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f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

April 8, 2008

our forever pastime

Filed under: Haiku or Senryu,q.s. quickies — David Giacalone @ 11:38 am

Michael Langenstein, Play Ball, 1982 (postcard collage), reproduced in ”Diamonds Are Forever: Artists and Writers on Baseball’‘ (Smithsonian Institution, 1987, at 33); and see vice-versa (Vol. 1, no. 3, Spring 2006), where it is accompanied by Joseph Stanton’s poem Play Ball, which begins:

And God handed Adam
a sphere 2.9″ in diameter,

Last Friday’s Writer’s Almanac, with Garrison Keillor (scroll to April 4, 2008; Listen [RealAudio]), reminded me that I’ve been wanting to spotlight a big, beautiful baseball book, which I discovered used at our Whitney Book Corner back in February — ”Diamonds Are Forever: Artists and Writers on Baseball‘ (Peter H. Gordon, Editor, Smithsonian Institution, 1987). Keillor read the poem: “Assignment #1: Write a poem about Baseball and God” by Philip E. Burnham, Jr. from Housekeeping: Poems Out of the Ordinary, Ibbetson Street Press (2005), which opens:

And on the ninth day, God
In His infinite playfulness
Grass green grass, sky blue sky, . . .

Burnham’s poem quite naturally recalled to my foggy mind the Michael Langenstein image that I’ve placed at the top of this posting, which is included in Diamonds are Forever. Unfortunately, my Forever Flu has kept me from stringing together sentences here at f/k/a for an entire week now, and continues to make it rather difficult to bring my thoughts together in a coherent whole. Those hands by Michelangelo have me concerned more about spreading germs than passing on traditions, while my hacking cough has me thinking of mortality, eternity and limbic limbo, rather than normal promises of spring.

So, I’m gonna tell you a little bit more at the book, show a couple additional images linking religion and baseball, and share some spirited baseball haiku (for more check our links here, and our baseball haiku page). Then, it will be time for me (who has yet to watch his first at bat this year) to get horizontal and maybe pray this coughing stops before the All-Star Game.

tied in the ninth
pitcher and batter
cross themselves

8th birthday –
she wants a diamond
and new cleats

……… by dagosan

If you missed this baseball and art lover’s treasure when it was first published in 1987, or reprinted in 2003, you can still find it at the Marketplace for under $4 new and under a buck used, and Search Inside, too. It’s coffee-table sized (12 inches by 9, 168 pages). As the publisher has stated,

“[It] collects the work of America’s finest writers and artists as they celebrate the passion and excitement of our national pastime. Published in cooperation with the Smithsonian Institution, Diamonds Are Forever collects paintings, drawings, photographs, and literary excerpts, illuminating every aspect of the game-the plays, the parks, the players, the fans. Work from John Updike, Andy Warhol, Stephen King, Edna Ferber, Neil Simon, Jacob Lawrence, Roger Angell, and dozens more make this volume an artistic tribute to the quintessentially American game.”

The book was put together along with a major traveling museum exhibition, in a display The display that included “116 works of art – paintings, sculptures, photographs and lithographs – as well as quotations from 55 writers.” The New York Times covered its appearance at the New York State Museum in Albany (September 1987), and at New York Public Library (Feb. 1990).

after confession baseball
father shows us
how to throw a spitter

…………………… by Ed MarkowskiSimply Haiku (Sports senryu, Vol. 6 no. 1, Spring 2008)

If prayers work better than dollars, maybe this guy — an untitled acrylic by Steve Gianakos, reproduced in ‘Diamonds Are Forever, at 150 — could help the big-spending, winless Detroit Tigers. Lucky for us, lifelong Tiger fan Ed Markowski keeps producing winners even when the Tigers are in a slump.

“red hots!”
for an instant i’m ten
father’s still alive

rising into thunderclouds umpireS
the umpire’s
right arm

night game in durango
all the stars
above the diamond

…….. by ed markowski – “rising” & “night game” – Baseball Haiku (2007)

Janet Braun-Reinitz (co-author of “The Mural Book“), “Report from the Fire Zone, Scroll XV,” 1986 Acrylic on Paper, reproduced in ”Diamonds Are Forever: Artists and Writers on Baseball’‘ (Smithsonian Institution, 1987, at 152)

October revival
all hands lift
to the foul ball

…………………. by jim kacianPiedmont Literary Review (Circa 1992) & Baseball Haiku (2007)

the pitching coach
strides slowly to the mound –
dust devils

Louisville Slugger
the boy’s fingertips caress
the trademark

………….. by lee gurgaBaseball Haiku (2007)

thunder . . .
little leaguers chatter

………………by randy brooksBaseball Haiku (2007)

p.s. Speaking of sports immortality, congratulations to Schenectady native, Pat Riley, who was voted into the National Basketball Association Hall of Fame yesterday.. (see Schenectady Daily Gazette, April 8, 2008; also, editorial) Of course, the way things work around here, Riley would have retired by now as a county judge or been ensconced as mayor in City Hall, had he decided to move back to his hometown when his basketball playing days were done. He clearly chose the better path.

ground rule double
a graveside angel
makes the stop

………… by dagosan baseballdiamond

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