En México, La Conquista Sigue

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Conquista1

por Bill Watkins, Visitante, 20/6/2020

***

Basura es de España.

Enfermedades, incluyendo armas y bebidas alcohólicas, son de España… El idioma de México, el que trato de usar para bien ahora es de… España.  Entonces, ¿Dónde esta México? ¿Qué es y dónde está su alma?

Yo soy un descendente de ladrones de tierra, personas Europeos de Escandinavia, Inglaterra y Italia que como los Españoles trajeron sus enfermedades aquí hasta “América…” América es otra palabra Europea, para una tierra no Europea, una tierra con nombres indígenas a tiempo olvidados: ¿Aztlán? En el Norte, donde mis antepasados robaron tierra de Indios (otra nombre Europeo, de Cristóbal Colon), se llamaba cosas como “Isla de Tortuga” en sus idiomas allá.

A los conquistadores con sus biblias y armas no importaron mucho los idiomas nativas… Conquistar es un acto obviamente egoísta.  ¿Pero justificado por la Iglesia Católica y sus papas, entonces con la voluntad de Dios, si?  Jeje.  Puedes reírse a eso, querido lector, sabiendo ahora si no sabías antes: Esta porción de tierra referido como “América” por Europeos, marcado primero un cartógrafo holandés desde el nombre del Explorador Italiano Amerigo Vespucci (Ame/Rica), es de cualquier nombre bonita y gloriosa.

Pero capturada y robada por Europeos para sus razones egoístas y diabólicas, la tierra sufre.  El Dios de la biblia y ese libro si mismo no perdonan a los pecados de matar, amenazar, remover, y convertir la gente natural de esta región desde el punto de espadas y armas letales.  En México hoy, “celebramos” con fuegos artificiales, llamado “tradición…” ¿Tradición de quien?  De España… No de México.

¿Bombas a celebrar que?  ¿Dios y su Hijo, que fue el Príncipe de Paz?  O son las bombas un recuerdo de la época en que España con su Iglesia estaba encima de una gente natural y pacifica aquí, amenazándolos y abusándolos alrededor la hora de la misa.  “¡Vaya a la misa!”  BOMBA.  “¡Vaya a la misa!”  BOMBA.  “¡Vaya a la misa!” BOMBA.  “Y si no vaya a la misa….”  BOMBA.

La basura es de España.  Malas palabras son de España.  La cerveza es de España. Bombas de España, armas explosivas y letales… O, y los doctores a quien muchos rezan en vez de Dios durante este Pánico de 2020, son de España.  México tiene sus propios idiomas no españoles.  México tiene sus propios dioses, tradiciones y costumbres no españoles.  Los de antes la “Conquista.”  Agradecidos para todos regalos del Creador los nativos eran, no había razón para tirar basura en “una calle,” también porque no habían calles ni el ruido de civilización.

Civilización es de… Grecia, dicen, y Roma empezó a su Conquista demandando que sus subjetos abandonan sus tradiciones viviendo con la naturaleza para edificios y leyes escritos.  Tenían razón en sus mentes los Romanos porque tenían mejores armas de guerra.  Podían matar mejor que ellos que cayeron debajo de sus espadas… ¿La violencia hace lo correcto?

Tal vez podemos reflexionar un momento en qué es correcto.

Buena suerte en eso…

My Bout with Covid-19

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Covid1

by Bill Watkins 5/11/2020

***

I picked up a weird virus a couple months ago.  Something I had never felt before, a dramatic ache starting in the supermarket one day, then a strong three week fever.  No cold symptoms, just the fever and a horrible headache, which seemed an exaggeration of the one I had before picking up the virus.

I get sick when I’m off-balanced in life, in this case I had been writing too much, eight days in a row without a break.  When I write a lot, I rest a lot.  If I rest too much, including the use of ice packs to my neck, I will develop a headache from too much pillow contact… That’s how I came into the supermarket that day, and I picked up an ugly bug.

