This weekend just flew by and I didn’t really feel like I had a break. Consequently, I spent hardly any time on the computer, except when I was addictively playing TERA, which I somehow can’t get enough of. I have created my fifth character, but deleted one, so is more like my fourth. I really need two characters per server to provide enough materials (potions, armor etc) for each. So therefore, I have not posted any poetry since last Wed, though I posted an extra one that day. So in keeping with the National Poetry Month posts, this set of poems is dedicated to sports. I honestly picked this topic because the football (soccer) team my hubby and I support, Liverpool, has gotten in a bit of bother after one its star players bit a Chelsea player. I didn’t watch the game because the time difference is now eight hrs instead of five, and I don’t relish getting up at 5am to watch the game. Plus I work early on Sunday mornings which makes me less likely to get up. The offending player, Luis Suarez, has since been fined and suspended three games. I am a new fan to football, well since I married my husband seven years ago, though it was probably two years after we got married before I really started to pay attention to it. Soccer and Ice Hockey are the only two sports I really like to watch (preferably live), with the exception of some college American Football games as I was raised on that and try to keep up with some teams. I do occasionally like to watch a live baseball game, which is a lot easier as Phoenix has an ice hockey and a baseball team. They’ve also just gotten a Minor-League Soccer team, the Phoenix FC Wolves. My hubby and I are hoping to catch a live home game in June, and at some point in the future, I would like to see an LA Galaxy game.

I’ve heard of the first poem before but not read it, and I just liked the look of the other three ones. I do not watch golf (I only like mini-golf), but I did attend part of a Pro-Am tour when I was at St. Andrews.

To An   Athlete Dying Young

by A. E. Housman
The time you won your town the race   
We chaired you through the market-place;   
Man and boy stood cheering by,   
And home we brought you shoulder-high.   

To-day, the road all runners come,     
Shoulder-high we bring you home,   
And set you at your threshold down,   
Townsman of a stiller town.   

Smart lad, to slip betimes away   
From fields where glory does not stay,  
And early though the laurel grows   
It withers quicker than the rose.   

Eyes the shady night has shut   
Cannot see the record cut,   
And silence sounds no worse than cheers  
After earth has stopped the ears:   

Now you will not swell the rout   
Of lads that wore their honours out,   
Runners whom renown outran   
And the name died before the man.  

So set, before its echoes fade,   
The fleet foot on the sill of shade,   
And hold to the low lintel up   
The still-defended challenge-cup.   

And round that early-laurelled head 
Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,   
And find unwithered on its curls   
The garland briefer than a girl's.
 

 

A Boy   Juggling a Soccer Ball

by   Christopher Merrill
   after practice: right foot
to left foot, stepping forward and back, 
   to right foot and left foot,
and left foot up to his thigh, holding 
   it on his thigh as he twists
around in a circle, until it rolls 
   down the inside of his leg,
like a tickle of sweat, not catching 
   and tapping on the soft
side of his foot, and juggling
   once, twice, three times,
hopping on one foot like a jump-roper 
   in the gym, now trapping
and holding the ball in midair, 
   balancing it on the instep
of his weak left foot, stepping forward 
   and forward and back, then
lifting it overhead until it hangs there; 
   and squaring off his body,
he keeps the ball aloft with a nudge 
   of his neck, heading it
from side to side, softer and softer, 
   like a dying refrain,
until the ball, slowing, balances 
   itself on his hairline,
the hot sun and sweat filling his eyes 
   as he jiggles this way
and that, then flicking it up gently, 
   hunching his shoulders
and tilting his head back, he traps it 
   in the hollow of his neck,
and bending at the waist, sees his shadow, 
   his dangling T-shirt, the bent
blades of brown grass in summer heat; 
   and relaxing, the ball slipping
down his back. . .and missing his foot.

   He wheels around, he marches 
over the ball, as if it were a rock
   he stumbled into, and pressing
his left foot against it, he pushes it
   against the inside of his right 
until it pops into the air, is heeled
   over his head--the rainbow!-- 
and settles on his extended thigh before
   rolling over his knee and down 
his shin, so he can juggle it again
   from his left foot to his right foot
--and right foot to left foot to thigh--
   as he wanders, on the last day
of summer, around the empty field.
 

 

A True Champion by Stephen Timothy Farrell

It’s the British Open, year two thousand and three,
It was played at St. Georges, for all to see.

A wonderful links, such a masterful test,
It invited such players – who proved to be best.

The course looked worn; its tracks were old,
Who knew such a story was about to unfold.
While thousands of spectators looked on – they saw,
The top golfers in the world give it their all.

As their balls flew high, then descending to land,
Most ended up – in the rough or the sand.

They struggled and grinded – they competed to win,
But after two days, most players would grin,
For two rounds at St. Georges were now completed,
The rules were clear – The field must be depleted.

The weekend was here and the final field was set,
Who would win was still – anyone’s bet.
By end of day three, what did the leader board ring?
Names like Woods and Garcia, Love, Bjorn and Singh.

Of all these big names, surely, one would prevail,
Or could we be looking at a David and Goliath tale.

To beat all the obstacles and still quell,
Takes nerves of steel and patience as well.

For most of the day a rookie would lead,
Until the back nine when he began to bleed.

But up and down for par, on the final hole,
Was good enough to meet his goal.

Ben Curtis has posted at one under par, That’s the best in the clubhouse, on this day so far.

It appears as Thomas Bjorn will win – OH WAIT,
A double bogey on sixteen has just sealed his fate.

So the Claret Jug – goes to Ben Curtis this year,
He’s the champion golfer for all to revere.

Poem on Lou Gehrig’s   Award

                                                               

by John Kiernan

Appeared: Lou   Gehrig Trophy (07-04-1939)

To   LOU GEHRIG

We’ve been to the wars together;
We took our foes as they came;
And always you were the leader,
And ever you played the game.
Idol of cheering millions,
Records are yours by sheaves;
Iron of frame they hailed you
Decked you with laurel leaves.
But higher than that we hold you,
We who have known you best;
Knowing the way you came through
Every human test.
Let this be a silent token
Of lasting Friendship’s gleam,
And all that we’ve left unspoken;
Your Pals of the Yankees Team.

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