Each month, write a new collection.
Little LeagueHere is am in left field.The crowd is in the stands.Where is Mommy? I can’tsee her. There she is. Thebatter is at the plate.Please don’t hit it my way.Swing and a miss, strike one.Outside high, that’s ball one.Crack, the wooden bat ringsin my ear. I can’t seethe ball. Cover my eyeswith my glove, block the sun.Smack, the ball hits my glove,my face, my glasses falloff my face. I hold tight.Everyone is a blur.Stumble for my glasses.Everyone’s on their feet.I throw to the pitcher.Where’s Mommy? Did she see?
Okay, that's some real discomfort. That had to have been terrible, but hey you got a great poem from it.
I quit all organized sports at 7. Mainly because my teammates teased me, and we were in first place that year. The first year I played my big brother was on the team, so he protected me. My only real problem was that I was nearsighted, and I couldn't see the ball. I may not have had glasses at the time,but of course they were necessary in the poem.
That's a special kind of torture. If you don't love team sports it's awful. I knew that I was never going to go far when during a race I thought to myself, if I dig deep and find the hero in me and really push myself and win, who cares this is just high school sports. That's pretty close to the moment I gave up on that kind of competition.
yea, high school sports can be brutal. I was pretty radical about team sports. I only caved in Junior high for flag football once. I loved playing neighborhood sports, and have always surprised everyone how fierce I am. I had no fear of pain or blood.
fixed the first line (Michelle pointed out the typo to me).Here I am in left field.
I figured that's what it was.
love this poem and the sports conversation. i'm another non-athlete who couldn't throw anything, catch anything, or get someplace fast.
Know the feeling Thomas. I have so many poems of this kind.
A SLOW CIRCLESitting in the proud old boatOf creaking boardsA single oarA weekend sacrificed entireFrom morning’s dark til dusk shall fallSo early?This is when they bite boyIndentured to a father’s father’s fantasyObligation recommended by affiliationEndorsed on every side Enforced by unassailable contrivance of affectionInduction to a secret world assuredOn cloudy green Indiana waterTradition rich with arcane terminologyAntique technologies and rituals combined Techniques to be passed down or lost to historyThis is your birthright boyMasculine prerogatives to be instilledThe skill to kill and to surviveLicense to inflict painTo disembowel and skinAnd kill again or exercise the luxury of mercyTo be a man is to know why and whenTo understand imperativesAnd enjoy them while maintaining a buzz--But GrampaWatch and catch boyWatch and catchSitting in the proud old boatOf creaking boardsA single oarListening to oft-repeated maxims and self-hypnotic poetryRetired milkman in the winter of his lifeProjecting on the modern world his own delusionInducing with the zip of line a transportationTo the muddy water of a simple timeOf solid structuresAnd respectWhen they stayed on their sideAnd it was yes sir no sirAnd when you told em breng a beer boy it got brung--But GrampaWatch and catch boyWatch and catchSitting in the proud old boatOf creaking boardsThe day wore onAnd patience was a virtue highly praisedThat and silence and they springFrom the ability to suffer heat and dehydrationAnd a love of insects and warm chicken saladBut nevermind the silenceFor stories of the triumphs of a bygone eraOf a life upon a lake and a house three stories tallAnd a family of generations Impressive references to distant relations all with Biblical namesAnd frequent invocations of nature and of God’s creationIt’s all around us at the water’s edgeWhere the beer cans float into the branches--But GrampaWatch and catch boyWatch and catchSitting in the proud old boatOf creaking boardsA single oar Implement enough to push us back to shoreTo the reality that the summer had only just begunAn endless line of weekends floatingOn the algae-laden scumIt’s just the way it was when I was youngAnd spent my weekends with my fatherLearning me to hook the catfish Upstate where they swim in swarmsTomorrow we can work the other end up near the millAnd bring in a twelve pounderAnd what a fight that wasA story for another dayYou’ll understandFor now it’s getting late And twenty miles of road awaitWith one unsteady shaking hand fishing for ignition keysThe other tilting up the lid behind the seatAnd produced the last aluminum beer can--But GrampaWatch and catch boyWatch and catch
I love it. The language is thick and heavy. You can feel the weight of it, and it travels nicely.
Yeah it does. You're really using the poetic devices for what they're worth! Well done.
Also, I really love how you used "watch and catch"
SIDELINESYour temperature rises in the sun as you watchthe blue team descend on the afternoon catchof adolescents simply attending a pool partyYou’re helpless against their badges and gunsthinking this sort of trouble has not just begunand you’re part of the problem to let it bleed onbut still, you stand on the sidelines and watch
Fantastic. I love how you used the "Watch" and "catch"
Watcbing my fatherI would watch myfather look at the sunset and catch a tear from whichhe would wipe away from behind his glasses in one motionimagining the memorieshe must have hadto watch and catchhis fathercontemplating the waythe colors did bendinto a fluid blendLike I nowwatch and catchthe sunset colorsas they bendinto a fluid blend
Man, that's a really touching poem. Connection across generations.
