FAST Sonnets in Cyberspace #1​6


Birth-Celebrating + Birthday Poem #2


Slightly less emphatically than her bro
(As ounces go) she appeared gracefully
In my still-broken life with angel’s glow
Befitting a daughter’s birth on hotly
Contested, oh-blazing-like-sages day
For the ages. From cradle, sensitive
As springtime sky and summer-wild bouquet
And autumn sun. Ice-like competitive
Too — revealed as she grew and played on field
Of green. But first: Mohawk infancy, shock
Of dark hair, unlocking a youthful yield
To rebel ’do — now, new, she’s on Life’s clock.
Dad unseen, undo, hew, renew her true —
In Way this human dad could never do.

© Bruce William Deckert 2022


Related Post:
Birth-Celebrating + Birthday Poem #1
 — in Luke’s honor


October 27, 2022


• Birthday Milestone for My Daughter
Kayla Anneliese Deckert was born 27 years and three months ago — give or take three days — to glad and proud parents Bruce Deckert and Mina Elizabeth Sykes Deckert, at 2:11 a.m. on July 30, 1995.

Today, the day this sonnet is being posted, happens to be Mina’s birthday. The following thoughts in honor of Kayla’s and Mina’s birthdays are restated — for helpful emphasis and for good reason — from my sonnet post honoring Luke Deckert’s birthday earlier this year … and away we go:

Kayla and her older brother Luke are dynamic human products of a true marriage marked by true love.

Since Mina and I started dating on November 8, 1986 — after meeting in 1984 — our relationship has been marked by more ups and downs than a roller coaster … friendship brewing like good strong coffee, marital hurts and anger flaring sometimes too often, and then friendship and passion renewing.

Yet the bottom line, from my vantage point, is that we’ve shared real love aka true love — a real-life and real-world and genuine relationship — and that’s the best love and best connection, in my book, even in the face of our more recent heartache. Far better than a beyond-marriage, way-beyond-the-boundary-of-the-Pride-Lands “romantic relationship” that chases fantasies and false love.

It is hard to comprehend that Kayla’s birth occurred nearly three decades ago — wow, 27+ years evidently goes by in a few blinks of the eye.

By the way, Kayla married Andrew Tyson on July 1, 2017 — so her name now is Kayla (Deckert) Tyson — and yes, I’m now proud of my son Luke and my daughter and son-in-law, who is in the final stage of training to become a Green Beret in the U.S. Army Special Forces.

Oh, one more name note: Kayla’s middle name (Anneliese) is a nod to my Mom, Anneliese Stickel (Deckert) Baker, aka Kayla’s Grammy — she passed away in August 2009 at 72 years of age.

• Storied Sports History
This blog focuses on faith-and-sports issues, so each FAST Sonnet in Cyberspace has a sports connection.

In this case, the most visible sports-related line in Kayla’s sonnet is this one: “Ice-like competitive / Too — revealed as she grew and played on field / Of green.”

Kayla’s stellar sports, academic and career history has been evident throughout her life — in the sports realm alone, she played at Messiah College, a small-college soccer powerhouse, where she excelled as a two-time First Team All-American.

For a list of her soccer honors and accomplishments, see her Messiah Women’s Soccer bio — click here — and naturally, I’m proud of her character intangibles and off-the-field accomplishments too.

• Sonnet Rundown: Less Is More
This is an English (aka Shakespearean) sonnet — a 14-line poem with 10 syllables per line, featuring three four-line stanzas and a closing couplet, with this rhyme scheme: abab cdcd efef gg

In my book, the sonnet is the best poem structure for the time-challenged and smartphone-distracted residents of the 21st century — instead of lengthy and laborious free verse, the sonnet offers a quick and power-packed literary roller coaster … here’s hoping you’ve enjoyed this ride.


