[On writing:] “There’s a great quote by Julius Irving that went, ‘Being a professional is doing the things you love to do, on the days you don’t feel like doing them.'” in an interview with Budd Mishkin; New York March 25, 2007.)” Everything They Had: Sports Writing
I’m charmed by the responses (and you will be too) from Paul’s moving I Watched Athletics With My Mam to Anjum Ji’s cultural introduction to cricket, it is once again a rich response to Wednesday Writing Prompt. I never knew chess was considered a sport. I had to look that up. Thank you, Bozhidar. Every writer will sympathize with deb y felio’s unexpected twist and Jen Goldie’s game effort, well done. You’ll be engaged by Sonja’s signature chiseled poems, Sheila’s poem, part triumph, part homage to her dad, and the sensual elements of running in Irma’s Quiet Run.
Readers will note links to sites if available are included that you might visit these treasured poets. The links for contributors are always connected to their blogs or websites NOT to specific poems. If the poet doesn’t have a website, it’s likely you can connect with him or her via Facebook.
Enjoy this Tuesday collection and do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt, whether you are a beginning poet, emerging or pro. All are welcome – encouraged – to come out and play and to share your poems on theme.
I Watch Athletics With My Mam
I sit on her soft bed, rest an arm
on a spare pillow. Mum’s pillows
stack behind her as we watch a
tv placed where her dress mirror stood.
Chemotherapy means she does
not like reflective surfaces.
All house mirrors have been removed.
Once she cried as her hair fell out.
She cried as she gained each pound weight
because she takes the chemicals
to stop her dying, stop the spread.
Together we watch lithe bodies,
sharp muscle tone dash for the end.
Once she was ‘petite’, now Mum’s fat jowls, bingo wings slop on the bed.
Her home is spotless, a show home.
Every day we polish, scrub,
vacuum, she wants it welcoming.
She nods off half way through the
100 metres, I soft clap
the winner as she would have done.
I remember good times, and smile
at her laughter, gleam in her eyes
when she sees another winner
dash over the race finish line.
Next week she looks forward to Oakwell,
a new fan of Barnsley FC.
I never go as I don’t like
football, regret my selfishness
and time not enjoying her life.
She will sit in her hired wheelchair
yell and clap at their confidence,
vitality, their will to win.
© 2019, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow / Inspiration. History. Imagination.)
FYI: Paul Brookes, a stalwart participant in The Poet by Day Wednesday Writing Prompt, is running an ongoing series on poets, Wombwell Rainbow Interviews. Connect with Paul if you’d like to be considered for an interview. Visit him, enjoy the interviews, get introduced to some poets who may be new to you, and learn a few things.
More poems by Paul at Michael Dickel’s Meta/ Phore(e) /Play
Crash boom ba dum ba dum ba dum boom
Drum practice or brothers wrestling?
Vroom vroom whee-ooo whee-ooo waah!
It’s mine! I got it first!
Stop annoying me!
Sister slams door
I tie shoes
Faster to capture
The scent of mowed, mulched lawn
The feel of sunset’s soft breath
The taste of silent sanity
Glistening saltily on my cheek
This double nonet incorporates Patrick’s Pic and a Word Weekly Challenge #189 – Quiet and also Jamie’s Wednesday Writing Prompt to write about any sport that engages me.
I have never been a “sporty” person – I was usually one of the last people picked for teams and I was definitely the last person to finish the mile run in high school (collapsing at the end just to prove how unsporty I was!). I didn’t even know my high school had a football team until I started dating one of the players. And I only learned about the rules of the game when I started watching football in college.
My first foray into sports was running which I discovered in my early 30’s. I figured if I could walk, then I could run since putting one foot in front of the other didn’t seem to require that much coordination or other athletic ability. Yeah, right. Still, I was smitten by the race medals and the opportunity to have some “quiet me time” when I ran. As my family can attest – I am a much nicer person after a run!
© 2019, words and illustration, Irma Do (I Do Run, And I do a few other things too ...)
A Novel Approach
first draft better in sports than writing
the bull pen has no ink but still
prepares for the pitch to come
contracts yield higher numbers
with travel paid to tour
with team members
effusing praise on one another
from prepaid seats
hoping to catch
a big hit
Patrons fill bars
Pa’tron fills glasses
waiting for arrival
of that day’s stars
One for the books
when things go well
easy to know the beginning
and the end
A promise for unending
a multi-game deal
with signing bonuses
How do writers
learn to play
this kind of ball?
