Saturday, April 30, 2016

Thanks so much for the wonderful company!

Image: Survivor T-Shirt

Z for Zap and Zoom in ABC of Sports

Whew! Finally Hank made it through
An A to Z April Challenge survivor
With a right to the survivor's gear T-shirt
forthwith till the next round next year

This being the last one on the plate
Hank takes the opportunity to reflect
on what it had been for the month

First off, thanks so much for visiting
Aside from the regulars who commented
first or who returned comments on receipt
of Hank's we zapped each other for
the duration most wonderfully

There are also the new friends who are
on Hank's blogroll now to be zoomed in
whenever they make an appearance forthwith

Hank's only regret is not making more visits
to many of the new ones and for being late
or even missing out on returning few comments
Hank will make amends on those missed and
to visit some of those not visited earlier
to add on to the blogroll list

Thanks so much for the wonderful company
It was a hectic month there's no denying it
but worth its weight in gold! Ciao!

A to Z Challenge
(Apologies for using Zap and Zoom. Hank could
not think of more appropriate terms than these)

Friday, April 29, 2016

It has always been a numbers game

                                                                                      Attribution: Jonathan Bowen
Image: The Blue plaque at Iffley
Road Track, Oxford, England (here)

Y is for Yardstick in the ABC of Sports

It has always been a numbers game
Targets are meticulously set and pursued
Records also relentless pursued and broken
What do happen in between are all spiced up
with the drama befitting of keen competition

The hours of sweat toil and sacrifice are
not seen but instead the accolades or the
disappointments are apparent in their reactions

That is the beauty of targets that are universally
graded as in the case of ju-jit-su or tae-kwon-do
One must aspire along the ascending grades from
a white belt through blue along the way to black
that they are readily accepted internationally

Other self-defense methods cannot hope to progress
as far as they lack such accepted gradings

There are then other personal targets in all sporting
activities that are all the more relevant in ensuring that
one can outrun or outdo others in similar activities

Records on the other hand are there regal in stature
to goad the aspirants in testing their prowess

The sub 4-minute mile stood proud and thought to be
'invincible' until Bannister surpassed it and nobody
took notice thereafter that it had gone lower and lower

Sadly though in the pursuance for honors there are
cheats who take it upon themselves to stoke and
abuse their muscles with drugs
They have no consideration or thoughts of the
adverse consequences to their well-being
or to the spirit of sportsmanship

A to Z Challenge

Thursday, April 28, 2016

It is just that they are not readily seen as often as other folks

                                                                                 Author: Four Tildes
Image: A Sumo Wrestler (here)

In the Little Oxford Dictionary there are only
xenophobia, Xerox, X’mas X-ray and xylophone
Not much to work on and nothing ‘sporting’
either. One can check on X-men or X Files but
still are short of sports. Hank decided then to talk
of the big guys just so we are still talking sports

X for XXXL the Big Guys in ABC of Sports

One may think they are not the glamour kind
They may heave-ho heavy stuff across the field
The hammer, shot putt and perhaps discus throwers
Bulky, unwieldy hunks who we gather might stumble
anytime that one may find them sprawling on the ground
But there are well-proportioned muscular guys though

They might appear formidable, menacing frightening
and even wild that one avoids crossing their paths
They make themselves seem to be bully-like ready to thumb
anyone near with their powerful legs like sumo wrestlers

We are told they are gentle folks who can cup gently
a furry kitten in their hands without crushing them
It is just that they are not readily seen as often as other
folks to make them appear alien and life threatening
beings best avoided and not to meddle with at all

This is understandable as presumably they too do not wish
to venture out of the house too often that they are not seen
Who would want to as they need space of three persons
at least just to sit in a restaurant like other folks

But the good thing is that they bring in medals sometimes in
successive Olympics as once they are champions it is not
easy to dislodge them. They are true champions in their
respective calling and are a gentle and friendly sort of guys

