Browse all poems and songs in the 'Free Verse' Category


#3in5

by Paul Kocak

From the late-night Belt
To the Ishikawa blast
(Leaving Matheny aghast)
From the Reverend Pence
Splat against the wall
Tongue lolling
To the champagne dance
We are LOLing
Champions together
#3in5

We might be Giants
Say Hey!
A three-ring cirque du soleil
With a dollop of brouillard
(That’s French for “fog”)
We go yard; we play hard
Olé
Cue Tony Bennett
#3in5

We’ve got Brandons galore
(Crawford, Hicks and Belt)
(And even a Dan — aaargh — Uggla)
An Angel-ic Pagán
And Morse Code tapping SOS and more!
Game-tying crash
Glove wizards Perez and Blanco
White Shark speeding, sailing, soaring
We are Champions
Hashtag World Series
Even years we adore
#3in5

We are Giants
Golden-Gated
Manhattan-transplanted
By Bums we are hated
Eight titles, calculated
Add them, elated
(Three, belated)
Call them banners or flags
Call them rings
Making our heartstrings sing
Forevermore
Demons exorcised
Passions exercised
#3in5

It is the dawning
Of the Age of J. Arias
And LOOGY Lopez too
Lincecum and Cain and Machi
Stricken Strickland
Adrianza, Susac and Sanchez, true
Don’t forget Romo of Sergio
Or long-man Petit
Nor Affeldt, rock-steady Jeremy
Or Duffy speeding homeward
And Posey, our Buster,
Batterymate anchor, aweigh
Awaiting The Hug
#3in5

We are guitar-pickin’, smart-pitchin’ Peavy
Gutsy Gutierrez, strong Vogelsong
Stoic saver Casilla
Cagey Hudson navigating age with grace
Madison Bumgarner, ace of aces
Big Country
Starter, saver, savior
Backed by The Flip
Panik to Crawford
Saving Game 7
Striking icons of history
Hoisting trophy and treasure
#3in5

Bochy the maestro
Baer and Sabean
Flannery, Kelly, Meulens
Righetti and Ron
And all the rest
Named and unnamed
We are Giants
Panda falling backward into eternity
Caught
Captured
Parading into paradise
#3in5

Paul Kocak is the author of Baseball’s Starry Night: Reliving Major League Baseball’s 2011 Wild Card Night of Shock and Awe, which Doris Kearns Goodwin called “a magical book about a magical night.” He followed this with World Serious: One San Francisco Giants Fan’s 2012 Pilgrimage. He is completing a memoir on his life as a Giants fan.



Cool Papa Bell

by William Tecku

Major league-fastball-fast is fast.
Lose-a-gal-fast-before-you-
first-take-her-out is fast.
Folk-like-me-sold-on-the-steps-
of-the-St. Louis-Court House-fast
is fast but none of these fasts
is fast as darn fast.
Me finished before you start
that’s darn fast, that’s me.

Slow? Slow is how long it took me to tell Clara,
while we was out walkin’ after my game today,
how I got hit with my own hit ball
after I slid safe into second.
Darn slow? That was me with her tonight, guessin’
and guessin’ all the way back from hearin’ Henry Brown
at the Blue Flame until we stepped off the sidewalk,
outside the gas lights, and slipped under the shade trees
by her flat, before I could remember her favorite hymn
and she kissed me fast, in a slow way,
that made me feel like Lucky Lindy.

Like when I’m flyin’ around the bases
or runnin’ down flys or line drives
with eyes for the center field fence
and whole the ball park is movin’
slow as Missouri catfish in winter,
I didn’t feel nothin’ under my feet
all my way home where I
turned off the light and was in bed
before my room was dark.

 

William Tecku is a Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry grant recipient, a six-time Arizona English Teachers Association “Teachers As Writers” award winner, a Lake Superior Writers Series award winner, and twice received the Mesa Public Schools Staff Writing Award. It’s Only a Dry Heat is his most recent collection of poetry and fiction. For more of his writing, visit his webpage, Road Reflections.



