Do you remember the playground, that place
of inherited rules, rough and tumbled
into kingdoms with short reign: King, Ace;
no certainty of claim – empires crumbled?
Humbled victors became losers. The once
proud owner of a patch relegated;
made to start again. A bottom-up dunce
stripped of position, mocked and berated;
slated; given no slack; given what comes;
given the licence to begin again;
to re-climb; to reclaim status. That’s bedlam’s
gift, that’s the playground I remember then…
. No need to keep the playground free of dust.
. The prissy playground is a breach of trust.
© Tim Grace, 18 August 2012
To the reader: The school yard is a swirling patchwork of colours and shapes. The blacktop accommodates the hoops and high bouncing balls; white slashes of squared concrete cater to the criss-cross of tennis balls; and the green-grassed fields squarely frame the arc of foot propelled projectiles. All of this in the context of highly competitive play; skin in the game delivers respect and reputation. In my memory, it was sometimes fun, sometimes fair… very rarely perfect.
To the poet: A jumble of words. A connected tangle of playful poetics. This sonnet works in three fields that overplay the shape of simple four-line stanzas. Each stanza ends with a rhyme that begins the next; text creating an extra ripple of repetition. Then there’s the enjambement that carelessly bounces over boundaries; a breach of rules; edgy, annoying but fair play.