To An Athlete

 

Let us commemorate

The athlete triumphant

The interplay of health and beauty

Forever dependent

On the interplay of mass and motion

The disciplined effort

To disguise

The ravishment of time

To shadow memories

While speed and strength

Still drive the sanctity of hope

 

Ted Goodell

April 23, 2007

Amentia

 

To form what flames and burns

And embers still,

That still lights,

Lingers with outstretched fingers

The elbow bends and bends

And arms reach yonder,

Around what circle or pit,

For each abyss,

We who convey each step,

Pause and nod

Wordless as we ponder this

Strange presence of what remains child,

Yet vows to unfold what can

Never be child,

Can never beyond what touches

Those nerves

And touches the eyes and the mouth

Into shapes that descend

With the dread years

Of stubbornness,

That laughs at the thick

Fabric blurring the sun.

 

Ted Goodell

1966

 

 

 

The Thumb

(to Lianne)

 

The thumb rules a quartet of fingers

Unique yet different

Present but apart

Smaller than its four companions

But for strength reveals a necessary compensation

Especially when noting how the fingers

While branching from the palm

Can wiggle and expand

And often they are musically inclined

And delicate when tapping out a tune

At once the stalwart thumb

Resists such anatomical temptations

Trusting to its job of isolating power

When shoveling trenches

In the earth

Or hoisting rocks

Or raising flags

For then the thumb prevails in fame

And lends the hand

A second brain

 

Ted Goodell

July 27, 2014

Exercise

 

Is exercise a fiction

Fraught with fear

The open grave

Of yesteryear

That never knew

Of grace or health

But gave us

Secret bones

And grinning jowls

The scowling grunts

Of ape-like men

Pushed to oblivion

Their muscles

Strained in mud and stone

No thought of Life

No joy to shelter

All their strength

From pain

 

Ted Goodell

July 14, 2006

Christ’s Buckle

 

Christ wore his buckle

On the other side

It was the center

Of his strength

He gripped its full

Metal girth

Between both thumbs

Like an American cowboy

He made the

Prairie Palestine

His home

And all his prayers

Brought butterflies

To his fragile flame

 

Ted Goodell

1975