Journal

As long as there's baseball, it's always summer

In honor of the Pittsburgh Pirates making it into the playoffs for the first time in many years I'll re-publish two of my baseball poems.  The first about seeing The Great One on my birthday in 1971, the second about the wonderful feeling of baseball on the radio. 

This is the Moment

There were at least a thousand different moments that day

August 13th 1971, my thirteenth birthday.

It’s not the long line of baseball fans

on a hot afternoon

winding their way up the ramps

circling Three Rivers Stadium like a python preparing for dinner.

It’s not the grey concrete walkway

speckled and spattered with

chewing gum

cigarette butts

beer stains

and something that might have been food.

Not even the sudden rush of fans pushing together

as the clubhouse door swung open

and like baseball cards come to life,

two Pirates emerged to sign autographs.

It might have been the face

of Roberto Clemente

granite features

with blazing eyes that met my own for an eternal moment

but then

maybe not even that.

It was, however,

the feeling of my feet leaving the floor

and my father’s hands

as he lifted me above the crowd

and his voice

younger than I had ever heard

saying

“There he is!, the great one!”

That was the moment.

That is the moment.

©2011 Kevin Slick

 

Baseball Radio

Baseball radio

skipping across the thick summer night sky

transistor voices

painting soundscapes in dreams

gathering in a plastic dream catchers with antennas reaching to the stars

There is a static and crackle, the sound of the air itself

that fills the beautiful moments in between

the pause between pitches

when the patterns of voices and noises weave together in a blanket of sound

the bat crack,

the glove smack,

the long ball crowd roar

a tapestry of sound rising and falling like waves on the sea.

And in that aural landscape

in the slow, spacious story telling

memories, like fossils revealed breathe the summer air and live again.

Somewhere Willie is stalking the fly ball from the bat of Vic Wertz,

and somewhere Roberto is firing a cannon shot from right field to nail an

over-confident runner on the way to second,

somewhere Babe is still on deck  and the game is still within our grasp

and autumn and winter are a million miles away.

 

©2011 Kevin Slick

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