I blame no one.  Not the little girl I met on the bus to town, whose mom said she had diarrhea and was heading to the doctor’s.  Not the people I greeted at the market, or anyone else on my bus… This was the beginning of the Covid-19 panic, and all the market employees were wearing masks, making me think I was searching for produce in a hospital emergency room.

There was fear of illness, my own headache and being off-balance, and there you go… I got the evil thing that was out there.  Was it Covid-19?  I’ll never know, because I don’t go to doctors or believe in Western medicine.  I’m sober eighteen years, live in the mountains, know what is healthy for me and do it (most of the time).  Doctors’ offices are overcrowded, over-air-conditioned and over-priced.  No thanks.  I fail to see the health there.

Drawing blood out of my body, where I always thought it would do the most good; giving me experimental drugs at a hint of depression; selling experimental science as if it were factual; compromising itself with politics, getting rich and those viper insurance companies hiking up already exorbitant prices!  No thanks.  I prefer the country, my faith in God, dabble in Christian Science—using the bible and prayer for a positive attitude and health.

But I did get sick!  I get sick about every other year… I admit, this one was wild, stayed with me for a couple months off and on, just that fever ickiness washing over me every once in a while… Sickness!  I got it because I was off-balanced and my immune system was down from its normal strength.  Did I get it because someone “infected me?” Did I get it because I wasn’t wearing a mask?  Did I get it because I was not practicing the blatantly un-Christian concept of “social distancing?”  No.  No.  No.  I reject all of those theories posing as facts for governments to use in their irresponsible, un-Christian, anti-spiritual, pro-Western medicine, shady legislating. Why shady?  The U.S. Government (nor any other I know) has never even defined the word “health…” That’s a big deal when bills try to address “health”-care!

I like good science.  X-rays are cool, for instance… Facts!  I’m saddened by the Covid-19 Panic of 2020 for two reasons: 1. It’s bad spirituality on display and 2. it’s bad science as well.  Yelling out a virus’ name, being scared of it, obsessing about it creates a false god.  Religions which have cowered from the virus should be ashamed, re-read the Ten Commandments in the bible, and “Have no gods” before the One God!  Yell out God’s name!  Fear that!!  Center thoughts on God, love and Faith, then…. “Where the heck did that silly virus go?”  It goes away, like every other flu that’s ever hit a flu season!!

That’s what my strange virus did over time, like any other sickness I’ve ever felt.  It went away… It was a hard struggle, horrible headaches, fever, aches, losing pizazz and my passion for life, not being able to write more than a couple paragraphs in three weeks!  Bummers galore!  I even cursed God out, I have to admit, more than once!  Mostly because in the middle of my sickness the locals where I live in Mexico set off fireworks a stone’s throw from my house, the week of Saint Joseph, littering our peace with bombs.  Went right to my temple, throbbing, shooting pain to go with the chest pain and twitches I always get around those stupid things.

Then the mosquitoes came… Just when I’m getting some sleep to bash that virus out, the buzz at my ear, and I’d have to hunt down the buggers for an hour!  Calamity! Injustice!  Why’d you make this horrible crap, God!?!?  I was ticked.  And sick… Near suicidal, flashing thoughts of self-harm… But… little by little… I apologized to God, that saint’s week of dumb fireworks passed, the mosquitoes gave me a break.

In 12-Step groups, I used to hear the expression, “God never gives us more than we can handle.”  I think there’s something there.  I was brought to the brink, but I had enough faith, positive thinking through my Christian Science training, and patience to gut it out and win.

Faith and Fear Amid Covid Panic

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monalisa-4893660_1280

Talk health.  The dreary, never-changing tale
Of mortal maladies is worn and stale.
You cannot charm, or interest, or please
By harping on that minor chord, disease.
Say you are well, or all is well with you,
And God shall hear your words and make them true.
—Ella Wheeler Wilcox

***

You ever lean back and track your thoughts?  Decide if they are positive or negative… Helpful or harmful?

