STEVEN BERKOFF UNPUBLISHED

 

A celebration of the Wimbledon final in 2009 between
Roger Federer and Andy Roddick.

 


 Wimbledon

He throws the ball
High in the air
His arm is raised
Now donít despair
His racketís gripped
Makes a tight fist
Gotta win this point
Just one serve left

And whack, he whacks it
Oh so hard
A meteor tears
Through the sweaty air
And is it in or is it out?
The crowd just gasps
The girlfriend pouts
And grips her hair
Oh! Oh! Donít despair.

Sheís staring at him
Like for her
He is the only thing
Worth living for.
Her heart is pounding,
Pounding fast
Oh how much longer
Can this game last?

ĎCause every game
He plays, sheís there
And every time
He hits the ball
Itís like her heart
That feels the thump,
Itís like her heart
That beats as fast
As the balls go
Spinning past

And mama, mamaís
Watching too
This valiant guy
Came from her womb
Those rippling muscles
Are her flesh
He was a puppy
In her nest
And now, and now,
Heís mighty sleek
Tears up the court
Like a raging beast
Sheís watching every
Move he makes
Watching when
He lifts his cap
Watching when
He wipes his brow
Watching when
He slugs a drink
Watching, watching,
Mama proud
So is it in
Or is it out?
The electronic eye,
will sort it,
Yes sort it out.

And yes, itís in!
A tiny sliver
Just covers the line
The opponent quivers.
Itís just a shadow,
A bellyís curve
But enough to make
The damn point mine!
The girlfriend shivers

Oh God another set
To play, oh why
Wonít this man go away?
But he wonít
He wonít go away
He wants to break you
So make his day
Ok pal, itís time to play.

The crowd is hushed
The sun beats down
They gasp or shout
Or wince or frown,
Or giggle and gape
Some play the clown
Just a typical
English crowd

They canít believe
How long it lasts
The ladies like
The sinewy thighs
They like these
Superhuman guys.
They like their arses
When they bend
When they crouch down
To start the set
Their white shorts, white
As snow and crisp

Their sculptured arms
Their rock hard tits
And most of all
Their guts, the way
They stand before
The massive throng
Whilst the punters urge
Their favourite on

They stand there proud
And twirl their rackets
Waiting for the meteor strike
And show no fear
Eyes laser-like
From where the ball
Will spit at you
A great white glob
Spat through the air

How handsome men are
When they fight
How fierce like animals
When they show their might
The ladies keep these thoughts
Real quiet
And utter sweet and melting sighs
As their lust filled eyes
Just graze their thighs

Their boyfriends wish
Theyíd some of it
The boyfriends wish
They had their balls
The boyfriends wish
Their girlfriendís eyes
Adored them so much
As these superguys

OK, itís two sets each
It evened out
The Swiss guy looks
A little wan
Like his candleís gonna
Be snuffed out
Yet heís the dude
Real cool, real calm

Thick hair tied with
A cummerbund
His sponsorís logo
On his chest
Why he donít look
Like he even sweats
Heís waiting for
The Yank to serve

Fingertips strum
The racketís strings
He knows that his
Opponent serves
Like the ball
Had sweptback wings
Like a shot
From a cannonís mouth

Itís faster than
A speeding Jag
Swifter than
A plunging bird
Ready to pierce
Itís silvery prey
As it glides innocent
In the foaming spray

The Yank, he tests
The balls each time
Poppity poppity poppity pop
He pockets one
The otherís ok
He does the same thing
Like a rhyme
Like a ritual
He must obey

Bouncing the ball
Yes, just three times
Is he sending a message
To the Gods of the game
Whose names are mounted
Now up high
The greats, whose sweat
Has drenched the courts

Whose steel sprung thighs
Had raced and leapt,
Scissorríd over the turf
Hands outstretched
Heart pounding, veins bulging,
Lungs aflame
Oh yes, the masters
Of the game.

Their legends live
Now for all time
On the pantheon
They are enshrined
But now their shadow
Selves remain
Dressed in suits,
Hair turned to grey

A dishy number
By their side
To give these champs
A little pride,
But as she sits,
Her skirt rides high.
But when they enter
The viewing stands
The crowd bursts into
Warm applause
Oh, is this not,
The sweetest sound
The loveliest music
The ex champ hears
Like the fluttering of
Angelís wings
Wafting the odour
Of ancient games
Into the nostrils
Of these ex-kings

Susurrating through
The hot June air
Now, the old champs
Stare right down
Seeing their young selves
On the green
Remembering what it was like
To feel ten thousand eyes
Demand a kill

Watching you dance,
Leap, twist and turn
That impossible ball
You returned
Watching the muscles
Writhe in their skin
Watching your grace,
Your poise, your spin

But now another
Takes your place
Anotherís standing
In your shoes
Another hand will
Smash an ace
Another one
Will win or lose

