News Poem: ‘Third and Long’

News Poem: ‘Third and Long’


Third and Long

Emily Dickinson Reporting

To read the D huddled
Break out with a clap
Wide-out right
To air it out in the Flats

Not for lack of Opportunities
Still the comeback forged
In Notebooks in luxury boxes
Tied, engorged

Wary of the double-count
The inducement to encroach
The Black the Gold
A White Scrimmage to broach

Deep in one’s own territory
Third – Long – the Wind –
Audibles unheard
An Arena brimmed

Too tight ends – two split ends
Hopes to spread the D
Wingback in the flanker position

What pops loose from the bread basket
Dangles easy – on the arm
But smaller bundles – cram

Fill the Hole if for the Slant
The Bullet intended for Sharpe
Pierced Free passed Safety
If I had the Art

Cringe at the chop block
Concussions – Swann and Branch
To split the secondary
Blind-side clotheslined – Blanched

Unseen by the Official
On the Fields of every Fate
That Illegal use of Hands
Poems that decapitate

The grass so little has to do
Time out – the only need –
The sun retired to a cloud
Why hurry, why indeed?

Live – is the coverage
– blankets the land
Blue – Glow from distances
A planet’s earthly brand

When there came a wind like a bugle
Gamblers held their breath
Who Giants know, with lesser Men
Donned in Victory’s Wreath

I heard a mouthpiece whisper
– Go Deep – So Long
Button Unhooked
Like a Fat Lady’s song

On any given Sunday
The brain within its groove
Runs for daylight –
– Makes its move


Does the Colorado Independent follow sports and entertainment with investigative vigor yet?” — Joe Richey


The Colorado Independent‘s News-Stained Poetry Project features poems that are about the news, products of the news, responses to the news. “News stained” is meant as a badge of honor, a reference to the long tradition of the poet as witness. As Carolyn Forché wrote, politics can sometimes be seen as a “contaminant to serious literary work,” something to be avoided. But that way of thinking, she said, “gives the political realm too much and too little scope… It renders the personal too important and not important enough.” News developments, whether or not they are reported, shape our personal lives every day. We don’t often think in the moment about how that is happening and what it means. We should think more about it. Poets think about it. And we want to help encourage them to write more about it.

Please send submissions to tips@coloradoindependent.comsubject line “poem,” with a short bio and some mention of where and when the poem was written.


[Image via Georgia Tech Library. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.]

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About the Author

Joe Richey

is a news-stained poet.

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