Poetry

Christal Marie – A Poem by D.M.D. Goodhead

Christal Marie

Christal Marie, gazelle of the square court, beautiful soul, beautiful lady,
lithe as the willow on the banks of the River Nile in the days of the Pharaohs,
delicate beauty, panther of the court.

Ah, Christal Marie
Ah, Christal Marie
Ah, Christal Marie

I was there when the announcer lifted his voice like a trumpet and blew a note
of trilling beauty. And we knew that you had become Pacific-Ten Freshman
            of the year.

The nation erupted in joy. Purple dawgs decked out in purple glory—
Our voices rose like countless accordions to the rafters of ol’ Hec. (Yes, venerable
Ol’ Hec. Ah, venerable ol’ Hec.) A flock of wild geese winging their way home.
The day done. The sun sweeping through the Western sky.

Dawg land
Dawg land
Dawg land

Our voices burst like the ripened songs of song sparrows. Our voices burst
Like the ripened songs of weaver birds. Our voices burst like the ripened songs
Of emperor nightingales. Our voices burst like a swift flowing tide on the beckoning
            land.

We were crazy.
We were delirious.
We had drunk deep from the nectar of your accomplishment.

Ah, Christal Marie
Ah, Christal Marie
Ah, Christal Marie

We sang, we danced, we sang, and our voices burst like the ripened songs of singing
            Rivers.
Roaring rivers. Mighty rivers. Rushing rivers. They came in ripened waves all over the
            Land,
As we hailed you, Christal Marie, queen of the court, fleet-footed queen, gazelle of gazelles. Star fire in a constellation of star fires.

Ah, Christal Marie
Ah, Christal Marie
Ah, Christal Marie

Burdened with joyous sacks of songs, we disappeared into the arteries of the ebbing
Night,
Quick as our merry feet would carry us, for the following day was another game,
On the tenacity-hallowed courts of ol’ Hec, and our ears were itching, burning, itching,
With
The fire of a million anticipations. For the announcer had fooled no one.
The man of Fox had fooled no one, when in the glare of the searching eyes of gray
Ol’ Hec,
He had made as if to speak again, and abruptly held his peace,
Shy as a stutter-struck schoolboy, or a pimpled-faced schoolgirl struggling with the great

burden of adolescent years.

I, for one, thought that the abashed fellow looked like cunning Thrasymachus taking the pill of silence before the noble Socrates, when he talked about the sky and stardust falling down from the memory-filled rafters of ol’ Hec,

The following day,
                  the following day,
                        the following day.
Ah—
Dawg land
Dawg land
Dawg land

And so the following day, even before the burning bowl of heaven had made its way
Clear out of the sky’s marbled castle, we kept a breakfast vigil, campers in the tent
Of the waking day, our eyes vigilant as the famed eyes of the bald-feathered one
            Of the sky,

Searching for prey with the tenacity of salient years and the hunger of a moon-old
            Fast.

Yes, we waited, our eyes steadfast as winning darts on the checkered board. We
Waited. We waited. We waited in the tents of a collective anticipation, as we went about
The storied campus, jousting with the sages past and present, and wringing from brawny
Tomes the sap of grizzled wisdom. We waited, we waited, we waited in the tents
Of our anticipation, until at last the burning hunter of the sky retired behind the silken
            Parabola.

The silken parabola
the silken parabola
the silken parabola

It was then from nowhere, we saw a wailing star doing cat turns in the sky.
Was it a tiger gone out of its mind? I thought it was a sound-eating fighter cat turning a trick or two for the dazzled eye.

Crossfield. Was it Crossfield eating up the rushing waves of sound?

Ah, ol’ Crossfield, now gone like the departing dusk. In his day, not even Yeager
could take him. And it seems ol’ Yeager never forgave him for this.

And Cf. wasn’t he a dawg?

Ah—
dawg land
dawg land
dawg land

Ol’ Cf. was a cat on the face of the silken parabola.
Ol’ Cf. was a cat on the face of the silken parabola.
I say ol’ Cf. was a cat on the face of the silken parabola.

–And Yeager could not stand his guts.

But was it really ol’ Cf. or was it his son, his nephew, his cousin, turning the cat tricks the old dawg once turned in the sky?

