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When, with a breath, new life lets gasp
And grasps to suckle at the breast,
That which was first proceeds t'wards last.
'Tis but the nature of the beast.

Clockwork in rhythms that rise and fall –
Sometime in famine, sometime feast –
Measured, yet unpredictable:
Time's wind, the nature of the beast.

Strong is the clutch of those great claws.
Yet, as we struggle for release,
Stronger the hunger for applause,
Taming the nature of the beast.

How should we tell if we do well?
What's west for one's another's east.
A spinning compass casts dark spells,
Such is the nature of the beast.

And when the final wicket falls,
The batsman caught beyond the crease,
Should we protest the umpire's call,
Damning the nature of the beast?

Once I am gone – only a name
Lingering still, and all else ceased –
Let others throng to play the game
And honour the nature of the beast.
playing the game
photo: Stephen Alsford

Created: November 17, 2014. © Stephen Alsford