A new strain of flu comes from a foreign land, so what do the masses do?  They do what masses do…  Panic.  What did the Catholic Church do?  Here where I live in Mexico and I think worldwide, they did to mass what masses do… they listened to a bunch of men preach, evicted God and headed for their masks and homes!

“Fear people, stay inside, stay away…” If someone was to track orders from the U.S. and other governments around this Covid virus panic, you’d have to say they were sort of negative. Certainly anti-Christian!  The answer to the question, “What would Jesus do?” or even Mother Teresa is in obvious contrast to what public officials are doing, panicking at the direction of Western medicine.

Western medicine is the world’s number one religion, I’m finally admitting, a weird thought but true in light of who’s calling the shots for government action in crisis.  So far, there’s a playful tone to this, but are you ready for a serious one?  I hope so… Here it is: God is waiting to be our guide again, Higher Power—call it what you want. The Native Americans called it the Great Spirit, something one can connect with in nature.

But the American government killed and removed Native Americans so they could build the “greatest democracy on earth.”  Concrete, asphalt and monuments to ourselves amidst the trash and noise of helicopters, littered cigarette butts and beer cans.  Covid-19 is a false god pitched by over-paid medical experts, keeping their money rolling in as the world’s economy stays at home afraid…

There’s a wonderful answer and cure to Fear, developed over many years of human existence.  It’s called Faith.  Say it with a smile, then find within you the First People spirit, that inner Druid, that innocent child in love with Creation, breathing in air freely and joyfully without a mask.  Faith… that I can move a mountain, sing in that musical, write that book, dance that dance to celebrate in the way God as I understand God wants me to celebrate!

But fear established the United States, ran from England to steal this land before Spain grabbed it, brought those guns to scare the natives, cannons to blow them and nature up with deer and peace killing blasts.  We could stop and apologize. Start listening to nature, God and the Native American Great Spirit, smile and be happy one day at a time… Stay home if sick, but if well be merry and thank the Creator for another day by loving it with all your heart, inside or out of the home!

We could decide to stop listening to fear and negativity, that people are going to infect us, start again having faith that they’re more likely to bless us… Band together, re-discover that love and faith destroys Death.  Love and faith are eternal, so let’s call out the News for lying to us about Covid deaths.  STOP WHINING AND COWERING, WORLD!!!

Say you are well, or all is well with you,
And God shall hear your words and make them true.

Religion, Logic and Covid Response

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To preface this piece, I am a United States citizen who does not believe in the validity of the U.S. government, nor do I believe that Western medicine is health.  Makes a visit home to Los Angeles from Mexico last week a tough one, facing the rules of a government that never got consent to rule over Native Americans here, one that claims free speech and to be a protector of everyone’s right to worship the religion of his or her choice.  That is unless there is a virus panic, I guess…

***

A while back I called Nancy Pelosi’s Washington D.C. office to ask her people a question.  Then I called Bernie Sanders’ folks, also trying the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington.  My question was: “What is your definition of health?”  I thought it a very important and obvious concept to nail down since everybody in the U.S. Government seems so interested in passing laws about it…  I got nothing from those offices, came back to Senator Dianne Feinstein, Senator Kamala Harris and Congressman Jimmy Gomez, who represented me locally.  Nothing.

The obscurity of “health” and government is playing out more than ever with what I call the virus panic of 2020.  Western medicine has been co-opted by our government in a silent deal made I don’t know when.  This piece will attempt to address the religious, spiritual and logical consequences of turning our wills and lives over to “medical experts” through our political representatives, who call themselves healthcare champions without defining health.

