Poetry Friday: Back on the soccer field after 20 months!

I haven’t gotten as much writing done this week as I’d hoped – but I’ve certainly been kicking a soccer ball around more than I have in the past year and a half!

This week, my two indoor soccer leagues (a Men’s Over-30 team and an Adult Co-Ed team) both began their new 12-week sessions, and I’ve found myself organizing both of them – contacting folks who might want to play, figuring out costs, managing schedules – but considering we haven’t played since March 2020 when Covid shut everything down, I didn’t mind one bit!

So to celebrate, I thought I’d share a few soccer poems for today! First up, my contribution to Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s Poems are Teachers: How Studying Poetry Strengthens Writing in All Genres (Heinemann, 2018), a book designed to help educators both teach poetry and how poetic tools, forms, and devices can be used to improve and strengthen writing in all genres. (click the cover, below, for more info or click HERE to read my interview with Amy about the book)

Image © 2018Heinemann, all rights reserved

I actually wrote that poem on the way to – and then on the way home – from an indoor soccer game! On the Men’s team, I play on the field but I’m the goalkeeper for the Co-Ed team, so I love being able to watch the field from different perspectives – and it helped me create this poem.

Next up is something from my friend Liz Steinglass’ poetry collection, Soccerverse: Poems about Soccer (Wordsong, 2019), a wonderful and expertly-written book of poems and the perfect gift for that young soccer fan in your life:

Energetic wordplay, fun imagery, and lively illustrations – I love this spread! (Click to enlarge)

The third book I want to feature today is by my friend and Once Upon Another Time collaborator, Charles Ghigna! Back in 2008 he wrote Score!: 50 Poems to Motivate and Inspire (Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2008) and inside you’ll find this:


The long kick comes
and out of the pack
the midfielder rises,

his eyes on the ball,
his forehead set like a fist
ready to punch it home.

© 2008 Charles Ghigna, all rights reserved

For today’s complete Poetry Friday round up, be sure to visit Mary Lee Hahn at A Year of Reading, where she responded to a poetic challenge by writing about my former hometown, St. Albans, VT, where she reently vacationed!



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20 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Back on the soccer field after 20 months!

  1. lindabaie

    It must be invigorating to be back running and kicking, Matt, and with your teammates. Charles’ book is new to me but I have the other two, really good ones. I like the ending of your poem, “I’d like to see them try!” I spent many hours at my son’s soccer games, so know the thrill of the wins & the sad times of defeat! Keep on getting out there!


  2. maryleehahn

    Good for you, getting your soccer back on!

    I’m still amazed that we visited your hometown last month. What a gorgeous place to live. And likely the same owner of the bookshop that hubby chatted with (rather endlessly) about cameras, history, and politics (while I browsed cookbooks for chocolate chip cookie recipes)!


  3. heidimordhorst

    This is a really useful post–that Charles Ghigna poem I wouldn’t have known, and it’s a winner. I love knowing that you are on the field twice a week with grown-ups!


  4. haitiruth

    It’s so great to hear that life is getting back to normal somewhere! I enjoyed all these poems! Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com


  5. Linda Mitchell

    ooooh! I love these and must share this post with my students. Soccer is pretty big at my school. It’s even bigger than f-o-o-t-b-a-l-l. Our players are sons and daughters of El Salvador, Guatamala, Mexico, Afghanistan….so many places that LOVE soccer! Thanks for this great post!


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