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September 4, 2009

I am obsessed with my bright red ball at the moment. I bought it for my dog, but it has an addictively reliable bounce.  Using the ‘Prestige‘ technique, I have written a poem inspired by it.

He loved to bounce the ball so much and life
itself it seemed he would always carry it.
As if he could hold a knowledge
of the ground he would walk till he died
if he could, in his palm, ‘It has the reliable bounce,’ he said.

The ball dropping down life’s deep well:
paths crossed like knotted bread,
rivers flowing into themselves (the ages never land)
dropping through earth where it slipped, or lost
through the simple moss and maze of rocks;

the corrugated bank; a flame-leafed bark-riven tree
wound branch by branch like elbows and knees
‘I wish I had thought of the bright red ball
as a thing, when I was in school and so badly
needed a thing’.  Premature stubble. Turning

a coin over the knuckles, knowing jokes to tell
while glass whizzed in the fire, and
foam teased in the serious wind.  Voices
that come tumbling back up the echo
of ball bounding from hand to loss.

Not his voice, or anyone else’s he’s likely to know,
just those that are and the cracked world sent back.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Nick H permalink
    September 7, 2009 7:05 pm

    You’re very tall from the look of that picture

  2. nathanatthebluecoat permalink*
    September 8, 2009 7:20 am

    I am a giant. That is what all my poems are really about – an attempt to get back close to the ground.

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