My definition of health is a peace of mind I get by doing what I feel is God’s will for me, one day at a time.  Very “AA” of me, but in my life, I find it all goes better when the spiritual leads the emotional and physical.  Spirit, spirit, spirit!  It’s powerful stuff, that and faith, and I’ll declare now proudly that if I had one type of healthcare to name it would be Christian Science, a religion founded by Mary Baker Eddy which applied the bible (especially its gospels) to our day to day health.  An elderly woman I drove around as a service back in the 1990’s related this religious view of health to me, and I like it.  It works for me and it has a great price tag: it’s free.

Let’s put that aside as one person’s view of health in a large country.  There are over 300 million people in the U.S. and hence over 300 million views, which I imagine range from totally unlike mine to slightly different.  We all have different beliefs on many topics, the U.S. Government through its First Amendment to the Constitution purporting to allow for that, explicitly in the area of religion and in the press. My version of health has a very strong, in fact dominant religious and spiritual component to it.  Am I the only one? I sincerely doubt that, as the population of Christian Scientists alone would clearly testify, a number over a couple hundred thousand to be sure.

If health has a religious connection to more than just me, why is Government so adamant that it should be involved with it?  Let’s look at that famous Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

The U.S. Government needs a clear definition of terms before it can be a valid legislator on health; perhaps one that would cross a religious line, so render it the wrong institution to in fact legislate on the topic.

I visited Los Angeles last week from my home in Mexico to note that its mayor is making citizens wear masks in any public place.  This is one of many instances over the years of Government taking sides with Western medicine, calling their “experts” health.  A silent arrangement, but an unproven link lingers, as I know I don’t see or feel health in an over-air-conditioned, over-priced doctor’s office.  I have the Christian Science, yes, but even the Native American Great Spirit—the natural, earth-based approach to health—fills me with peace of mind more than Western offices, concrete, asphalt, pills and surgeries.  It’s okay for someone reading that to be upset and claim a different point of view!  Perhaps you get great peace of mind from Western medicine, which is fine, so wear your mask without making me wear one please.

We should all be free to decide our own health path in the United States or anywhere else.  This is a hard article to write, as I don’t actually believe in the United States as a valid government, for it was founded in armed theft and violence against the native people here.  In fact, at no time has the United States Government received consent of the native peoples to govern here that was not forced at gunpoint—and by John Locke’s definition of government, that it validates itself by the “consent of the governed…” we have a failure.  That being said, one has to live by even invalid constructs, and in the case of the U.S. there is a law that’s supposed to give us free speech, and it also claims so proudly to be a democracy.

But during a panic, over a new flu less powerful than the old one, the Government feels it has an excuse to squash free speech, mandate quarantines and masks—lending to the problem in logic I have with such a response.   If one is living a healthy life, making positive choices and walking a path with conviction and belief—why would that person change such a path because of an over-hyped virus?  The U.S. and other governments aligned with Western medicine ask and demand that we be afraid of people, keep distances.  This is against Christian practice, asks that I believe the lie that my brother or sister human being out on the road is more likely to curse me than bless me.  I’ll never believe that, nor will I ever believe in a government that doesn’t allow me to believe what I want to believe.

Sportsmanship in College Sports: Heckling

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by Bill Watkins, Gaucho ‘94

***

Watching UCSB play BYU in Men’s Volleyball last night on my computer reminded me of my own playing days, and also of some great matches I’ve been a part of as a fan.  As usual, the crowd at BYU was amazing!  Spirited, a full house, generally pretty wholesome… Except, it seemed, when you got close-ups of a UCSB Gaucho going back to serve the ball, and behind them you could swear there was a good amount of venomous, mean-spirited heckling.

Could have been an illusion, and without knowing what the fans were yelling, I cannot prove to certainty that a bad spirit had invaded the Smith Fieldhouse there in Provo—but nothing would surprise me less.  Heckling and rooting for bad things to happen to opposing teams is unfortunately acceptable fan behavior in every college sports arena not ruled by an iron Christian fist.

