Saturday, September 28, 2013

September 2013 Poetry Challenge Winners - Sports Poems

There are two winning poems in the September, 2012, Poetry Challenge. Each one goes beyond the game itself, to explore some aspect of life. Here they are for your enjoyment:

Rain Out

The grounds crew rolls out the tarp
Time to take a deep breath
and keep your rosin bag dry

Soon enough you'll be
throwing fastballs down the pipe
and change-ups in their face

but not today

So keep your glove oiled
your senses sharp
your muscles loose

and by all means
hold on to your place
in the rotation

for life is often rain-delayed

~ Alan D Harris

Alan D Harris writes poetry, short stories, and plays primarily based upon the life-stories and memories of friends, family and total strangers. His work has appeared on four continents in as many languages. Harris is the 2011 recipient of the Stephen H Tudor Award in Creative Writing by Wayne State University.

The Catch

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.
John Donne, Devotion XVII

Of course, it wasn’t at all like Willie Mays
in flight, his back to home, or Reiser’s bouts with the wall;
yet still, with body outstretched, my glove upraised,
the ball in slow descent, the ground, a shock, and a roll,
and back on my feet, the final out in hand,
one Holy Jesus of a catch that Don would recall
forever, he later said, until the sands
of time ran down; and as my winning team
swarmed over me, he abandoned the field,
head bowed, to retrieve his bat and to yield
the glory – that with swing and contact seemed
to be his at first – to me. He drowned
the following year. A slip and fall overboard,
his head cracking on the rail, corpse found
a day or so later, floating just off the shore;
and now I’m left alone with the memory, mine
alone, without a witness (the others, in time,
have all forgotten), a memory that fades
into a dream of that wondrous catch I made
so many years ago, with the game on the line.

~ J. Weintraub

J. Weintraub has published fiction, essays, translations, and poetry in literary reviews and periodicals, from The Massachusetts Review to Modern Philology, from Prairie Schooner to Gastronomica. He has been an Around-the-Coyote and a StoneSong poet, and he is proud to have been a featured author in readings at such Chicago landmarks as the Red Lion Pub, Hopleaf Bar, and the Bourgeois Pig. He is currently a network playwright at Chicago Dramatists and has had one-act plays produced in New York City, Middleboro, MA, and by Second City, American Blues Theatre, Blank Page Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, and 8 Scribes in Chicago. More at http:/

These poets retain copyright on their poems.

Watch for a new poetry challenge on October 1.

© Wilda Morris