THROUGH COACH'S EYES
Hi, Coach. It's me. I'm on the team.
Been looking forward to this day.
Got my glove and got my ball.
Couldn't sleep last night at all,
But here I am, prepared to play.
They say you really love this game,
Not for the glory or the prize.
I want to love it just like you.
So teach me how to love it too.
I want to see it through your eyes.
My other coaches put me down,
And each time something in me dies.
I saved some faith I think is strong,
'Cause I knew you would come along.
I want to see things through your eyes.
I don't believe in me so much.
I'm just a kid inside my shell.
If you believe in me, I could,
See through your eyes, and know I'm good.
Then I'll believe in me as well.
And through your eyes, I hope I see,
That if we've lost, or if we've won,
You won't compare me to the rest.
You'll see that I have done my best,
And smile at me and say, "Well done."
Then someday when I'm all grown up,
Like you, I'll be astute and wise.
I'll face the choices, without pause.
I'll make the righteous ones because,
I learned to see through Coach's eyes.
BEYOND THE BASKETBALL
Beyond the grand Pavilion,
Where Bruin banners span,
Beyond the accolades, I learned
To be a champion man.
Far beyond material,
Or book on any shelf,
Beyond the break, the pass or play,
I learned about myself.
Beyond the fundamentals,
Or how to work the task,
Beyond the "how," I learned the "why"
And learned to think and ask.
Beyond the Bruin uniform,
Beyond the Blue and Gold,
I gained a pride in who I am,
That lasts until I'm old.
And far beyond instruction,
Beyond the hardwood class,
Beyond the game and all the tests,
Beyond the fail or pass,
The Teacher loved me, so he coached
Beyond gymnasium wall.
I thank my God, The Teacher taught,
Beyond the basketball.
Some say success is in fortune and fame,
Or winning the crown in a championship game.
Some say success is in riches and gold,
Or trophies and medals --That's what we've been told.
We worship the winners who shine in the race,
And shame all the trailers who hold second place.
We train our poor children to only be best.
"Success is just when you're ahead of the rest."
We tell them success is an A or a B,
And that something is wrong if they bring home a C.
"What's wrong with the teacher? Why can't my child pass?
My child's name should be at the top of the class.
My taxes are spent and remain in their pay,
So why is my genius not getting an A?
My child is not average," They say as they're riled.
"That place is reserved for the neighborhood child."
But God in His wisdom, when making this race,
Did not make us equal in talent and grace.
For some of us run, but then others are lame.
But both share success if they try just the same.
If you came up short when you went for the A,
But gave it your all till the very last day,
And effort was made to be all you can be,
You're still a success if you brought home a C.
When you know that you gave it all, then you'll find,
That self-satisfaction gives sweet peace of mind.
And that peace of mind, that you only possess,
Is your declaration that you're a success.
Once I was afraid of dying,
Terrified of ever-lying,
Petrified of leaving family, home and friends.
Thoughts of absence from my dear ones,
Drew a melancholy tear once,
And a lonely, dreadful fear of when life ends.
But those days are long behind me;
Fear of leaving does not bind me,
And departure does not host a single care.
Peace does comfort as I ponder,
A reunion in the Yonder,
With my dearest who are waiting over there.
THE MAGICAL DOOR AT MY SCHOOL
Let nobody hear this, but here's something cool.
There's a magical door, right here at my school.
Every time I walk in, I can't possibly leave,
For I've witnessed some things that you would not believe.
I entered last Monday; 'twas right around three,
And a tall dinosaur began charging at me.
Every stomp of each step made a thunderous sound.
So I shook and I shivered and so did the ground.
But on Tuesday I walked through that magical door,
And I heard a bat crack and a deafening roar.
The slide and the throw toward the homeward route;
Through the dust I could hear the ump screaming, "You're out!"
Revisiting Wednesday, I flew through the air,
In a rocket ship powered by flame-flying flare.
I then visited Venus and sailed past the sun,
And I galloped through galaxies. Man that was fun.
And on Thursday, I walked through that magical door,
And an earthquake was shaking -- more and then more.
So I tilted and toppled and staggered and stumbled,
And the whole place just rattled and rippled and rumbled.
Returning on Friday, I searched undersea,
I flew with the falcon and buzzed with the bee.
I went down the Grand Canyon while riding a mule,
Through that magical door that's right here at my school.
You want to go too? Well then here is a game.
This magical door has a sign with its name.
And the letters that make up the name of the door,
You will find in this poem if you dare to explore.
(a teacher's view of children)
Oh radiant, bright and willing girl,
Who seems to never know,
Who will you be, my little girl,
When you do fully grow-
An educated senator,
Well-trained to understand?
I'd vote for you, my senator,
And trust you with our land.
And you, my poor and battered child,
The world has brought you tears.
Who will you be, my splendid child,
When you reach thirty years
A poised, experienced physician,
Who works the healing knife?
I'd call on you, physician,
And trust you with my life.
And how 'bout you, my lovely girl,
Who hardly speaks a sound?
Who will you be, my lovely girl,
When confidence abounds
A bold and learned orator,
Who soothes the soul in strife?
I'd come hear you, my orator,
Your wisdom for my life.
And over there, my dear weak boy,
What is the Savior's plan?
What wondrous one will you be, boy,
When you become a man
A strong, considerate lawyer,
Defending all the meek?
I'd trust you, brilliant lawyer,
When I am old and weak.
Oh bothered, troubled, active one,
When angels bring your cure,
Who will you be, my troubled one,
When soul and mind mature-
A teacher, calm who understands,
Your students through and through?
My children I place in your hands,
With confidence in you.
THE COMMON MAN, JOHN WOODEN
He says that he's common, the usual type,
No different than others in grace
Just average, not better or worse than the rest
Just middled and mean in the race.
But what is enclosed in so common a man,
Who works the uncommon-like deed?
An extr'ordinary focus on what he believes,
And life-long betroth to his creed.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times