® 2019, deb y felio (Writers Journey)
Why can I still smell the glove,
feel the smoothness of the leather.
Why does the sound of the crack of
the bat still linger, the joy I felt hitting
one for the team as a child.
Why does running so fast I might fall
just to catch a ball, excite memories.
Why are these things in my bones?
Why are these memories so strong?
Perhaps we build our confidence by way
of those things that give us strength.
The things that gave us self- esteem.
There’s no strength, as powerful as a team.
These are childhood memories,
joyful memories of comradeship,
friendships, bonds and trust.
Childhood memories I can still taste.
Visions that still linger in my mind as
a warm summers day, the sweet
odor of the grass and the laughter
rising from the delight of my friends.
I am not a professional, nor do I still
play Baseball, but I can still smell,
feel and forever linger in the joy of baseball.
A Means to an End
I chose to try using idioms.
Using sport idioms to work together
isn’t as easy as I thought.
Each has there own special meaning
and is designed to be an expression of
that particular sport.
I gave it a shot,
but I’m throwing in the towel.
So here’s what I’ve got.
It was par for the course,
he was in a sticky wicket,
Had to take it on the chin,
He wouldn’t take a dive
Or throw in the towel
Or even run interference,
He’d roll with the punches,
And be first past the post
No desperate Hail Mary passes
Could help him go the distance
He was down for the count,
Down and out, and sidelined,
Until someone in his corner
And in a ring side seat,
Threw his hat in to the ring,
Then the punch drunk
Sunday Morning Quarterback
Got off his padded couch,
And In his boxers and sport T,
Began to dance and sing,
Take Me Out To The Ballgame,
I’m the Slam Dunk King!
As a child and teen, I did participate in Sports. Five-pin
Bowling gave me a start. My parents were avid bowlers
and bowled in league play. I went along. I was quickly
lured into the game and was coached by a wonderful
Woman named Doris Luke who ran a Young Peoples
League for the Youth Bowling Association. Starting at
3 years of age gave me an edge and I competed with
The seniors, still racking up the crests and trophies. When
I think back it was the comradery, not the competition.
It was my Dad taking me to tournaments and consoling
me when, as they say, I froze and didn’t give it my best
effort. It’s o.k. he’d say, next time. I still have most of those
crests but somehow the box of trophies disappeared.
I still have the bowling shirts and wonder, when I was so
Hockey Sticks And Oranges
It was the closest I came
to flying as I sped down
the right wing. Wind keened
across the playing field,
teased the flimsy flap
of my wrapover skirt
and whipped my hair
into a chestnut tail.
I made the school team,
used the new stick
Dad proudly bought me;
tapped, flicked or swung
the ball to the striker,
heard the clash of wood
against wood and cheered
when she scored a goal.
We paused for breath
at halftime, sucked segments
of orange and shivered,
our arms goose-pimpled.
We didn’t always win-
finished bottom of the league
one season. Bad luck,
Dad said, keep trying.
After he died I tried
harder; leaned forward,
stick poised, impatient
for the bully-off.
Then I ran with a sting
in my eyes, mud on my shins
and morning’s wind
in the small of my back.
© 2019, Sheila Jacob
i do not wish to win the race nor even take part in it
© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher
do you like the feeling, walking ahead quickly, moving forward, loosening limbs. pushing
through wind, through water, rain slanting. shouting, counting the rams, shadowing
shepherd. wee mouse on the path, beady eyed. these are the hopeful days, weak sun
© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher
.hoping for a hero.
i search for champion, hoping for a hero. it gives me clothing.
the sort i will never wear. i do not do sport only walking
and swimming, nothing competitve. it is a shame
the pools are at a distance, needing time and effort. I feel younger in
water and see no reflection with out glasses. i understand
a health and nutrition app can be most helpful these days, and while
i type this i hear the gardener down the big house mowing lawns since
now tis mid afternoon.
© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher
- Sonja Benskin Mesher, RCA paintings (This is her Facebook page, so you can connect with her there as well as view photographs of her colorful paintings.)
- Sonja on Twitter
- Sonja’s daily blog (WordPress) is HERE.
I like the chess.
The figures are equal
and clear the rules
(with a little superiority
after all of the white).
