Baseball introduced me to poetry. At the kitchen table on a rainy Sunday afternoon at age thirteen, I composed a rather lengthy poem in tribute to my favorite baseball player, calling it “The Ballad of Eddie Mathews,” actually a takeoff on a popular song at the time. Somehow it fell into the hands of my English teacher. Sensing some faint flicker of promise (or the complete opposite), she became my self-appointed tutor during the noon recess each day, introducing me to a new world of rhymes, beats, and sonnets.
Thereafter, I could only steal furtive glances outside, where the rest of the guys were whacking baseballs and running the bases in my beloved sport, all wrapped in visions of baseball glory--home runs into starry skies, ticker tape parades, the Cooperstown Hall of Fame. All the while I fidgeted in my one-armed wooden desk reciting the “daDUM, daDUM, daDUMs” of the endless dance of iambic pentameter. Only years later did I come to appreciate this curious lesson in irony. How could I not put those lunchtime hours to some use in the future?
After a lengthy detour into a legal career, I’ve come full circle. I suppose Mrs. Starr would be glad (and possibly astonished) to know that seven times my poems have been ranked as finalists in the Faulkner-Wisdom Creative Writing Competition, and ten poems have been selected on the short list for finalist or semifinalist in the Faulkner and Boulevard competitions. My poems have been published in Blueline, as an Editor’s Pick in Pooled Ink, and in the anthology Coffee Poems.
Thanks, Ms. Starr!
As a welcome to the website and an invitation to return, I would like to share with you an occasional original poem. These offerings will cover a variety of forms, subjects, emotions, and life events. I hope you enjoy them.
Wednesday, October 17 2018
“Just a closer walk with Thee...”
I yield to impulse
Passing an old cemetery
I see more apparitions,
all roused and moving
And I pause to wonder...which am I?
-Larkin Edwin Greer