For each of the six lines in this poem begin as follows:
1. Walk thirteen paces away from a white line painted, with others, on an immaculately mown grass field.
2. Wait for a red leather ball with hand-made seam, to be lobbed gently toward you.
3. Reach up with one hand and pluck the hard, five and three-quarter ounce orb from the air.
4. Inspect the ball for scuffs and scratches. It is from this ball you will conjure your lines.
5. Next select the side that shines and vigorously buff it up on your white-flannelled thigh.
6. Position the ball lightly between your thumb, index and second finger of your strongest hand.
7. Turn towards the white crease and pause.
And this is where your poetry spectacularly begins:
1. Think about your story arc; how will these six lines unfold.
2. Adjust your light grip upon the ball to slant cross the tight-stitched, varnished thread that circumnavigates its equator. Your next line will depend on where this one finishes up. At this point you can only imagine where this one might conclude, what drama it might cause.
3. Head up, begin to run back the way you have just walked. Concentrate on this line’s delivery.
4. On your tenth running stride, your fastest point, leap, furl up your arms, bring the red ball up to kiss the point of your chin.
5. As you stretch your leading leg to land, unfurl your arms, let go the leather ball and follow it, watching it on its brief journey.
6. This is your first line. Has it swung in flight, looped, or skidded, cut off the turf, nipped back, or jumped, been returned, or disappeared?
7. Hold that line in your mind’s eye.
8. Begin your walk back to your thirteen-step mark. Consider, did that line feel right? Did the receiver read it right, or misread it slightly?
9. What craft will you apply to your next five lines that might deceive them fully?
10. You may repeat any of the lines, or all of them if you feel in your bones you have found your rhythm, or change your next line’s pace, (faster, or slower) to mix things up.
11. You have so few lines to deliver, do not treat them lightly; this is your poetry.
n.b. Who said that cricket is hard to understand? Every poet could play cricket!
n.n.b. NaPoWriMo 2022 Write a poem as a poetry prompt. How’s that?