And various gambits
the Queen’s and
the King’s ones
are the beauty.
And in the Sicilian
the dagger is hidden
but perks up
(it is only
the ancient game).
I am not interested in
and all sorts of the ratings
but the pulsating Insight.,
Мate for the Queen!
Queen for the King!
Clarification – according to chess rules mate is given only to the king.
© 2019, Bozhidar Pangelov (bogpan – блог за авторска поезия блог за авторска поезия)
‘ Sports’~ Is it Cricket ?
کھیل موقع مقابلہ شروع ھویؑ اک جنگ
Match game chance, be it anywhere on any land
be it sword, spear, bat ball, gun or lance,
forces have fought in thicket and on wicket
dauntless , fearless , songs sonorous have
been sung, arms raised , aimed and swung,
pride and steadfast hate, in arenas Greek
or green grounds, what mighty contest up rising
For no reason just or sound, no crime no blast
no war no treason, just another cricket season,
But this game is a combat on war like footing
padded gloved helmeted , ready for the shooting
thick as autumnal leaves head to head like sedge
police and crowd together will watch the match,
all around the fence, circled, from edge to edge,
how many will hold, stare and breathe their last ,
as wickets fall, bails fly or hands miss a catch,
all eyes on London the final battle ground
a place eternal justice ordained and bound
no Trojan horse or Aegean sea, no ship or gift
or gun, just a velvet green, a white orb, three
to three, twenty two yards of hit and run,
to be weak on it, is unthinkably miserable
no contestant spared, no mistake forgivable,
who will the new possessor be, of a cup,
some say the blues, some say the greens,
yellows, reds, maroons, blacks, or carmine
result anxiously eagerly excitedly awaited
whatever it may be, millions are awake,
hearts beating, hands together in prayers,
the best will soon be , what odds are at stake
aim is، protect the wicket’ and make a high score
game of skill, strategy entertainment, a fight
the rest is with umpires two and the third
it should be honest fair play, all skill no check
no tampering trick it or else it would be war
and ‘Not Cricket’،may the best team win،
to be’ the star’
© 2019, English and Urdu poems, Anjum Wasim Dar
کھیل مقابلہ موقع
تلوار نیزہ گیند بلا تیر ےا بندوک خوب چلے گا کھیل
بے باک بے خوف نغمے بہادری کے گاتے ھوےؑ بازو
گھماتے ھوےؑ نشانہ لگاتے ھوےؑ فخر سے اکھاڑے میں
اترے جیسے یو نانی شمشیر زن ، سبز میدان میں جمے گا
کسی زمیں پر شروع ھویؑ اک جنگ
مقابلہ زبردست، بے وجہ ،نہ جرم نہ دھماکہ خونی
اک کھیل کا موسم جاری،سماں ایسا،پہنے ٹوپی
عوام پولیس مانند خزاں کی پت جھڑ کے ڈھیر
چارون اطراف میداں کے کھڑے دعکھیں گے میچ
دستانے پیڈ ہلمٹ بھاری شروع ھویؑ اک جنگ
کتنے آیں گے اور جایں گے دوڑیں گے بھاگیں گے
گریں گے گرایں گے وکٹیں اور پکڑیں گے کیچ
سب نظریں دنیا کی لندن شہر انصاف کی جگہ ھے
نہ بحیرہ نہ بیڑہ نہ کاٹھ کا گھوڑا نہ تحفہ نہ دھوکہ
چاندی کے کپ کہ لیے شروع ھویؑ اک جنگ
سبز مخملی گھاس پہ سفید گیند تین تین وکٹوں کے
بیچ لگایں گے بایسؑ گز کی دوڑ ، مار اور بھاگ
کمزور کی جگہ نہیں یہ نا ہی ڈرپوک کی نہ غلتی کی
گنجا یشؑ نہ معافی نہ زمانت ، کون جیتے گا یہ رنگ
رنگیں لباس میں شروع ھویؑ اک جنگ
نیلا سبز میرون پیلا یا کالا تیز یا نرالہ کس کی کٹے
گی پتنگ کون ھوگا بے رنگ کون بچاےؑ گا وکٹین اور
بناےؑ گا بڑا سکور کون کرے گا سب کہ بور، جاگ رھے
ھیں لاکھوں نتیجے کے انتظار میں ھاتھ جوڑے دعاوؑں میں
سچا کھیل کرنا نہ فراڈ کویؑ نہ دینا دھوکہ نہ کویؑ چکر
ورنہ کھیل نہ کہلاےؑ گا یہ کرکٹ نہیں یارا جو محنت
کرے بنے وہ چمکتا ستارہ شروع ھویؑ اک جنگ
Respected G Jamie Dedes Sports Prompt this week has coincided with the opening of ICC World Cup International Cricket Competition 2019 being held in England.
