Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Thursday March 9th, 2006 - 1:12AM

hmmmmm, well what to say. i'm wide awake even after two tylenol PM. on the upside i've just typed up a coupla poems. i have stuff to learn for VIA so i should probably work on those too (we have shows coming up on the 18th and 25th).

can't report to the general public anything of use that happened in my life over the last two weeks, except, if you go to my website, there are a few new pictures of me and if you go to you'll find a whole brand new photo shoot of me with stuff i'll pick from for the book back cover; but i suspect i might have mentioned that already. i haven't posted a poem in a minute so here goes... feel free to comment

1975 – after the broadcast

and before the old black and white TV
is done clicking
like the old engine
of my mother’s yellow Morris Marina

I am already outside
mimicking the stroke play
of Viv Richards or Gordon Greenidge
or even more satisfying some days
Clive “The big Cat” Lloyd because he bat lefty
like me

and the hill of un-used gravel
on my left was always
a badly placed silly mid-off
the smoldering dung heap
first and second slip the razor grass
was a deep square leg
and the sorrel bush – extra cover
and Dennis Lilly (it was always Lilly and Thompson
in thise days) was coming off his long run-up
a menacingly tall mustachioed ghost
bringing the wrath of Down Under
with him – his white man’s arrogance
the thiefing umpires
the snarling fans – everything

and the sun would be hot
and the shaved down piece of wood
from Dolloway’s lumber yard
would be my Slazenger bat
and the crowd would murmur
because the young lad Bonair
would step out of the crease
make the bowler halt his delivery
absent-mindedly pat an errant blade
of grass back into the turf
before resuming his stance
bat tapping too too patiently
like Kalicharran or Gomes
hint of a smile on his face
chewing his gum slowly – like Viv
a high backlift the way Geoff Boycott’s
book said and the delivery
would be short a hostile ball
coming up toward the shoulder
so I had to turn on it sharply
left wrist rolling over right fist
so deftly the bat looked like a blade
flashing in the sugar cane sun
and razor grass couldn’t move
to the left and hibiscus bush
just stood still and because
I was a cavalier stroke player
like Jeffrey Dujon or Lawrence Rowe
I didn’t run – I didn’t even
look at the flight of the ball
because I knew I didn’t have to
and it was all the way down
to Ms. Thornhill’s fence for four

In those days whole matches
were played by my hands alone
commentating in the English brogue
of Henry Blofeld and the insightful
Bajan twang of Tony Cozier

I memorized all the stats
kept the scored of a nightwatchman
batsman from day to the next
strategized on field placement
and spin bowler and made sure
the West Indies always won
dramatically on the fifth day
late in the evening
at the Queen’s Park Savannah
with rum flowing in the stands
a rhythm section gathering steam
and a conch shell fading

It might be a six into Ms. Ivy’s yard
or a dramatic catch by the paw paw tree
or the Bonair lad tearing up the pitch
for a suicide single
on the last ball
of the last over of the day
skating on the gravel
the little white stones tumbling
several over the other
the whole cascade sounding
amazingly like applause


Blogger 3 AUM said...

Dude, Roger, you're awesome. This poem especially, and its imagery, remind me of Seamus Heaney (a pretty badass academic poet/nobel prize winner whom you should check out, if you haven't already). I can't wait for your book.

1:36 AM  

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