It soars, it swoops,
It hits the square
So fast it scorches
Up the air.
He canít return it,
Heís not that fast
Thatís beyond just
Any man to grasp

Thatís beyond what
Mortal man can do
Outside of what
Is possible
40 love, another hit,
Oh God he wants to
Bloody spit
Bloody aces
Make him sick

Just look into his eyes
And see, the fires
Beginning to subside
4 hours hey! Itís
Just too much
Hit and smash,
And whack and crack
The sun now gets
Into the act.
Zoom! Keblam!
Drop shot! Volley!
Poor girlfriend slowly
Turns to jelly

Oh thereís a royal
Looking so smart
And thereís a nebbish
Woody Allen,
Russell Crowe is looking mild
All actors are impressed
By heroes tearing up
The turf, the ring
Rough waters, land
Just anything
Since actors only make-believe
The stand-in does
The real hard stuff,
To make it look
The actorís tuff
No stand-in here

For these two dudes
Now almost half the
Weight they seemed
Before they stepped,
Onto the green
But still they fight,
They hit, they play
The ball is just

A stain across
Your retina, it goes so fast
Just how much linger
Can it last?
Just now, theyíre
Eating up their flesh
Just now theyíre
Drinking their own blood

Just now theyíre
Feeding on reserves
Just now their
Stomachís turned to mud
But still, but still
But still, but still
Theyíll play until,
Their flesh drops off

Until their muscles
Turn to glue
Until their limbs
Are held by threads
Zoom! Keblam!
Drop shot! Volley!
The girlfriends face is
Turned to putty

Her eyes stare blindly
Stabbed with pain,
No longer is this
A tennis match
This is a tryst
Whose end is death
Unless just one of them
Succumbs or else his heart,
Bursts in his chest.

They could play
For evermore
As if it was
Some punishment
Just like narcissus
Poor vain thing
Turned to a flower
By a stream

Or like Prometheus
Feeding his flesh
Every night, for evermore
His poor tired liver
Is shredded raw.
So donít provoke the jealous god
But know your place
Youíre just poor sods

Or else youíll feed
The Gods your gore
So these two
Superhuman men
Be careful lest
Youíre turned into
Just two small stinking
Sweaty pools

But now the Yank
Has missed the ball
He missed the one,
The important one,
The one that sends him,
To Kingdom Come
The one upon
Which text is writÖ.

ĎHe who lets
This ball go past
His reputation
Will not last
He who fails
To send me back
Will be forever
On the rack

Remain forever
In the plains
Where also-rans
Bide out their time
He who lacks
The final surge
Will forever
In his mind

Play the game
Time after time
ĎIf only Iíd done
This or thatí
His mind will be
A nest of rats
Yes, forever
On the rack

Thank God itís over
Over now,
The happy crowd
The simple folk
Who seldom tear
Themselves apart
To entertain folks
With their art

Who never sweat
And break their hearts
To go that extra mile
Or even die
That we may watch
TV and send email
And make the tea.

The crowd applauds
The winner, loser too
Who looks forlorn
As if the world
Has tossed him out
Into deep space nine
The Swiss one smiles
And walks the court

Heís waving to the
Cheering throngs
Who now can stand,
Their flattened arses
Slightly numb
But now how strange
He dons a coat,

Holds the cup up
To his lips,
Itís gold and gleaming
And his kiss
Is like a kiss
For all of us
But wait, what is that
On his wrist?
Thatís on his wrist,
whatís that?

Some magic bracelet,
Shining bright
Some talisman
Like Arthurís sword
Rending immortality
To those who wear it?
Yes, itís a Rolex
Glittering steel

Did our hero,
Even at this time
Where life and earth
Almost collide
And with the hope
Of millions on his head
His wife and baby
Nearly bursting through

In years to come
Sheíll tell the child
When daddy triumphed
I felt you writhe
Felt you moving
In my womb
Like you my sweet
Were cheering him
But yet the Swiss man
At the end
When half the world
Stood up and yelled
When even the Gods
Themselves were quelled
Remembered to put
His Rolex on
For now the Gods
Are sponsors
Never offend
And if they say
ĎPlease, let your cuff
Slip down your arm
So the world may see
The gifts that Heaven brings
Our mighty Rolex, glittering

So all is past
And home they go
Old champions comment
For the TV screen
Potificate
and make shrewd chat
Illuminate our
Weary minds
To tell us what
We missed or failed

To see with their
Professional artistry
And so farewell
Dear Wimbledon,
And to you all
Sampras, Becker,
Borg, Agassi,
Navratilova, gorgeous Gussie

Billy Jean King and Steffi Graf
McEnroe and Nastase
Roger Federer Andy Roddick
And know that
Every ace you played,
Every impossible return
Will be a star
In that great mighty urn
of heaven.
So farewell to you all.


Copyright © 2009 Steven Berkoff

 

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