FAST Sonnets in Cyberspace #1​5​


Birth-Celebrating + Birthday Poem #1


He entered my still-broken world one bright
Winter morn — ten pounds of emphatic boy,
Wrapped sure in swaddling clothes of our delight,
Incarnate miracle — tidings of joy!
With newborn’s cries a symphony to start
A trio, I held you — and your wailing
Ceased as you rested close to your Dad’s heart.
But memories of a father’s failing
Sail along with newfound bliss — unwelcome
Barnacles clinging to hull of my soul.
Forgive me, son, when fear mocks and makes dumb
My hope — Best Dad, help navigate this shoal.
Our two-ordered lives You have rearranged —
Let son-forsaken past be ever changed.

© Bruce William Deckert 2022


Related Post:
Birth-Celebrating + Birthday Poem #2
​ — in Kayla’s honor​


February 2022


• Milestone Birthday for My Son
Luke George Deckert was born 30 years ago today, to proud and glad parents Bruce Deckert and Mina Elizabeth Sykes Deckert — at 10:24 a.m. on February 3, 1992.

As I mentioned to Luke recently, he and Kayla are dynamic human products of a true marriage marked by true love — I didn’t employ those exact words in our conversation, but when one has an opportunity to put thoughts into writing, it’s possible to fine-tune and hone the message.

Since Mina and I started dating on November 8, 1986 — after meeting in 1984 — our relationship has been marked by more ups and downs than a roller coaster … friendship brewing like good strong coffee, marital hurts and anger flaring perhaps too often, and then friendship and passion renewing. But the bottom line, from my vantage point, is that we’ve shared real love — not a fake paste-on-a-smile and pretend-you’re-happy relationship, but instead a real-life and true-love and real-world relationship … and that’s the best kind, in my book, even in the face of our more recent heartache.

It is hard to comprehend that Luke’s birth occurred three decades ago — wow, 30 years can apparently go by in a few blinks of the eye.

• Storied Sports History
This blog focuses on faith-and-sports issues, so each FAST Sonnet in Cyberspace has a sports connection. In this case, see the reference in the ninth line to sailing, calling to mind competitions such as America’s Cup — the oldest trophy in international sport, dating back to 1851 and predating the modern Olympics by 45 years, according to the Cup website.

When I penned that sailing reference, I had no clue that Luke would be a seven-year veteran of the Coast Guard upon his 30th birthday — I’m thankful for his service.

Further, Luke’s stellar sports history has been evident throughout his life, complementing an outstanding academic and career history. He was a three-sport captain on his high school soccer and basketball and baseball teams, attaining all-conference in soccer and baseball. College sports didn’t pan out — giving him more time for other pursuits — but a local baseball coach I know who has trained many college ballplayers says Luke had the talent to play Division I college ball.

Naturally, I’m even more proud of his character intangibles and off-the-field accomplishments.

Regarding the college baseball coach who released Luke in the last round of cuts during his freshman-year tryout — as far as I’m concerned, not keeping Luke was clearly that coach’s loss. Again, Luke pursued other worthwhile college endeavors … and God has a Way of working these circumstances for good. I’m hoping and praying that this will be the case in every circumstance in Luke’s life and in our family.

• Sonnet Rundown
This is an English (aka Shakespearean) sonnet — a 14-line poem with 10 syllables per line, comprised of three four-line stanzas and a closing couplet, with this rhyme scheme: abab cdcd efef gg.

• Sonnet-Wise, Less Is More
For my money, the sonnet is the best poem structure for the time-challenged and smartphone-distracted residents of the 21st century here in the so-called First World — instead of lengthy free verse, the sonnet offers a quick and power-packed reading adventure.

Luke is typically a man of few words, as the saying goes — certainly, a man of fewer spoken words than his Dad — so in that light, the sonnet is an especially fitting poem form to celebrate his birthday.

FAST Sonnets in Cyberspace #14


A Wedding Poem


“With this ring I wed thee,” we pledged that day
When diamond-vow made moons before our sun
Gave cause to rise — we gave our lives away,
By holy stream and forest wise undone.
Un-secure I felt, undone still — sunset
Vision, a beauty framed in brilliant light
Descends from virgin clouds — can I forget
Memory’s haunting dreams of son-sad night?
Oh, still my hope of home, like sunrise roar,
Grows day by day — though surely rising slow —
And held in soar-embrace, the wait endure.
Love’s mystery remains, but this I know:
Every wife-jewel costs all beauty on earth —
All diamonds pale in light of her love’s worth.

