A game called prison ball was enjoyed in France
while English boys played rounder in short pants.
Town ball was the game that Americans played
While friends and family watched from the shade.
American baseball became alive
With Cartwright's rules of 1845.
Civil War soldiers played behind the lines
To help pass time and soothe troubled minds.
Professional baseball got its start
When the National League performed its part.
Soon after fans would pay to see the games
As the players traveled by boats and trains.
From April to October, players play.
Half the time at home and half away.
By thirty, it's time for most to retire
Before they're consumed by game time desire.
The stands are full of eager fans
Who say, we're paid too much money!
But if they would put our suits on
They'd find football isn't funny.
Twenty-two men and five referees
Chasing a pigskin, air filled ball.
Mashing and bashing all the way
Till the striped shirts whistle their call.
All the generals on the sideline
Are waging their athletic war.
And the letters in the words they use
Never amount to more than four.
There's no substitute for winning
And no excuse for losing.
Though after games; when we can't sleep
It's because of all the bruising.
My opponent's huge but his brain is small
I'll bust his chin and watch him fall.
He'll greet the mat and moan and groan
As I stand in victory, he'll lie alone.
Boxing is a game of sport
Loved by all both tall and short.
Cheers and shouts shall fill the air
Far more than a circus or fair.
I'll jump the ropes and respond to the bell
Engage in combat and fight like hell.
As the punishment begins, behold the test
Soon the fans will know, Who's Best.
BOXERS, PAST & PRESENT
The Greek and Roman athletes
Wore studs of iron on each hand
Beating and clawing each other
Like two tigers on the sand.
The English called it boxing first
To pound someone with your fist.
Mostly it was done for money
But sometimes by those just pissed.
Matches of the bare-knuckle days
Lasted fifty rounds or more
Till one man's towel would be thrown in
As he lay upon the floor.
Boxers now use soft leather gloves
With their hands wrapped in cotton.
Wearing a mouthpiece for teeth and lips
They fight like those forgotten.
BESIDES LOVE MEN NEED FISHING
Besides love men need fishing
And for both, most are wishing
Catching trophies chosen best
To be envied by the rest.
Fishing is a game of sport
Loved by all, both tall and short.
We must fool the fish's eye
If we plan to stir and fry.
Some use boats while others wade
As they fish the sun or shade.
Ice-cold drinks help pass the day
While life's troubles fade away.
Most men feel they've everything
With their rod, hook, cork and string.
Be it river, pond or lake
We all pray our line won't break.
Many games were played with a stick and ball
As far back as the early days of man
Till the 14th century, golfers teed off
At St. Andrews, Scotland with clubs in hand.
Today men and women both play golf
As a group or just one or two.
Players, rich, poor, pro, or in between
Practice their swing with clubs, old and new.
They don't go thirsty cause they bring their own
Whatever it takes to enjoy the day.
Sometimes they play several games at once
As they win money or give it away.
There's nothing better than a green golf course
With the sweet scent of spring in the air.
To escape the drudgery of the workplace
Where you can laugh, joke, brag, gamble and swear
From dawn to dusk my horse breathes flames
I'm a rodeo rider with no time for games.
I ride and I fly as I hang on to hair
Ramming my spurs in the sides of a mare.
Every bone in my body feels some sort of pain
No wonder the normal call me insane.
I'll drink cold beer and smoke a skinny
And in between paydays, I'll spend every penny.
So give me my horse and get out of the way
As I ride off to glory, till my dieing day.
Waving my Stetson, as the crowd cheers me on
How soon they'll forget after I'm gone.
Except for love, there's nothing beats a good workout
Pumping iron with dumbbells or a bench press bar.
You're muscles grow tight as you begin to swell
And those who like firmness want to know who you are.
From 16 to 60 you can still look good
Though they'll be some who will point, laugh, and make fun.
Pay no attention to whatever they say
For jokes on them, when they're naked in the sun.
History's Sampson, the biblical strong man
Was blessed with the strength of no other.
A modern man who pumps iron and gives it his all
Before he knows it, could pass for his brother.
So put aside the pop, beer, hotdogs and chips
And pump earth's iron for the rest of your life
Soon you'll discover the best of yourself
And always have someone for a girlfriend or wife.
WHEREVER THE BIG FISH BITE
When I was young and before girls
I loved to go fish the river.
Creeks and ponds where alright to
Anywhere that would deliver.
Fingerlings four to five inches long
Are what trophies love to feast on.
Trout line or pole made no difference
Bate up and the fight was on.
Sometimes I would strike a fire
To help keep warm in the night.
Spring, summer, fall, I was eager to go
Wherever the big ones bite.
After school my friend and I would walk through town to the river
Soon to bait our trout lines with cotton cake, crawdads and liver.
Sometimes we used baby bullheads, perch or great big frogs
Tossing out into the current next to a snag of logs.
At times we would disrobe and wade out in the stream
Attaching lines to anything hoping to hook our dream.
One day I made some doe bait and stuffed it in my sock
Attached five hooks, hundred pound line and tied it to a rock.
When I bragged to my classmates they snickered and called me fool
Till the next day they followed me to the river after school.
I made my way to the water my path was a fallen tree
Something big was on my line it was easy for us to see.
I tried to pull it in but the current was too strong
Three boys ran to assist me as we began to sing a song.
Going fishing instead of wishing for the granddaddy of them all
If we land this monster will give the sport shows a call.
It seemed like forever before our beast was ashore
Eighty-five pounds of flathead cat as big as a closet door.
We shared his steaks at a fish fry, food for heart and soul
Took his head and nailed it high for all to see on a pole.
For a time we ceased our casting instead we chased the girls
After marriage with our kids we again fished the swirls.
Too many of my friends have past and the years have raced by
Though here I sit with rod in hand a fisherman till I die.
By Fishing Poet
Most Published Poet
On The Web
Poet and Author of
Love War And More
225 poems published by Publish America;
SHEPHERDS of LIFE e-book 350 poems,
CD "MEMORIES" 28 poems with music
by Bill Crain for sale on the web under
Tom Zart and or Bill Crain.
It's appropriate and symbolic that the romantic poet Tom Zart was born on
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