Saturday, November 22, 2008

Another year

A tear stained jacket drapes his shoulders
Dark blue on light blue, rivulets run down.
A pattern of sorrow etched in satin
Friends look away from each other
Their eyes will not meet for fear of weeping
In disbelief they wander lost
Joy to Disbelief
Disbelief to Desperation
Desperation to Despair
Despair to... Nothing. Hollow. Gutted.
Another year gone another year
With nothing. Another barren
Empty, pointless year gone.

Nothing to show for all the pain, the agony
The struggle. Only then to suffer the
Agonizing bitter taste of defeat beyond measure.

The ivy covered wall stands mute
The building is quiet again, asleep
For the long, cold winter.

Sun and Moon gaze down upon grass and dirt
A place of such epic tragedy, Ilium's sands
Were not so bloody as these fragile blades.
Ground trodden by warriors of passion equal to the
Heroes of old; Achilles, Hector, Paris, Odysseus
Smiling to themselves that a people of such
Lofty aspirations, a century old, such soaring ambition
Would fall so quickly into a black lustrous oblivion.

A people in shock, dimly alive stare ahead without sight
Gazes do not cross, lover's eyes estranged from passion
A flame extinguised.

The silent frozen street's muted colors mix with rancid odors
Wafting from iron grates like prison bars embedded in
The filthy asphalt holding at bay phantoms unseen.
City dwellers slouch through the day as if sleeping or dead
Another year gone with nothing to show. Another year.

"Fucking Cubs."
"Just wait 'till next year!"

Pulled this one together at breakfast in the hotel this morning. I had the basic framework in my head by the time I finished eating. I added the Ilium stuff later since it seemed a good analogy. Modern sports are our "war" and when I think war, I think Ancient Greece. What's wrong with me?

The inspiration came from a guy I saw at breakfast. He was decked out in Cubs regalia (hat, t-shirt, satin jacket, all with some Cubs logo) and he was the saddest looking guy I've seen in a long time. I don't know whether he's still pining for the lost Cubbies, but it put me back in the mind of watching the playoffs again and what Amy and I went through watching the Breweres. He was sitting there in his Cubs stuff, it made me wonder what it would have been like to be a Cubs fan and to have made it through the whole season with the best record in baseball, then to drop 4 straight to the Dodgers. Not even win a GAME!

Even my little Brewers managed to take a game from the World Champion Philies this year. That's enough to hang your hat on during the off season, something to keep the fires banked and the coals warm until spring training. But to have had such a season as the Cubbies had and then to fall apart when it mattered, that would, in a word, suck. But Chicago, for all it's "huskiness" and "big shoulders," is an optimistic place and the streets will warm up and the Cubs will return in the spring and will again do battle with Hector, Achilles and all the others vying for that World Series Championship Ring.

Here's a excerpt from Chicago by Carl Sandburg which sums up the city quite well. You can find the entire volume of Chicago Poems online.

They tell me you are wicked and I believe them, for I
have seen your painted women under the gas lamps
luring the farm boys.
And they tell me you are crooked and I answer: Yes, it
is true I have seen the gunman kill and go free to
kill again.
And they tell me you are brutal and my reply is: On the
faces of women and children I have seen the marks
of wanton hunger.
And having answered so I turn once more to those who
sneer at this my city, and I give them back the sneer
and say to them:
Come and show me another city with lifted head singing
so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning.
Flinging magnetic curses amid the toil of piling job on
job, here is a tall bold slugger set vivid against the
little soft cities;

A tall bold slugger indeed.

1 comment:

Melissa said...

I like this one too ... such feeling. I didn't read it before because I'm not a big sports person, but I was missing out.

"Sun and Moon gaze down upon grass and dirt
A place of such epic tragedy, Ilium's sands
Were not so bloody as these fragile blades."

Love that ...