streaming sapphire ribbons.

    I am told to yield,
    await my champion,
            my savior.
    Where then, is my shield?


  67. Domino

    Extreme Sports

    Wind surfing, ice yachting,
    cliff diving, grizzly watching,
    base jumping, trail blazing,
    pearl diving’s just amazing,
    free falling from a plane,
    chasing lightning in the rain,
    circus acts, tightrope walking
    lion tamer, critter stalking
    jumping through a fiery ring,
    Africanized bee keeping
    contortionist, sword swallower,
    scary, foreign cult follower,
    alcoholic fire eater,
    blackbelt bearing death cheater,
    treasure diver, lumberjack,
    race car driver heart attack,
    parcour, barefoot waterskiing,
    third-world country sightseeing.

    However interesting these may be
    I find none of them are for me.

    Diana Terrill Clark

  68. Rosangela

    Forty-four beautiful legs, plus!

    Twenty-two males
    plus one to see
    who fails.
    Others waiting to be
    within the borders
    sharing success
    receiving orders
    ready to bless
    the team.
    I scream
    from the knoll:
    I don’t care who takes the trophy
    to me, they are only eye candy!

  69. cstewart


    In most places,
    Basketball is something you might –
    Watch on tv or go see in a stadium,
    But in Indiana, basketball is life.

    Basketball entered most conversations:
    When there were important rumors,
    They were not about Hollywood.
    They were about basketball up and comers,
    Like high schooler, Jerry West.

    When I was about five years old,
    I remember standing in my front yard,
    Watching the busses on the jammed highway,
    Leave my hometown like a circus parade,
    For the Indianapolis State Tournament,

    High school students were leaning
    Out of the busses shouting:
    Muncie, Central, Bearcats!
    (the state’s most winning team)
    And the rest of the town was
    Rolling out behind them.

    Here, there really was/is no other sport.

  70. maggzee

    Extreme Competitive Coffee Drinking

    Dark. Dark, dark.
    Bitter. Not burnt.
    Darker. Go darker.
    Turkish., Egyptian.

    Sweet and light
    For lightweights.
    Darker still.
    Black. Inky.
    Delicately brewed.

    Latte? Au lait?
    Can’t even say it.

    Grow ‘em
    Pick ‘em
    Roast ‘em
    Grind ‘em
    French press.

    Snob, you say?
    Fierce professional.
    Drink coffee.
    Not pastries.
    Come play with me.

    On the dark side.

  71. Beth Rodgers

    I watched a video earlier today about bullying by teachers in an autistic classroom, prompting me to write this poem for today. If you’re interested in learning more about what I read/watched/listened to, you can go to this website: http://www.hnva.net/teacherbully/ — it’s hard to imagine that people can be so mean to anyone, let alone a 10-year-old autistic boy who hasn’t done anything wrong.


    Many people defend their actions
    Citing humor or misunderstanding
    For the faults they possess as they
    Push at someone’s buttons and cause them to
    Hear the resounding chorus of bitter lies
    That burn to the very core of the human condition.

    “It’s all in fun,” they say
    As their baseball bats and soccer balls
    Collect dust in the garage.

    A game to one
    May be the straw that breaks the back
    Of another.

    When bullying comes into play
    Immaturity speaks volumes
    And those who think that the niceness they show to one
    Will outweigh the horror they put another through
    Provides just the right amount of shallowness
    That will likely bring on a drought
    Causing irrevocable damage to innocence
    And purity of heart.

  72. Joseph Harker


    crouches on the edge of vision
    with his eyes heavy under turquoise lids

    watching us
    light the kerosene torches and begin to
    open them into tea roses melted into
    hot gold

    spinning to the beats of drums
    and the hollers of the circling crowd

    (everything we do for him is a circle
    with the precision of one round year)

    and we make
    curtains of light that hide us
    parentheses of heat that enclose us
    canopies of thin-sheeted flame
    which lift us up

    all gods are brothers and sisters who
    trade their offerings around the dinner table
    so we hope it’s no offense to say

    (as we let our joints go slack
    painting the night air with vanishing streaks
    of stolen days)

    that we always felt this was more water
    than fire

    or at least
    we live in a blindness where it’s impossible
    to tell the difference

  73. Mike Bayles

    Ping Pong

    Click, the ball is hit,
    and click, hit again
    as the ball crosses the court
    on a table
    again and again.
    When it fails
    to clear the net
    or lands on the floor,
    a point is made.
    The spin on the ball
    determines direction
    while the best game
    determines its fate.
    Cross talk and conversation,
    and taunting shared
    come into play
    with friends on a summer day.

  74. posmic

    A Snapshot

    My mother in the street
    playing badminton

    long, full skirt
    narrow waist

    My mother,
    trim and sporty,
    young, alive—

    you have to be
    if you are to
    dodge DeSotos
    and time,

    play the game
    for as long as
    you can.

  75. Caren


    Peeling sweat-soaked leotards
    And tights off after practice;
    The pink leather slippers tossed
    To the side, everything ached.
    I wouldn’t have traded it
    For anything in the world.