I myself, over the years, have engaged in many heckling fests, hear hecklers around me at most sporting events I attend. CSUN in the San Fernando Valley used to be bad, Hawaii can bring it good and bad, and BYU has for me the most spirit in NCAA men’s volleyball.  It just all needs checking, administrating, and… shall I say it?  Prayer. Meditation.  Sports like all other areas of life made better by appealing to Higher Power, “Good Orderly Direction” (G.O.D.), and anything else that leads to Peace of Mind.

John Wooden was the best coach that ever lived.  Not because he was great, but because the power unto which he prayed was, his philosophies and execution of them guided by goodness, humility and hard work.  A spiritual man… We could all be so, ascend toward the straight and narrow, to in sports that grand second title, one the NCAA and other leagues should always celebrate as much as any other trophy: one for… Sportsmanship.  Respecting your opponent as fellow travelers on this ship, “Hail, friend, well met!  Good luck today, we’re aiming to crush you on the court.  But that’s our spiritual challenge, and I’d like to shake your hand after the match win or lose, revel in one more day we got to live here!”

That’s right, as you live you realize how precious life is, and how many people (and dogs) we’ve loved who are not with us anymore.  In that context, adding to common sense and decency, I root for all competitors to have peace of mind, to succeed at their sport in the John Wooden sense.  I root for the UCSB Gauchos a lot because I attended that school and played volleyball for the team, and when we compete against you, I’ll be rooting and hoping we win.  Then I check myself, knowing the power is in us to win every single match we play!  If we play right, root right, have a mix of fun and respect, and if heckle we must, may we do it somehow light-hearted and with cheer.

The ultimate victory is still heaven, isn’t it?

Guns Are for Cowards

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The native bow and arrow, quiet
and flowing with nature not good
enough to the conquering European
with our war sickness, our gun
powder blowing up targets loudly
and cowardly from distance.

Like splitting the atom, some think
it’s good while others see a diabolical
power unleashed, the Asian invention
and European application satisfied
the war addict, put humans above
nature and God.

Bombs, guns, fireworks—do they please
the Creator?  The birds?  The beasts of
the wilderness?  In battle, do guns
show someone’s courage and honor?
Or… do guns show cowardice, a warrior’s
unwillingness to face his enemy?

From the fields of the native Great Spirit
let us dive into the bible, the other
weapon England and Spain used to
conquer America.  What would Jesus
say to guns?  What does the bible say
about killing?

It’s so easy to hate your enemy, try to
kill them or scare them with something
like guns.  Anyone can hate someone
they do not like, but what strong heart
and soul can love their enemy as a brother,
see them walk on and come from the same

Earth?  From the same great Mother, all
humans human with the same needs,
hopes, fears, doubts… Faith?  Where is
yours, in a loud weapon that creates
fear and noise?  Mine is in love and Peace,
In the rainbow after the rain, in

the great but worthwhile struggle to
love those who persecute you, to see
them as fellow children in this merry-go-
round called Life

My Pledge of Allegiance

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Peace American Flag

I pledge allegiance to World Peace,
And to being peaceful, Loving
and True to God as I understand God,
while tolerating others and their
beliefs, gods and names for them.

I reject nationalism, racism and borders,
accept boundaries as sound and safe,
but not as weapons to degrade, dehumanize
and exclude my fellow human beings
seeking a good and free day, as we all are.

I declare gratitude to God, my higher power,
the Native Great Spirit, the bible, the
Tao Te Ching, all human effort to be godly
and better than we are… We are powerless
over events, results, the future!  Admitting…

Is the start of a happy life, Truth the key;
without it we have nothing, no peace of mind,
nothing to give, sort of like trying to go out
one day without sleep the night before,
thinking you could possibly enjoy…

San Miguel del Mundo!  Not on maps only,
but in my heart, one that prays for a less racist,
honest and peaceful America that admits
the truth that people are not in charge,
Democracies are a myth, and Love is all.

