The Death of Grass

The Death of Grass

Original Text

Bruce Meyer, Radio Silence (Windsor, Ontario: Black Moss Press, 1992): 17-18.

1You can believe anything you want
3he chose to believe in grass -- the green sea
4that washes over time when a pop fly hangs
5like a lover's promise in an arc through centre;
6the continent of pain when inches give way
7to miles on the tip of a glove; the reach
9the cool green smell of life itself
10smiling up at the innings of August heat,
11and the green that shone beneath the lights
12like a sea of emeralds awash in voices.
13Eight seasons he learned faith is fortune;
14balls never bounced the same way twice;
15that even when you are under the ball
16the wind can shift and change a game;
17that all you tell others is less than you know;
18that winning the Series is better than sex
19though winning the Series will get you sex;
20in playing the game you are playing yourself;
21that baseball is poetry without the poet;
22that the heart and the body can be at odds;
23that fortune falters when faith is shaken.
24And you can believe anything you want --
25your youth, your swing, speed, arms, knees,
26and then like a lover who suddenly leaves
27that season when you swing and miss,
28swing again and whiff again, error in the ninth
29on a pop fly, slip on a misplayed catch
30and watch from the bench as age prevails.
32"for a more even game" the owners said --
33but the death of grass was the death of belief:
34"You believe what you want but never this,"
35he said in farewell, his eyes rained out.
36He sat, one night, in a ballplayer's haunt
37drinking slow beers and smoking fast drags;
38a game was on the tube; a rookie, a fly ball,
39an error scored; the game never gets better
40and it never gets worse; the faces change,
41parks are revamped, and always there high
42in the stands the father, the son, the dream.
43The lights are down now as he stands
44at the plate, his face to deep centre
45and the stars high above him like signals
46called from eternity, There are no certainties
47in this game -- only believers who swing
48at something hurled split-fingered out of forever,
49and sunlight on grass as green as last year.


2] the show: Major League Baseball. Back to Line
8] "Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, / Or what's a heaven for?" (Robert Browning, "Andrea del Sarto," lines 97-98). Back to Line
31] artificial grass (AstroTurf) appeared first at the Astrodome in Houston, Texas, in 1966. Back to Line
RPO poem Editors
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition
Special Copyright

Copyright (c) Bruce Meyer. Printed by permission of the author. Any other use, including reproduction for any purposes, educational or otherwise, will require explicit written permission from the poet.