Saturday, May 5, 2012

Football and Nature Combined - Inspiration!

I was sitting in the car yesterday afternoon, watching the fast and furious action on the field. Mallala Magpies A Grade were playing Hamley Bridge. I follow the Mallala Magpies, and I was totally into the game. At least I thought I was totally into it ...

But something caught my eye - it was somewhat in front of me, up and off to the right. I dragged my attention away from the oval and looked to the thing up above the pine trees there. The thing was a bird, one of the birds of prey, possibly a fork tail kite, possibly something else. The bird was too far away for me to be certain of what it was.

It was moving slowly, wings outstretched but not flapping at all. The bird was floating above the road next to the footy oval, or perhaps over the paddock there. I was struck by the slow and leisurely way the bird moved, gliding elegantly with wing tips outstretched like fingers. It seemed to be completely at one with itself, doing the one thing it was always meant to do, flying with the thermals, the breeze, being at one with flight.

On the oval was a story that prompted me to try to capture the whole thing - the men on the oval were also doing the thing they were meant to do. They were at one with the pace, the strength, the beauty of their game. They were beautiful to see, leaping, kicking, tackling. They were poetry in a totally different kind of motion.

They were different, but they were the same. Both things, above me in the sky and in front of me on the oval, they were showing the beauty of Nature, when muscles and practice and talents combine to create something special.

I wanted to write a poem about what I could see, to capture the two things, that were so completely different in some ways but so alike in others. The action in the sky was slow and gentle to the eye, the action on the oval was fast and furious, almost brutal. But both were beautiful.

This is as close as I could get in poetry, I was aiming for a haiku poem that could highlight the juxtapositioned images, eagle and footballers. I couldn't really capture it though, and I knew I'd have to resort to prose to put it all down, which is what this post is all about.

I wanted to have a poem that showed it all, but this is the best I could do :

eagle's slow circles -
footballers frantically
chase the ball

Another thought I wrote down at the time is this one:

During the Mallala A Grade game - a bird of prey circles off to the south east side. The game goes on regardless.

So there you have it, some of my thoughts from yesterday's action, a bird and a game, a fun and exciting day.


john malone said...

for me the haiku isn't quite there but I love the poetry of your prose analysis: it is absolutely beautful, effortless and graceful as that eagle's flight

Carolyn Cordon said...

Well, thank you for that John. The haiku attempt doesn't get anywhere near how it was, the haiku is clunky, the things it's supposed to show were anything but clunky.

When I re-read what I'd written, I must say I was impressed by the writing - it's almost as though someone else wrote it, but they didn't, it was my writing, they were my words. I'm obviously cleverer that I think!

Anonymous said...

Agree with JM, Carolyn, lovely prose. You could turn it into a prose poem.

Here's my effort at a haiku based on your prose:

Mallala Magpies
Swoop, turn, kick the ball skyward
Eagle stares from high

Carolyn Cordon said...

Thank you Mike, that's what it's like when the Magpies take to the field! Well, that's how it was yesterday at least. They're having a good year so far, only one loss...
Fingers crossed the good fortune continues!
They're a good club, doing well from Junior Colts up to A Grade, I'm proud of them!

Carolyn Cordon said...

Mike, I'm curious about the term 'prose poem'. I'll look further into the form.

Anonymous said...


I was turned onto prose poems by Alex Skovron, who I heard read in Goolwa 2 years ago. I've written several myself. Alex's basically look like just a block of text. No line breaks. Looks like prose. But lots of poetic language, metaphor, some subtle rhymes, beautiful use of language. He writes 'normal' poetry as well. Here's an example of one of his prose poems:

john malone said...

what I liked about the prose was it was effortless: it felt sincere, genuine, inspired whereas the poem was striving for effect: you could see the effort but the result was not the graceful thing you strove for, whereas the prose was --- it's like the taxidermist says :)

Carolyn Cordon said...

Wow, thanks for that link Mike, that's a strong poem for sure! Makes you look more carefully at your bookshelves, doesn't it?

Carolyn Cordon said...

Did you take a look at Mike's link John? Citadel, a fine prose poem. I think you'd love it.

And John, I wish I could fake that genuine inspired sincerity every time, but no...