© Bruce William Deckert 1992-2021 — posted: August 2021


August 2021


Marriage Memories
More than three decades ago this month — on August 6, 1988 — Mina and I were married on a blazing day at an amazing venue: an outdoor sanctuary in Connecticut’s spectacular Farmington Valley. I penned the original version of this sonnet for her in the early days of our marriage — the above version has been revised, making the sentiment less personal and more global in certain ways, given what has transpired in the past couple of years … anyone who is aware of the recent history of our relationship understands the heartbreaking circumstance I’m referring to.

Marriage Musings #1
Yet to me, the occasion of our wedding is surely worth commemorating upon this 33rd anniversary of the month we married. The reality of our union as seen in our son and daughter will make every anniversary of our wedding day worthy of celebrating, in the midst of heartache — a heartache, by the way, that every spouse in every marriage experiences and that is part-and-parcel of the true joy and true love of the marital union. Indeed, marriage heartache well-endured and well-managed leads to deeper joy and truer love when both spouses want and seek such rapture together.

Marriage Musings #2
When the endurance runs longer, measured by decades not years, the love and joy grow stronger … when both spouses choose to cultivate their relationship with companionship and camaraderie — like garden flowers given the tender care of time and the rootedness of long-term commitment and the fertilizer of forgiveness.

Marriage Musings #3
Yes, heartache attends every human heart, as the close companion to and flip side of hopeful joy — and therefore every spouse in every marriage of a human man and woman can experience a paradoxical hopeful heartache, whether the marriage is hitting on all cylinders or, conversely, is splitting like the atom. Yet even then, when the marriage splits open like an atomic blast, wounding hearts in a perfect and horrific storm, the ensuing energy can be harnessed — for wholesome and life-giving destruction as well as conclusive and life-growing construction.

Whew … who knew true love is such a messy blessing of paradox and poignancy, of gravity and buoyancy, of modesty and flamboyancy … OK, maybe I’m getting carried away, but I sense another sonnet in the wind.

Ring of Truth
Since this blog focuses on faith-and-sports issues, each FAST Sonnet in Cyberspace has a sports connection — in this case, see the first-line reference to a ring … yes, a fleeting and perhaps oblique sports theme, yet fitting. The Olympic rings are the symbol of the ultimate in athletic training and achievement — and given the New Testament’s elucidation vis-à-vis the training and true love Jesus of Nazareth offers His bride, aka the body of Christ, the connection is as clear as day. Jesus also promises to be with and stay with His bride, providing the ability and can-do perseverance and wherewithal to make this marriage work … that is, both survive and thrive.

Sonnet Synopsis
This is an English (or Shakespearean) sonnet — a 14-line poem with 10 syllables per line, comprised of three four-line stanzas and a closing couplet, employing this rhyme scheme: abab cdcd efef gg.

Busy-Friendly Poetry
In my book, the sonnet is the best poem for the ever-busy residents of the 21st century — no time for lengthy free verse? No problem … a sonnet takes perhaps a minute to read.

Someday, I may post the original version of this sonnet — in the meantime, thanks for stopping by.

FAST Blast: Derek Redmond’s extraordinary Olympic story


• July-August 2021

THE FOLLOWING ESSAY launched this faith-and-sports blog in August 2012, during the London Olympics. Nine years later, we’ve entered a COVID Olympic time warp — in apparently unprecedented fashion, the Olympic Games are occurring in an odd-numbered year.

Welcome to the 2020 + 2021 Tokyo Olympics!

I hope you enjoy the new version of this embryonic classic from A Slow Life in the FAST Lane — strap in for a roller-coaster Summer Olympics reminiscence.


First Post — August 2012
Second Post: Revised — August 2016
Revised + Updated: Third Post — July-August 2021

PREGAME TALK — Welcome to A Slow Life in the FAST Lane. The stars of this blog, faith and sports, need no introduction. And for those who think, “I’m not a person of faith and I’m definitely not religious” — that is perhaps an understandable sentiment, but think again!