    Caren E. Salas

  76. hurtin-heart

    Last inning of the game,bases loaded,the crowd sits in silence, waiting,waiting, the suspense.
    Batter up,”smack”,the ball heads straight into the outfield, crowd is cheering an booing, one home run, two, three, “game” as the catcher misses the ball and it falls at his feet.
    Samantha Tinney

  77. Jane Shlensky

    Nothing but the Best

    She’s pretty good at many sports—
    not great, but pretty good.
    Her hall closet is a time capsule
    of sport, a tribute to every one
    she has tried, the paraphernalia
    of sport lining the walls, hanging,
    tossed together like sport salad—
    golf clubs and skis sprouting
    from among snorkels, wetsuit,
    dirt bike, the many and varied
    special shoes, gloves, balls, rackets,
    bowling balls, bats, goggles, pads,
    hats, caps, swimsuits, walking sticks,
    and sport-specific clothes and gags,
    all top of the line, professional gear.
    She speculates as to the thousands
    of dollars she’s spent on sports,
    beyond her yearly harmless bets
    during March Madness and bowls,
    super and not, enough to fund
    a fabulous trip to scuba dive
    the Great Barrier Reef, or boating
    round the world, but she would
    need new gear for that.
    She cannot give her stuff away,
    lest she should have a need
    for it sometime, a skiing trip
    or golf date. She’s still unclear
    which one she likes best,
    but I see very well her favorite
    sport: shopping.

  78. Miss R.

    Ode to My Athletic Prowess

    If I were any more
    Athletically inclined,
    I think my awesome skills
    Would prob’ly blow your mind.
    If I could truly be
    More filled with strength and grace,
    I know your jaw would drop
    Three feet down from your face.
    My serves would fly so high
    They’d actually clear the net!
    I’d swim without drowning
    (And that’s my honest bet).
    My skis would not trip me
    And my skates would not slip.
    My badminton racquet
    Would not fly from my grip.
    I’d stand firm when curling
    Rather than smash my knees.
    My talents would answer
    All desperate coaches’ pleas.
    If I had any skills
    In any sport at all,
    I know that trophy shelves
    Would line my every wall.
    If I could be better,
    Then I might make a team.
    Right now, if I’m ambitious,
    I might take the time to dream.

  79. Wendy Stevens

    Like A Child Again

    I wish I was like a child again…..laughing and playing…..singing and hopping……

    I would have ice cream dripping down my face…play in a sandbox….eat dirt…..

    I would ride my bicycle….roller skate…..play tv tag…..

    I would make a fort in the woods….camp in the backyard…build a tree-house…

    I would play street hockey…..run through a sprinkler……swim in a pond…..

    I would play double dutch…play dress up…go fishing……

    I would stay out past curfew…..go cow tipping….pull my dog in a wagon…..

    I would play baseball at the local field…go go-kart racing….have a tea party…..

    I would listen to my record player…play Barbies…play on a swing-set…..

    I would hike in the park……swim at the local pool…..have a lemonade stand…..

    I would climb a tree…..fly a kite….skip…..

    I would listen to my heart and not my head….daydream…stand on my head…..

    I would be anything but an adult…..

  80. Sharon

    Tennis Anyone?

    Someone once told me
    they thought I must be
    a tennis player
    because I looked
    like Billie Jean King.
    I didn’t know who that was.
    When I found out,
    I changed my look
    and then tried tennis,
    which I was never good at.
    Under no circumstance
    Could I ever be mistaken
    For Billie Jean King.

    1. Marie Elena

      Thanks so much, De! Not to worry too much … just finding myself too busy and getting hospital weary. Dad and Aunt Peg are both having the same problem (atrial fibrillation), but for different reasons. Mom is sick, and so I’m kind of doing double duty for poor Dad. They think they might have a handle on his problem, and things are looking up again. For Aunt Peg, it’s much more complicated. :(

  81. Walt Wojtanik


    The game is love.
    Not for sport,
    highly competitive,
    the repetitive tossing
    back and forth of hearts,
    juggling, bungling lives
    at the least turn of the wrist
    coming up as a fist,
    a knock-out punch to the gut,
    stealing your wind and
    desire to fight on. The game
    is replayed; no score is kept,
    and the game never ends.
    The winners are the best of friends.

  82. Marianv

    My Enchanted Garden

    I cannot leave the garden
    It lingers
    Behind my closed eyelids
    A parade of animated annuals
    Performs to the singing of
    Crickets who have learned the
    Melodies if not the words

    Never-ending blue has stretched
    From one end of the earth to
    The other
    And green has a contest to discover
    How many shades it can produce.

    My skin saturated with sunbeams
    Must never fade through the winter
    If I could live forever, I would be a rock
    Like the one at the edge of the border
    Which tastes every flavor of weather

    Let each of my eyes reflect
    The sunlight as it dances on
    The busy surface of the birdbath.
    Let the birds sing loud enough
    So I can hear them in my dreams.

  83. Mary Mansfield

    OK, definitely stretched the prompt a bit, but it was a fun write!

    Love of Sports

    On an almost worn out cassette tape,
    Huey sang me his heart and soul,
    Capturing my life and easing my pain
    In bluesy harmonica and retro harmonies,
    Showing me the heart of rock and roll was still beating
    Even in my small Midwestern town.
    Music has moved on since then, evolved,
    But a few minutes of listening
    Has me walking on a thin line.

