Lisa Mednick Powell

Oct 23 Poetry Blast

From the New York Times this morning: ARLINGTON, Tex. — Babe Ruth, twice. Reggie Jackson. Albert Pujols. That is the complete list of players with three home runs in a World Series game. Here are a couple of baseball poems and a cricket song. Well, not a song sung by a cricket. A song by Paul Kelly about a famous Australian cricket player. It's just such a great song. And nice vintage film clips to go with it. Fathers took their sons/ 'cause fortune used to hide/ In the palm of his hand... First, two poems. Scroll down for the video and music. Moses Yellowhorse is Throwing Water Balloons from the Hotel Roosevelt by B.H. Fairchild The combed lawn of the Villa Carlotta cools the bare feet of my aesthetic friend cooing Beautiful, so beautiful, a dream … beneath the fat leaves of catalpa trees, and my Marxist friend—ironic, mordant— groans, Ah, yes, indeed, how beautifully the rich lie down upon the backs of the poor, but I am somewhere else, an empty field near Black Bear Creek in western Oklahoma, brought their by that ancient word, dream, my father saying, You had the dream, Horse, and two men toss a baseball back and forth as the sun dissolves behind the pearl-grey strands of a cirrus and the frayed, flaming branches along the creek so that the men, too, seem to be on fire, and the other one, a tall Pawnee named Moses Yellowhorse, drops his glove, But I wasn’t a man there, and there, I know, is Pittsburgh, and man means something more like human, for as a boy I had heard this story many times, beginning, always, He was the fastest I ever caught, the fastest, I think, there ever was, and I was stunned because for a boy in America, to be the fastest was to be a god, and now my father and his brothers move behind a scrim of dust in a fallow wheat field, a blanket stretched between two posts to make a backstop, a stand of maize to mark the outfield wall, while their father watches, If an Indian can make it, then so by god can they, and so it goes, this story of failure in America: Icarus unwarned, strapped with his father’s wings, my father one winter morning patches the drive line of an old Ford tractor with a strand of baling wire, blood popping out along his knuckles, and then in fury turning to his father, I’m not good enough, I’ll never get there, and I’m sorry, I’m goddamned sorry, while Moses Yellowhorse is drunk again and throwing water balloons from the Hotel Roosevelt because now he is “Chief” Yellowhorse, and even though in a feat of almost angelic beauty he struck out Gehrig, Ruth, and Lazzeri with nine straight heaters, something isn’t right, so one day he throws a headball at Ty Cobb, then tells my father, He was an Indian-hater, even his teammates smiled, and now, trying to explain this to my friends, it occurs to me that, unlike the Villa Carlotta, baseball is a question of neither beauty nor politics but rather mythology, the collective dream, the old dream, of men becoming gods or at the very least, as they remove their wings, being recognized as men. "A Pitch Colored Black" by Rev. Darnell A. Carruthers There's a trail blaz'n through an emerald haze in the main vein of "some folks" ever since birth. "These people" first praise God, Then second the Turf.... The unquenchable thirst of victory Is all that you see in their eyes. As they look to the skies – and with dusty hands block the sun, hoping to stop the run. For the game to them is "serious" though it's billed as "fun." And their hearts and eagles soar – Searching still for a higher peak. Ya' see, Their skin is thick, but their hearts are fragile and don't take easy to defeat... Now, there are some men scared to rise, And then there are those that are scared to fall, And as if that ain't enough – and that ain't all. Still, American History has forgotten one other fact: Before Baseball even had an umpire – There was a Pitch Colored Black. Finally, and don't skip this...a typically gorgeous song by Paul Kelly (he writes no filler.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FeG8hqQw1U8