Consider these dictionary definitions: Religion is “something of overwhelming importance to a person: football is his religion.” Further: Religion is “something a person believes in devotedly” … and aren’t we all devoted to someone and/or something?

Once more, welcome — read, vote, comment as you wish — and play ball!

Bruce William Deckert


THREE DECADES LATER, a riveting Olympic story still resonates.

This story echoes like a starter’s gun across the tracks and fields of time, signaling dreams deferred and shattered — and then, after the heartbreak, dreams somehow restored and reborn.

This story pulsates with an afflicted runner’s energy, reverberates with raw emotion, celebrates the never-give-up Olympic ethos.

This is the true-life tale of British track star Derek Redmond.

The Setting — 1992 Barcelona Olympics
The Event — 400-meter dash: semifinal
The Backstory — Redmond’s career was beset by Achilles tendon injuries and surgeries, and at the Beijing Olympics in 1988 a tendon injury forced him to withdraw moments before his first race … four long years later, some considered the British sprinter a medal favorite


THE TV COVERAGE leading up to Redmond’s 1992 semifinal reminds viewers how he missed the ’88 Games and documents how hard he trained to return to Olympic glory.

Redmond starts strong in this race — but after about 150 meters injury strikes again, this time a torn right hamstring. Devastated, he kneels on the track. When medical staff come to him, he decides to keep going. Rising to his feet, he begins to hobble along … and hobble is the operative word.

Redmond describes his motivation this way: “The thought that went through my mind — as crazy as it sounds now — was: I can still catch them … I just remember thinking to myself: I’m not going to stop — I’m going to finish this race.”

What happens next is an indelible Olympic moment.

A man descends from the stands to the track and, getting past security, chases Redmond from behind. A crazed spectator, perhaps? The man catches up with the limping sprinter and puts his arm around Redmond’s shoulder.

The man is Derek’s Dad.

“The old man went to put his arms around me,” Derek says, “and I was just about to try and push him off because I thought it was someone else — I didn’t see him, he sort of jogged from behind. And he said, ‘Look, you don’t need to do this. You can stop now, you haven’t got nothing to prove.’ And I said, ‘Oh, I have — now get me back into Lane 5. I want to finish.’”

Jim Redmond wants his son to stop in case he’s able to recover and compete in the upcoming 4×400-meter relay for the British team that won gold at the 1991 World Championships. Nonetheless, Derek is determined to complete the course, so his Dad says, “Well then, we’re going to finish this together.”

Derek continues his strange and moving race — at a walking pace now, with his Dad’s arm draped around him, and vice versa.

As they walk around the track together, Derek is overcome by the emotion of the moment and his tears flow freely. He sobs at intervals, leaning on his Dad’s shoulder.

“You just knew how destroyed he was and just how much that race meant to him,” says Sally Gunnell, the British women’s team captain in 1992 who won gold in the 400-meter hurdles. “It’s … a picture that just stays in your mind forever.”

Meanwhile, 65,000 fans stand and applaud — and some weep along with Derek. When father and son reach the cusp of the finish line, Dad releases his hold and Derek crosses the line solo.

In a postrace interview, Jim Redmond says, “He had to finish, and I was there to help him finish. … We started his career together, and I think we should finish it together.”


A STANDING OVATION — why such rousing applause for an injured athlete who won neither a race nor a medal? The answer, I believe, is simple: This story reflects the deep yearning of the human heart.

Three decades ago, I was awestruck at the glimpse Derek Redmond’s story gives into the message of the Christian view of reality.

Yes, I grew up in the Church, and I’m endeavoring to persevere in the Church. As someone who subscribes to the historic Christian faith, while aiming to avoid its caricatures and counterfeits, I believe there are solid reasons why a genuine biblical worldview makes all the sense in the world.

Yet I also continue to wrestle with questions — by the way, I reckon I’d have questions whatever worldview I embraced — and one of them is the timeless query that’s older than Mount Olympus: What is the meaning of life?