None of us could tell, but our eyes taken in by the sheer
Impudence of the lithe cat would not take their hooks off the face of the sky. And
Our patience, if that is what it was, was soon rewarded, for against the eternal blue
Cloth, the wonders of which have never ceased to amaze the upright being,

We saw your name,
Your name, your name, your name,
Lovely C. Marie, on a banner
Stretching as far as the Serengeti plains
C. Marie, Pacific Region Freshman of the Year.
C. Marie, star fire of the sky of the Pacific Northwest.

C. Marie,
Star fire, star fire, star fire

It was in bold white ink, Christal Marie, and so finely wrought,
As it were by the sage hands of one greater than famed Pablo.
I swear Christal Marie, I have seen the delicate work of old Pablo,
Art so beautiful, it defies the gravity of description, art so beautiful, it defies
The gravity of description, art so beautiful, it defies the gravity of description.
I saw the work of old Pablo, reminding me of the master works of past ancestors.
I saw it with my own eyes, fetched the eyes of Pablo to see it, and saw it with my own Eyes again, and I saw from across the ages, the master works of master craftsmen.
O beauty, the price of seeing, O beauty the price of seeing, O beauty the price of seeing.
But the craftsmen have gone the way of all flesh, gone, gone, and long vilified,
Gone, gone, and never given any praise, gone, gone, and never given any acknowledgement, gone, gone, and never given any admiration. Rejection was stamped
On their faces, rejection was their cover cloth, rejection was their song, when they sought comfort, and their songs were songs of sorrow, and their songs were songs of sorrow,
But joy never leaves the human breast, and they sang too, for hope, the eternal song sparrow in the heart of the human breast never ceased to sing, O joy, joy like singing rivers, O joy, joy even in the face of sadness like sweeping rain, O joy, joy, even in the face of sadness like a sweeping hurricane, O joy, joy even in the face of sadness like a sweeping flood.

For the song sparrow sings with the joy of God,
The song sparrow sings with the voice of the eternal One,
The song sparrow sings with the giver of the joy that quenches the fire of all sorrow.

And old Pablo, he made the world listen to the beauty of the song.
And old Pablo, he made the world listen to the beauty of the song.
And the world called it beauty, and the world called it beautiful,
And old Pablo, he made the eyes pay the price of seeing, and the price of seeing is beauty.

And the price of seeing is beauty. O the price of seeing is beauty.
O, the price of seeing is beauty. An old Pablo, he made the world see,
And the price of seeing is beauty. O, the price of seeing is beauty.

But was it really Pablo that made the world see? Pablo, did you make the world
See?

Ah, C., I leave questions alone,
for another time, for another place, for another song

When we saw your star-garlanded accomplishment, we danced like children in the rain.
We danced like children in the wind. We danced like children in the hurricane. We danced like children in the eye of the storm. We danced like children on the back
Of a giant surfing board. We danced like children when dusk is upon the rafters, like children, when dusk is upon the rafters.  We danced like a band of fauns pulling in Lewis’s winter.

The white witch made the fauns do it.
The white witch made the fauns do it.
The white witch made the fauns do it.

But when the children came, they broke the curse, with the help of Aslan.
When the goodhearted children came, they broke the curse with the help of Aslan.

O Aslan, O Aslan, O Aslan.
He helped the children break the curse of the white witch.

Ah, C., my eyes have seen wonders—
And fairy tales the kind of C.S.L. lead us through ancient wardrobes into the mysteries of the eternal.

We laugh and dismiss them at our peril. We laugh and dismiss them at our own peril.
But C.S.L., what a storyteller, what a weaver of an infinity of spells, what a weaver
Of worlds beyond worlds, and mysteries beyond mysteries, and puzzles beyond puzzles!

We have all drunk deep of the mysteries of C.S.L, like we have drunk deep of your star-clad accomplishments, C and now across the silken parabola, and now across the silken parabola, the fauns pull in a purple banner, ah, the fauns pull in a purple banner,

Bearing your name across the winter-free sky;
Bearing your name across the winter-free sky.

Talking of the Chronicles of Narnia, do you know C, that that night
As we pored over dog-eared tomes the size of C.S.L.’s magic wardrobes,
We tried to cast spells too in the manner of razor-sharp arguments
To hurl like heavy suitcases the weight of laser-sharp lances before our professors?