Royal Disrespect

by Stephen Jones

Already forgotten–
Last year’s season.
KC–like Rodney–
Gets no respect.

Maybe so, maybe so–
But even though
Only 4% of the season
Is already done,
KC alone is 7-0
And atop the division.

 



Came to America

by Jeff Aeder

“The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh . . . people will come Ray. People will most definitely come.”- Field of Dreams

Before they came to Wrigley or Comiskey or Ebbetts or the Baker Bowl or some anonymous field in Iowa, they came to America.

Ike Samuls came from Galicia and hit .230.

Lefty Cristall, Izzy Goldstein, and Reuben Cohen all came from Odessa.  Cohen changed his name to Ewing and played short.

They came to America to be free.  And to be Americans.  And to learn how to hit a curveball.  And to endure nine hour train rides and to wear wool flannel in 90 degree heat and to play for peanuts.

And America let them.

Let them fail, let them sit, let them languish in the minors but also let them achieve greatness.

America let others mutter under their breath, to laugh at their names, to let every error indict an entire people.

But when a Florida hotel owner wouldn’t let NY Giants Weintraub and Danning stay at his hotel, America also let manager Bill Terry stand up and say if they can’t stay then the team won’t stay.

A tall, gangly kid from New York became known as “The Hebrew Hammer.” Hank Greenberg had the swing to chase the Babe, coming only 2 homers short of the magic 60.  However, Greenberg’s power transcended the diamond. At a time in the 30s when Jews faced supreme challenges here and abroad, the Star of David’s first baseball superstar filled our cups with a huge source of pride.

Several decades later, G-D decided to create the perfect pitcher. The end result, Sandy Koufax, had such a rhythm and grace it was like watching ballet being performed on the mound. Yet he was more nightmare than art to hitters who didn’t have a chance against his fastball and devastating curve.

How about the other all-stars . . . Danning, Gordon, Rosen, Hotlzman, Stone, Green, Ausmus, Youklis, Kinsler, yes and even Braun.

This is all great but what makes our history special is . . . the character of the players . . . it was Jackie Robinson who said of Hank Greenberg after a run in on 1st base: “Mr. Greenberg is class. It stands out all over him.”  It was Greenberg again along with Koufax, Green, Shamsky, Holtzman, Danning, Weintraub, Arnovich and Youklis who honored their heritage and did not play on Yom Kippur.

There were Jews wearing suits, not uniforms, who also had an immense influence on the game. Marvin Miller acted like Moses to the players, telling them they had a right to be free . . . free agents, that is. Bud Selig had his critics to be sure, but as the long-time commissioner, his many progressive decisions had baseball charging into the 21st Century. If the Cubs ever win that elusive World Series from the wildcard route, the Wrigley faithful will be shouting out, “This Bud’s for you.”

Since Jews like to laugh at themselves, we chuckled when the stewardess in “Airplane” said to a passenger, “Are you looking for some light reading?” and promptly handed her a leaflet entitled “Famous Jewish Sports Legends”.  Yet the reality is the Jewish impact on the game could fill volumes.

The story is far from finished. At the relative dawn of a new century, surely, there will be another Koufax, another Greenberg to carry on the proud heritage of Jews in baseball.

 



Baseball Quickened?

by Philip Pecorino

Baseball’s “Pace of Game” committee
wants to make it more speedy.
But, in an effort to quicken the paces
what may be lost of the game’s subtle graces?

Baseball was once the game
that made the claim
it had no clock.
But, now it seems
there are several schemes
to attend to the tick-tock.

To appease the fans,
mostly not in the stands,
with ever shorter attention spans
there are several initiatives
by baseball executives
to pick up the pace:
one by keeping batters in their place
another still to consider
would discourage pitchers who dither.

Where will it end
to get fans to attend?
Perhaps, better baseball education
leads to better attention.

 

Philip Pecorino is a Professor of Philosophy in CUNY and SUNY systems and has published several articles in philosophical publications, humanities publications and elsewhere. He is into baseball in a metaphysical way with poems on baseball ontology.

 

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