    If this is it,
    What passes for music today,
    I want a new drug.

  84. dextrousdigits

    The beach, gym, dog park, pool, bar, office
    let the man hunt begin.
    Once you spot your prey,
    get in your seductive best side stance
    look directly into his eyes
    flash that smile you have been practicing in the mirror
    linger just bit
    perhaps run your fingers through your hair
    then look away.

    Only round one,
    but it has begun
    Flirting may be the worlds oldest sport.

  85. cindishipley

    Futball VS. Football
    They wear shorts, shoes, socks, and shirts.
    Their hair flaps freely in the wind,
    flashing the whites of their eyes frequently
    like birds picking at carcasses.
    Square cut etched chins and cheekbones,
    chiseled out of stone.
    Fast, furious, and ferocious warriors,
    who only use their feet except when
    they want to love each other with
    joined hand slaps, a hug, a squeeze,
    a pat on the head.

    Not elegant agile giants
    covered with protective gear.
    Who run twisting and turning like
    ballet dancers across the field.
    Pas-de-deux, Arabesque.
    Their ball the shape of an old man’s
    closed eye, weathered yet new.
    Oh! The size of them!
    The quarterback smaller than the rest
    with each thigh the size of a large fresh
    Easter ham. They pile on each other
    a mound of sinew and meat.

    If you don’t understand these games
    you can still love the music
    in the motion of their muscles.
    The spectators moaning, screaming,
    and sighing. They play for their lives now
    because too fast they will be too old.

  86. Margot Suydam

    At Tree Line

    These bones and joints climb
    ascending into the high fields
    of boulders. I lift leg and pace

    never a thought to the long
    summit haul ahead: the roars
    and rustles, muscles tinged

    by jagged peaks chanting
    to a lucid sky. On top, air
    seeps clean, trees flickering

    gold in moisture. Beat of achy
    knees, then a soaring of heart
    at the infinity of distance

    color of green rain makes,
    hugging the rims of buried
    mountains, the smell of wet

in peaks, slices of sun
    that crush through the hue
    flat fist 
of damp flowers bright

    not a dusty sole but mine
    boots balanced on a crag

    precarious above tree line

    Only cairns keep company
    they mark the easiest way
    like the earliest guide

    they guard me, crudest
    piles of rocks someone
    assembled one by one

    large to small, seeming
    so shaky these pyramids
    barely wobble at wind

    or touch, a hold 
rocky descent
they trail me home.

  87. amelia louise


    I saw a dimpled ball
    flying through the air.
    It landed, I was told,
    on the green somewhere.
    It was a mystery to me
    getting a ball into a cup.
    But my daddy loved to do it.
    And my grandfather did too.
    Even my son has been playing it
    for his school.
    I still don’t know
    why I don’t get
    the “hole” thing yet.

  88. emmajordan

    Damn you
    how could you do this to a little girl?
    Haven’t I been a friend to you?
    Wasn’t I responsible for bringing
    your daughter’s talent to the attention
    of the team coaches?
    Weren’t our little girls friends?
    You, a grown man, bent so low
    as to steal her bag,
    the bag with her grips
    for the uneven bars.
    The hand grips that conformed to
    the hands of the owner,
    and helped prevent some blisters and tears
    on hands taking friction and weight
    during kips and giants and catches
    when she has to let go of the bar
    and fly
    for a moment
    twisting to ready her
    hands wrists arms shoulders
    to grab the bar again.
    You stole them hoping she would lose
    her first national competition.
    You wanted your daughter to win
    or at least beat mine.
    How can you be so cruel
    to these little girls who used to be friends?
    How can you teach your daughter to win
    at any cost?
    How can you see my little girl as an enemy
    to plunder?
    They are only seven years old,
    these little girls.

    Competition beginning,
    my little girl so excited as they announced
    her name and age
    to thousands in the stands.
    Beam and floor
    flawless full of grace
    Vault second place
    Now, to the bars without her grips
    where she tries with all her strength
    and seven year old determination.
    She starts beautifully
    with borrowed grips that just don’t fit.
    Up, around, up, around and
    she fell.
    She fell.
    Sadness showed in her eyes
    but she got up and finished
    her routine beautifully.

    You weren’t successful
    your plan only worked somewhat.
    Your little girl placed fourth
    my little girl placed third
    in their first national meet.
    What made my little girl sad?
    Only first and second places got the
    teddy bear.
    All she wanted was the teddy bear.

  89. claudsy

    A Sport? Really?

    When I lived,
    It meant survival,
    This lance meeting the air.

    When I lived,
    It was war’s tool,
    This disc loosing heads.

    When I lived,
    It dropped enemies,
    This sling and stone.

    When I lived,
    It bought food,
    This shaft with feathers.

    When I lived,
    Sport meant health,
    Prosperity’s privilege.

    © Claudette J. Young

  90. competitivewriter

    Wearing the Stripes

    I step into the battle arena and inhale the energy
    Of two teams preparing for a war that will unfold before a sea
    that’s red on one side and on the other white
    It’s high school basketball, it’s Friday night

    We’re all set and I toss the ball and the gladiators soar
    The game is on and my eyes are on each jerseyed warrior.