We were nearly thwarted in the effort
By a streaking light flying swifter
Than the wind-sired feet of Pegasus.
F-L-A-S-H, F-L-A-S-H past the windows of Allen.
F-L-A-S-H, F-L-A-S-H past the windows of Odegaard.
F-L-A-S-H, F-L-A-S-H past the windows of Suzzallo
And countless other buildings on the storied campus,
The seat of the mighty Dawg Nation.

Aha, the seat of the mighty Dawg Nation,
Aha, the seat of the mighty Dawg Nation,
Aha, the seat of the mighty Dawg Nation.

The fellow, whether it was a comet or no,
none of us could tell,
Flew swifter than gray-bearded Zephyr,
Flew swifter than anything we had ever seen,
Flew swifter than anything we could tell,
And C, ah, lovely C, ah, star fire of star fires,
You must know we have Rhodes scholars in DN.
You must know we have Mellon scholars in DN.
You must know we have Gates scholars in DN.
You must know we have fellows upon fellows upon fellows in DN.
You must know we sit at the table of Everest with the brightest of the brightest of the
            stars,
And we wondered what it was, and sharp minds, honed by years
Of poring over gray-haired tomes, telescopes, microscopes, slides, and all sorts of investigative technology went to work, for isn’t it true that all who come to DN must show their mettle’s worth in the hallowed courts of knowledge? And, so, we did not ask less of ourselves than the standards set by past warriors in the fray.

We jousted, C, we jousted, firepower matching firepower, the thinking rods
Of our brains all bent to the purpose at hand, until like a bottle of champagne popping,
Someone suddenly cried from our camp, Eureka! only to be joined by other voices, like a bevy of popping sounds, ah, like a bevy of popping sounds, ah, like a bevy of popping sounds, when champagne bottles overflow with joy.

A shooting star
A shooting star
A shooting star

And C, do you know hugging its bosom
Was the legend: Christal Marie, All-Pacific Ten First Team?
We laughed like the roaring voice of Victoria Falls.
We laughed like the rumbling thunder when the sky is throwing a fit.
We laughed like the sea on its march to meet its big cousin the ocean.
We laughed and screamed like English soccer fans who had sold their birthrights
To Bacchus.
We laughed like cocktails fired in the wake of the armada.
CM, if Effingham, Drake, and Hawkins had not defeated the Spanish Armada, would there have been a different history?
My mind sometimes plays these games? If B had happened instead of A,
What would history have looked like? When you are in some lonely cubicle in DN,
Garrisoned off by books, it is amazing what the mind can do to you? You ask, and you ask, until you brain turns blue, ah, until your brain turns blue, ah, until your brain turns blue. But, mercy Lord, isn’t the mind never tired of hurling these questions
Before the jury of the mind? Questions come like butterflies. Some stay, some go. Some
Whip the mind like a devil with scars all over its face. Well, let me leave such questions alone. Leave questions alone? Ah, ah, ah.
Forget English fans, C, we danced better than them that day when we saw
The shooting star bearing your name. Forget English fans, C, we danced better
Than them when we saw the shooting star bearing the name of the graceful cat,
Candace. Ah, Candace! Lithe lynx, whose infectious roar at the dug-up ball
Makes the heart and mind sing like a young girl doing the waltz.
At first I thought, why did she scream so? But in the heat of battle, such a joyous
Cry isn’t it worth more than its weight in precious stones? Adrenaline oozes
Through every pore, and the good sportswoman puts all her talent in the fray,
Lonely moments in the weight room, crowded moments on the practice court,
And before the lights are tuned out in the practice facilities, the thud, thud, thud!
Of the ball ricocheting here, and ricocheting there, its unmusical sound every
Bit as sweet as the music of an emperor nightingale to her ears. And after all these
To hit the books, to hit them hard as if her life depends on them?
Ah, the sportswoman who stands as tall as the cider tree on the court and in the classroom
Is a miracle. O, she is a miracle. O, she is a miracle. O, she is a miracle of incredible beauty. O, she is a wonder of wonders, a wonder of wonders, a wonder of wonders.
She has worked hard on the hard courts and in the arena where the sages gather to contemplate the wonders of existence, ah, to contemplate the wonders of existence, and her name should be on some wall of honor, dark lines in a bar of gold, and let those who are coming after her, children yet in the grade schools be escorted to such shrines of honor, and let her story be told, O let her story be told, O let her story be told, that young ones may learn to keep body and mind alert and at their best.

