Soccer Savior

Jesus, for love of the game, come at long last to be the wise & fair soccer ref that is needed! Be the One with the integrity of sight to recognize fouls and off-sides! Be the One with the clarity of voice to make calls swiftly and with impartiality! Be the One whose watch and whose cards cannot be bribed, whose trustworthiness cannot be questioned! There is no one else we can trust: the coaches worship at the altar of the owners, the players have sold their shoes to the highest contract, the referees are corrupt and glad to line their pockets, IMG_20141111_183045 - Version 2the fans bleed fanaticism and blind pride. Help the game, O Christ! Take control of this game that you love even more than we do. Make the pitch once again a green haven where your will is done. Amen.


Do you brush cloud designs across the sky,
sweeping in broad strokes or
finger painting when you’re in the mood,
pretending just as we do that
here is a duck and there is a t-rex?
Does the artistic beauty distract you
from our ugly violence?

How do you manage it —

Does the joy of loving us
outweigh the pain?

Do you watch soccer for a distraction?
I would think it’s your kind of
sporting event because it’s
so global — a team effort
across languages
for ninety minutes.

Does eternal holiness get lonely?


Ode to Soccer


How to say thank you for this moment:
my girl, studiously rapt and proud to see
women contending on World Cup turf. And
never mind scandals — she is dreaming.

My girl: studiously rapt and proud to see
this image of unapologetic female strength
(never mind scandals). She is dreaming,
an adolescent trying on aspirations in cleats.

This image of unapologetic female strength:
women contending on World Cup turf and
an adolescent trying on aspirations in cleats.
How to say thank you for this moment?

a poor pantoum, with enthusiasm for soccer not limited by poetic form; posted with my daughter’s consent and an old picture