A to Z Challenge

Monday, April 25, 2016

Already made Asian Games

                                                                                                       Attribution: Mh
Image: Wushu with weapons 
(dao, a broad sword) (here)

W for Wushu in ABC of Sports

Wushu is both an exhibition and a full-contact sport of Chinese
martial arts. Competitive wushu is composed of two disciplines,
taolu (forms) and sanda (sparring)

Taolu involves martial art patterns and maneuvers for which
competitors are judged and given points. The forms comprise
basic movements (kicks, punches, balances, jumps, sweeps
and throws)

Sanda is a modern fighting method and sport influenced by
traditional Chinese boxing, Sanda appears much like kick
boxing but includes many more grappling techniques (Wiki)

Lethal graceful moves
Already made Asian Games
Not the Olympics

A to Z Challenge

Sunday, April 24, 2016

There’s one here munching!

                                                                                              Photo: Tom Chambers
Image: Courtesy of Mag #312 (here)

V for Venison in the ABC of Sports

Little Girl’s soliloquy
“Ooo love it! Isn’t it nice?
Venison for dinner
The hunters came back
empty-handed last year!

This wild one happened to sneak
in a while ago when no one was around
A whole living one

Uncle Joe and the other hunters
Had gone into the woods
They had gone a few days now
It was their annual sports
event of small game hunting

But where had they been
There’s one here munching!”

Munching Deer’s soliloquy
Wayward hunters we
turned the tables on you
Done this before at your neighbor’s
It worked wonders
The men-folks were not seen
The coast was clear

You had no venison last year
little girl and neither again this year
For we would leave well in time
before the hunters' return
We cleverly hoodwinked your neighbor
last year and it worked very well

Perhaps they would shop at Wal-Mart
for lamb shoulders instead

For willow's Mag #312 at Magpie Tales

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Hear ye countrymen lend me your ears

                                                              Attribution: Internet Archive Book Images
Image: The Bard (here)

U for Understanding the Bard in ABC of Sports

Apologies: 1 This is not sports as such 
but perhaps just take it sportingly

Apologies: 2  To the Bard for putting some
light moments to his serious drama and tragedies

In the early part of his ‘career’
‘Scarface’ made a show of his benevolent nature
'Rob the rich and give to the poor'
Like Robin Hood an icon of folklore
Perhaps calling himself  Robin the Hood was better
Not wanting to miss out on a golden opportunity
Perhaps he could also blurt out 
‘all the world’s a stage let’s rob it!’ silly
Thus the beginnings of the Chicago big rout

Rather not to dilly-dally much of the time
to be or not to be is NOT the question
Just do it for all it takes if it is not a crime
A good cause is never wrong

Where art thou?  Juliet lamented
Missing her beau waiting to be escorted

I want nothing more nothing less
I demand my pound of flesh

Hear ye countrymen lend me your ears
Have won at New York have no fears
As a politician I come not to bury Caesar
But to build a wall south of the border

Et tu Brute?

For Kerry's Let's Tip our Hat to the Bard 
at Real Toads who suggested to approach the
topic of "things Shakespearean" in a different way
Mary's Poetry Pantry #299 at Poet's United

Karl and Nik of The Flying Wallendas - a Haibun

                                                                                                     Attribution: Porterlu
Image: The Flying Wallendas 7-Man Pyramid 2005 (here)

                                                                                      Attribution: kevint3141
Image: Nik Wallenda on a tight rope from Medieval
Fare to Wonder Mountain at Canada's Wonderland (here)

for Tight-rope Artists in ABC of Sports

The Prose
The Flying Wallendas led by Karl comprised a daredevil stunt team, most known for high wire pyramid acts without a safety net.

