The Battle


A ray of sunshine catches a glint of recognition
as the watchful crowd leans forward eagerly.
The key players stroll on to court,
nervily nonchalant, for the singles final.
Of similar rank on the world stage,
not a grain of difference between them,
each physique honed to utmost fitness
both are panting for success.

After first ritual phase of eye-in practice,
one is poised to send the first bullet,
scratches his nose, tucks hair behind ear
twice for luck, plays a rhythmic ball dance
before pounding out a blinder,
with a scream.

The bouncing opponent second guesses,
returns at twice the speed.
Cross court, down the line,
drives to change pace and angle.
One sets up approach shot
for a ping pong rally at the net –
you kick my dog, I kick your cat –
volley, volley, lob and smash.
Triumphant yell.

Hours of running, hitting
gruelling towelling,
challenges challenged, right or wrong.
Guilt at a lucky net-cord shot
brings a moment of inattention –
fatal to one, a gift to the other –
intensifies squealing sound effects.
Pow! the victor kneels, kisses the turf.
The crowd roars.

Wordle 167     for the Sunday Whirl


All poetry, prose and pictures posted here, except where otherwise stated, is my own, and may only be used elsewhere with my expressed permission. Please don't be inhibited from correcting my bloopers and making suggestions: Most of what I post here is instant, ill-considered and off-the-cuff, in serious need of editing.
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24 Responses to The Battle

  1. Pamela says:

    Well wordled, Viv. I wasn’t sure which sport it was til the end. I have had soccer on my mind.

    Pamela ox


  2. Bastet says:

    Fun … I’ve never read a better chronicle of a game … ping pong or otherwise! Beautifully done!


  3. thehutts says:

    Great poem – shared on facebook. Just about to do a blog post on your blog for Jock! Sally


  4. humbird says:

    I can hear this commenting voice…captured well!


  5. b_young says:

    I’m with jae on the volley, volley line. You’ve really caught the game (“poor pets” notwithstanding)


  6. 1sojournal says:

    Can feel and see the sway of the crowd as it tracks the ball and hear both the screams of delight, and the soft sigh of defeat. Wonderful write Viv,



  7. Great game and poem!


  8. Wonderfully topical! Game set and match.


  9. magicalmysticalteacher says:

    I’m not a fan of any sport, but your vivid description of this game drew me right in and carried me along, right to the roaring crowd. Wow! 😉


  10. annell4 says:

    I’m sorry, I meant ‘event’, not even….my fingers are still sleepy.


  11. annell4 says:

    You captured the even!


  12. this is superb. I could hear the crowds, the whack of the rackets, the posturing of the winner. Fabulous.


  13. Old Egg says:

    Once sporting events, they have now become theatre, the actors no longer anxious to please the audience do so only for themselves. There are exceptions of course but regretfully few. Your poetry however is ace!


  14. cecilia says:

    Love that first line Viv.. great sunday poem


  15. jae rose says:

    I love ‘volley, volley, lob and smash’..could hear the rackets and balls..and sounds similar to other tiffs and battles!


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