Naturally, the world’s various philosophies, faiths and worldviews all give an answer, and so do people who consider themselves nonreligious — and while everyone is at it, could someone also answer the mystifying question of how on earth the Yankees lost to the Red Sox in the 2004 ALCS? No MLB team had ever surrendered a 3-0 series lead before. It still seems surreal — are we sure it actually happened?

But I digress … let’s return to the standing ovation for Derek and his Dad: Do the messages of other worldviews elicit such a deep human response?

Let’s imagine a couple of parallel-universe versions of Derek Redmond’s story.

After his hamstring snapped, what if Derek had sat on the track and penned a poem about the meaninglessness of life, or cursed his fate, or smiled in the face of his misfortune — and then hobbled into the tunnel under the stadium, never to be seen again?

Spectators might have considered him stoic or quasi-heroic — but would they have been moved to stand and applaud with abandon? If every human being departs into nothingness, as atheism proclaims, is the human heart moved to high praise?

Not exactly … more literally, not even close.

What if Derek had sat on the track, accepted his suffering bravely, and disappeared into the stadium tunnel, and then another sprinter emerged from the tunnel? But an announcement was made that this new sprinter was Derek in another form. And this occurred over and over again.

Spectators might have been heartened about Derek’s ever-new opportunity to run the race. Yet do pantheistic religions, such as Hinduism, and eclectic New Age belief systems — with their claim of reincarnation and apparent loss of personality — provide a unique individual narrative that moves people to weep openly at a father’s intervention?

Perhaps I can only guess at your answer to this query, but I can communicate my answer readily: No, pantheism doesn’t inspire our hearts to praise or commendation … far from it.

What of the Christian worldview — does it furnish a framework for a resounding ovation as a father’s heart and mind and feet respond to his child’s pain?

The parable of the prodigal wild child gives us more than an inkling.

In the incarnation, God enters the arena of human history, coming alongside hurting human beings and offering to guide us home before it gets too dark. In the crucifixion, Jesus of Nazareth shares the suffering of humans with all their wounds and heartache — enduring heart (and hamstring) replacement surgery, apparently sans anesthesia. In the resurrection, Jesus achieves and realizes brand-new life — athletically and otherwise — on the other side of the finish line called death.


THE FOLLOWING GEM is attributed to British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge by numerous sources:

“Every happening, great and small, is a parable whereby God speaks to us — and the art of life is to get the message.”

This statement resonates with me. True, Derek Redmond’s Olympic moment doesn’t answer all my questions about the meaning of life and life’s many messages, but it does offer a clue, some athletic forensic evidence in the case of a lifetime — a case about which we all will make a decision.

Do you think God speaks through Derek Redmond’s Olympic heartbreak and parental redemption? Or do you believe such occurrences are unlikely or impossible? Does a Creator exist, and does He speak to people through the world of sports?

This blog aims to investigate such questions — and you are invited to join me on this journey to discover the answers that can be found at the intersection of faith and sports.


P.S. — I’ve heard a few observers essentially dismiss Derek Redmond’s actions in Barcelona as melodramatic and attention-seeking. I’ve watched the video more than once, and I don’t see an act. For my money, among the Olympic Games I’ve witnessed, his story is the signature moment in Olympic history.

The signature accomplishment in Olympic history, in my book, is the remarkable four-gold-medal triumph of black U.S. star Jesse Owens at the 1936 Olympics in racist-driven Nazi Germany.


Related PostDerek Redmond’s Olympic heartbreak and the problem of suffering

Information and quotes from various media outlets and YouTube were used in this article

© Bruce William Deckert 2012-2021

FAST Blast: Seeking hope in face of COVID — reflecting on unprecedented virus


Posted — 31 January 2021

A year ago, when 2020 began, who could have predicted that a year later facemasks would be an ongoing medical fashion accessory in response to a global pandemic?