They will fare better than Pythagoras and his bands.
They will fare better than Pythagoras and his bands.

Dawg land
Dawg land
Dawg land

On the breast of the shooting star was the name of the svelte opera conductor too,
Courtney, expert ball charmer, charms the ball to the magical spot
For the screaming kill!

Dawg land
Dawg land
Dawg land

And Brie, laughter-loving Brie, shy as a lotus-flower Brie,
Your partner in crime, some day your children will look
At your exploits on the square court, and shake their heads
In dizzy amazement, moms where you so stellar?
Keep these memories then, and the images too.
On same rainy day, when the sky is cloudy,
And the sun seems to have set too soon
For the day, bring them out, and let memory
Sing like the song sparrow.
Let memory sing like the song sparrow.
Let memory sing like the song sparrow
And let the sun come in. And let the sun come in.

There was too the Serbian Cinderella, Sanya,
Regal, queenly in every stride.
Some day when a movie director
Tells your stories, she is certain to give
Sanya’s character several minutes,
From war-torn country to queen of the court
In the land of the stars and stripes?
Thousands of miles across the world,
In search of the knowledge key,
And the laurels of the hard court,
Not even a war could deter her,
And she plays with so much
Joy, one would think her story
Was a different story. Let those
Who underestimate the joyous
Tenor of sports then take note.
The joy of life often so hard
To come by is ever so often
In abundant display on the hard courts
Of college sports, where student
Warriors go into the fray for love
Of the game. When my student
Days end in DN, C, I will carry
With me some golden memories,
And the DN V-Ball Team will be one of them.

Ah—
Dawg land
dawg land
dawg land

The stars came and departed.
The night came and departed.
The day came and sailed into the west-bound horizon.
A flock of jovial geese quoting Dylan Thomas,
And bearing gifts for his old sire,
Who had gone on his way,
Flew past the cirrus veldt.
In their wake came an Alpha-dog star,
And the night became as plain as day.
Bright. Bright. Like a swift-flying laser-beam.
The sky flushed, glowed, blushed, and smiled
Like a high-society lady drawing a fat check
From a well-stocked account.

Ah, what an amazing day
Ah, what an amazing day

But the day was not yet done with its business.
Its genie’s bag still had a gondola of tricks.
Ah, C, have you ever been to Venice?
I hear they use gondolas there, and they are expensive too.
Their pilots know a tourist when they see one.
And they will not let slip an opportunity to make the fat buck.
Whenever you go to Italy,
Ride the gondola, and on the back of a postcard,
Write a sonnet, no, a haiku, okay, just scribble a few lines,
CM was in Venice and rode the gondola.
You will like yourself for it afterwards.
You know how postcards behave like kittens
When it comes to memories of distant places
One has visited. They are fuzzy.
They are warm. They never go away.
And this as far as I can tell
Is the chief duty of postcards.

Okay, the night was as bright as day,
And I remember quoting Dylan Thomas,
Quoting him as if I was speaking to his father,
His departed sire, and walking through campus,
As if my ears were as alert as the ears of a rabbit
In flight, and my eyes as wide as calabash bowls,
When along with my companions, I saw what looked
Like a lone bird, a kite, drop clear out of the light-
Clothed sky. It was a kite unlike any we had seen,
A behemoth of a creature, one of those birds
One sees in replicas of flying reptiles of the dim past
In a museum of natural history. Have you ever been to any of those museums?
Once I went to one of those museums, and the tour guard
Was so excited about her work, I, along with everyone there,
Felt as if we were taking a tour through Disneyland.
I bet it was greater fun though, even though I have never
Been to the land that ol’ Walt conjured up out of his hat of wonders.

Ah—
Dawg land
dawg land
dawg land

The kite from the dim past carried a mammoth flag
In its mammoth claws. Anytime I remember
The kite, I think of Sinbad and the rocs.
When I was a child, I used to play Sinbad
In my imagination. And I thought it was the coolest thing
I ever did in my imagination, as fantasy.
Now I wonder whether Sinbad and the rocs
Are as much fun as the DN volleyball team.

