?

Log in

No account? Create an account
entries friends calendar profile PenUltimate Productions Website Previous Previous Next Next
Poem: "Swish" - The Wordsmith's Forge — LiveJournal
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith
Poem: "Swish"

This poem came from the December 4, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from Dreamwidth user elliemurasaki.  It has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.  This poem belongs to the series Fledgling Grace, which you can explore further via the Serial Poetry page.  You can read more about basketball online.



Swish


The wings made a difference.

Even without the power of flight,
it could not be denied that
the wings made a difference
in playing basketball:

they affected the balance of players running,
greatly enhanced the ability to block,
and a hard flap could grant an extra second of hang time.

The swish of the net became more common
as it became less of a challenge
to leap higher into the air
and stay there longer.

The NBA first tried
banning players with wings,
but as the Fledging progressed,
they had to readmit those or give up the game.

So then they tried
sending players onto the court
with their wings harnessed out of the way.
The audience booed.
They didn't like the look,
and the players tended to stumble.

Finally, grudgingly,
the NBA began to explore
alterations to the rules and play
of the game itself, trying to decipher
what might restore balance.

They lengthened shooting distances,
repainted the guidelines on the floor, and
loosened the traveling rules for blocked players.

What really did the trick, though,
was the invention of the mobile basket.
Suddenly getting that swish
was a challenge again,
even with wings.

Watching basketball became satisfying once more,
and the crowds gave cheers instead of boos.
If they wished, secretly to themselves,
that the wings could give true flight,
well, you can't have everything.

In an empty gymnasium,
Michael Jordan smiled a secret smile,
spread the emerald pinions of his parrot wings,
lofted himself gently into the air, and ...

swish.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Current Mood: busy busy

8 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
primeideal.dreamwidth.org From: primeideal.dreamwidth.org Date: December 8th, 2012 03:27 am (UTC) (Link)
HAHAHA Michael Jordan! Excellent twist :D although you had me grinning from the "mobile basket" line.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: December 8th, 2012 03:43 am (UTC) (Link)

Well...

I couldn't resist. Dude can already fly, and this has been documented on camera. my_partner_doug showed me on a "best of NBA moments" collection.
From: siliconshaman Date: December 8th, 2012 11:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Michael Jordan knows what all cats know... gravity is all about mind over matter, and if you don't mind, then it doesn't matter!
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: December 9th, 2012 12:08 am (UTC) (Link)

Yes...

Even matter is an illusion generated by lots of whizzing little bits holding hands and pretending very hard to be solid. But if you know it's an illusion, then you can bend the rules a bit.
From: siliconshaman Date: December 9th, 2012 01:16 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes...

All of reality is an illusion.. albeit a rather persistent one.
paka From: paka Date: December 10th, 2012 08:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
So just how much do the wings work? Because if you can just unfold them and maybe glide a little, players with bigger wings are going to be better at blocking shots with 'em. And then it's really seriously easy to brush into someone's feathers where they're trailing, so is it only technically a foul if you contact a player's wing where there's actual bone and muscle?
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: December 10th, 2012 08:51 pm (UTC) (Link)

Well...

This is exactly the stuff that the NBA (and other sporting organizations) are fighting over.

>>So just how much do the wings work?<<

It varies -- and people don't realize how much or why yet. The wings are fully functional on a physical level, to the extent of their natural shape. So someone with vulture wings could probably glide quite well, whereas someone with sparrow wings would glide less, and someone with dodo wings would plummet. Wings are excellent for aiding balance and maneuverability, if the person practices with them. In this regard small agile wings like those of hummingbirds or finches are more advantageous.

The real difference comes with the numinous ability. People with bird wings fly by grace. This is a spiritual skill that requires practice, and this early, almost nobody can do it or realize what's happening. But some people are already getting a more a subtle lift, which definitely affects hang time.

>> Because if you can just unfold them and maybe glide a little, players with bigger wings are going to be better at blocking shots with 'em.<<

Bigger wings are an asset in blocking or hanging, but they are less maneuverable than small agile wings. It's not as simple as "the bigger, the better." People are still figuring this out.

>> And then it's really seriously easy to brush into someone's feathers where they're trailing, so is it only technically a foul if you contact a player's wing where there's actual bone and muscle? <<

Still under debate, but the tendency is that a touch is a touch. That's very hard to read in play, for the referees; but it's safer, because wings and feathers are fragile. It doesn't take a lot to break something. The problem is that it's gone from a player's foul-zone being a small defined space to a much larger, highly variable space as the wings extend or fold. So they probably need a rule that deliberately flipping your wings in front of someone can change a one-way foul into a two-way foul, or some other accommodation.
paka From: paka Date: December 10th, 2012 08:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
And what I mean is that your bigger winged players aren't going to necessarily be the ones who can hang, because that's a little too much time to extend or push off and and there's too much chance that while you're trying to open a wing you'll run into someone else. But check this out, if someone with bigger wings can actually help keep themselves off the ground for just that much longer while shooting for 3 points, that's a seriously valuable player.
8 comments or Leave a comment