Author’s note:  I added story mentioned in poem below, to celebrate the author and his amazing talent early on. I was blessed to be accepted in the world of these five Marshall University grads. Thanks for reading, A.S.


We gathered the troops for one last time,

A respectable number, by your count or mine.

For two soldiers down, who gave it their all,

They followed the path, led the way, took the call.


The tall one, he lumbered into our first meeting,

A student by day, he impressed me at sixteen.

He killed the Gazette, wrote a gem of a story,

’Course I spoke in similes, my Coach in metaphors.


Three years later I’d be working, not far from his desk,

And a friendship began, hope I wasn’t a pest.

It wasn’t too long, we circled the country,

Eighty-five-hundred miles, three weeks, no worries.


I was on his old porch when the Jersey kid came,

He accepted me too, let me in, just the same.

His bag was tennis, so I hit him a few,

But to take just a game was a victory for Drew.


When the point guard-with-teeth, came back to town,

The wheels were all turning, he’d never back down.

We took in The Boss, down Lexington way,

And played us some hoops with Tom A. and Dan K.


Cherry crossed The Hall, and I got a beat,

The setting just right, destiny complete.

But the turn of the century brought ’bout some change,

Life as we knew it, God rearranged.


Now Yod and the wordsmith are in MU’s Hall,

But these verses I pen, ’cause I’m taking a fall,

My point guard and brother, though shaking a fist,

Should have been in the building, he sorely was missed.


The width of his berth, I still can’t believe,

Left town for the mountains, then on to the sea.

Took a bride and a cottage, on an island reprieve,

But in mind and heart, he’s absent without leave.


© 2016 


Good Man

Author’s note: It is rare I can bring up a thread of knowledge with author-poet/fellow-cyclist/friend Labeak that he doesn’t already know more about the subject than me… he has a steel trap for a mind. I was a fan of Steve Goodman’s before I knew who he was… Hope you enjoy. A.S.


Playin’ bars in his native Chicago,

’71 was a damn good year.

He was hangin’ with the likes of John Prine,

And opening for the Prophet of lyrics.


Kris’ mind blew like a train whistle,

The song, he eventually pitched to Cash.

Swing-and-a-miss by the man in black,

Arlo swooped it up in a flash.


But when he heard the kid play Sam Stone,

He eagerly crossed town to meet,

The author whose pen was much wiser,

Than his youth could ever foresee.


Chairs on the tables, tired, and groggy,

Prine blew’em away just the same.

Take note, it was the kid with a death sentence,

Who selflessly shared the fame.


A mighty personality in a failed vessel,

Pushing – against time he attacked.

His humor and wit were a blessing,

The depth in of his words take you back.


But he shared them like California Promises,

Embraced by Buffett and Coe,

Banana Republics and Caroline Street,

Sang Parrotheads at all of those shows.


Songs that would last through the ages,

But a flash in his malleable mind.

What could he have done with thirty-six more?

Expanding his scope for new finds.


A Cubby from the very beginning,

He doubly lived Wrigley’s curse.

Thirty-nine years of postseason drought,

By days, he missed their return.


Buffett stepped in with the anthem,

A likely and suitable sub,

The emotions were weaved through the ivy,

’Cause a good man was felt from above.




A Dying Cub Fan’s Last Request? Go, Cubs, Go!





© 2016