Ah—
Dawg land
dawg land
dawg land

The roc from the dim past carried a mammoth flag
In its mammoth claws. A stadium-sized purple flag,
Dawg flag, emblazoned in gold, and multiple colors,
Wisdom-seeking acolytes from every nook and cranny of the earth,
What a rich tapestry, what a rich tapestry, O someone say it, what a rich tapestry
I remembered the dreamer of ancient times, O I remembered the dreamer of ancient times
And how he became the prime minister of the most powerful nation on earth at the time.
O I remembered the dreamer of ancient times, but what remains still clear as crystal
Was the purple flag in the background of gold in the background of countless colors,

With a legend on its burnished face:

Christal Marie, Pacific-Ten Player of the Week
Christal Marie, Pacific-Ten Freshman of the Year,
Christal Marie, Pacific-Region Freshman of the Year,
Christal Marie, All-Conference First Team Selection,
Christal Marie, All Pacific Region First Team

Ah, C, Ah, C, we have drunk deep from the cup of Coleridge,
And even though we are not on our way to take our wedding vows, we have come
Under the spell of the old man. And like schoolchildren bursting out
Of classrooms at break time to gather at the playground to listen to an itinerant Homer
Tell his tale, we wait & wait, stupor-drunk on the wine of your amazing feats, & raising
Our eyes from the sea of Bacchus, our voices droned out like a loudspeaker hidden in
A water-plagued drum: “So much so early?”

But ere our Bacchus-inspired words had fled our lips,
A pack of dogs running wild in the prairie,
Old Socrates appeared before us as if in a dream within a dream,
A ripple stirring on the face of a gentle river, and the touch of Bacchus,
Like an accursed plague fled from our senses,
And alert like warriors on whose vigilance the survival of a city rests,
We listened to wise old Socrates speak. And speak, he did, his words flowing
Like the Sombreiro River in the heart of the Niger Delta.

Wait,
Wait,
Said,
The grizzled
Fellow,
Until
She burns
The irons,
And her
Upper body
Strength
Stands
To attention
Like a Roman Soldier
At his duty
Post.
Wait.

Wait,
Wait,
Until
She
Develops
The iron
Fist
And
The elastic strain
Of the Cunning
Forest
Creepers
In her
Bronzed
Legs
And
Can
Spring
Faster
Than
The agile
Cat.
Block
The missile
Shot
Before it has shown
Its fiery face
Wait

Wait,
Wait,
And
See
Her
Star
Ascend
Higher
Than
The flaming ray
Wait

She will gather heat at the forge and burn brighter than the low-hanging
            Proxima Centauri.

Wait,
Wait,
Until
She
Becomes
The unrivaled
Queen
Of
The
Court.

And if her fellow queens are willing, & yes as sure as the heaven’s bright sweeping star,
They are, the crown of ol’ Hec will be festooned with one or more national buntings,
Ah, his lofty crown will be studded with rubies like smiles on the face of healthy apple,

&
yet for her it will just be the beginning. O for her, it will just be the beginning. O for her, it will just be the beginning. & the noble Socrates disappeared through the thinning mist, the way he had appeared before us.

Ah, Christal Marie
Ah, Christal Marie
Ah, Christal Marie

Her strikes, her kills, her blocks will scatter the gathering fists of opponents in the way of the wind. O wind. O wind. O wind. Her strikes, her kills, her blocks will scatter
the gathering fists of opponents in the way of the wind. O wind. O wind. O wind.

Victor in purple, victor in gold, sportswoman of sportsmen and sportswomen,
The stars stoop down to garland her royal neck, their crown of victory adorn her lovely
            head.

O stars, O stars, O stars, O stars, O stars, O stars, O stars, O stars, O stars, O stars

We all agreed with the grizzled sage, and with merry hearts, and like merry fellows,
Set our merry hearts to the cause of garlanding her and her fellow queens with roaring
            praise.

Praise like the rush of mighty rivers, praise like the call of the roaring ocean, praise
Like the song of a thousand of waterfalls. O waterfall. O waterfall. O waterfall.

Fall, fall from the mighty rafters of ol’ Hec. Fall, fall from the stands where an army
Of stomping feet stomp, stomp, stomp until the stands tremble like burning fever.

Ah-
Dawg land
dawg land
dawg land

A swelling din is heard around the mountain-watched Northwest and travel
from coast to coast, until they are heard all over the land.

Aye! aye came the roaring cry, once, twice, thrice, and circling the entire land,
            again.

O roaring Hec, O roaring Hec, O roaring Hec, O roaring Hec, the stars have come
To ol’ Hec, and shooting stars fall like confetti from the rafters. The stars have come to Ol’ Hec, and a shower of meteor light heralds our fearsome roar. O stars, O stars, O stars.