    The players take their positions an unscripted choreography
    The squeaking sneakers and pounding ball compose the symphony
    The game is flowing in a great rhythm and the tension slowly grows
    Each team is answering the other’s strikes with heavy counter blows

    And then there’s a collision underneath the hoop
    And the air fills my lungs
    And rushes out
    And the whistle tweets
    And the action stops
    And suddenly all eyes are on me.

    I hear the jeers and yells, my call upsets the crowd,
    I understand their bias, their passion, their thirst for blood
    But like anything else, the game must go on, I put the ball in bounds
    And I will do my best, staying ever vigilant, til the final buzzer sounds

  91. RJ Clarken

    Demolition Derby

    It’s…Crash! Bang! Boom! O that poor car
    gets totaled in a sport bizarre.
    The object? To obliterate
    ‘til nothing’s left but license plate.

    A Demolition Derby is
    by def, a death match auto biz.
    By dint of force and size and weight
    there’s nothing left but license plate.

    It’s such an ignominious
    ‘performance’ for a car or bus.
    The Love Bug? Would you decimate
    ‘til nothing’s left but license plate?

    This sport is not for me, but then
    a cracked up car is so not Zen.
    Still, demo-derby fans can’t wait
    ‘til nothing’s left but license plate.


  92. De Jackson

    Net Worth

    My heart is not a ping-pong ball;
    it’s time to turn the tables.
    It needs a safer place to fall,
    my heart is not a ping-pong ball.
    I do not like this game at all;
    think I’ll quit, when I’m able.
    My heart is not a ping-pong ball
    – it’s time to turn the tables.

  93. Andrew Kreider

    Five miles

    It’s a beautiful day outside
    and I’m earnestly riding
    in a pack of seven guys in sagging lycra
    on our regular Tuesday morning round.

    The first mile and a half, I enviously
    watch the kids busy at spring training.
    They stretch languidly on the lush grass,
    laughing in the high heat of the morning.

    I glance down at the pedals
    and when I raise my head again
    the old guy riding next to me
    yawns and adjusts his shorts.

    By mile three, we’re heading uphill.
    A large man who looks like a boxer
    is standing in front of a brown building
    looking really angry about something.

    Sweat blurs my vision, so that
    incredibly, I miss a five-car pile up.
    The rest of the riders peel off, chattering,
    leaving only two of us to finish the course.

    Now we’re heading downhill. The going
    is easier again, and I have time to enjoy
    the view. Country club green and the
    shimmer of barely tamed water. I’m done.

    The old guy is still right beside me.
    He keeps riding as I dismount,
    I toss him the remote. He grins,
    same time next week, huh?

  94. Imaginalchemy

    “The Lament of a Goof Victimized to Playing Baseball”

    Is there any better way
    To shatter a kid’s dreams
    Than when they are coordinately-challenged
    On the local baseball team?

    Oh sure, Mom and Dad said
    I’d get in shape and make friends.
    But when you are as slow as molasses
    And can’t swing a bat, it depends
    If there were other kids as bad at the game
    Or, like me, wished they were elsewhere,
    I bonded with the geeks who couldn’t catch
    Or run or throw or slide or pitch or even cared.

    But I can thank sports for one thing,
    As it completely traumatized my childhood.
    I started writing about my forced foray into athletics,
    And, my God, penning my venting feels so good.

  95. Catherine Lee

    Friday Night Lights

    It is the magic hour.
    Letter jacket cats come out to play
    With mousy girls huddled
    In giggling blankets.

    They wish for stolen kisses
    Under a cave of metal bleachers
    That echo the roaring beat
    Of pounding hearts and feet.

  96. RJ Clarken


    Ready for a sport that’s bracing?
    It’s fast. It’s fun. It’s called Bed Racing.
    Who knew you could relax, recline
    and snooze to reach the finish line?

    The first race was in ‘65
    when sergeants took, for a test drive,
    a mattress set on wheels and pine.
    They snoozed to reach the finish line.

    (Not really.) Actually a team
    of seven pick a clever theme
    to decorate a bed quite fine,
    then race to reach the finish line.

    Six runners push and spur the bed
    while number seven shouts, “Ahead!”
    No matter straight or serpentine,
    they cruise once past that finish line.


  97. RJ Clarken

    What Goes Around Comes Around

    Yes, it’s a sport with big returns.
    With distance, a good player earns
    lots of points, but to get the hang
    of it? Go throw a boomerang.

    And accuracy counts for much.
    With some practice, you’ll get the touch.
    The name can mean a bit of slang.
    What ev. Go throw a boomerang.

    It started as a hunting tool
    of Aboriginal school rule.
    It spread from Gin Gin to Pyongyang.
    It’s fun! Go throw a boomerang.

    It’s not ‘Olympic.’ Well…not yet.
    But one day, it will be, I bet.
    So let’s create some sturm und drang
    for it. Let’s throw a boomerang!


    1. De Jackson

      RJ, can you come live at my house for awhile? You could be my poetic court jester. I cannot pay you, except in Oreos.

