mississippi river road path, north/south
50% loose snow, 35% packed snow, 15% ice
feels like: I might fall or my legs might give out or I might twist my ankle in the loose, uneven snow
The conditions on the path are pretty bad but I still enjoyed being outside, especially having spent my morning in too many stores. Heard tons of crows–probably hanging out in the flats. Saw the sun completely covered by grayish white clouds, making them glow as it tried to break through the gloom. Saw fat tires, several dogs, a few runners and some kids sledding down the hill. The favorite thing I saw happened after I was done running and was walking back. A man and woman were running with their dog. Their gaits were so graceful and rhythmic and effortless. I stopped and watched, mesmerized by how they gently bounced, their feet going up and down on the path. It hardly looked like they were touching the ground at all. So cool.
Here’s my poem for the day:
What burns will burn, what’s left
is brick and the soot marring the brick—
what’s left is the rebuilding.
Become small as the seed, which waits
without speaking. Settle as the cicada does,
humming faintly in its dark bed of earth.
Count the pearls in the heirloom necklace,
each a grain of sand gilded by decades,
made in the murks under an ocean’s weight.
Practice moving your fingers through the air
so gently, you can hold a feather
without it touching your hand.
Stare at ice so long, it becomes the same
as water. Stare at water so long, it is gone.
Stare at the mark made after.
Parse apart the slung syllables of every book
until your tongue is nimble iron, then
teach your tongue the strength in silence.
Bridle your desire, halter and harness until
it stands at attention, taut as the rope
that leads to the bell that waits to be struck.
When you ring, ring loud, exactly when you need to,
bright note pitched as the phoenix hatches
and you burn and burn and burn and burn.
Such a lovely poem. I love the idea of poems as spells. If I had more time and energy right now, I’d like to add a stanza about the patience involved in standing and watching the runners and their graceful gaits.