In 1962, while performing at the Shrine Circus at Detroit's State Fair Coliseum, the front man on the wire faltered and the pyramid collapsed. Three fell to the ground, killing Richard Faughnan, Karl's son-in-law; and nephew Dieter Schepp. Karl injured his pelvis, and his adopted son, Mario, was paralyzed from the waist down.
Other tragedies included that of Karl's sister-in-law, Rietta, who fell to her death in 1963, and his son-in-law Richard Guzman who was killed in 1972 after touching a live electric wire while holding part of the metal rigging. Nonetheless, Karl decided to go on. He repeated the pyramid act in 1963 and 1977.

On March 22, 1978, during a promotional walk in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Karl Wallenda fell from the wire and died. He was 73 (Wiki) 

The Tanka
A family act
Dare-devils on high wire
Without safety nets
Had its share of tragedies
Never had been an act since

A to Z Challenge

Friday, April 22, 2016

Success or failure rest solely on their individual efforts

                                                                                                   Author:  dimi15
Image: The Grace of Fencing (here)

S for Solitary vs Team Players in ABC of Sports

Sports and games are subject to individual preferences
One can excel in solitary pursuits or be part of a team
The mental attributes of the person will impose its will
on the type of games they want to get involved in

Those who excel in golf tennis fencing among others
push hard their personal best in their bid to win honors
They abhor contact games and are happy at their own pace
Success and failure rest solely on their individual efforts
In life they prefer research related jobs or if gregarious
by nature a sales job where individual flair is an advantage

Those who shine in team games are more compromising
in attitude and rejoice in contributing towards team success
In life they are patronizing in a good way giving a helping
hand most of the time and are less inclined to be selfish

In recruitment of staff successful football or hockey players
are preferred to golfers or tennis players for the same reason
Players of team games can contribute better towards team
success in their working environment than individual champs

A to Z Challenge

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Grand designs in the water

                                                                                                    Author: Jon Sullivan
Image: A Lotus (here)

Dares to be different
Grand designs in the water
Extends its domains

A flower sneaks out
Little insects bid welcome
Regal dignity

Theme week 3

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Record-breaking is part and parcel of sports

                                                                                                Attribution: SD Dirk
Image: The Fosbury Flop by a woman athlete (here)

The Fosbury Flop was a revolutionary style 
introduced by Dick Fosbury who clinched
the gold medal in the 1968 Mexico Olympics 

R for Record-breaking in ABC of Sports

the given words:
shattering drums signs strips tight  grave

Record-breaking is part and parcel of sports
There is a tendency and a motivation to break
a record once it has been set

Shattering of records is a given expectation
Drums are beaten to announce the success
It involves signs of a bigger, faster or of a higher
progression, improvement and or achievement

Highly technical and scientific it centers on
the close connection of ‘man and machine’

Machines involve two aspects, one changes
to the equipment and two changes to the system 
Changes to the equipment is where machines are 
subjected to strips of its basic form and an improved 
new model is tested say, on the F1 tracks

Changes to the system was akin to the creativity 
of Dick Fosbury whose style brought the barrier
higher than that of a straddle or a Western roll

But man is not a machine. Man can only transform
himself through better diets and a tight but a clean
living lifestyle to overcome physical deficiencies

Beware though for in grave situations some cheats
succumb to base acts by experimenting in the organic
drugs scene. They forget that such abuses to their
bodies will catch up with them later in life or earlier
from the authorities if unlucky enough to be caught

A to Z Challenge
For Brenda's Sunday Whirl 
Six for Wednesday ~ 3 and
Susan's at PU's Midweek 
Motif  - organic

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Quagmire of a mind in a quandary

                                                                                                                             Author: Jim Champion
Image:  East side of Trethevy Quoit, Cornwall, U.K.  (here)

Q for Game of Garden Quoit in ABC of Sports

Quagmire of a mind in a quandary
Quest for a quick fix of answers
Quenching thirst of quixotic quibble
Querulous and endlessly quivering

Can you think of a Q in sports?
Let’s see a quick run through                                       
So as to quell a quirky question

What about a quadrangular meet
With quads of quality players
Or of a quick-running Wing Three-Quarters
Or a quick thinking Quarterback

Let’s not call it quits
There are certainly some Qs in sports
What about a Quoit?