      This is funny, fun, and fantastically worded. I’m in a silly mood, and this has made my day. You have MASTERED this form (actually, is there any form you have not mastered?)

  98. laurie kolp

    A New Olympic Sport?

    Sex as a sport, why not?
    Think about it-

    Rough and tough like boxing
    Sometimes even bloody
    Below the belt… pervert!
    How long can they hold out
    One, two, three… to thirty?

    Dancing with the stars, RrrR
    Promiscuity, promise cutey?
    Oh, so kinky, provocative
    Pump it up, slam dunk
    Thrust that pelvic to the beat

    Tender as a ballerina breeze (sigh)
    Flexible and lithe, a demi-plié
    Bending into new positions
    Libido in second, please
    Dreamy butterfly kisses

    Sex as a sport, why not?
    In the Olympics, I think not

    1. emmajordan

      This was great. I like the way you used different sports to illustrate your point. It brings out the (ugh) ugly, sensual, and love. As a sport? Yes–fun, fun. But I agree–not in the Olympics.


  99. ely the eel

    Take Me Out

    I ‘m not too crazy
    about most sports these days,
    except college football,
    fans, parties, thrilling plays.
    Even there, so much corruption
    and cheating to see,
    college – or pro – no matter,
    too many cases of me, me, me.

    Baseball’s an exception,
    still warm to the touch.
    not the results,
    or the players so much.
    An easy game to watch,
    Mr. Doubleday’s invention,
    long lazy afternoons,
    not requiring much attention.

    The season itself,
    is too long to matter,
    but a singular game,
    ah, the smells, sights and chatter.
    There’s a lot going on,
    regardless the score,
    the peanuts alone
    bring me back for one more.

    Night games don’t thrill me,
    they just seem out of touch
    with the soul of the game,
    the drive home is too much
    Take me out to a day game,
    I’m always up for that.
    We’ll swap lies of our prowess,
    when we held a bat

  100. DanielAri


    and I precipitously dropped my identity as a bookish lad
    by throwing down with Eddie Kulik who in seventh grade
    looked like a grown up and lorded it over everyone. I bit
    his arm, broke his nose, got beaten up to a hospital visit,
    became someone else, became Fang, and came away with
    Kulik as a friend. In high school, on the boxing team, we
    used our bodies to figure our place in the tribe of humans.
    Kulik was the tank, going in through any door he wished
    and coming out as the only thing still standing. I couldn’t
    do that. I had to observe, strike, flee, repeat. Like a rattler.
    Or smirk, feint, falter and spring. The hyena. Or lure close
    —then pop! The trap. Or disarm and exhaust. The sapper.
    For a dozen years I fought, finding my power as a shape-
    shifter. At last, Kulik and I drifted apart into larger rings
    where he went career military, served overseas, lost track
    of where I went—slipping, hopping, weaving and bobbing,
    happily, haphazardly teasing out these stings of satisfaction.


    1. PKP

      Wow FANGO… “stings of satisfaction”!


  101. Katrin

    Aqua Wombats

    We were a classy Class C team
    of long arms, fast kicks,
    and heads jammed full
    of molecular biology

    Our inner tube water polo
    grad student rec team
    dominated the league
    purely by arm length

    No strategy other than
    pass it to the Arms
    No play planning,
    only spin control

    We slammed the
    Department of Nutrition
    and Chemistry had
    nothing on us

    But an astute bystander
    must have noticed
    the sensible irony
    of our diversion

    As we spun around in a medium,
    passing a molecule around until
    a correct path was found to
    complete the essential cycle

  102. De Jackson

    Wait…Where are the Pretzels?
    (a tortured Triolet)

    I cannot do downwardfacingdog.
    My head likes to be on top.
    My sinuses scream, and start to clog,
    I cannot do downwardfacingdog.
    Or cat, or cow, or peacock, or frog.
    This warrior surrenders; time to stop.
    I cannot do downwardfacingdog.
    My head likes to be on top.


  103. Paoos69

    The Game

    Strong calf muscles, sticks in hand
    Sun burning strong
    We dribble, we hook
    We scoop the land

    The field spreads far
    Whistling referees call
    The goal post yonder
    All efforts mar

    Again we struggle
    Seize the ball, tackling, passing
    Faster and faster
    Towards victory’s bugle

    The audience sways
    Shouts and cheers
    The goalkeeper blocks
    A long corner pays

    Defense in place
    All players on guard
    The ball rolls in
    With a maiden’s grace

    All sticks clammer
    All players crowd
    Until the referee’s whistle
    Comes down like a hammer

    The Back scoops the ball
    Towards center field
    The Center Half runs with it
    Waiting for the Center Forward’s call

    It’s a wonderful pass
    The Center dribbles on
    The Goal Keeper hawks
    Like a whale watching bass

    The Center moves into the D
    The Goal Keeper stumbles forward
    The Back’s try to defend
    But the ball passes into the post’s C

    “Gooooooal” is the uproar
    The time runs out
    It’s victory for our team
    Spirits upwards soar

    Home we go with bruised shins
    Sweat running down our faces
    With happy hearts, eyes bright
    Heads held high and raised chins

  104. Sally Jadlow

    The Game

    Writing is a sport, of sorts.
    I practice hoop shots, alone,
    at home,
    play pick-up games
    with critique groups,
    and finally enter the big leagues
    with editors, agents, and fans.

