A haiga for Colleen’s tanka Tuesday words, hobby and play. There is a long tradition of baseball haiku, both in Japan and America.
I first thought of Rickey Henderson when I considered sketching a base stealer, but then I discovered that Jackie Robinson was the major league leader in steals of home in the modern era–he did it 19 times–so I used photos of him as my inspiration. Just one small part of his extraordinary legacy.
This second haiga is for Frank Tassone’s challenge of swallows. When Ken at rivrvlogr posted his response, it reminded me that the place I see swallows in NYC is at the ball park–clearly stadiums have good nesting places. And always plenty of dreams.
I’m definitely out of practice with my sketching, and I forgot how difficult it is to draw catchers. But Opening Day is just around the corner…
(wait til next year)
baseball has a way…
five golden-armed young pitchers–
can this magic last?
spate of injuries–
hoped to skip only one start–
gone for the season
a sacrifice fly–
put him in the clean-up spot
first major league start–
sometimes faith is rewarded
pitched well yet again
the ever calm elder sage
a pinch-hit grand slam
fastballs and sinkers
keeping the team in the game
seven shut-out innings
turn to the bullpen
(give up runs and you lose games)
his command was poor
bottom of the ninth
flyout to right, left, center
then it was over
baseball has a way…
the lingering question is–
(the silence in Queens)
All phrases in this haiku sequence taken from sports stories about the Mets in the NY newspapers during the final two months of the 2016 season.
of games, Bronx Sultan of Swat:
Forever The Babe
Echoing my post from yesterday a bit: it’s always a good day to celebrate baseball. And who deserves a day of celebration more than Babe Ruth? George Herman Ruth put up stats as both hitter and pitcher that still stand in the top 10 of all time, and he did it while maintaining a famous appetite for good food with a physique to match.
Fat Cats crushed the House
That You Built, casting shadows
of shoes still unfilled
My haiku draws its inspiration from the NaWriPoMo prompt from way back on day 20 to include kennings (a phrase that describes something without using its actual name) in a poem. Baseball is full of them.
Let’s hope today finds us all batting 1000.
“They throw the ball, I hit it; they hit the ball, I catch it.”
“Wait till next year” they
say, and here are arms to throw
a curve, a fast ball.
Who can say that I
will not be able to hit
that ball out, send it
much farther than they
have ever seen? to reach up, hit
the stars with that ball.
Listen closely: I
can hear bats sing. Come catch
the magic of it.
As usual: explanations. Laura at Create Art Everyday asked me awhile ago to put my Mets obsession on hold and draw Chris Davis, who plays first base for her team, the Baltimore Orioles. I had been planning to, and got an extra push with a poetic prompt from Colleen and Ronovan: write something based on a quote you find inspiring. The theme was “wisdom”, and who is wiser about baseball (and life) than Willie Mays?
Quotes are perfect for shovel poems: look at the last word of each line.
Opening Day Sunday April 3! The real first day of spring!
spring…as in hope springs
eternally to hot summer nights
of euphoria and despair
For the uninitiated, Matt Harvey (The Dark Knight of Gotham aka Batman) and Travis d’Arnaud (who seems not to have acquired a nickname yet) are pitcher and catcher for the New York Mets.
Pitchers and Catchers! Can spring be far behind…?
This is where we left the Mets in October. We’ll see where 2016 takes us. “You can’t predict baseball,” as John Sterling, the Yankees broadcaster, is fond of saying.
back to back walks…
the catcher takes the pitcher
to the top of the mound
I couldn’t let too much time go by without noting that the Mets finally have their second Baseball Hall of Fame member…Mike Piazza.
Tom Clausen is a haiku poet who works at Cornell. You can see more of his writing here.
…and only 33 days until pitchers and catchers.
The sun burns down
And something plucks my garment’s hem.
The robins in their faded brown
Would lure me to the south with them.
–Bliss Carman, “The Vagabonds”
European settlers in America called this bird a robin because it was red-breasted like the robin they knew from home. But the European robin is a much smaller bird, a member of the flycatcher family; the larger American robin belongs to the thrush family. Their songs are also quite different.
Bliss Carman is a Canadian poet who attended Harvard and spent much of his life in New England. He became well-known in the 1890s for the Vagabondia poems, written with Richard Hovey. A distant relative of Emerson, his verse often reflects the natural world.
Robin was the next bird on my childhood bird list. Although known as harbingers of spring in the North, not all robins go south for the winter.
And last, but not least, I drew Roger, the beanie baby robin (Ty called it “Early”). Roger belongs to my younger daughter’s doll Lily. If you spend any time around children (or remember your own childhood), you know that favorite toys have elaborate stories and biographies attached to them. Even though my daughter is grown up, Lily and Roger continue to inhabit our house. Yes, that’s a baseball glove on his wing…
Laura at CreateArtEveryday has passed the Draw-a-Bird Day (the 8th of each month) baton to Nina and me. Link your bird drawings in the comments, and we’ll put together a compilation of birds next week!
Mistakes were made. Second guessing abounds.
The Mets were supposed to be mediocre, finishing 3rd in their division. The pundits predicted Nats-Blue Jays or maybe Dodgers-Royals in the World Series. (Also forgotten: the Cubs and the Astros.)
It was an unexpected ride. And in baseball: yes! there is crying (see Wilmer Flores), and yes! there is always next year for redemption (just ask Kansas City).
103 days until pitchers and catchers.
My first drawing of a baseball player in honor of Kerfe, a Mets fan. I think this is a sketch of Jeurys Familia; Kerfe please correct me if I’m wrong. Very happy about the Mets even though I’m not a big sports fan!
errant infield plays…
please hit it to center field:
run, leap, catch. out.
The Mets may (as usual) sink into mediocrity by July, but Juan Lagares will still soar in the outfield.
someone will surely
be batting a thousand at
days end. and our dreams.
Baseball and haiku have a long history together.
the long fly ball to center field
takes its time
–Cor van den Heuvel
until raised to Heaven
I’ll go to fields of green
carrying my glove