nov 20/RUN

4 miles
trestle turn around + extra
40 degrees

What a wonderful run on an overcast day! The sky seems so full, the air so thick. Rain and maybe snow moving in. As I ran through the tunnel of trees and looked down at the forest, I noticed (not for the first time) the black sewer pipe with the white plastic cap sticking out of the slope. A few minutes later I looked up and saw a squirrel’s nest, normally hidden from view by a thick veil of green leaves. And I thought about how many mysteries are solved in November: How does the water from the neighborhood make its way to the river? Sewer pipes in the slope. How high up are we and where is the bottom? There’s the forest floor, not too far down. Where does the trail that winds through the trees begin, end? At a bench near the franklin bridge. Where do the squirrels go when they’re not annoying me? A big nest up at the top of that one tree. Where does the water weep and seep through the limestone cliff? The seeping water freezes in the cold, creating white patches easy to spot. One mystery not yet solved: Down on the sand flats, just before the beach ends and the trail travels back into the forest, is that two people fishing or two trees standing? Running high on the gorge, I’ve stared intently at the mystery forms twice as I ran by and I still can’t decide.

Stopped to stare at the thing on top of the tall boulder: a mitten with fur lining. Realized it was placed on top of the stack stones to keep them from falling off. Can’t decide if I appreciate this or not.

[Lately when sorrows come]
Susan Laughter (law – ter) Meyers

Lately when sorrows come—fast, without warning—
whipping their wings down the sky,
I know to let them.
Not inviting them, but allowing each
with a deep breath as if inhaling a wish I can’t undo.

Some days the sky is so full of sorrows
they could be mistaken for shadows of unnamed
gods flapping the air with their loose black sleeves:
the god of head-on collisions,
the god of amputated limbs,
the god of I’ll-dress-you-in-mourning.

Is the buzz in the August trees,
that pulsing husk of repetition, an omen?
I hear it build to a final shaking. I hear it build
louder and louder, then nothing.
Like a long, picaresque novel that’s suddenly over.
Like the last inning of kickball until the rain.

What falls from the sky is not always rain
or any kind of weather. Call it precipitous.
I’m fooling myself, of course. Wearing sorrow
is nothing like skin shedding water.
It’s more like the weight of a cloak of crows.

And yet the sun still shines on the honey locust
arching its fringe over grass. Lit, too,
the pasture and its barbwire strung from post
to leaning post. See how the stump by the road
is rotting and how the small yellow leaves, twirling,
catch light on their way to the ground.

The more times I read this poem, the more I love it. A cloak of crows! Call it precipitous! That pulsing husk of repetition! Whipping their wings! So many great lines.

Let it Be, revisited

Before heading out for my run, I started playing around with a poem experiment I started in 2018, based on the phrase (which is on my coffee mug)–Let it be. Here’s a few I came up with:

Let ink trails be a way in
to a world of intelligent trees
who incubate theories
in their subterranean information thoroughfare.

Let indifferent trapezoids be
a model for how to live–
never interested in even, parallel lines
never caring to reach infinitely towards the sky?

Let indian takeout be
what saves us from eating
icky tacos again.

Let incanting toads be what finally
sings us to sleep
so we can dream better dreams
imagining terrains that believe in us.

Let invisible threads be revealed
so we may see how we belong
connected, tethered to each other–
vulnerable to violence yet
also to the inviting touch of another.

Let indefatigable toddlers be
given inside time to quell their irritating tantrums.

Let indigo tunics be required attire
for ill-tempered teetotalers

Let insufferable Todd be
forced to drink iced tea
while we imbibe tequila