What Really Matters Is What Happens At Home

by Cantinker Moss

 

Originally penned in 1999, this poem has more to do with what happens off the diamond.  Though inspired by the Baseball Playoffs,  (Go Sox!)  it is intended to be a metaphor for something more universal.

 

Casey was at the bat,

And he didn’t strike out.

 

Now let me tell you something about baseball

And the ones who play the game.

 

There is the pitcher:

Tall, rangy, poised.

The franchise.

The golden boy.

He steps out of the dugout

And walks to the mound.

His is the arm that launched the season.

His is the arm we talk about all winter.

Movement, speed, location,

Heat, curve, change.

You wonder and adore.

He is the king of the hill.

 

He throws the ball.

But what if it is hit?

 

There is the infielder.

Perpetual motion.

Lateral motion.

First base, second, short, the hot corner.

‘Round the horn.

His glove is his partner.

A weapon.

A secret solution.

The enemy of the bat.

The siren call of every hit ball.

“Come to me…come to me…”

And then like a cat,

Six, four, three,

And that’s that!

Two outs, as a matter of fact.

 

He fields the ball.

But what if it goes through?

 

There is the outfielder.

(No, actually there are three of them.)

Maybe that’s why young boys want to be one.

Because they need so many of them.

So many of them.

So many names.

Names that you and I remember:

Joltin’ Joe and the Mick,

Yaz and the Kid,

Tris and Say Hey,

Hammerin’ Hank and the Babe.

But logically speaking,

And due-respect keeping,

If the pitcher did his job,

And the infielder his,

Would there ever need to be

An outfielder or three?

 

He catches the ball.

But what if it falls?

 

And then there is the catcher:

The player behind the plate.

They say he sees the whole game,

Probably the first to know its fate.

His ears hear the umpire’s “Ball!” and “Strike!”

But he alone may know whether they were right.

And slammed foul balls to the mask.

And foul balls run out to the back!

His body twisted backward on the dugout rail,

Or headfirst into the bat rack.

Those passed balls that just might have been wild pitches.

And yes, he feels the pitcher’s pain!

But the pitcher never comes to him.

But he goes out again and again and again.

And his knees are shot,

But he still “runs ’em out.”

And catchers become managers,

And some other players, millionaires no doubt.

 

But let me tell you something,

And may humankind know it well,

From the catcher’s mitt to the family hearth

Know this:

As far as we are all concerned,

What really matters

Is what happens at home.

 

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My little buddy

by Cantinker Moss

Here is my good buddy. This guy has single-handedly (-pawedly?} changed my opinion about felines. Yes, there are cats with nasty dispositions, but they probably have their reasons.  And really, all animals have their particular traits. Wolves and mountain lions kill to eat, and even pit bulls are trained to fight, unfortunately.

But this guy…well, he’s definitely low maintenance. A can of Nine Lives, and he’s content.

So I want to introduce you to Gumball as he is known around the house. (Gumball is a popular cartoon cat) But to me, he’s known as Sgt. Gumball. If he isn’t eating, you’ll find him on a chair in the living room…sleeping on my son’s bed…on a table next to me and my easy chair…or a bean bag chair in my den.  You’ll also find him stalking around the house in the middle of the night.  I guess he’s probably on one of his patrols looking for enemies.  Yep, you’ll find him in any of these places—that is if he isn’t in my lap when I’m not using my laptop.

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That’s my buddy.

(I had to revise the photo of Sgt. Gumball because I lost it on a previous manuscript) (Also, thanks to my son, Phil, for a great shot of Sgt. Gumball at attention at the top of this post.

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Oh, Cheryl Sing

 

by Cantinker Moss

 

This poem was probably started more than thirty years ago, either just before or after I married my wife, Cheryl.  No matter how hard I tried, I never could get something of a finished product.

But after thirty-five years, I began to learn an array of things about my wife:  things she didn’t have to tell me…things I just saw.  And with this discovery, I came to learn some things about myself:  and many of them weren’t pretty.  I’m not so sure she wasn’t going through this herself, even though she never ever seemed the type to be guilty of much.  But she assured me that she was not perfect, and that she was also a piece in the Master’s grand puzzle.

So after many years we both came a little closer to understanding who each of us was;  so much that we found it would be very difficult to live without each other…whether we wanted guidance, consolation, or physical intimacy.  Even two tired shoulders to cry on.  Little did we know that a commitment that we made to each other in 1982, with some work from each of us, would yield something akin to a harvest.

Enough introduction.  Here is the poem and I am going to let it speak for itself.

 

You are my guardian angel,

My dear, forever friend,

A mother of our two sons,

A lioness for them.

But you have always been there,

Through storm, and less, and doubt,

Yet this is what my heart will say

When hope, we seem without.

 

Chorus:

Oh Cheryl sing!  Oh Cheryl sing!

I want to hear you sing!

Oh Cheryl sing!  Oh Cheryl sing!

I want to hear you sing! 

 

I saw you in the park one day,

Your voice rang out so true,

With an instrument of twelve strings,

Telling the story that you knew.

About the One, your truest friend,

And what He did for you.

The smallest voice seemed to make me

Want to be your friend and His friend too.

 

Chorus:

 

Oh barefoot girl on a riverbank,

With your father’s fishing pole,

Missouri sand pines and Kentucky bluegrass,

Feed heaven’ward praise aglow,

But I will never forget your deep, dark eyes,

And the smile that rings with life,

A long-haired angel in purest hues,

For eternity all, you are my wife.

 

Thank you.

 

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