NaPoWriMo 11-April - Chapels of the Church of Baseball

Chapels of the Church of Baseball

The Sacred Space of the
Church of Baseball
Comes in several sizes, with
The small chapels being
Some of the most holy.

The diamonds at the playground,
The softball complex in the public park
The small ballparks
Where high schools play,
Are a far cry from
The cathedrals where thousands worship,
But they are no less sacred.

From "little church",
Where parents erect
T-ball stands so the
Littles can learn the swing
To the diamond close to
The power outlet on the edge
Of the playground,
So they can plug in the
Pitchng machine.

Many playgrounds have
A "full-size" field that is
Maintained as meticulously
As any cathedral of The Show.
The teens play there, as the dads
Mentor, and
That this will be the start
Of something that leads to
Wearing Purple and Gold
At the Box.

Most parents, however,
Attend chapel to give their kids
A taste of the sport,
So they don't look silly
At the family reunion, or later at
The company picnic

The moms put out the folding chairs,
Watching as the kids follow the ball
Putting the bat on it,
Getting it in their gloves
Running until they're wiped out.

The moms pay attention,
For the most part,
Occasionally distracted by
Adult conversation, and to check on
The apostate mom,
Nose buried in a book.

©2015 Edward J. Branley

NaPoWriMo 10-April Festivals


Big festivals present
Serious challenges
To the introvert.

While we love
The colors,
The sounds,
The smells,
The tastes,
Nothing can balance the
Desire to run away
That comes hand-in-hand
With being in close proximity
To so many people.

Still, we go,
To hear the music,
To eat the food,
To rock the energy
To see the short skirts,

Right up until that moment
When we encounter that
Single individual
Who, even from a distance
Can rip our hearts out.

©2015 Edward J. Branley

NaPoWriMo 8-April Hump Day

Hump Day

Three rough days at work are
More than enough justification for
The two French 75s
As well as half of the bottle of #bubbles
You had at dinner.

The plastic card taps on the door handle,
And they enter the room.
The shoes come off immediately as
You flop on the bed.

I see where this is going already.

Foot massage leads to trying to get the
Tension out of your calves.

You see where this is going.

Off comes the skirt, blouse, and underwear,
As you flop back on the bed, face down.
The backrub starts up around your neck,
Loosening the knots,
In your neck,
In your shoulders,
Down your spine,
All the way,
Back to the foot rub.

You still haven't looked up,
And it's not likely you can.
But your legs part
Just enough to communicate the need.

Definitely didn't see that coming,
I thought, later,
As I slid my loafers back on,
And let you sleep,
Until noon the next day.

©2015 Edward J. Branley

NaPoWriMo 7-April Unseen Students

Unseen Students

While we still gather
In classrooms across the country
To deliver and receive technical
Training, the trend of late is to
Go to "virtual class".

Management finds it inexpensive.
Students aren't inconvenienced by
Having to pack up for a week,
To travel to a training center.

It all makes sense, until
We turn on the computers and stare
At slides on the screen.
No faces,
No smiles,
No hungover looks from
Last night.

Do the questions get asked?
Are you recording this?
Sorry, I had the volume down,
Can you repeat what you just said?

We patiently work with each other
And the technology, to
Make the knowledge transfer worked
Without that immediate assessment
Of looking someone in the eye.
Sorry, I had the volume down,
Can you repeat what you just said?

©2015 Edward J. Branley

NaPoWriMo 6-April Chapels...Churches...Cathedrals


The Cathedrals of Baseball are open
For business across the nation.
The lesser houses of worship
Have been open for some time now.

The high school chapels,
Farley Field,
To name two in New Orleans.
Are active and filled with congregants.

Some of the churches are open,
Built for the college crowds
Holding nine-inning revivals,
Giving the lesser seminarians
A chance to discern
Their vocations.

But today, the Cathedrals
Opened their gates,
As the faithful filed into the
Pews, breaking bread,
And the occasional donut-hamburger.

The Boys of Summer are back.

©2015 Edward J. Branley

NaPoWriMo 5-April Retaliation


In sports,
The retaliation is always
Penalized more harshly
Than the original infraction.

