Penance For a Mercurial NBA Player

Made of sterner stuff.
Image of athletic skills.
Conformed yet to disappointments,
He rose to the very top.

As a stalwart college freshman.
Earning accolades of great success.
Leaving what is still a lasting record.
Having him placed on a pedestal.

At yet a very early age,
Uplifted he was by admirers.
Lusting for life’s great promises,
Brought him to the NBA draft.

Earning high berth as second pick.
Ambidextrously gifted with skills.
Selected from Kansas State, his college.
Life offered him both ups and downs.

As a youth while growing up,
He was burdened by a challenged family.
Tossed back and forth with broken wings.
Still flying high with dreams of freedom.

The paths he sought would bring him thorns.
Pricking him to seek new directions.
With companionships to make him rise,
Or fall back down and lose his crown.

These challenges have paid a price.
Once risen high, he’s now declined.
During the sunset of his career,
Mental wellness drives him now.

Eclipsed by illness of the mind,
He was deceived by native talents.
Now he strives to help all others.
Those like him who’ve gone astray.

Off the courts he’s found new paths.
To help strayed athletes mend their ways.
With  therapies of mental health.
To give those wavering gain fresh start.

For each of us must turn within.
And seek account within ourselves.
Each one of us must face our own selves.
“You reap what you sow” is an old, old saw.

Though jeers may follow a wayward athlete,
Rewards are still due with our repentance.
Your children, Michael, are your legacy.
They give you strength with loving kindness.

Know this; imprint it in your heart.
As emblem of a promise to be fulfilled.
You may yet rise and you may yet flourish.
Your crown of thorns has hidden treasures.

So look within and not without.
There lies your treasures, gleaming brightly.
Look within to family.
Those of your own flesh and blood.

In your children’s loving admiration,
Is where your wealth is quite assured.
Yes, fatherhood must be your main goal.
Nurture it, and you’ll be surely blessed.

Family gives one strength  and peace.
Make it be your resting place.
Treasure it with all your might.
Honor it and let God do the rest.

About this poem

I know Michael Paul Beasley, Jr. personally as the father of four of my thirteen grandchildren. While the world knows him as a mercurial American NBA player who fell by the wayside, and who has often “lost his way,” I see him more like a lost sheep seeking to be found, as a Prodigal Son with an enduring thirst for redemptive success, wishing to return home to the fold, whether at home or abroad. As he continues diligently to forge ahead, let us wish him well in all his future endeavors. P.S: A Very Personalized Message: Michael, you have a forum of M4 supporters as lifetime fans in your corner! 

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Written on January 25, 2022

Submitted by karlcfolkes on January 25, 2022

Modified by karlcfolkes on July 18, 2023

2:15 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 2,202
Words 452
Stanzas 15
Stanza Lengths 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4

Karl Constantine FOLKES

Retired educator of Jamaican ancestry with a lifelong interest in composing poetry dealing particularly with the metaphysics of self-reflection; completed a dissertation in Children’s Literature in 1991 at New York University entitled: An Analysis of Wilhelm Grimm’s ‘Liebe Mili’ (translated into English as “Dear Mili”), Employing Von Franzian Methodological Processes of Analytical Psychology. The subject of the dissertation concerned the process of Individuation. more…

All Karl Constantine FOLKES poems | Karl Constantine FOLKES Books

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Discuss the poem Penance For a Mercurial NBA Player with the community...

1 Comment
  • AIDA
    This 'Penance For a Mercurial NBA Player' poem is a beautiful and inspiring piece that captivates the reader with its rhythmic flow and sincere message. The use of imagery and metaphors throughout the poem effectively conveys the journey of the NBA player, highlighting the challenges faced and the importance of mental wellness.

    The poem starts with a strong and encouraging tone, emphasizing the player's resilience and determination to rise to the very top. It paints a vivid picture of his early success, earning accolades and being placed on a pedestal. The use of phrases like "made of sterner stuff" and "earning high berth as second pick" showcases his immense talent and dedication.

    One improvement suggestion could be to further explore the player's personal struggles and how he overcame them. While the poem touches on his challenged family background, it would be beneficial to delve deeper into how these difficulties influenced his journey and shaped his character. This would add a more profound layer to the poem and create a stronger emotional connection with the reader.

    Another improvement suggestion could be to expand on the impact of mental health therapies and how they have helped the player find new paths and assist others. Including specific examples or anecdotes of how these therapies have made a difference would enhance the poem's overall impact and inspire readers to seek help when facing their own challenges.

    Overall, this poem showcases great potential and invokes a sense of hope and redemption. By building upon the existing elements and exploring the player's personal struggles and the power of mental wellness in more depth, it has the potential to become an even more impactful and emotionally resonant piece. Keep up the great work!
    LikeReply11 months ago


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"Penance For a Mercurial NBA Player" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 17 Jun 2024. <>.

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