A what?

A to Z Challenge
For Marian's Real Toad's
The Tuesday Platform

Monday, April 18, 2016

What a laugh!

                                                                                User: Lorenzo
Image: No laughing Matter (here)

the given words:
laugh plain rock secret site

What a laugh!
Plain and simple
To rock the boat
Reveal a secret
You have your fun

Then move on
Pick another site

weekly writing prompt #33

Sunday, April 17, 2016

They set their sights to be the best

                                                                                  Attribution: Alessandro Petersen
Image: The Exhilaration of Victory (here)

P for Perseverance in ABC of Sports

Sunday Whirl's 12 given words:
first lost sights forget stretch shell 
left rattle rest old hole feathers 

Sportsmen are a special breed
First and foremost interest in particular
sports are not lost on them to excel

They set their sights to be the best and
forget little distractions or disappointments
They stretch themselves to their utmost
pushing themselves out of the shell

They are left with no alternatives but to persevere

That should rattle the rest of the field  
Old rivals holed up in their comfort zone
are not of concern

A true champion will go beyond in his
bid for excellence with the designated feathers
in his cap to announce his stature at all times

A to Z Challenge
For Brenda's Sunday Whirl Wordle #247

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Openness of the drug scene in sports is daringly elusive - a Haibun

                                                                                                        Author: Unknown
Image: The 100 yards Sprint at the 1896 Olympics (here)

O for Openness of the Drug Scene in ABC of Sports

The Prose
Openness of the drug scene in sports is daringly elusive
There was never a respite ever since sprinter Ben Johnson
was stripped off his Olympics gold medals in 1988

The authorities keep adding to their list of banned substances
while the coaches keep looking for ‘medicines’ not on the list
As recently as January 2016 when Meldonium was added to the
list that it resulted in many athletes who were tested positive.
It included Sharapova who had taken it for a decade

According to the manufacturers it would take quite some time
for the drug to be rid off from the athlete’s system. That being
the case some of the 172 athletes caught in the web  might
jeopardize their chances of competing at the Rio Olympics this
summer if their bodies still have traces of the drug by then

The Tanka
'Catch me if you can'
Taken ostensibly as
medicine knowing
fully well these are drugs of
a muscle enhancing kind

A to Z Challenge
For Mary's Poetry Pantry 
#298 at Poets United

Friday, April 15, 2016

contact games offer lots of opportunities

                                                                                    Attribution: Pierre-Yves Beaudouin 
                                                                                                         Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0
Image: Ice Hockey - Prone to Rough Play (here)

N for Nastiness and Niceties in ABC of Sports

In a competition there is a winner and a loser
Presence of a referee to ensure all play by the rule
Gentlemanly conduct is very much expected
But it may just be for some while before
the heat of the moment can turn out to be nasty

Sadly contact games offer lots of opportunities
Ice hockey the most deadly in terms of injuries
Being elbowed or stepped on with impunity
But there should not be too much niceties either
As it will dampen the sting of the killer instinct
To render the fight ineffective

How then to be nasty yet not to be
over indulgent with niceties
How then to maintain a balance of sportsmanship
not at the expense of weakening the will to win!

A to Z Challenge
For Bjorn's at d'Verse OLN #170

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Grotesquely bulging at odd places

                                                                                Attribution: TerrorUK                        
Image: Muscleman Specimen  (here)

M for Muscles and Flesh in ABC of Sports

Grotesquely bulging at odd places
A show of force a fantasia of designs
Whether male or a female frame of aces
Alluding to a body beautiful so defined

No actions but to outshine other biddings
No skills to be judged that one was the best
Just parading with acts of muscles flexing 
Winners decided by visual concensus

To showcase the results of their efforts
To be astounded by intimidating shiny flesh
Long hours spent in solitary gym workouts
No small wonder still a non-Olympic bash