It works this way in relationships as well
Retaliation is costly,
Giving the original offender
The excuse to say,
"This shows you never cared anyway."

Forget heat of the moment,
Forget the hurt of the original action,
Forget the regret
The retaliation creates.

It's not just over,
It never was.

©2015 Edward J. Branley

NaPoWriMo 4-April Elemental Air

Elemental Air

Of the Four Elementals,
Air is the most elusive.
It's easy to visualize
The other three
In their benign and positive
Forms, but Air
Is always fleeting and fast.

Air's biggest influence
On our lives
Is usually dark and negative.
The wind that blows
The brush fire into homes.
The gale pushes water
Over the levee.
The tornado that picks up
Earth, dropping it in places
Where it does extensive damage.

When benign, Air is
Out of sight, out of mind.
But when Air is positive,
It may not rival its destructive
Forms, but it makes us remember
Why life is worth living.

The blustery day,
Where Air touches your cheek,
Making sure you stop
And watch the flowers bloom.

The whiff of a breeze
On a summer's afternoon,
When you think you're
Going to sweat through your clothes
Going to wish the a/c would kick in faster
Going to think summer will never end

And here comes Air
That slight reminder of the
Person who kisses your cheek
Making you smile,
Forgetting the heat
Long enough to wish
Summer would never end.


©2015 Edward J. Branley

NaPoWriMo 3-April The Online Family

The Online Family

When we spend time on Social Media,
We form an Online Family
That can often become a rival
To our real family for
Our attenion,
Our emotions, and even,
Our love.

When nurtured correctly, however,
The Online Family
Can be like the cousins we see
Infrequently, but still
Pick up with as if
We just saw them last week.

Because "real" holidays
Belong to our real family,
We create new holidays
And occasions so we can gather
The Online Family, and
Renew the friendships in person.

Off we go to Mom's house.
Which sister is having Christmas this year?
We did Thanksgiving last year, dammit!

A Thanksgiving potluck
The week before the holiday.
Gathering for small plates,
Or cocktails at a nice restaurant
With the Facebook family,
Is much less dramatic to plan.
Come if you can,
Tweet everyone if you can't,
No hard feelings.

And when we all come together,
For drinks,
For Game Night,
For Gumbo z'Herbes
It's a magical experience.

©2015 Edward J. Branley

NaPoWriMo 2-April The Alter Ego

The Alter Ego

There are things we dare not
Do or say,
Lest we create disharmony
In the family,
Or, worse still,
In someone else's household.

The writer is often fortunate
In that he can create
An Alter Ego,
A character who,
Can do the things
We wish happened, but
Were cut short,
Have to be denied,
Must never be discussed.

The Alter Ego
Also has the ability
To reach out
And do the things
We wish happened, but
Would wind up in divorce,
Would put us in prison,
Must never, ever happen.

The Alter Ego
Is the perfect place
To offer the world
The Little Black Dress,
The Flowery Sundress,
And other articles of clothing
We wish would be worn
That should be admired, and
Must always end up on the floor.

©2015 Edward J. Branley

NaPoWriMo - 1-April - Self-Healing


She stands in the center
Of the circle she cast,
Tying together the four candles
Marking the Cardinal Points
Of the compass.
Air in the East,
Fire in the South,
Water in the West,
Earth in the North.

The Four join together
And she embraces the Spirit.
Some rituals involve the
Assistance of others, but
Tonight, she calls her
Goddess and God On her own, 
Alone in the circle, 
Outside Earth, 
Outside Space, 
Outside Time. 

Those of us who trust her
Trust that the Power raised,
Will be channeled to Positive uses.
Is she there for Enlightenment?
Assisting others?
Teaching the apprentices?
Whatever it is,
She has our trust, F
reely given,
Rarely doubted.

Which is good, so that tonight,
She does not need to explain
That the power she raises Is for Healing. 

The Priestess projects
A public face
To the world.
That face masks
The reality of being her.
She can't have doubts,
Or misgivings of any kind,
Lest petty drama
Distract the Work of the coven.

So we occasionally turn away,
As she leaves us briefly
Pulling together the energy
So she can kiss us goodnight,
And do it all over again tomorrow.

©2015 Edward J. Branley