~ I don’t condone human rights violations at all: Phil Mickelson

May your drive slice toward London fog,
vanish in a stand of trees that lie in wait.

May the wind guide your fairway shot
from wood’s edge to bunker, bury it
like bones under desert sand drifts.

May a squall soak the sand, may it clot your wedge,
may you watch the ball dribble onto the matted wet grass.

May you shank your approach into merciless rough.
May your pitch to the green find deep water instead,
the burnished white ball weighted with a hard dark core.

When you’ve dropped a new ball on dry ground
and chipped fifteen feet past the hole, may you see at last
your putt sink in the golden cup like a severed head.

About the Poem

American golfer Phil Mickelson’s comment prior to participating in a Saudi-backed golf tournament in England reduces Jamal Khashoggi’s murder to an abstraction. He’s taking enormous sums of the Saudi’s money despite, in his words, their “horrible record on human rights.” Using the language of golf, my poem alludes to inconvenient facts that cannot be rationalized away.

About the Author

Joan Blessing has had a lifelong interest in social justice and public policy. Occasionally these imperatives find their way into one of her poems.

2 thoughts on “Hazards”

  1. Thank you for responding to his hypocrisy and greed through poetry. Poignant, powerful, and satisfying. A poem worthy of loud applause (not a golf-clap).

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