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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.

Sunday, December 30 2018


When I’m rounding

the final curve

on this spinning planet,

muscles strained and heavy,

the finish looming,

now in sight,


seconds ticking wildly,

watches raised and ready,

noise of the crowd

an ascending roar...

in the blur of it all

my soul will mark its savage tally.


My arms struggle upward,

a weary celebration,

with my final burst

through the waiting string…

for I’ve lived a focused life,

goals forever rare and noble.


I’ve set high my sights,

chasing Mount Olympus rising

into the parting clouds,

a place among the gods,

nameplate of hammered gold

from the fire of falling stars,


perhaps to lift aloft

a gleaming silver goblet

with Apollo, Zeus and Heracles—

a perfected life to present

that final day at heaven’s gate.


And yet…

something deep within

compels me now to ask—

have I ever raised my glass

to a fiery sunset, looked deep

into the patient eyes

of a pure-hearted child?


Have I listened for the music

in the summer wind,

searched for rainbows

through a misting rain?

Did I find love?  Give love?

Bring some joy to my corner

of this twisting globe?


Or was my lofty goal

a mere illusion,

the impossible dream

of one dazzled by the world?


Have I measured life

through approval

in the discerning eyes

of friends and strangers,

in the collected words

of my obituary-to-be

as though it were some

redeeming resume?


In all the years

of sweat, toil and aspiration,

was I really only racing

on a carousel—

atop a carved

and lacquered stallion,

nostrils madly flaring,

drugged by throbbing thunder

from a bleating organ,

rhythm matched by flashing hooves

that never touch the earth?


Have I pounded the flanks

of my imitation sweating steed

to speeds unthinkable

to insure this vital race be won...

yet traveling the same eternal circuit,

charging forever round

                        and round

                                    and round


and going nowhere at all?


-Larkin Edwin Greer