Crown of sonnets

Would you rather see beginnings or ends?
I haven’t given you enough to say.
Unless you know who’s playing, it depends
On many things; the sport, the round, the day.

If you were rooting, you’d watch from the start.
Loyal no matter how the game turns out.
Perhaps you’re busy, and need to depart
Halfway through. But when endings are in doubt

You live with hope. There’s no need to assume
Things won’t end well just because you’re behind.
Wonder what’s going on, fend off the gloom,
Uncertain what you will come home to find.

When there’s something to cheer for, win or lose,
Each moment matters. No news is good news.

Each moment matters. No news is good news
If all you want is for the game to take
As long as possible. You don’t know who’s
Playing. But when web sites show a mistake,

Unable to display the score, it draws
Us in. Though I can’t quite appreciate
The craziness of the scoreline, it awes
Me nonetheless. Even I know it’s great.

A play or two are silly wipeouts. Most
Are strangely simple; unreturned serves, aces,
Or sometimes vollies to another ghost
Sharing the same white clothing and pale faces.

Fast in its way, though saying that feels wrong,
The games quickly wrap up and move along.

The games quickly wrap up and move along,
Especially with four crammed in one day.
Accompanied by the same tuneless song,
The same at every tempo, you could say.

I wondered which to watch that afternoon
And chose neither, of course. They almost got
Done what would have been relatively soon,
Before adjournment. That said, they did not.

There had been games that morning. I saw part
Of one of them, although not very well.
The live video screen would stop and start
So erratically, it was hard to tell

What was occurring. Still, I sat alone,
Trying to keep up with a far time zone.

Trying to keep up with a far time zone
Can be easier than it might appear.
The times that has shown
Are rarely mine. I’m relatively near

To my team even when it goes away
Out west. Eleven-thirty’s not too late
(At least it’s not right now) for me to stay
Up and listen to them meeting their fate.

Is this how West Coast fans feel all the time,
Made blatant by the road trips to Seattle?
The surety that there’s always more time
So settle in, ready for a long battle?

“Nite game”, this would be called in our home park.
Tonight, there’s nothing there; the scoreboard’s dark.

Tonight, there’s nothing there; the scoreboard’s dark.
Turned off as if in respect. Numbers don’t
Do justice anymore, as each old mark
Is obliterated. Some watching won’t

Understand much, but elegance, we get.
Polite applause, scores read in monotone,
The darkened board, the white clothing–and yet
The players make their images their own.

A necklace, here and now? And more bizarre
To me, at least; a backwards baseball hat?
Yet Nike swoosh and all, that’s what they are.
A rally might help, if you put it that

Way. So into another night they stay,
Hours pass; the score creeps up as they play.

Hours pass; the score creeps up as they play,
Becoming more urgent. Without a goal
It’ll be over. There’s more than one way
To qualify; it isn’t like the sole

Hope is a stoppage-time goal. That’s the stuff
Of stories for children, far too cliché
For the real world. A draw would be enough
If…Slovenia could tie it up, say…

The timing is the fourth official’s whim.
And at this rate, officials? You can’t trust
Them very far. I wouldn’t count on him
To help you out. This year might be a bust.

Ninety minutes gone. Hope, worry, guess, pray–
They can’t keep going like this. Or can they?

They can’t keep going like this. Or can they?
I don’t know. I saw fragments, heard defeat
A couple nights. But that is not to say
I missed it all. I saw part of a feat

Unsurpassed–yet people could surpass that.
That’s the thing about sports. You never know
What the future will mock as just old hat,
Nor how much longer anything can go.

And I could read about it, after all.
I could see highlights, if I wanted to;
The journeys in distant times of a ball
Hit, pitched, or kicked, until at last you’re through.

And so we ask ourselves as play suspends;
Would you rather see beginnings or ends?

On Less Interesting Grand Slams

When I was younger, “open tournament”
Meant anyone could play. You didn’t need
To qualify. I thought that’s what it meant
In general. You see, I didn’t read

About tennis. Until now. Now I know
The “opens” are misnomers, in that sense.
But worry not; it isn’t like there’s no
Well-named major. The system’s recompense

Is Wimbledon; the single name is all
We need to hear to know what it’s about.
Long nights, enduring ties, a fuzzy ball–
Different connotations, but still no doubt

For each of us. Turns out, someone will write
Poems for the tournament. Read those, I might.

Federer 3, Roddick 2

There are several sports that I understand.
And there is tennis, on the other hand.
There’s incomprehensibility more
To tennis than attempting to keep score.

We joke as we leave, at nine-thirty, two
Sets in. “So do you think it will still be
On when we get back?” Last year it was. We
Assume it won’t be this year, but we’re wrong.
The match is that long. When we come back from
Church, it’s still morning–but only for some.
In Wimbledon, it’s evening, and the game
Evening, the same scores for each man. They
Fight through the sweat, continuing to play.
The aces are high and over the net.
Each serve skillful, yet some errant. But then
They get the chance to serve the ball again.
A nice idea–for third grade volleyball,
I think. Shouldn’t all mistakes have a cost?
Shouldn’t each play help figure out who lost?
But that’s not how the game works. So I watch,
Not minding each botch. There’s forgiveness here
Whether or not I find the logic clear.