***

(Excerpt from my new poetry book, San Miguel del Mundo: https://www.amazon.com/dp/165567577X)

The Spunk of Life

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Before the big bang, there was something…
Bodies, molecules touching, who or what
created them we do not know but are
free to name, dream and tell.

To understand creation, one must try to
understand him or herself.  What makes you
tick, revolve, move, gravitate, love, burn
with anger, repulse, reject, accept?

That’s the spunk of life—the calm becoming
storm, mountains from molehills fight.
Call it God, the remover to remove, the
Wind today from Earth’s first blast.

Moving, silent, loud, crashing and falling,
supported by each other, the elements in
us like Lao Tzu said, there is no separation!
The mist in us, fog and rocks stray parts—

What is in your heart?  I call it the spunk
of life, the garnered fire and energy needed
to rise, penetrating what we can to express
some inner thanks at dance’s invitation.

Here one moment, a flash of idea and spirit
the next, we call it names like “God” or
good orderly direction, because we want
someone to whom to address our gift.

Imagine the false beginning that never was,
and a scientist tearing out her hair trying
to prove something.  The only certainty is
not explained in words.  Things are.

Why are they?  And, again, who or what first
put them there?  We did, of course, the people
and beings that name things, we of the same
stuff that was here at the start—

I wasn’t fully there, I’ll admit, so guess at patterns
in the sky and mind that tell me birth is as
birth was, an explosion, a rubbing and exciting
of parts creating heat and light…

The spunk of life.

Tesoro

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Tesoro

Nuevo y probando, la
juventud está con todos,
grande y pequeño—

los mejores regalos
a veces en paquetes chicos,
pues reza y ora todo

antes que hacer…
Nunca tener prisa es
sabio y sano, mejor

andar sin ritmo,
preguntando y cuestionando
el camino sencillo,

porque muchos siguen
otros, y ellos no saben
para adonde van,

y otros saben que andan mal,
pero continúan de todos modos
porque el camino para cielo

es bien difícil. Y tú, tesoro,
en paquete grande o pequeño,
¿que vas a hacer?

Reza cada deseo, pide y ora
antes de tomar pasos,
y encuentra su propio ritmo—

allí brillas en la manera
apropiado, Tú el único Tú
que existe, pues enséñanos

algo nuevo!!!

My Last Goal

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Soccer2

My first goal was for the wrong team,
practice at San Marino High School,
Mini Titans I was five years old.

I dribbled the length of the field,
scored it beautifully…

That team was undefeated, I never
scored one in uniform during league
play, got close, started to score
the next year…

Fourth grade was the last AYSO
season for me, made All-Stars,
was a big deal…

Gave it up, moved on, then in
the middle of college between
sophomore and junior year a
friend calls me and says, “Let’s
go to South America!”

So I went, and it was great, and
among other things I fell in love
with soccer. Before that I liked
it, but Argentina… It’s a feeling I
still can’t stop, as I root for
Leicester City Football Club
on my radio link every week.

I got back from Argentina and
started juggling volleyballs in
volleyball practice, my coach
eyeing me a little funny.

I joined a club soccer team in
Santa Barbara, looked at the huge
mountain I wanted to climb,
which was becoming a great player,
and I started to climb…

I left the team, the coach not
playing me enough, kept training,
went to every World Cup game
played at the Rose Bowl in 1994,
played with friends, the passion!

I scored a good one at the Alumni
game, something some still talk
about, for me a midterm exam…

Then I overdosed on drugs, got
depressed, left everything and
everyone, lived in hospitals, let the
ball drop.  Was hopeless!

(It’s called alcoholism)

I got sober, found the ball again,
started to play, found a team fifteen
years after I had last played.

Guess how long it took me to get
into real competitive game shape?

It took 365 days to get into real
football shape, to that place where
I wasn’t thinking about fitness, just
goals and winning games.

***

The coach looked at me one day,
said, “Bill we need you to score some
goals.”  That’s what I was waiting for,
as I didn’t really think they cared until
then. He was of course younger than
me, my whole team with players younger
than me, I was thirty-nine on my last
competitive leg.

