Thursday, September 3, 2020

In a Word, Futbol

September mood 2020 Linda Mitchell

Hello there, September! 

Come on in -- let's catch up. Have you noticed the unusual times? Being month nine in the line-up may have encumbered your view. I'm hoping that you'll bring gentleness to the end of the summer. We sure could use it.

This week, Carol is rounding up our poetry at Beyond Literacy. Be sure to visit her there for all the goodies.

After a summer break, the Sunday Night Swaggers are back to challenging each other. This month's challenge comes from Catherine who asked us to write an In One Word poem introduced to our community by April Wayland. 

I wrote a haibun with tanka for the word, futbol.


A year or maybe a century ago I used to arrive at school, gather my lunch bag, purse, and phone, and head into a crowd of tweens and teens at my school’s main entrance. Always, there was at least one game of futbol running. On the outer fringes, past knots of kids chatting, texting—heads bent over phones, backpacks piled up in heaps—goals. In that grassy area right outside the library entrance, students in futbol logo t-shirts ran full speed. You’d think it was an actual World Cup match. I made my way through the shampoo scented spectators spiced with fresh bubble gum, breakfast burritos, and yellow bus exhaust. Good morning, excuse me, good morning, excuse me…a mix that always felt like a blessing as the game stretched into overtime until the first bell.

past the parking lot

a familiar shout -- foul!

ball sails, kids bolt

umph! Keeper hit by a lout

world cup middle school futbol


  1. Linda, please resend your PF post to the Roundup linkup. There was a cyberspace glitch that made my post vanish. I just finished posting again. Sorry for the inconvenience. While I do not know much about Futbol I do know about the haibun format. I really liked the prose piece with all of its descriptors. It held my interest and then the tanka shared the excitement and movement.

  2. Nice job!! Great details and immediacy. I'm right there. :)

  3. This is such a fun poem, Linda! I love that you created a haibun to share the backstory with us. The normal middle school morning you describe does feel like a century ago!

  4. I love your intro as much as the poem, Linda, the description of what used to be your world. It is wonderful, but makes me sad! Well done all!

  5. Oh, this complete work is just fabulous, Linda. There is so much warmth and affection in that intro. And familiarity in that futbol stanza. (Though I am curious as to how you define futbol. I feel I know it. Even if it is a different form.)

  6. Good morning my friend! You surprised me as always with the change from the longer in-one-word poem to this haibun (made for you). The description is vivid: I made my way through the shampoo scented spectators spiced with fresh bubble gum, breakfast burritos, and yellow bus exhaust. Good morning, excuse me, good morning, excuse me"--but what is really striking is the buried undercurrent of grief at what is lost. You don't write on the side, Linda--you write IN THE MIDDLE. Proud to know you and sending love as tough as burnt sugar for your heart this week.

  7. Oh, how nice to enjoy one of your haibuns again, Linda. Your descriptions bring that crowd scene to vivid life--Yet another moment that we didn't realize was blessed and cherished until it was altered. I so wish we could call "Foul!" on Covid and so many other events of this year.

  8. I can smell those kids right through this computer screen. Wonderful switcheroo to the haibun, a form that is meant for you.

  9. You have captured a middle school morning perfectly--the sights and smells and sounds.

  10. SCORE! Your poem is a sensory delight, Linda! I love the peek into the backstory and process of your writing. I always learn when I visit you. Thank you. :)

  11. Hahaha! Love it! I was going to try an In One Word poem this week, but felt stymied when I looked at my words. It was coming out too didactic. Yours feels free and fun!

  12. Your poems terrific Linda, you reeled me right in and kept me there, the story before and the tanka at the end, Love it, thanks!


Friendly, positive comments and feedback are always welcome here. Please let me know I'm not just whistling in the dark!