This blog post is a revised and updated version of an essay I first published in Today Magazine, the news vehicle I produce as publisher and editor-in-chief. Today Magazine covers the heart of Connecticut’s Farmington Valley and seeks to record the Valley’s underreported upside. — Bruce William Deckert


UNPRECEDENTED — someone I know says he first heard this word utilized to describe the coronavirus crisis while volunteering at a social-service initiative in Hartford, Connecticut.

“It’s unprecedented,” said an unemployed man about the cancellation of the NCAA’s March Madness basketball tournament and the cessation of the NBA and NHL seasons — but of course the pandemic halted more than sports. Large public gatherings stopped. Simple courtesies like handshakes and in-person conversations were replaced by once-unfamiliar terms — social distancing and Zoom calls. Schools and businesses closed nationwide.

Medical experts and government officials saw these drastic measures as the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 … another unknown term until 2020.

In media reports and in emails from business and civic leaders, the word unprecedented was cited over and over again. The commerce shutdown led to record layoffs — so the above man has more company. Yet while the government’s response to this medical crisis has been unprecedented, the loss suffered by many families isn’t new.

Nearly 440,000 Americans have died of the virus, according to the New York Times, and 2.2 million worldwide. Such loss is a shared human reality — just ask someone who has endured 9/11 or the Vietnam War or the Holocaust … or the death of any loved one.

The world has likewise seen medical crises before: 50 million people worldwide died in the 1918-19 flu pandemic, per the CDC.

Earlier in the COVID shutdown, I took a neighborhood walk that revealed a time-honored antidote to such trauma, written in rainbow chalk that spanned a suburban Farmington Valley roadway: BE KIND. STAY POSITIVE. … Love each other.

From the chalk of children to God’s ears.

© Bruce William Deckert 2021

Today Magazine January Issue: Fame and the Forrest Gump Effect

FAST Sonnets in Cyberspace #13


A Christmas Poem


Ancient sages perceived emerging star,
Sought king they knew not, souls ablaze — yearning
For goal of heart’s wandering — babe from afar
Found, night’s mute sky-speech lending true learning.
Two thousand years, wisdom’s cry is the same:
Bright starfields and warm earth-haven reveal
Royal design and seal, speak sovereign name —
Such a King comes calling, all wise men kneel.
Flower, forest, rushing stream, surging sea,
Wide plain, high peak His unseen regal hand
Confirm — all marks of monarch’s artistry …
Refusing reason, fools alone dare stand.
Galaxy-King of boundless creation,
My folly confound — unto salvation.

© Bruce William Deckert 2020 — posted: 20 December 2020


see below to vote on alternate closing lines

Brevity Beckons — In my book, the sonnet is the best poem for on-the-go and attention-challenged residents of the 21st century — forgoing lengthy free verse, the sonnet offers a short-and-sweet reading experience … thanks for stopping by.

Sonnet Synopsis — The above poem is an English or Shakespearean sonnet — a poem comprised of three four-line stanzas and a closing couplet, with this rhyme scheme: abab cdcd efef gg. The English sonnet contains 10 syllables per line, typically employing iambic pentameter.

Noble Goal — This blog focuses on sports-and-faith topics, so each FAST Sonnet in Cyberspace has a sports connection — do you see the fleeting sports theme here? If you missed it, revisit the third line.

Vote For Last Line You Like Best — Here are three alternate last lines for this sonnet:

Alternate #1: My folly confound — to reclamation.
Alternate #2: My folly confound — to conservation.
Alternate #3: My folly confound — to preservation.

You can vote for the last line you like best:
Note — For a more informed vote, I’m recommending that you check the dictionary definitions of the various word choices — simply click each word above to see one dictionary’s take. I reviewed these definitions before deciding on the last line in the sonnet above, and I also consulted the time-honored dictionary known as the New Testament, specifically the usage of “salvation” in this NT dictionary entry (so to speak)

FAST Sonnets in Cyberspace #12


A Sonnet in Honor of George Floyd
+ All Victims of Racial Injustice Across American History
+ Police of All Races Who Aim to Protect Citizens of All Races


Does right-just rage burn and cleanse in the hearts
Of my black U.S. friends? Forebears beckoned
Here, captive cargo … see how hope departs
From Africa on spectral ships — reckoned
Three-fifths only by court’s supreme cruelty —
Torn live from safe home-haven like violets
From cradle-soil — no Lady Liberty
Greetings, just auction blocks of bondage — debts
Of freedom lost that cannot be repaid.
After emancipation, facing still
Heightened walls of hatred, racism’s sad
And bitter synergy … a history vile.
Who can save from state-prone race-choked lynch-lair?
True dark Slave-Son, oh prove untrue slavery’s dare.

