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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!

Periodic Poems

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.

Tuesday, November 13 2018

There are times

when the senses

seem to recede,

when all that is left

for a stark moment in time

is an intense waiting silence.


     A man stands at a counter,

     hooded face hidden in shadow,

     hand gripping

     a pocketed object,

     forefinger pausing on the crescent

     curl of the trigger...


          A girl new to her teens

          shivers in the dark,

          unpersuaded, yet haunted

          by words of false promise.  

          With the low purr of a zipper,

          the word “yes” begins to form

          on trembling lips...


               Muddy water swells

               inch by inch,

               as teeth of the river

               bite into the belly

               of the ancient levee.

               The weakest point strains

               with the first small quiver,

               and pauses there

               as a trumpet declares the blues

               in the distant streets,

               and the future

               begins to destroy itself.


In that instant of silence

the soul straddles

two worlds,

walking on the edges of time,

a choice being made

by man or nature

that will alter

some corner of this life forever.


-Larkin Edwin Greer