    You win some with high points.
    Other times, can’t score at all.
    But like the coach said many times,
    “It’s not about winning,
    but how you play the game.”

  105. Jackie Casey

    The Sporting Life, or Monday Nite Football (shadorma)

    Football’s here
    Sunday’s disappear
    mid the beers
    mid the cheers
    hooded, widowed wife appears
    on the next Tuesday.

  106. Nancy Posey


    About the bowling shoes, dear,
    you know that’s just a threat,
    a joke I make around our friends,
    implying that on rainy days,
    Saturdays I usually spend
    alone, I’d rather send you off
    to the bowling lanes, your own
    bag, ball, shoes no one will wear
    but you, than keep you here
    with me. In truth, I don’t begrudge
    your Saturdays of golf, unwinding
    with friends, making dollar wagers,
    walking from cart path to tee,
    your weekend exercise, but
    if I had the chance, I’d keep
    you home with me, sleeping in,
    sipping coffee, completing
    the crossword, catnapping
    all afternoon. Why would I
    send you to the bowling alley
    without me? I’ve seen the kind
    of women there, how gingerly
    they handle the balls, how
    they list toward the gutters.
    That’s no place for you.

  107. Michelle Hed

    Sports Mad, Not I (A Ghazal)

    Every Sunday afternoon growing up – a sport,
    my father’s favorite was Viking’s football, a sport.

    In high school, especially during the winter,
    we loved to be inside for basketball, a sport.

    In spring the call of batta, batta, batter up,
    mitt leather, and late snow brought us baseball, a sport.

    Of course I would rather curl up with a good book,
    then play anything involving a ball, a sport.

    Everything changes when you have your own children,
    you cheer for all, with or without a ball, a sport.

  108. MiskMask


    She such a good sport
    but not very sporty is what they all said.
    Lined up in a piggly-wiggly queue, choosing
    up teams. They love me; they love me not.

    I’ll take Jack,
    Then I’ll take Peter
    Choose up sides

    Bruises on her knees, scabs on her shins
    elbows skinned within an inch of bone.
    Glasses askew from the last time she fell.
    She’s not very sporty is what they all said.

    I’ll take Jack
    Then I’ll take Peter
    Choose up sides

    Four left, giggles, three left, tittles,
    two left har-dee-har they all laugh.
    She’s the last, always the last, to be picked,
    but she’s such a good sport.

  109. J.lynn Sheridan

    “Sailing for fun”

    Along Dilly’s Road,
    the waves gentle and
    free. I spy a silver thing-a-ma-
    jig near an antique bob-i-link filled
    with lace doilies, my heart beating like a

    tom-tom. I want more of these but the
    lady in gray snatches them away.
    I throw a pretty punch

    bowl at her knees
    and scoop up my
    treasures strewn
    under the maple tree
    then drive happily
    on to the next

    over-stuffed garage.

  110. Mystical-Poet


    Times you’ve chased and lapped the sun
    badminton games and solstice queen won
    winding back focus to let birdie fly
    revealed new worlds through swatted eye
    through luminous light birdie flies higher
    while children dance round crackling pyre
    watered down laughter dissolves jubilation
    still birdie soars on wings of elation
    A soft breeze, a nudge, an angel’s hiss
    downward spiral overtakes inertial bliss
    A lobbed sensation of parabolic flight
    spinning smashing style evokes Olympic might

    ~Randy Bell ~

  111. JanetRuth

    Glory Days…

    He recalls his glory days
    Bleachers packed with cheering fans
    He could do no wrong
    Five is a great age

    (the little guy I baby-sit is five, a little timid
    but he knows when he is playing hockey,
    HE IS A STAR in all the eyes that matter;)

  112. JRSimmang


    Contemptible, she smiles.
    Her curves reminiscent of an old Chevy,
    sensual in all the right places,
    functional in all the other.
    She had me at her feet,
    tethered to her palm, unmistakably master, and I
    the Slave.
    Lord knows why I was here – again – chasing after the
    succubus dream, her demon fangs tearing
    deep into my flesh.
    She was up before the sun, gone before the coffee,
    and out before the week was up.
    Then, she’d be back,
    and I would be on my knees, making scrambled eggs
    in my kitchen.
    She smiled out of one side of her mouth,
    flames licking her glorious irises,
    and her words would be a jumble of letters to my
    crestfallen ears.
    I was helpless and she knew it.
    Her 1.
    Me 0.

    1. JRSimmang


      We rose before dawn most days, coffee on our sleeves.
      The key was to catch the sun unaware,
      and sneak into the cold under the falling leaves.

      We surrounded ourselves, each one believes,
      in a mist of emotions bare,
      nerves of steel, focused, and ready to achieve

      new heights among the gods. The rustling leaves,
      and we find the pristine hare,
      level our barrels and lock stock. One of us cleaves

      the nearby branches from the fallen trees,
      allowing a simple laugh and simpler scare,
      The sun encroaches upon our sleeves,

      and the heat has always been one of my pet peeves.
      Our game could be anywhere.
      In it, I find I’m no different than the leaves,

      My skin, somberly fragile and easy to cleave,
      twisted and torn from my aerie lair,
      wanting to see the world and to believe,
      that the fall to the ground is one I easily receive.

