Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Tennis at Twilight

Tennis at Twilight
A Poem

At 8:15, it still feels like daytime
The ball is where it is, fluorescent green,
though my arm's sore from typing all day
and I think about dinner.
I have dreams of winning, swiftly and publicly.

At 8:30, I swallow a mosquito,
wasting the fading daylight with coughing
and little flailing comments, about tennis in a swamp.
My wrist is unsure, and the sound of children on swings
distracts -- the ball drops again and again into the net.

At 8:45, the light begins to bend
The ball is at times in two places
It is too small, a shadow, it disappears over the fence.
Even as we play with full focus, the expression is imprecise:
As the light goes, it takes away our realism.

At 9:00, it is nighttime, and we are playing alone.
There is a big moon, almost full, behind your head
It gives enough light for poetry, but not for tennis.
We still play -- hard, by instinct, but chasing no ball.
We cannot see ourselves at work in the darkness, glistening.

* * * * * *
Suggestions? Feedback? Likes, dislikes?
Please be a bit gentle. This is the first time I'm putting up a poem...


Sunil Laxman said...

Go right ahead and put up some more.......

not too bad at all

9:01 PM  
paul said...

This is great, thanks for posting it. I hope you'll post more.

1:49 AM  
Amardeep said...

Thanks, Paul and Sunil. Maybe I will...

A day later, I'm liking the second half of the poem more than the first half.

8:48 AM  
paul said...

I agree, but the second half only works after the careful setup of the trope(s) in the first half, and I definitely ended up looking back to the first couple stanzas once I had a good sense of how things were working toward the end.

8:57 AM  
Mendi O. said...

What a poet you are! The last line is lovely, but this is my favorite one: "As the light goes, it takes away our realism". I also love the way you subtly parse out information about the relationship of the speaker to the addressee, which seems to be most suggestive in the part about the moon behind the head. Send more. M

8:02 PM  
Amardeep said...

Thank you Mendi.

1:03 PM  
Richard said...

This is intelligent and skillful. I went to a poetry reading yesterday and nothing was this good. You should post more.

4:11 PM  

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