The NLCS, and beyond

The lead off third–most of the way around
The basepaths, yet the distance still to go
Looms large. The runner checks himself, has found
He can’t turn back; and he is left with no

Choice but to run, break forward, and defy
The pitch itself. Time slows, a run appears
From desperation, being forced to try,
And jaws that dropped pick themselves up for cheers.

What remains now, when superstition’s gone?
After imposed fake narrative, what’s left?
The game itself finds more plays to spin on;
Out of the blue, a miraculous theft.

One needn’t be a loser to love story;
There will be space for small moments of glory.

Spring Training

I was writing this last April, taking part in a hard fight with many avid bards (and an all-star grading). As it’s March again, I bring it back. Happy Spring! 🙂

All limbs in whirls that lash, craving maintaining.
A small rain falling in an arid land, draining
What was a farm. This day it’s scalding, blazing.
This fall, I cry, will flash with wins amazing.
In a mad wind, kids flip backwards and wind
Till arms display what avid fans will find.
I pass as a baby, rattling silly stats
That sat amid this mix; minds, balls and bats.

I’ll sit in any chair, skip that which is shaming
Past failings, past draws. It saps will, blaming
What was. In this dry warmth; again I’ll start
Planning against panic, playing any part.
Till that day wins banish a final wraith:
I am a fanatic, invisibility sparks faith.

Irrational Sonnet: “Sigma”

Despite the otherwise-gripping baseball news, blogging’s been sporadic of late, obviously. Once again, I’m not sure what my long-term plans are for this site, but I’m hoping to keep experimenting with new forms. This is an “irrational sonnet,” invented by Jacques Bren and so named because the stanza lengths (3, 1, 4, 1, 5) are the first few digits of pi. I thought it would be only fitting to write one about studying math, or trying to! There might be more where this came from.

Another lecture through. I’ve not yet drowned
In waves of jargon, an unbroken sound,
But every talk’s a struggle for survival.

My rushing pen, if not me, grasps the proof.

Maybe I’m only fitted for archival?
Complexities increase. No upper bound
Can cap them off. At least that’s what I’ve found
And every sager peer looks like a rival.

Maybe I’m good enough, but there’s no proof.

Better to never ask, and stay aloof.
I won’t fake glibness through the steady terror–
There will be time to show I’m just a goof.
Till then, avoid the edges of the roof,
And round off sums, ignoring terms of error.

Love Sonnet

This one’s for you, my terror and my shame
In bronze abstractions of our nuclear waste,
Unending traffic, pressure I can’t name–
“Be safe, but see it all!”–with which I’m faced.

Wisdom received; deep pizza, deeper lake
Deep hidden bookstacks. Best, the rooms I’ll find
By train or small quick foot, for their own sake
Each in their way enlivening the mind.

All of the platforms that I’ve walked among,
The bell towers, their views from climbing fire.
The whiteboard with hellos in every tongue
The soccer fields and hockey rinks afire.

I loved you first after I left you first.
I’ll leave and love you all the more, uncursed.

Opening Day Blues

Blue skies patched through with white and gray. Below,
Green might poke through the intermittent brown,
And if you’re lucky that pokes through the snow–
In many ways, luck’s a function of town.

Blue uniforms, or white, or gray for sport,
The yellow bridges spanning unseen borders,
Anything to tell teams apart. We sort
Now by more than alphabetical orders.

Black ribbons for some cause too small to read,
Not given lip service, but rather breast,
Something we won’t oppose in word or deed
And something then forgotten like the rest.

Red and green shining bright far from the sun,
Blue circles lighting the way: In play, run(s).

Division Series, Day 7

The season’s long. People will sit or start
Day in, day out, and no one bats an eye;
They have their roles and each will play their part.
Some might come off the bench to break a tie,

Others start every day. And then a few
Pitch one game out of five when they’re not hurt,
Some pitch when winning. This is nothing new,
The lineup’s stable, give or take each spurt.

Then comes the day when games are scarce. An ace
Pitches two out of five, a star’s left out,
And there’s debate on who will take his place,
A pinch-hitter excels, or fails, sparks doubt.

After the wild card frameshifts, is two
Games out of five too many? Or too few?

Division Series, Day 2

Outs are interrupted by your team’s turn
To hit. Momentum rarely gets to count
Past three. When it does, silently we learn
How many in a row, hiss the amount

Under our breaths, if it is all the same
Within a row, whisper around the streak.
Easier to break it up, game to game,
A few here and a few their through the week.

And then from time to time there is a rush
Of hits. Outs interject, but can’t keep pace–
The squib, the liner, homer, drag bunt, crush
Hit where they ain’t. They do not know their place.

Pitch fast, hit slowly; it sets up a rout.
Time skips and drags, and yet will balance out.

Division Series, Day 1

Days later we’ll watch replays as the game.
A web gem–a would-be home run they rob.
The ball is live and everything’s the same
It’s just fielders who carry out their job.

Or bases, extra taken, or a steal.
The run is uncertain, but what you need
For baserunning success shows up, is real.
The smart signal. The unseen burst of speed.

Today we watch replays of when play stops.
The home run leaves the yard and dies. We view
It in slow motion. A camera angle crops
The screen, zooms it in, but there’s nothing new.

Or watch a pitcher approach the dugout,
His job done, like that’s what the game’s about.

Wild Birds

It’s wild but the birds are on the rise.
Fold up a bracket and it makes a hill
To grapple up, ascending to the prize.
(With just eight teams, the bottom stayed more still.)

Invert it; it becomes a goose on wings
That stand up proud in a victory V
Or two. A goose can promise things
Lie in wait if you just trust gravity.

But falling is for chokers and for roofs
That fall in on you or that just collapse,
For rain that cuts off games, for fouls, for goofs,
For jaded eyes who’d just as soon take naps,

The drink cans in a rage hurled from the stands,
Cries on deaf ears, the fly that never lands.

Dying fish

Shall I compare you to a dying fish
That flops amid wet glass and gasps in air?
On reflection, that would not be my wish.
I think that the comparison’s unfair.

For fish are fit when water wraps their gills
But water blurs you till you’re beyond use.
For you it is not open air that kills
But in a puddle, you lie soaked and loose.

Destruction for the hope of gain, I guess
Can once in a while be justified.
But at observing you, I must confess
The shards and puddle leave me stupefied.

Why would have someone broken glass for thee,
Oh newspaper that was already free?