A to Z Challenge
For Lilian's at d'Verse  -  fantasia

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Losers were shoved into oblivion

                                                                                                       Attribution: Misty
Image: Champ Sharapova (here)

L for Losers Lose All in ABC of Sports

At their heyday all champions hogged the limelight
Muhammad Ali defeated Liston, Foreman and Bugner
He was remembered by the losers’ names in their fights
Losers otherwise shoved into oblivion a nameless fighter

Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Hingis, Sharapova were champs
The Williams sisters and many more greats before and after
But for the runners-up no one cared and none to be reckoned
Out by the wayside into the bins of history for good measure

The call not just to win but to ‘compete was more important’
A coach’s classic excuse more of a convenient morale booster
And relevant to be repeated all the time in training sessions
Obviously for champions though it would not hold water

A to Z  Challenge

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Many vying for honors and glory

                                                                                     Attribution: Jake Archibald
Image: Failed with Engine
Trouble while Leading (here)

K for Killer Instinct in ABC of Sports

Many vying for honors and glory
Across the spectrum of life’s instinct
They slog and they claw with intensity
Against all comers driven to the brink

Just as many will sink along the path
Some still manage to keep the challenge
But for the sweat and tears they only last
With some moments of joy not sustained

On the last lap while leading they crash
They stop trying at that critical moment
Should have been champions at their best
Lacking the killer instinct so profound

A to Z Challenge
For Kerry's The Tuesday Platform
at Real Toads

Monday, April 11, 2016

Thrill of being your own Skipper - a Haibun

                                                                                   Attribution: Peter van der Sluijs
Image: Leisurely spin (here)

Jetski or water-scooter is one of those known as PWCs (Personal water craft). They are small, fast, and easily handled.  Fairly easy to use, affordable, and their propulsion systems do not have external propellers, making them safer for swimmers and wildlife.  For these reasons, they are preferred for non-recreational use over small motorboats. Due to their speed and excellent maneuverability, police and rangers use them to enforce laws on lakes and rivers  - Wiki

At one time they were not allowed to be too close to shore as there were cases of mishaps involving swimmers. Their use were not regulated which contributed to this. The lack of communication and understanding among users led to haphazard rules and practice.

J for Jetski in ABC of Sports

The thrill of being your own skipper
On your own alone riding the waves
Akin to a Harley Davidson on water
Gangway! There he goes all the rave

Seawater angrily hitting his knees
Taste of salt like honey on his chest
He speeds like a demon just released
King of the waves atop the water's crest

A to Z Challenge
For Toni's Haibun Monday #11 - 
reach out/communication

Saturday, April 9, 2016

The will to participate a strong motivator

                                                                                          Attribution:  Myles Cullen                                     
Image: Participation by the handicapped (here)

I for Infirm Athletes in ABC of Sports

Sporting events are such
that they do not discriminate
Athletes do not expect much
but push themselves to dominate

One may be handicapped but physically
The will to participate a strong motivator
The infirm see themselves unfazed mentally
Paralympics a portent indicator

A to Z Challenge

Friday, April 8, 2016

Clothes and toys qualify

                                                                                             Attribution: Frank Vincentz
Image: Flea market Selling Used Goods (here)

Note: 1 Used good purchased by a second end user or transferred informally between friends and family for free are hand-me-downs  - Wiki

Note: 2 Hank had choice of Hockey or Handball but opted for hand-me-downs, to include here as an event.

H for hand-me-downs at ABC of Sports

Clothes and toys qualify as hand-me-downs
Elder siblings get to sport new items purchased
Younger ones that come after sportingly accept
Perhaps even shoved down onto their laps

Such the beauty of hand-me-downs syndrome
Parents get to save on unnecessary outlay
When such items are still seen to be new
Large families benefit from this practice

In most instances such measures were mandatory
Had seen classmates garbed in clothes with patches
Which could indicate a third end user in the family
Where every single cent was meant to stretch

A  to Z Challenge

Thursday, April 7, 2016

frustrations of a missed shot?