© Bruce William Deckert 2020 — posted: 4 July 2020



Brief Backstory — The horrific murder of George Floyd on Memorial Day makes the sentiments of these lines especially timely on this Fourth of July … and perhaps as relevant as ever. While I wrote most of this sonnet more than 25 years ago, I’ve shared it with virtually no one — but it appears the time has come to share it more widely. Given the timing, as noted above, this poem is posted in honor of George Floyd, plus all victims of racial injustice throughout American history, plus police of all races who aim to serve citizens of all races — and for all people who grieve such needless violence.

Vote For Couplet You Like Best — The above version of this sonnet reflects a few revisions from the one I originally wrote a quarter-century ago — including the closing couplet (the last two lines). Here’s an alternate closing couplet:

Who can save us from this nation’s lynch-lair?
One dark Slave-Son who stared down slavery’s dare.

You can vote for the closing couplet you like best:

Back To School — This is an English (Shakespearean) sonnet — a poem with three four-line stanzas and a closing couplet, and the following rhyme scheme: abab cdcd efef gg. The English sonnet contains 10 syllables per line, often employing iambic pentameter — five pairs of unstressed and stressed syllables. An iamb is one such pair.

All Runners Welcome — This blog focuses on sports-and-faith issues, so each sonnet posted here has at least one sports connection — in this case, it’s the potential multiple meaning of the term “race” in the next-to-last line.

Sonnet Plug — To me, the sonnet is the best poem for rushed and distracted residents of the 21st century — no lengthy free verse here … instead, 14 concise and cogent lines. Thanks for stopping by — I hope your time here has been worthwhile.

FAST Fiction: Fall Classic Dream State #11


“I still have a dream … I have a dream today.”
— Martin Luther King Jr.

Here in my heart there’s a dream that’s unbroken
And it gets in my way, but it won’t be denied.
Oh, here in my heart, the door is still open
Waiting for you to walk into my life.
— Chicago • American rock band

Fall Classic Dream State:  Part 12345678910

Once upon a couch, I was home watching the pregame show before the decisive game of the 2000 World Series — the Mets-Yankees Subway Series — but I fell asleep just before the first pitch, and soon I began to dream…

This dream started as a wild, death-defying roller-coaster ride — a metaphorical coaster, but literally death-defying because I somehow survived a nosedive from the top of the Empire State Building by landing, dream-like, on a pole vaulter’s cushion. I wound up in New York City’s Canyon of Heroes, along Broadway, where NYC parades have honored champions and lionhearts from Amelia Earhart to Jesse Owens (in the 1930s) to French president Charles de Gaulle and the Apollo 11 astronauts (in the 1960s) to Nelson Mandela and the Yankees (in the 1990s) — three times for the Yanks that decade.

Wait … the Yankees get three parades, while Mandela gets one? Yes, this mystifies me — does it seem incongruous to you too? What he’s accomplished in overcoming apartheid warrants 30-plus parades compared to winning three World Series.

You might also be mystified by something else — I’m referring to “this dream” … but how can I speak about dreaming as if I know I’m dreaming, and still be dreaming?

Good question.

The answer is easily found — the same way answers to every possible question ever posed by humankind are found here in the new millennium: Google Search, of course. (Do you detect naiveté, irony or sarcasm in the preceding sentence? For now, you’re on your own — no spoilers at this juncture!)

The answer that I’ve found easily on the internet is this: I’m apparently experiencing what sleep specialists call a lucid dream — “defined as a dream during which dreamers, while dreaming, are aware they are dreaming … it is unclear how many people actually experience lucid dreaming … it seems that this phenomenon may be quite common” (according to the Medical News Today website).