Truth is I had retired twice already,
then I’d keep coming back when I
was shopping in the market and
emotion would come, tears that
meant I was not done yet!

“Okay,” I told my young coach,
and next game was on a good synthetic
field in South Central L.A., facing
a good league team with supposedly
one of the better goalies.

A couple white guys on their side,
goalie included, my team all Latino
and me, the lone white dude, playing
Striker, hungry for my first goal
on the team, green lit by the coach
to get it done.

The action was hot from the start,
we pressed, me and my striking
mate, criss-crossing, zig-zagging,
switching play, press, press.

Not long before we broke through,
three on two, I’m in front of the
touted keeper, too close, blast—
he blocks it and tackles me,

Rebound… my mate taps it in
for goal number one, 1-0!

Goalie’s cleat is an inch from me
and he looks disappointed he
didn’t connect.

Our team is pumped in our
Spain colors, an early lead—
almost too early for some of them,
who knew we needed the win to
secure a spot in the Playoffs.

From the back I heard, “It’s zero-
zero!”  I said, “What?  The goal didn’t
count?” And they said, “No!  Play
like it’s zero-zero!”

They were wise for their age, those
kids, and I nodded, kept our press
going to try to get another…

Switch, switch, I criss-crossed from
side to side more than my striking mate
preferred, but the energy was there,
and it felt right to seek space wherever
it called…

Coming from left to right, I tracked
a long ball into the center of the pitch,
ten yards outside the opponent’s
eighteen yard box.  It bounced a couple
times, and by the time I got to it,
their large center back had pushed up
to make a play on it, along with another
defender, one of those times you figured
less is more, let’s do something quick
before the big man has time to show
me just how big he is…

It’s near 50-50, the ball just about
equally between me and the big back,
close enough to him that he starts to
dive in—

Instinct and speed, I got to it first,
chopped the ball out of the scrum
between or by the big defender’s legs
and into space.

He dove, missed, I stayed on my feet,
caught up to the ball I served up to
myself, now just me and the keeper,
as the center back was out of the play.

Best keeper in the league, they said.
And me?  No goals for fifteen years,
finally in shape, just green lit by
a knowing coach,

I never moved my eyes from the lower
right corner of the goal, the ball at
good speed to be left alone as I jogged
at measured pace behind it.

The training’s all done, from San
Marino High School mistakes,
to an undefeated first season to
a spattering of goals, all-stars,
a long break leading to a South
American escape and falling in love.

Pinning the guy to his left, eyeing that
right corner like I was married to it…

I’m close enough now.

Pass it in, the left corner, goalie stuck,
2-0, my last ever goal, we won the
game 2-1,

I shouted afterward, my teammate telling
me I was blessed, and perhaps I was,
that was it.

My coach kicked me off the team a couple
months later for insubordination; I didn’t
let him yell at our team one day after
a hard fought draw 1-1 with a nine-player
team, yes nine on our eleven.  But they were
good, their coach in coat and tie, they
thought they’d show up and take care of us
with their nine…

We fought, it was tense, a great game!
Down 1-0, we fought back, scored the
equalizer, and were pressing for a second
and winner, had it been me I would have
climbed the fucking fence.

But we did not, and we ended in a draw,
the coach blasting us, saying he was
embarrassed.

I stood up and patted our team on the
back, wouldn’t let him berate us.

He called me that night, suggested I
find another team to play on, as we
had different ideas on how to compete.

I switched teams, played a bit more,
stood tall and walked away knowing I
had scored the goal I needed to score.

I had climbed that mountain I started
climbing in club soccer in the Central
Coast of Santa Barbara; I never played
professionally, tried to get a tryout with
the Galaxy in 1999, but they never called.

The goal was enough, on that South
Central synthetic field one day in
December 2011, my hands became fists,
pumping at my sides—

Celebrating life