The hapless opponent could not stop the moving flood, and ere we had warmed
to the comfort of our seats, the sorry team though fighting valiantly was down
3-love. Mastery comes from attention to detail. Mastery comes from hours spent alone
& with others on the practice court, and moves, feints, and sundry maneuvers accumulate
like raindrops in a bucket. O like raindrops in a bucket. O like raindrops in a bucket,
until the bucket of skill and mastery is overflowing with the killing hand, with the killing
move, with the killing gesture. O take me to the court of mastery, let me learn and be a star. O take me to the court of mastery, let me learn in arduous hours the secret of star fires. Let me learn in arduous hours the secret of star fires. O star fire. O star fire. O star fire.

A merry company we were then when we left the court, and atop our merry flag,
We hoisted legends in praise of our darling team. We sang. We gamboled. We sang.

The song of the spheres was in our ears, starlight lit the length and breadth of the storied
            campus.

Ah—
Dawg land
dawg land
dawg land

Old Socrates appeared before us again like the gray-bearded Zephyr, and raising
His ancient but sturdy hand like a pole hoisting a flag to ol’ Aeolus of Thessaly,
Said again in a trilling, but steady voice—

Ah, Christal Marie, ah Christal Marie, ah, Christal Marie

Wait,
Wait,
Until
She
Begins
To
Burn
The
Dog-eared
Tomes
With the cunning patience of the fabled tortoise
& grow
in the courts
of learning
to the heights
of a sage Mandarin

She
Will
Become
A
Double
Weapon,
Star fire in the courts of learning
Queen
Of
The
Wide
Arena

O star fire
O star fire
O star fire

& then the sweet-singing muses will say of her, O star fire, O star fire, O star fire
She descends from Curie and Godimer, Morrison and Buck

O star fires, O star fires, O star fires

The stars of the wide arena sing, they sing of Jackie-Joyner Kersee and Mia Hamm
& the vast constellation of stars before them, now with them, and will come after them.

Stars, a new star burns now in the firmament, a new star burns now in the circle
Of the ever-burning flame. It sends its rays far and near. It sends its rays to the far-flung
Corners of the earth.

—Once when I was a little boy, growing up on a palm-tree-watched island of the Niger
Delta, I looked up to the sky and saw the stars, and my world became bigger
Than anything I could put in words. My world became bigger than Everest, bigger
Than Kilimanjaro, bigger than the thunders of a tempestuous sky, and I dreamt of worlds
Beyond the tiny island. I dreamt of worlds beyond the tiny island, like a flock of birds
Following the star-lined paths of migratory routes.

O dreams of a little boy, O dreams of a little boy, O dreams of a little boy

Beyond home, away from home, beyond home, away from home, O dreams of a little
boy, beyond home, away from home, beyond home, away from home, the little island
            Boy
Saw the star, and followed the migratory route, like a flock of wild birds.

O dreams of a little boy, O dreams of a little boy, O dreams of a little boy—

In the outback, in the Andes, in the lands of Latin America, Asia, Europe, Africa,
Middle-Eastern lands, & here at home, on the countless islands and archipelagos
Of the earth, in Europe, and in the far-flung reaches of the wide, wide earth,

A little girl will see her star, a little girl will see her star, a little girl will see her star
& ordering her ways to the call of the constellation Christal Marie will imagine worlds
greater than her tiny island home, will imagine worlds greater than her tiny island home.

O dreams of a little girl, O dreams of a little girl, O dreams of a little girl

O Christal Marie, her footprints spread from Dawg land to the far-flung reaches
Of the earth.

O Christal Marie, her footprints spread from Dawg land to the far-flung reaches
Of the earth.

O dreams of a little girl, O dreams of a little girl, O dreams of a little girl

The grizzled sage disappeared in the mantle of ol’ Aeolus, as suddenly
As he had appeared before us.
In his testaments we saw a banner year,
But the year was full of the harrowing songs of broken bones.
Ah, Christal Marie, she went down with a broken bone.
O, Christal Marie, she went down with a broken bone.
But would not go quietly away from the burning fray.
From the deep reaches of a steely strength that will rival that of famed Hercules,
She summoned all her powers and sallied into the fray.

