Fast breaks. Lay ups. With Mercury's
Insignia on our sneakers,
We outmaneuvered to footwork
Of bad angels. Nothing but a hot
Swish of strings like silk
Ten feet out. In the roundhouse
Labyrinth our bodies
Created, we could almost
Last forever, poised in midair
Like storybook sea monsters.
The beautiful excess of Jesus on the waters
is with me now in the Boles Natatorium.
This bud of me exults, giving witness:
these flippers that rose up to be arms.
These strings drawn to be fingers.
Legs plumped to make my useful fork.
Each time I tear this seam to enter,
all that I carry is taken from me,
shucked in the dive.
Lovers, children, even words go under.
I took her for my kind of person
And it was something of a shock
When my new friend revealed
That, once upon a time,
She was a Junior County Tennis Champion.
How could that happen?
How could I accidentally
Make friends with a tennis champion?
How could a tennis champion
Every day I peruse the box scores for hours
Sometimes I wonder why I do it
Since I am not going to take a test on it
And no one is going to give me money
The pleasure's something like that of codes
Of deciphering an ancient alphabet say
So as brightly to picturize Eurydice
In the Elysian Fields on her perfect day
Afterwards, I found him alone at the bar
and asked him what went wrong. It's the shirt,
he said. When I pull it on it hangs on my back
like a shroud, or a poisoned jerkin from Grimm
seeping its curse onto my skin, the worst tattoo.
I shower and shave before I shrug on the shirt,
We used to praise you as our heroes
On the fields and on the courts...
We cheered you on so feverishly
In the world of professional sports...
We were proud to wear your jerseys
And memorized all your stats...
We were fiercely proud of you
We even called ourselves the Who Dats...
june 20th arriving
players warm up in full swing
There’s a part of me that say’s I’m jealous
Another thinks my golfing friends just zealous,
Whilst I crave fresh air and healthy motion
They’re busy slathering on the lotion
Before they mount some little cart
That with intent they simply point to dart
At breakneck speed from hole to hole
The putting of that little ball the goal.
Then there’s the clubs, that myriad bunch
Who would imagine a cricket ground
Had ever existed here,
Folded into a farm on the downland pasture,
Lapping the edge of the oakwood
And the buttercup-quilted rides?
For the Toll is returned to plough
After a century of combat,
Sown to a sea of blue-green waves
Beneath which it lies drowned.
The river turns,
Leaving a place for the eye to rest,
A furred, a rocky pool,
A bottom of water.
The crabs tilt and eat, leisurely,
And the small fish lie, without shadow, motionless,
Or drift lazily in and out of the weeds.
The bottom-stones shimmer back their irregular striations,
And the half-sunken branch bends away from the gazer's eye.