  113. PKP


    mama’s so big…
    ears stick out..
    on the corner
    whoop and shout
    hop around slapping
    thighs heads thrown
    back laughing time by
    brothers in jail
    sisters walking the walk
    good fun long as it’s only

  114. Hannah


    I always envied those babies,
    the ones you see in videos
    with their parents
    who float them along
    and then so suddenly
    they just let go
    and these small children
    magically know how to swim.
    They’re in a mysterious window
    when learning to swim is easy,
    more natural than walking;
    water feels like the womb
    and comforted, they just swim.
    They just swim…
    like they’re born knowing how.
    I did not arrive with hidden skills,
    wondrous fear dispelling fins
    and at eight I was afraid.
    Situations pressed looming
    that required me to swim
    and my child mind
    was anxiety ridden,
    my heart would race,
    I’d avoid aquatic applications,
    (Other than the smallness
    of a dabble and splash
    on the safety of land,
    a mere tripping taste of tide
    by the water’s edge).
    One day as I was being
    to get into the pool
    a petrified feeling rose,
    and I was suddenly thrown.
    I flopped, I flailed and clamored,
    Splashing droplets
    of water were inhaled.
    Lead legs and helpless arms
    would not prove worthy,
    my dead weight body
    was not naturally buoyant
    like those lucky babies.
    After that incident
    I’d sit and dwell on how
    I could overcome
    the mysterious spell of death.
    I’d ponder
    how I could force
    myself to live,
    to hold air,
    not be quelled by the
    watery abyss
    but prevail by my sheer will;
    never allowing the chance,
    eliminating mentally,
    the magnitude of power
    that so shook my tender world.
    Swimming like drowning
    was not too much fun then
    but now my world
    glimmers of the sea,
    bursting with buoyancy.
    My body craves the taste,
    longs for the salty bite
    of the potent ocean.

    © H.G. @ P.A. 4/25/12

    1. Rosangela

      Wow… this is quite absorbing and drowning! I had a flood of memories as I read it, because I have gone through similar situation when I was a kid!!! The difference is: I haven’t overcome it yet and my body does not crave for the potent ocean!! But still, your poem was a mermaid song pulling me to the bottom! ;-)

      1. Hannah

        I’m glad that we can commiserate and I hope the ocean changes her tune and lulls you a soothing tune. Maybe one day…things are always changing! Smiles to you and thank you for your thoughts, I like “mermaid song!”

  115. Walt Wojtanik


    I can attest that Artest
    has gone over the edge.
    Screw “allegedly”,
    he’s a beast. He loves Artest;
    and the rest is a bit off.
    Trading Ron for Meta,
    and Artest for World Peace,
    (not forgetting the “accidental” trade
    of an elbow to Harden’s hard head)
    Artest should surely be arrested instead.

  116. PKP

    Gin Rummy With Grandmother

    They said
    she crisply
    snapped cards
    and played
    they said
    her true sport
    lied in her
    to put it kindly

    1. posmic

      Oh, wow … one of my grandmas and I used to play cards a lot and she was crafty. She would say “Baby Doll Jackson!” if she won, and if I won, or even picked up one of her discards, she would go into high melodrama about how I could do such a thing to my own grandmother. You called up a lot of memories here, and also perfectly captured the rhythm and sound of playing cards with Grandma.

  117. Benjamin Thomas

    The Good Old Days

    Simply no longer in the
    limelight of any sort of sport
    Unless you include chasing kids
    before bath and bedtime.
    Laid waste as the day draws
    nearer to forty
    than in the beginning

    Now I contemplate
    the hustle and bustle
    of the good ol’ days;
    the days of old,
    which were new
    back then…

    It was growth like a beanstalk
    evergreen, with lasting foliage
    dashing down the court
    contesting every shot
    dodging the potholes

    Posting up in the paint
    Ascending for the rebound
    Now I hardly leave the ground
    My feet pain of fasciitis

    My knees scream retire
    Nothing left in these old tires
    The air of youth has rescinded
    From this old vehicle
    And the weight born
    Wears with every mile

  118. Marjory MT

    In the neighborhood were players
    gathering under the hot summer sun
    preparing to divide into teams.

    Greatest game under the sun
    for growing, learning to be a team
    neighborhood nations teach small players

    About selecting, shaping a team
    until moms call in the players.
    just at the setting of the sun

    Players, teams head home, but await tomorrow’s sun

  119. PKP

    Sport of Kings
    an ode to a scion in horse racing

    the king is dead
    long live the king
    for years running
    in shimmered victory
    In the flash of pounding
    polished hoofs winner
    circles welcomed
    hung wreaths and
    smiling photos
    days ago the King
    silver haired surrounded
    by his corralled legacy
    stepped proudly into
    final circle
    precisely at first-race
    Finished fine ….

