Going Down Swinging

Falling faster than a knuckle ball

my world has stopped spinning

floating on the breeze

daring somebody to hit it

or at least take a swing at it

knock me out of the park

I have no connection to the pitcher once I’m out of his hands

sure, he gripped me and tossed me out into the world as a knuckle ball

but that doesn’t mean I have to like it

I always wanted to be a fastball

to feel the exhilaration of speed

whipping past the flailing bat

for strike three

but if you hit me, fine

I like traveling

send me to left field

hit me into the bleachers

so I can make some kid’s day

assuming he catches me

and doesn’t get caught in the eye by the home run

if he does, I’ll blame you, the batter

not me, the pitch

cause I didn’t choose to get hit

I’m just following

where the swing takes me

so if you crush me

I’ll go anywhere you want to go.


12 thoughts on “Going Down Swinging

  1. Steven Myers

    at the risk of being overstatistical..the first 13 lines-the flight of a pitch with your desires maybe guiding the ball to the plate and the last 14 lines-the flight of a batted ball and your surrender to wherever it will go
    and along the way there’s this pull and tug of who to blame and who is responsible..chance and/or destiny…many layers…
    awesome poem!! and one to include in all baseball poetry mixes.

    1. cottonbombs Post author

      Thank you very much! I’ve been playing more baseball this year than I have since I was a kid. It’s taking over my life including my writing. Thank you for playing along!

      1. cottonbombs Post author

        Pitching for me is the best part of baseball. I like watching it, and I especially love doing it. I can’t throw a knuckleball, cause I was told I had to make a choice between fastball and knuckler. I went with speed. Now I see R.A. Dickey throwing a knuckleball faster than my fastest fastball and I don’t know what to believe.

    1. cottonbombs Post author

      Rose! My Dad used to clap when I played, even when I struck out. His philosphy: I’m just happy you’re playing! It was a little annoying as a kid, having my Dad applaud my strike outs, but, now I see the glory in it. Thanks for swinging by!

  2. Betty Hayes Albright

    Great baseball metaphor, Peter. (I’m waaaay behind reading poetry blogs again – have missed yours but will try to catch up a little.)
    And speaking of baseball – wasn’t it you who once wrote about Ichiro Suzuki? Alas, yesterday he was traded from our Seattle Mariner’s team to the Yankees! He was probably tired of being on a losing team, lol! But Seattle will miss him – he was a beloved icon after almost 12 years here.
    So, how are you these days?????

    1. cottonbombs Post author

      Betty! Yes, I am a big Ichiro Suzuki fan, so it was bittersweet seeing him in his new Yankee uniform. Bitter because cheering for the Yankees is like cheering for Walmart and sweet because, maybe, finally, Ichiro will get a chance to play for a World Series ring like he deserves.

  3. Steven Myers

    we could probably throw darrin oliver in the mix. how old is he?
    throwing 87 mph and still making batters look like fools.
    nice to see the jays bounce back with 2 in a row after the pummeling by the a’s.

    1. cottonbombs Post author

      Darrin Oliver has been the cornerstone of the bullpen. You can`t teach an old dog new tricks doesn`t necessarily play in baseball. What you can`t do is teach an old dog how to throw faster. The difference between the art of pitching and the act of throwing.

      1. Steven Myers

        knuckle ball exception or any flame thrower who learns how to play junk ball psychic chess later in their career and there are many examples of that and even a fastballer that loses 10 mph through the years can learn how to throw 7 different fastballs ranging between 84-89 mph which is sometimes more effective than a monolithic assault of 94 mph fastballs.

      2. cottonbombs Post author

        Hey, Jamie Moyer got a major league win this year throwing his age in the low 80s. There`s hope for all us old dogs to relearn new tricks.

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