sporting blues

Statue of Randolph Turpin, boxer

The first time I posted the poem 21st-century pugilist to the blog, I didn’t really have the right picture, so it was accompanied by a photo of the wrestler, Stan Roberts.

Now, though, I have a photo of the statue of Randolph Turpin, the boxer, so I think it’s a good time to re-post the poem, which was written in Spain around eight years ago:

21st-century pugilist

You what? He spits.
His knuckles clench, thumbs
tuck to fists and elbows flex;
he squares up, rises to his toes,
knees bent, ready to dance, then
stalls.
Hands dip to hitch
his slipping jeans.

The sky here really was about that shade of blue this morning, which is not exactly the norm in the UK. I was a lot more used to cielos azules when I lived in Spain, so here is another piece written there:

Blue birds

The sleek black elegance of executioners’ hoods
and muted shades of beige and dusky blue belie
the rabilargos‘ raucous voice and acrobatic repertoire.
With strident glee they trampoline from twig to twig,
unfurl their summer-evening wings like fans, revealing
azure blue as vivid as the cloudless Spanish sky.

Cursory research tells me that acrobatics is not counted as a blue sport and trampoline is only a half blue for women. The cricket reference in this final poem, another summer piece from the same rural Spanish setting, is oblique, but I think I’m still going to count it as a hat-trick of sporting poems:

Summer sport

After a busy evening
listening to cicada orchestras
and dancing with
grasshoppers
through the weeds,
the cat comes home.

He sniffs the bowl of kibble
then looks up, looks
dissatisfied, as if to say,
“dried cat food’s
           just
                        not
                                    cricket.”

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

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