Ladies and Gentlemen... it's time. In years past we've had Shakespeare, Haiku, Sonnets. This year we've a theme... the audacity of hope (with apologies to Rev. Jeremiah Wright )
Here's my entry to start it off. If a cynical and defeated old man like me can dare to hope... then perhaps you too may rise to the occasion.
A revision (with apologies to the descendents of Mrs. Dorothea Hemans - authoress) of
[i] [b][u]CASABIANCA[/u][/b] better known as [b]'The Boy Stood on the Burning Deck'[/b][/i]
[i]The man stood on the empty field
Whence all but he had fled;
The silence had a deadly feel
He stood amidst the dead.
Once beautiful and bright he stood,
As born to rule the storm;
A creature of heroic blood,
A proud, athletic form.
The game was o’er–he would not go
Without dread Obie’s word;
That GM faint in death below,
His voice no longer heard.
He called aloud–'say, Obie, say
If yet the season’s done?'
He knew not that the GM lay
Unconscious of anyone.
'Speak, Bob, then- this he boldly cried,
Sweet Mitchell, let me go!'
But the Tiger –Vision board was dark
He felt no more a pro.
He looked up on the wall of fame
Saw Zuger, then saw Henley
And knew HE played on team of shame-
wept in despair, and then he…
Felt their breath, their call, their pride
And in his wav’ring heart
He could not stem the welling tide
Despair, defeat, depart.
And shouted but once more aloud,
'My fans! Now must I stay?'
While o'er him fast, the ghosts they sang,
That he would find his way.
They wrapt the field in splendour wild,
They caught the flags on high,
They could not let him be defiled
Then hark- a tiger’s cry..
From bowels of rooms beneath the stands
Crept seeming dying men
The lonely player raised his hands
And lightning struck there, then
New life, it seemed, filled up their hearts
Resolve to do their best
To each his role, to each their parts
The watching ghosts could rest.
That lonely player looked up and smiled
Despair had been his sin
Once lost, he now knew he was wild
A tiger’s heart within.[/i]