Joy in Mudville 

When the Richmond Flying Squirrels came to town.

 A little murmur ran up through
the crowd and washed over us
like a surge of sea water,
only it was made of light
and tasted like honey and we
turned to our friends as we did 
to our parents to see it going
through them, and we knew
something was happening that
even they couldn't explain
and that, in one moment, altogether,
the people were going to rise,
simultaneously, and scream, holding
their hands aloft for reasons that were
indescribable, unknown even to them,
and that even if it were possible
to put it into words, the words
would fail to mean anything
next to that moment when
the rivers of prescient joy 
coursed through us. Before
there was a world. This
is what there was.

 

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The home opener of Richmond's new professional baseball team, held April 15, concludes with a bang.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 There must be a word for what happens
when we look up into the summer sky
just as it loses the last of its light
and return our eyes again to earth.
There must be a language that means
being. That each moment we live
has been lived before, and each moment
shall always be this moment: when
our faces bleed color and gain contrast
and unyielding laws, like treetops, liquefy.
Where, as we step toward a house
that does not call us home, we know
it is a kind of sleep we make, as we
wade through the deepening pools.

Left: Fans reach for a T-shirt giveaway.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Above: In the concourse, a boy winds up and throws in a pitching game. Top Right: A family celebrates Cinco de Mayo. Center Right: Fans entering The Diamond are greeted by food, drink and live music. Bottom Right: Umpires Travis Hatch and Jon Byrne are from Australia.

 

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All our lives
we put ourselves to task,
to formally address our nature,
only to get undressed
by singular, momentary,
unrepeatable
surprise.

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Above: Vendors, such as Joanie Hanson, show their spirit in costumes. Top Right: Tommy Sammoms, who's known for his Uncle Sam persona at the State Fair, brings his patriotic vibe to the game. Bottom Right: Above the dugout, Nutzy the Flying Squirrel entertains with skateboard maneuvers.

 

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 O, dark humor, wherefore
have you risen? Second skin
be my refuge sincere, ignore
this heart's internal requiem.
Hear instead the organ pipes
beneath my acrobatic leaps.
I am less man than beast,
a fool fallen cleverly to grace.
Have I moved you in the least?
Unstitch the smile from my face.

Left: Andrew J. Tutka, who played baseball against some of the greats, enjoys a game

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 I'm still paying last
month's bills. But
lest our great national game
misunderstands, today
I bought a ticket
just to have a drink
with this particular sun,
and to feel just like
the freshly cut hair
of the outfield grass.

Right: Fan Rhonda Girard cheers a play.

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Above: Don Ziegler carries a remnant from the Richmond Braves years.

Right: After games, youth are allowed on the field to round the bases.

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