For me the prompt was like the drop of a silver stone in a clear water pond creating ripples of fond nostalgic memories of life in the early years when sports events were followed almost with near religious sanctity. Radio and newspapers were the main source of information. Listening skills were sharpened and newspapers helped in creating scrapbooks of key players of national and international teams. Collecting and compiling and organizing data was the best learning activity. Before I share my poem I would like to share a few pages from my memoirs with my readers. I am sure this would be an interesting addition to the growing variation of contributions to Respected Jamie Ji’s exciting thought provoking and thoroughly enjoyable weekly prompts. Thank you Jamie Ji for creating these wonderful writing opportunities.
Indoor or outdoor ‘Sports’ had a sacred place in daily activities as a favorite hobby and leisure time occupation at home in the early years of life in the new country.The 1950s and 1960s reflect high standards of national team performances in the games of field hockey,tennis, cricket, squash, and athletics.The whole family was deeply involved in each match tournament or international competitions.My interest in Sports was the result of the high enthusiasm at home specially manifested by my loving father. He himself was a good hockey and tennis player. Indoors the games played with family members were Bridge (a card game) Carom and Chess. In fact the truth was the ‘absence of digital technology and television which left ample spare time for healthy sport activities. An occasional classic movie like ‘The Cruel Sea’ ‘Gone With The Wind’, To Kill a Mocking Bird’, ‘The King and I’ and specially the comedy series of Laurel and Hardy were a treat enjoyed at the local Cinema Houses.
Here one can see father in his white sports shorts black blazer and white socks and sports shoes , commonly called then, the ‘PT Shoes’. He is holding my younger sister, his third daughter. Almost every evening a couple of tennis games in the nearby GHQ Tennis Courts were part of the weekly routine. The weekends would be set aside for home affairs.
An ideal personality for many friends and family my Father’s smoking style would always be captured too. During the International Cricket matches of Pakistan with either England Australia or India (these were the top teams in those years) after office hours listening to the running commentary of the match on the radio was not missed.
Field hockey was another favorite.I remember when Pakistan was playing the quarter final match with Germany in the Olympics in Rome in the 1960’s. When Germany scored the equalizer goal father was quite disturbed. Listening to the commentary he would remark, ‘Oh No, why give a back pass, there is no back pass in hockey, one needs to play forward , attack the opponents goal’ Pakistan won by 2-1 score and later also won the Gold medal by defeating India in the final by a single goal.The historic goal was scored by Nasir Bunda. The excitement and anxiety of the match involved everyone at home. The game was fully enjoyed by all and we learnt much about sportsman’s spirit and how to accept defeat bravely. Other important lessons were following rules, sharing and making efforts as a team. Over the years sports has undergone tremendous change, from white dress and a red ball to multi colored clothes and a white ball and from the radio to live digital internet / telecasts.
I still believe old times had a special charm in sports and to top it all Pakistan has a former cricket team captain and a world cup winner as its Prime Minister. The Political party symbol being none other than the ‘cricket bat’, obviously…
© 2019, essay, Anjum Wasim Dar
“POETRY PEACE and REFORM Go Together -Let Us All Strive for PEACE on EARTH for ALL -Let Us Make a Better World -WRITE To Make PEACE PREVAIL.” Anjum Wasim Dar
Recent in digital publications:
* Four poems in I Am Not a Silent Poet
* Remembering Mom in HerStry
* Three poems in Levure littéraire
Upcoming in digital publications:
“Over His Morning Coffee,” Front Porch Review
A homebound writer, poet, and former columnist and associate editor of a regional employment newspaper, my work has been featured widely in print and digital publications including: Ramingo’s Porch, Vita Brevis Literature, Connotation Press, The Bar None Group, Salamander Cove, I Am Not a Silent Poet, The Compass Rose and California Woman. I run The Poet by Day, an info hub for poets and writers and am the founding/managing editor of The BeZine.
“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.” Lucille Clifton