The Crease and The Learner

The Crease

A young boy steps up to the crease,
the unforgiving sun reflected
off brand new

Confidence upstaged by
nerves, so says
his awkward

Brows knitted
in fierce concentration
beneath a jagged, home-cut

A quick glance across the pitch searching
for gaps

The bowler’s face studied
for intention

A few elbow swings
to stay loose

The bat tapped
to confirm readiness

The mantra is now instinctive


He swings

A complex coordination
of mind and matter;
eyes, hands and feet fused as

Then the unmistakable CRACK!

As willow meets leather,
launching the ball and
his dreams beyond

It is precisely this moment,
one splendid day sixty years ago,
that he summons for his

A young boy with a jagged fringe
and an awkward smile
who steps up to
the crease

The Learner

I wanted to know everything
so I could build a ledge
with all I learned,
something sturdy with good support
to keep me from falling.

I read and watched and did everything
so I could grasp more than everyone else
because that way they couldn’t hurt me.
I’d be untouchable, high on my ledge
where I knew better than to fall.

When the first crack appeared I ignored it
so I wouldn’t have to worry about maintenance.
Who has time for that anyway
when there’s so much to comprehend
to keep you from falling?

I learned how to build walls
so I could block the view when it lost appeal,
but I didn’t realise that cement, although durable,
wasn’t shock resistant and hairline cracks
could become chasms overnight.

I thought the foundation was strong, stable,
so I couldn’t expect to know that the wall,
built lovingly by a master craftsman,
would implode from the weight of consciousness
revealing a chasm below.

There are gaps in what I know
so I must climb out of the void to live in open spaces,
the cities of shapeshifters hemmed in by borders
that form when truth emerges without warning
from the shadows.