mississippi river road path, north/south
16 degrees/feels like 16
Wow, the birds really think it’s spring. So chatty! I guess nobody told them we’re getting a foot of snow this weekend. Didn’t wear my yaktrax, which was a big mistake. The path was extra snowy because the plows had come through again, moving out more snow and making little mountains in the process. Greeted the Daily Walker and a few other runners. The soft, small mounds of snow all over the path made it much harder to move my legs. Listened to a playlist and felt a happy buzz around mile 2. Jamie Quatro’s first layer of the runner’s high (from “Running as Prayer”). I think I only get these highs when I’m listening to music–the ones where I feel intensely euphoric, invincible. Glanced at the river but I can’t remember what it looked like–was it open? I think I heard the geese honking at some point, but it was hard to tell with Fleetwood Mac singing about mountains and getting older and needing to change and snow-covered hills.
clothing layers: black shirt, orange shirt, vest, buff, gloves, visor. A rare occasion of wearing just the right amount of layers.
path layers: the smallest sliver of bare pavement near the lake street bridge, slick ice, hard packed snow, soft not quite settled or compressed snow, snow ledges on the edges of the path, big chunks of old snow, little mounds of snow scattered all around
I’ve been mentioning hearing geese honking a lot lately. Here are 2 very different poems that feature geese:
Wild Geese/mary oliver
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
Clouds so thick
they put down
Periwinkle sign passports
brings remission with a V
of the blues
Feel the sun
butting the buds
Trout lilies nod expand
they know the sky
a scent by which
we mark the calendar
By all means and fresh rainbows
Yes. You May
increase the loneliness
They leave that that bats
to the silence make it darker
the joy of hearing
Comes the hedgehog
And the bumblebee who lives on pins
non-aerodynamic and needles
in the setting sun
Nighthawks if you can
swoop the firefly’s flash
gathering the evening
Prophetic winds fill
Then a scurry
A lamentation of geese
Hummingbird leaves in the early
to cruise dusk
their acorn accounts
Blue jay insists feathered scholar
it’s never too late knows his berries
predicts a turn
for the worse
in this cast-iron against the chill
stained with rust
Fly husks on sills
the year’s demise
Coyote lingers in the laurel
to school us thickets
to wear snow
Frostfeathers leave their three-D
the cabin glass
begin the woodpile
Oliver’s “Wild Geese” was one of the first poems I memorized while I was injured 2 summers ago. I still love it. Today is my introduction to John Haag–I did a search on poetry foundation for “geese.” So much fun. They only had one other poem of his online. It’s great too.