O Christal Marie, her guts are made of steel, O Christal Marie, her guts are made
Of fire, O Christal Marie, her guts are like an unbreakable bow.

O star fire, O star fire, O star fire, O star fire, O star fire, O star fire, O star fire

Up to the round of four we went, but it was not to be a banner year
And the orchestra of the spheres bided its time to play the nine wonders of Beethoven’s
            nine symphonies.

O dreams of a little girl, O dreams of a little girl, O dreams of a little girl

The year danced on with the deliberate feet of a wizened lady, the sun swept across
The vast earth in its unwavering course, and the moon sang a concatenation
Of golden songs in the bosom of romantic rivers.

The orchestra of the spheres waited until the year told its unwavering course,
& a mighty cheer swept through Dawg land, the wheels of fortune spun a countless
tales of hard work forged at the foundry of a countless practice games, of lonely moments
spent in lonely gyms, of conferences with Coach J., T., and other coaches, of countless
            moves, of countless moments in player-to-player & player conferences.

O star fire, O star fire, O star fire, O star fire, O star fire, O star fire, O star fire

The year rolled on, a steady sweeping tide, as opponents fell by the way

Fell left
Fell right
Fell forward

& the tide rolled on, & continued to roll, roll, roll, roll on, the tide continued to roll.

O dreams of a little girl
O dreams of a little girl
O dreams of a little girl

The orchestra of the spheres bided its time, the marvelous wonders of Beethoven’s
Nine symphonies tucked away in the folds of a marvelous anticipation.

O star fire
O star fire
O star fire

The march began, O forget the bruising tide of a Roman-pincer march, O forget
The bruising tide of a Roman-pincer march, this was a march of marvelous beauty
O this was a march of marvelous beauty, O this was a march of marvelous beauty.

Five opponents at the barricades against the purple march, ah, five opponents
At the barricades against the purple march, the flood came and took all five away.
            The flood came and took all five away.

O star fire
O star fire
O star fire

At the final barricade stood the towering giants of Nebraska, the talk towers
Hailed them the primal queens of the land. O Godzilla, O Godzilla, O Godzilla
            At the final barricade, at the final barricade, at the final barricade
Before the sweeping tide of the purple queens.

We stood like startled trees, our blood sweeping through arterial and venous
            pathways like the wild-rushing flood.

O dreams of a little girl
O dreams of a little girl
O dreams of a little girl

We stood like startled trees all through the sweat-soaked game, adrenaline
Oozed from every pore, adrenaline oozed from every rafter, adrenaline oozed
            from the uttermost core.

A game like none other, a game more marvelous than the marvelous tales of Okri
             & Marquez,
A game that fastened the feet to tiled earth, and yet the hands carried out a concatenation
            Of countless dialogues, arguments, & ah! exclamations!

The barricade had been breached twice, & Godzilla was reeling, reeling, reeling
            from the saber thrusts of purple queens and purple moves.

Ah—
Dawg land
dawg land
dawg land

The Godzilla of Nebraska reeled from the saber thrusts of purple queens & purple
            moves.

The climax came like a meteor shower, the last barricade was breached, breached, &
            dealt the vanquishing blow.

Quick as a cat, the lithe gazelle conducted the winning point to the unguarded spot
in a sea of cornhusker hands, O in sea of cornhusker hands, O in a sea of cornhusker hands,
            O in a sea of cornhusker hands—

& the sweeping flood swept through the last barricade, O the sea sweeping flood
            swept through the last barricade, O the sweeping flood swept through the last
barricade.

Tears fell like confetti.
Joy spun through different constellations of cartwheels.
The labor of years, the labor of countless lonely moments, the labor of countless
thud, thud, thud in a lonely gym, of strategy sessions with Coach J., the labor
            of innumerable moments
there at the hour of the triumphant cry.

O purple queens
O purple queens
O purple queens

Generations will recall the great purple march,
            A little girl will see & follow the trail,
O trail to greatness, O trail to greatness, O trail to greatness.

Generations will recall the great purple march,
            A little boy will see & follow the trail,
O trail to greatness, O trail to greatness, O trail to greatness

& Christal Marie, new star of the constellations, star of stars,
            O stars of stars, O star of stars, your star fire shall guide the path
Of the adventurer, North Star throwing star fire in the path of the determined questor.

O star fire
O Christal Marie
O star fire.

=====

(c) D.M.D. Goodhead

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