I Hate Snow"Be careful, he said, as I got out of the car"Stay on the path, and don't go too far."I dashed down the trail, exploring the snownot knowing my day would end in embarrassment and woeA quarter mile in, the beauty consumed methe drifts, the banks a sky as blue as the seaOff in the distance, poking out from the snowwas the source of the day's embarrassment and woeThe leaves were deep green, and so out of placethe flowers were delicate, like grandma's white laceI stepped off the path, and walked into the snowright into the clutches of embarrassment and woeTwo feet from the flowers, the ground opened from withinsucking me in... right up to my chin"Don't move," cried a voice, "or you'll continue to go,""Down to the depths of embarrassment and woe."He army-crawled out, and saved me, he didthen balled me out plenty, for being a dumb kid"What were you thinking, going out in that snow?Don't you know there's nothing there, but embarrassment and woe?""I was looking at the flowers, on that bush, don't you see?""I see," he said frowning, "that bush is a tree!"My face flushed so brightly, it could have melted the snowwith the flames of my ignorance, embarrassment and woeWere it not for its branches, I would felt death's stingand they wouldn't have found me, till well into springThat was twenty five years ago, to this day I hate snow, The thought of it still haunts me, with embarrassment and woe
Wow, you really went straight into that rhyme. Funny poem too!
I was going for a Dr Seuss thing :)
I can feel that. The repetition of "Embarrassment and woe" is great.
it sort of reminds me of the earlking or lenore, the story really draws you in
Stupid Northgate MarketFirst, I have to walk there but at least it's only two blocks.But two blocks can seem like a mile and a mile can seem like 10...I guess I've decided that the magnetic strip to keep the shopping carts on the store's property is not nice since I have to carry heavy bags home.Oh God, at least their heavy and not "too light."I wonder if the stores clean the cart handbar...I try not to think of it, even though it grosses me out.As I enter through the automatic doors, I feel like people watch me.I think they're wondering why I'm shopping there.Sometimes Mexican people think I look too white and white people think I look too Mexican.But I"m both.Northgate is a Mexican market.I escape as quickly and gracefully to an aisle...Where I practice catching white butterflies of hope that tell me "You are perfect the way you are."This is how I keep my composure throughout my trip to the neighborhood store.
Good poem. Well done! I feel discomfort there too!
Thanks so much Mr. Brantingham. Lol
I really like this one too. the title is awesome and just pulls us in.
Thanks so much Stephanie :-)
watch this:i have diarreha in Parisand i have to walk to the hopital americainfrom the busfor miles.i have to stop every few minutesto catch myselffrom spilling my insides onto a very fancy street orshould i say boulevard. a friend is with me but we don't know where we are going. nooneseems to understand our brokenfrench. la diahree, I keep on saying la diahreetil we finally make it into the doctor's officeand guess what?he's not American bur British and he writessomething on a piece of paperand sends us back outto walk to the drugstore --it starts raining and watch this --we just start to laugh.
Wow that's uncomfortable! Love it. Love your use of "Watch this"
Hilarious and awful experience!! I love it.
Not that is uncomfortable
yeah "watch this" really hooks the attention. BTW, i am jealous of your name. Stephanie Barbe Hammer. That is the name of a poet. I've wracked my brain for cool sounding pseudonyms and nothing I've ever thought of comes close :)
Yeah, her nickname is "The Hammer" which is cooler than hell. Sometimes when I go vegetarian, I have people call me Brantingcarrot, which you could do too, but that's not terribly cool.
But you have a great poet last name Mark.
Yeah Brantingcarrot doesnt really stand up to Barbe Hammer (I mean wth). However I might have to have people call me that just because of the extraordinary karmic qualities that would derive from there being two people in the world called Brantingcarrot. I mean what are the odds. I bet they don't even have a name for that number.
hilarious. Thanks Mom (Barbe) for giving me your name as a middle name. but Ahab Brantingham could be something, and of course the other way to go would be Lil Brantingham or BrantingHAM38. or even B. Ranting Ham.
Also Molly Neeley sounds like a pseudo. I want to say "you should tone that down, nobody's going to believe a pseudonym with that much assonance" lol. Very cool. I always thought John and I were cheated. With a last name like Brantingham, a poetic man would have had the sense to play up the elaborate and dignified vibe. I should have been Beauregard Bartholomew Brantingham (B.B.B.) and John could have been Lazarus Peregrine Brantingham. "I say, L.P., whatever shall we do today?" Four letter names, that is a missed opportunity of tragic scope.
When I was young, I was glad Dad didn't give us Quaker names, but now, I don't know. I think you and I could pull off Ahab or Cyrus.
Here's a poem that fits your prompt, though the incident didn't happen outside. I was inspired by the prompt to write it:The Truth About RulesIn second grade, under the steelyeyes of Mrs. Lissy, who lookedlike Olive Oyl, and never smiled,I raised my hand and asked to be excused. The teacher shook her head and wouldn’t look at me again.I knew it wasn’t fair sinceI was young, just learningall the rules, and thought the teacherabove all would honor them.I was still too small to understand the only rule is power; I had none.Had I known, I would have left the roomsince all the others would attestthat I’d done nothing wrong.But I thought rules were absoluteAnd feared the teacher above everything,afraid she’d smack me if I disobeyed,and so I didn’t move, held it as longas I was able, then peed my pants,hot sticky urine running down my leg,into my neat white socks,black patent maryjanes.Of course the others laughed,a nervous sort of laugh because it wasn’t them, but could have been.I ran out the door and didn’t stopuntil I reached my house,my best friend following behind.No one punished me or told meI was wrong to leave the class.But I was spoiled for rules.I knew that they were just a storyadults fed to kids to make them mind.The lesson that I learned that dayis one that I’ve remembered all my life.
That's great Robbi. I really love these lines: "I was still too small to understand the only rule is power; "