Tuesday, June 07, 2016

poetry in motion

he dabbled in poetry.  they were amateurish, sort of, and his verses were simple but they connect and they communicate and amuse which is what poems are supposed to do.  most of his verses were about himself and his craft and about the persons he gets to tangle with. or, box with.

for, he was a boxer.

and he gets to be inside the boxing "ring" which is of course a squared arena fenced  in with ropes where he and his opponent hit each other with gloved fists until the better man triumphs.

before him, the sport of boxing was mostly about physical power and sheer violence.  boxing was most times two gladiators with tensed muscles and strained physiques raining devastating blows at each other, toe-to-toe, till one body succumbs to the fatigue, the hurt, and the humiliation of defeat.

he changed all that.

for he was a poet.  a poet in motion.  as one of his verses declared, he

stung like a bee,
floated like a butterfly ... 

atop the square ring, he danced; he showed spectators that boxers are not all brawn, but, they have brains as well; that boxing can be a "thinking" sport, that physical power and sheer violence can be overwhelmed by strategy and planning, by grace in movement, by poetry in motion.     

he always declared he is The Greatest. his boxing feats in world heavyweight division will attest to this.  yet, many say that his greatness even lies outside the boxing world.  he has become an icon, especially for the colored man, for he has shown that one can rise beyond the pigmentation of one's skin, if one can will himself to do so.  as he did.

he is gone now. he died June 3.

Muhammad Ali.  

so long .. tonight i will relive the pinpoint jabs, 
the Ali shuffle, 
the gladiator's smile, 
the rope-a-dope,

the poet in motion ...