  120. Kendall A. Bell


    It was a case of serendipity that led the
    Colts to a ninth round draft pick by the
    name of John. The guy that couldn’t crack
    the Pittsburgh roster would only become a three
    time MVP and a legend of the game.

    It took a transitional year for the next savior
    to arrive. No longer in Baltimore, they plucked
    a Louisiana gunslinger with the first pick and
    ended up with a four time MVP who made eleven
    Pro Bowls and helped to name a lot of babies
    in the state of Indiana “Peyton”.

    It was an injury to a usually durable Manning
    that felled the Colts season last year, saw a
    revolving door of quarterbacks fail to win games
    and left the team once again with a first overall
    pick. Some say it was luck, but it won’t be when
    Andrew leads the team to greatness all over again.

    For this team, quarterbacks like these come thrice
    in a lifetime.

  121. PKP

    Footfalls in autumn

    Onto fields of verdant green
    protected by soaring eye-holed
    domes or onto falling fallen snow
    eleven mindful men magnetize
    any vacant errant thought
    until in a state of footfallen
    lifted grace I watch in perfect
    unparalleled peace
    on any given sunday
    sparkling eyed family
    gathered connected
    as one
    on fields of passioned
    hope renewed
    all else melted, mashed
    under the glorious power
    of the game
    the simple stunning
    sighing exhilarated
    exhaled respite
    of the game

  122. PKP

    Like a baby.. football

    For years she railed as
    autumn leaves crackle
    tumbled, ranted at the
    inane brutality of
    repeated collisioned
    fumble until enough
    seasons had melted
    under her molten wrath
    and a new explanation
    offered by her own progeny
    suddenly the oval ball
    into an infant swaddled
    after bath that all wanted
    to hold and protect
    with simple logical
    reasonable ferocity
    as any “mother” would
    she smiled, she loved,
    newly born fan –
    she understood

  123. Ber

    Glory Hunter

    When all eyes are on you
    The ball is at your feet
    Standing in front of the goal
    You want it to go in
    Do not want to admit defeat

    As a team you pull together
    Passing the ball at all times
    But there is always a glory hunter
    Who runs with it and wont pass?
    He is acting like a single man team
    Nothing can compare to him or contrast

    He is out on his own this fella
    Sure without him the team would fall apart
    If only he would pass the ball
    They would have been ahead from the start

    Forward and backs
    Midfield their on the ball
    Running all over the place
    They wont stall

    As it comes down to penalties
    The scores are the same
    Oh what a close game this has been
    This wonderful soccer game

    So as the crowd stand with baited breath
    The atmosphere is electric
    The ball is set in place
    Will or wont he get it?

    As the ball is kicked it seems to take flight
    High above everyone’s heads
    It looks to be right
    Then as luck would have it
    Falling down in time
    Like a bolt of lightening
    It goes in
    The crowd shout out
    The team you win

    Grown men fall to their feet
    Women love it all
    The team that won the game that day
    They deserved to win
    Their smiles on their faces was priceless
    Nothing can take grin away

  124. Marjory MT

    kids play
    the day away.

    pick teams
    flip a coin

    each kid
    on a quest

    mitted hand
    with a fist.

    turned about
    to block the sun

    bat swings
    play is begun.

  125. uneven steven

    the 5 year old accepts it as fact
    that he has to show the 40 year old
    which buttons to press before offering
    the sage advice, “you should have picked
    the AK 47”, before he calmly shoots me
    in the back of the head –
    smear was what we played
    when we were kids,
    one football, 10 guys
    all bigger than you, and a field,
    someone hands you the ball
    and you run, juke,
    avoid the pain of getting
    smeared for as long as you can,
    “when I was growing up”, I always
    want to tell the little 5 year old smart ass,
    but the learning curve is too steep,
    arenas, strategies, the power moves
    of different characters,
    in the end, of course, I always resort
    to what I do best,
    push buttons as fast as I can
    before the entire scene
    goes blank

  126. Iain Douglas Kemp

    The Greatest Game on Earth

    It’s the will she
    won’t she?
    Does he,
    doesn’t he?
    Back and forth,
    across the net,
    end to end,
    basket to basket,
    rounding second base,
    hoping to make third,
    no draw,
    just win,
    or lose,
    never ending,
    parry and thrust,
    ducking and diving,
    shuffling and dealing,
    making a touch down
    and being flagged for a foul,
    chip and putt,
    holing out,
    needle in the clinches,
    that makes the great game
    of life,
    go round
    and round.
    The game, as they say,
    dear ,watcher,
    is afoot!


  127. Iain Douglas Kemp

    Dear Moosehead,
    Tell me, oh beloved numbskull,
    how is it that the greatest team
    in the greatest sport in the world
    managed to play like a bunch of
    little leaguers last night? What the
    ____! As if that’s not bad enough my
    days of peace came crashing to an end
    as your mother & sister took the
    apartment to pieces in a cleaning frenzy,
    blaming my sorry ass for the mess.
    Well, sheesh, I just wanted them to have
    something to keep them busy when they got
    home. Anyways between plying my hack
    and watching baseball when do I have time to
    dust? Pick ya up at 7 and we’ll pimp your cousin
    for some beer and wings

    Yours wondering why? oh why? oh why?,

    Ringo the Howler