Yes, I’m able to access Google via the World Wide Web on my iMac — while I’m dreaming. Amazing, or perhaps bizarre … but I digress.

Since enduring that near-fatal fall from the landmark Empire State skyscraper in Manhattan — while Game 5 of the World Series is transpiring at Shea Stadium in Queens — I’ve been watching a strange parade. The first parade float carried a simple light-colored placard with what appeared to be six headlines. In dark block lettering, these headlines appear to forecast events after the current year 2000.

The first headline — 2001: Terrorist attack rocks NYC, reduces Twin Towers to rubble

In a stunning moment, after witnessing the inconceivable occur — the haunting collapse of the iconic Towers, followed by the harrowing crash of Flight 93 in Pennsylvania — I’ve somehow been transported back to New York’s Canyon of Heroes along Broadway … and I can see the second parade float, despite the soot-dark setting of this peculiar nighttime spectacle.

The headline of this second float reads — 2004: Red Sox rout Yankees in Game 7, finish historic comeback

Suddenly, I hear the faint strains of a song wafting in the night … it sounds familiar but I can’t quite make it out … yet now the organ accompaniment is unmistakable … wait, of course: Take Me Out To The Ballgame.

After starting this dream at the 2000 World Series, it looks like I’m going back to the baseball diamond — but this time either at Yankee Stadium or Fenway Park.

To be continued

© Bruce William Deckert 2020


All-Name Teams #30


Featuring names from across the world of sports


February 29th: A birthday so awesome that the world can only handle it once every four years!
— Internet meme

The seasons change their manners, as the year
Had found some months asleep, and leapt them over.
— William Shakespeare • Henry IV

That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.
— Neil Armstrong

All-Time Team 2
Early Doucet — football
Brenden Morrow — hockey
K.J. Noons — mixed martial arts
Boo Weekley — golf
Rickie Weeks — baseball

All-Day Team
Oday Aboushi — football
Kevin Cheveldayoff — hockey
Dayan Diaz — baseball
Ron Hornaday — auto racing
Adrian “All Day” Peterson — football

Procedural Note — If you’re wondering why there are five people per team, it’s simple: Basketball was my favorite sport as I grew up, and since the rules of basketball (last time I checked) allow five players per team on the court, I’m going with five-person All-Name Teams.

— Bruce William Deckert


FAST Sonnets in Cyberspace #11


THE SONNET might be the best poem for time-challenged 21st century readers — forgoing lengthy free verse, the sonnet aims to concisely convey its subject in 14 power-packed lines.


Come winter Your canvas is bare and gray —
But for pine and hemlock splotches, wood’s scene
Speaks silence, waits for April rain to play.
Each spring You sing the lifeless canvas green,
Add kaleidoscope of color — deep pink,
Gold, purple — impressionist paradise.
When summer’s palette appears, You rethink
Hue and soon rearrange designs, now thrice
Changed. Then lawn-and-leaf luster is replaced
By fall’s consuming fire — forest-clad hill
Ablaze with passion’s brush, painfully traced —
Until tree-glory yields to winter’s will.
    Oh Artist True — Your masterpiece, such art!
    Let Your beauty draw me to Your true heart.

© Bruce William Deckert 2020



• Here’s an alternate closing couplet — i.e., the last two lines:

    Oh Artist True, You paint each season’s art —
    Let Your canvas draw me to Your true heart.

What closing couplet do you prefer and/or like better?

• Since this blog focuses on sports-and-faith issues, each sonnet I’m posting has at least one sports connection — in this case, it’s the fleeting reference to “play” in the third line … and “play” is about as sports-related as it gets!

• This is a Shakespearean (or English) sonnet — a poem comprised of three four-line stanzas and a closing couplet, with the following rhyme scheme: abab cdcd efef gg. The Shakespearean sonnet has 10 syllables per line, often employing iambic pentameter — five pairs of unstressed and stressed syllables (an iamb is one pair).

• Thanks for stopping by — I hope your time here has been worthwhile.