river road path, south/edmund, north
Another great morning for a run. Not windy or crowded. Lots of sun. Clear paths and sidewalks. Listened to Taylor Swift on Spotify. Felt strong and happy to be outside above the river which was glowing brightly again through the bare trees, looking almost like a heat mirage in the summer. The air, wavy. Noticed at least one person below on the Winchell Trail wearing a bright blue jacket. Anything else? No fat tires or roller skiers or groups of runners or turkeys or squirrels.
A fox! At least, I’m pretty sure it was a fox hauling ass across the street straight into someone’s back yard, probably heading to 7 Oaks and its massive sinkhole. Looked too big and too fast to be a cat, too furry and feline-like to be a dog. Glad they kept running and left me alone! I am a wimp when it comes to wildlife. Sure, I’m very excited to spot a coyote or a fox or a muskrat, but only from a safe distance.
Discovered this awesome poem about a woodpecker this morning:
A woodpecker’s/ PHILIP GROSS
working the valley
or is it the other way round?
That bone-clinking clatter, maracas
or knucklebones or dance of gravel
on a drumskin, the string of the air
twanged on the hollow body of itself …
It’s the tree that gives voice,
the fifty-foot windpipe, and the bird
is its voice box, the shuddering
membrane that troubles the space
inside, which otherwise would be
all whispers, scratch-and-scrabblings,
the low dry flute-mouth of wind
at its just-right or just-wrong angle,
the cough-clearing of moss
or newly ripened rot falling in.
But the woodpecker picks the whole
wood up and shakes it, plays it
as his gamelan, with every sounding
pinged from every branch his instrument.
Or rather, it’s the one dead trunk,
the tree, that sings its dying, and this
is the quick of it; red-black-white, the bird
in uniform, alert, upstanding to attention
is its attention, our attention, how the forest,
in this moment, looks up, knows itself.
I want to study this poem. So many amazing descriptions! I think I’ll print it out and add it to the poems I have displayed under the glass on my desk.
Gamelan (gam elan): an Indonesian orchestra primarily made up of percussion instruments such as gongs, xylophones, drums.
And that last line! “upstanding to attention/is its attention, our attention, how the forest, /in this moment, looks up, knows itself.”