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sport rugby – poem

February 8, 2014

The rugby ball came out of the pile,
a beautiful spiral from scrum-half to fly-half
and like ripples from a stone cast into a pond
the defenders came quickly following
each with the proper angle seeking to seize
the white treasure away – by brute force
before we dashed forward with it.

With an effortless flick of the wrists,
the fly-half passed the ball my way
as the first wave of defenders
sent him tumbling down
The ball hung motionless before me,
shining in the sun, the dew glistening along the laces.
I charged forward, took the ball in stride
and cut to my right back
toward the pursuing pack and goal,
determined to measure their will against mine.

They met me like a tidal wave, lifting me
smashing me back into the ground
a resounding whoosh as the air left me
and the ball tumbled merrily away.
Scrambling to my feet as defender now,
I wiped something from my cheek, then laughed
as I ran back into the fray –
they had knocked the snot out of me.


From → poetry

  1. Well written and a firm reminder of why I’ve never had any desire to play Rugby. 😉

    • I used to wake up Sundays and discover gigantic bruises and wonder “Why do I do this ? ” 🙂

  2. I don’t really know much about rugby, but it sounds like a crazy rough sport. I can’t really imagine enjoying getting the snot knocked out of me…to each his own.

    • There’s a joy in those collisions – I was lucky enough to do my share of knocking. Once I was watching my sister’s large Rhodesian Ridgebacks play, smashing into one another and wrestling and running about and I realized – this is how young men play.

  3. Glenn Buttkus permalink

    Rugby is the real football, for sure. Wonder why it does not get more TV coverage? More interesting to watch than soccer. Actor Richard Harris was excellent rugby player; loved his movie THIS SPORTING LIFE (1963).

    • I had great fun playing…. RIchard Burton was a rugger until as a young man he was in a match against a team from Whales and heard the other side saying, which one’s the bloody actor, let’s break his nose!

      I’ll check out the movie.

  4. Ha. I guess games are intended to teach us much about life and we know in life there are so many things that can knock the snot out of us. Enjoyed this. Good write.

  5. Nice poem, Bill! I much prefer the spirit of rugby than that of soccer. Thank you for visiting my blog and commenting.

    • my pleasure ( reading your poems ) – sport reaches to the core of our tribalism, sometimes for better, sometimes for worse

  6. Only attended one rugby game and they carried two men off to the hospital. Enjoyed the speed of play and the esprit de corps of the teams, but I’m afraid I’d have been one of those toted off the field after the first play. Well-written account, Bill–I can really feel the action–and your good sportsmanship, love of the game and camaraderie with the other players. Obviously good years for you.

    • Thanks VB – the reckless things of our youth seem to leave the sweetest taste don’t you think ?

  7. I love this . . . so very visual, I felt every moment of it. Had to laugh at the snot at the end. :0)

    • thanks – I grew up with a rugby tream as my “tribe”. I have some other rugby stories under under YARS “Yet Another Rugby Rugby Story”

  8. Wow, I love rugby and you poem is so, so vivid. I could watch you playing in your words.
    I especially like the image of the ball hung motionless before me,
    shining in the sun, the dew glistening along the laces.

    Very well written, brave defender!
    Have you heard that “Football is a sport for gentlemen played by ruffians and rugby is a sport for ruffians played by gentlemen”? I do agree! 😀

  9. Haha! Awesome. Great sketch to put us there. And that ending, perfect.

  10. Oh, this is marvelous!

  11. Ouch…rugby is not for me… very vividly caught…

  12. ha…. you put my right there…watched rugby a few times on tv and i always bend and cringe at the tough scenes… def. a rough sport… and a very cool capture

    • Thanks, there’s beauty to violence on a field of honor – I suppose it’s how boys play

  13. Action tells a quick sketch..that’s for sure…rough sport!

  14. ha. literally. rugby is a rough sport man. played a bit in college and knew those who played it competitively…yikes…like the touch of humor in that last bit…

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