                                                                                        Attribution: Erik Cavarra
Image: A Good finish of the Golf swing (here)

G for Golf in ABC of Sports 

Theoretically speaking golf is the easiest of games
A golf  ball that is stationary waiting just to be hit
Why the laments and frustrations of a missed shot?

Can best be explained that it is not entirely physical
How to ensure that the ball will drop where so desired
Mental strength will determine an accomplished golfer

Have a perfect home environment to expect good golf

A to Z April Challenge
For De's d'Verse MTB  -  the sevenling  
( apoem of seven lines)

Soccer is always a fascination

                                                                                                  Attribution: Usien
Image: A Youth Game in Munich (here)

F for Football in ABC of Sports

Sunday Whirl's – Six given words:
clear pushed wrong wonder souls deep

Soccer is always a fascination
Clear game of skills of strong actions
Being pushed is not a foul but too often
it may trigger off a retaliation

It is to avoid being at the wrong end
No small wonder as what is at stake are millions
They are lucky souls paid handsome dues
Deep down they realize what they will lose

Avoid the red card or any suspensions
Play it safe and no footbrawls to stay even

A to Z  Challenge
For Brenda's Sunday Whirl's
Six for Wednesday -1

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Rodeo spills and thrills

                                                                                Artist: Jacques-Louis David
Image: Napoleon crossing the Alps (here)

E for Equestrian in ABC of Sports

Horse-back riding takes
centre stage when cowboys set
rodeo spills and thrills

Equestrian grace and
elegance accords balance
and a regal stance

Napoleon’s aura
lends a citizenship of
purpose to the land

A to Z Challenge
For Susan's at PU's Midweek Motif
-  citizenship

Locked in icy waters - A Quadrille

                                                                                                      Attribution: Tomasz
Locked in icy waters in the
shimmering light a lone sailing
ship lost in its bid.

Praying for a guardian of angels
to extend its welcomed

To provide some semblance
of protection and companionship
to lost souls clamoring for some
kind of divine help

(44 words)

Victoria's Quadrille #6 of 44 words at
d'Verse and to include the word shimmer 
in any of its various forms and
Nekneeraj's Photo Challenge #107 at MLMM

Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Kanamara Matsurior the “Festival of the Steel Phallus" - a Haibun

                                                                             Photographer: Unknown
Image: Diving at the 1960 Rome Olympics (here)

D for Demeaning Festivities at the ABC of Sports
(originally D was for Diving)

Note: 1 Hank is taken up by the grace of diving
until a news item of today made it convenient
to switch

Note: 2 Hank is game for humor, please take it
as such.

Note: 3 Apologies for the base words used (these are from the
original text not easily substituted so retained as they are)

The Prose
The first Sunday in April marks the celebration of the Shinto fertility festival, the Kanamara Matsurior the “Festival of the Steel Phallus.” Known colloquially as the ‘Penis Festival’
For this year it is on Sunday, 3 April 2016.

While this festival has a deeper meaning, it’s still a penis festival. There are penis hats, penis puppets, penis floats, penis costumes, and since nobody here shies away from sex or the sex organs, you’ll see elderly Japanese alongside young couples seeking cures for impotence and infertility.

 People parade gigantic phallic-shaped mikoshi (portable Shinto shrines) down the streets during the event, as revelers suck on penis lollipops, buy penis-themed memorabilia and pose with sculptures in the shape of — you guessed it — penises.

According to the BBC, the festival is believed to have roots in the 17th century, when prostitutes are said to have prayed for protection from sexually transmitted infections at Kawasaki’s Kanamara shrine.

Today, the festival reportedly raises awareness about safe sex practices and fund raises for HIV prevention
(truncated from news items)

The Haiku
Shinto festival
Safe sex awareness enhanced
fund raising goodness

For A to Z Challenge