the loop that kept getting larger*
*36th st to north on edmund
small loop: 33rd st, east/river road, north/32nd st, west/48th ave, south/33rd st, west
medium: river road, north/32nd st, west/47th ave, south/33rd st, west
large: river road, north/32nd st, west/46th ave, south/33rd st, west
edmund, south/36th st, west
Love the image this running route makes. Would it be fun to try running routes that make pictures or spell words?
A nice run this morning. It was fun to try a different route by making the loop bigger each time. Didn’t have any problems running too close to others. It was sunny and cool–I almost forgot about the wind. It felt like I was running into it for much of the time. I remember hearing a few birds but I don’t think I recognized their call. I heard the buzz of at least one big lawnmower. No geese. No turkey sightings. Running on the river road, I was able to glance down at the river. In-between thick green, slashes of pale blue. Anything else? Surfaces I ran over: gritty street, cracked sidewalk, rutted dirt trail, soft green grass.
Holmes Lake/ Jessica Poli
I’ve forgotten what it feels like to be wanted
the way the Labrador near me wants the stick
his owner throws for him, his body crashing
into the water before pausing, mouth clapped tightly
around the wet bark, to stand turned awestruck
toward the setting sun. On the shore, a father
holds his daughter and twirls a piece of long grass
between his fingers as they watch the hills turn glassy
and bright. I sit beneath a tree and watch them all—
dog and owner, man and daughter—and I feel
far away. And it’s here that I often see a fisherman
anchored to one particular spot, ice chest and gear
beside him, his blue windbreaker puffed
from air coming off the water as he eats spoonfuls
of beans from a can, pulls hard on a cigarette,
and adjusts his lines. On those days, I wonder
if he wonders what I’m writing the way I wonder
what he does with the fish he catches—who
he shares them with, if anyone, and whether it’s him
who picks the bones clean from the flesh, him
who warms the skillet and lays the fish gently
in the crackling oil. Today, though, the girl’s mother
stands in the fisherman’s usual spot, her phone
poised, snapping a photo every time the light shifts
a little more to darken the clouds gathering
like flies along the fur of the horizon.
I’m reminded of the horse I used to care for
and how, a month before he died, I found him
standing in the round pen behind the barn
with his head raised, eyes turned toward the sun rising
across the valley while the starlings in the hedgerow
gathered in sound before bursting from the trees
all at once, the air suddenly swarming, the horse
tilting his head to watch their departure much like
the Labrador now watches the sun across the lake.
And I knew a dairy farmer once who, when a cow
was to be put down, would turn her out into the pasture
one last time to watch the sun set. I wonder
if all these animals look at the sky and see something
that I never will. I think I could spend
my whole life trying to find it.
What an amazing first sentence! I think I’d like to memorize this poem so I can spend some more time with it. I really appreciate her description of the scene, providing so many details and managing to do more than merely report what she saw.
The idea of reporting, reminds me of the On Being episode with Mary Oliver:
Tippett: I’d like to talk about attention, which is another real theme that runs through your work, both the word and the practice. I know people associate you with that word. But I was interested to read that you began to learn that attention without feeling is only a report. That there is more to attention than for it to matter in the way you want it to matter. Say something about that learning.
Oliver: You need empathy with it rather than just reporting. Reporting is for field guides. And they’re great. They’re helpful. But that’s what they are. They’re not thought provokers. They don’t go anywhere. And I say somewhere that attention is the beginning of devotion, which I do believe. But that’s it. A lot of these things are said but can’t be explained.