by Thomas Keenan
A week ago, I wanted to take on a new challenge in writing…to try to do something more sophisticated than a limerick (no offense to the limerick…I am a big fan). At the time, the Mets had just dropped yet another game they should have won and I was a bit down. So, I did some research and was reminded of an ode and thought “An Ode to the Mets Fan” would be appropriate and I set to work.
The result is something pretty dark, deep, full of sybolism and imagery. Somehow I even managed to work in Cerberus, Hades, demons and incubus(the nightmare definition, not the demon). The last several years (I argue, the last 20 years) have had some brutal times for Mets fans, but I’m not sure they were as dark as I have imagined here. Never the less, I am very much amused with the result.
It’s not a true ode in the classical greek sense, but I did model the structure (aba bcb cdc ded ee with 10 syllables per line and five stanzas) after other odes I found online.
If anyone would like me to decipher it for you, let me know.
Oh cursed be my orange and blue heart,
For which is thus crushed in late summers day.
This, my rhythmic pump in pieces apart.
My mind’s fire burns as awake I still lay.
“What may have” eats the inner child’s hope.
Bitter visions of “what if” loop in play.
My soul crumbles into the downward slope,
And this, the faithful knows no remedy,
For which the ethereal pain can cope.
My lost spirit in mine eyes you can see,
Looking for life beyond my legend’s fall,
And drowning in a rival’s purple sea.
My faith, my hope, my love; my team, my pall.
Left to winters rot by gods of baseball.
The Millennium brought forth a cruel fate,
Pinstriped menaces; A familiar foe.
The enemy rises within our gate.
Our men seemed the team with destiny’s glow,
Giants and Red Birds thus fell at our feet.
They stood waiting on glory to bestow.
Low behold the reaper and we the wheat.
A shattered bat, a coward in a rage,
A ball at home the rookie could not beat.
Nothing changed when in our home we engage.
A single win only proved to serve stall,
The evil ones won out there on our stage.
T’was our last great hope who lowered the pall;
Left to winters cold, lamenting baseball.
Six years pass, 12 years broken, new champs born.
A league crushed by our superior play.
This surely a season not left to mourn.
Woe is that long ago October day,
When victories quest was thus left on base.
A bat left idol and no ball in play.
A ball snagged – this being destinies case?
Alas, no – we were a vengeful fates fool,
Given another teams glory to taste.
Pain fills the soul like a mountain spring’s pool.
Broken at the knees, I am left to fall.
No place for a mind on fire to cool.
The Irish pariah brings on the pall,
Winter comes early in my game of baseball.
Next year a low to rival ’62.
In Flushing, midnight darkness filled the sky.
Even the faithful struggled to be true.
Baseball gods turned their backs and hid their eye,
And baseball’s demons were sent out to play.
Even the strongest men began to cry.
River Styx waters flooded into Shea.
The faithfuls hearts were left to Cerberus.
Hades himself had grandstand seats that day.
In absolute horror it ended, thus.
Collapse so complete the wind taken from all.
Beyond season’s end lived the incubus.
Dramatically fallen, the pitch black pall.
A sad winter rot would engulf the fall.
There once was beneath our feet the crushing,
This was where you would find the grass of green.
Champagne once flowed in the town of Flushing.
In the year footprints on the moon were seen,
Much bigger marvels were performed at Shea.
And we reveled in a champions sheen.
In ’86 there was much more to say.
Baseball gods brought another dream to life.
A trickling ground ball would save the day.
The once and future miracles midwife,
A mighty white knight that will conquer all,
I believe they will emerge from this strife.
Hope, thus, tomorrow are history’s pall.
Spring slays Winter and renews Mets baseball.