Eternal, spring

“You see, you spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball, and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time.” – Jim Bouton

Life is a scorecard; an encrypted story in exotic-to-the-unwashed hieroglyphs, easily, quickly translated by those versed in the language. We can excitedly, precisely interpret the detailed story. The story of our life.

I’ve been told – more often than I can count – to take a walk.

I have sacrificed.

Took lots of pitches and touched all the bases. Made it to a few when I probably shouldn’t have, gotten thrown out when I tried to take an extra one…

and often experienced the thrill of sliding in safe.

I have played the field and struck out in love. My ears have echoed with the cheers of the crowd and have felt the sting of their boos.

I have made my share of errors.

There are times when I have been left stranded, others when I have been benched. I have been shelled, and pulled for a reliever who could close out what I started, could not finish.

I have made more than a few long, slow walks back to the dugout.

Ah, but the home runs have been sweetly plentiful.

I loved the game and life – and it returned the favor far more often than it could let me down. Oh, a few pennant races broke my heart – but isn’t that life in a nut shell?

I’ve had good winning streaks, taken a few tough losses to heart.

There have been brush-backs, bean balls and I’ve thrown and been thrown more than a few curves in my day.

Hurled a few biting changeups of my own, too. Others will tell you there are times when I’ve been a real screwball.

Sometimes I’ve had to play hardball. I have usually won.

I have been thrown out, tagged out, shut out.

I have balked.

I have loved the game – my life – it has returned the favor.
Now, the grass is greener than ever, lush and rich; the sky is always a vivid blue. In my mind I can always I feel the breeze on my face, breathe in the aroma of oiled, old leather, hear the distant crack of solid horsehide colliding with polished ash.

Someday I’ll be rounding third and headed for home, with someone waving me on. I’ll know then as I do now that it’s been a grand and glorious event, an extra-innings affair to remember; a ninth-inning grand slam.

Walk-off win.

It’s hopefully a long time before I need to come out of the game, many years before I’ll need a curtain call to acknowledge the home crowd, tip my hat and then disappear, headed for the clubhouse to hang up my gear for the last time.

Not now, not today.

It is spring again.

Hope, potential, promise fill the air, a game has yet to be lost.

A long, blissful summer awaits. There will be highlights and losing streaks, rainouts and glorious days you’ll hope will not end. For now, the joy is in simply taking the field again.

As Ernie Banks always says, “It’s a great day to play two!”

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2017
http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd

Mercy, me

‘There but for
the grace of God…’

deity quantification is
risky pragmatism

‘There but for…’

God’s grace, graceful
mine, clunkily
cacophonous in raw
implementation

two-left feet,
I always want to lead

God is gracefully
mindful of my gaucherie
bemused by my
attempts at making
things more complicated

fraught with false starts

learned skill
accepting grace in
ordinary guy way
making the simply profound
unpretentious

easy
now that I understand

forsaken, I have
making the elegantly simple
intricately complicated
ever need be

there but for…
there for, but
therefore?

affected by so many
retrospectively
recognizing
God’s grace in the
graceful natures,
well-timed nurturing
of others

finally grasping
the thrill of speed
training wheels, off

there with
the Grace of God
go I

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2017
http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd

Act II

hamlet1Your ‘traditional’ values
a façade,
community theatre set
flimsy, off-kilter
kitschy backdrop for
absurdist black comedy

faith as virtue
dignity as punchline
righteousness as truth
pomposity as dignity
oppression as plot twist

‘Jerry Mathers as The Beaver
your black-and-white is showing

nuance cannot be played
by circus clowns
deifying pies-in-the-face as
western civilization’s
high water marks

you, yes you!
square-jawed leading men
could not lead ants to a picnic
but got the gig anyway
blowing your wads on the audition
with nothing in reserve

one dimensional players
in roles written with complexity
vastly more intelligent playwrights
who envisioned a successful run
of dramatic turns
never intending
for the show to go from
high art
to second-rate parody

now the audience is getting antsy
and it’s not even
intermission

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2017
http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd