june 21/RUNSWIM

3.25 miles
2 trails
69 degrees

Ran earlier today, at 7:15. A little cooler, quieter. For the first few minutes, I recited Alice Oswald’s “A Short Story of Falling” which I memorized yesterday. Ran south on the grassy boulevard between edmund and the river road. Crossed over at Becketwood, then ran down to the southern entrance of the Winchell Trail.

Listened to the gentle whooshing of car wheels. the clicking and clacking of ski poles, and birds for most of the run. Put in a Bruno Mars playlist for the last mile.

After I finished my run, I recited Alice Oswald’s “A Short Story of Falling” into my phone. Only messed up one line (I think).

10 Things

  1. click clack click clack
  2. the rambling root spread across the dirt trail
  3. the steady dripping — more than a trickle, less than a rush — of the water falling from the sewer pipe
  4. the soft (not mushy) blanket of dead leaves on the winchell trail
  5. the sharp sparkle of the light on the water
  6. shhhhhh — the wind passing through the leaves on the trees
  7. the soft roar of the city underneath everything
  8. the leaning branches have been removed — thanks Minneapolis Parks People!
  9. an almost exchange of the You and I — me: right behind you, excuse me an older woman with a dog: mmhmm
  10. no bugs, no gnats, no geese

wordle challenge

3 tries: front / brine / crane

front runt stunt blunt hunt shunt grunt redundant
brine sign fine line shine dine design unwind spine twine
crane explain refrain detain rain insane




a: the principal front of a building
b: a decorated pediment over a portico or window


an illustration preceding and usually facing the title page of a book or magazine


Cliché/ V. Penelope Pelizzon

Its back and forth, ad nauseum,
ought to make the sea a bore. But walks along the shore
cure me. Salt wind’s the best solution for
dissolving my ennui in,
along with these protean
sadnesses that sometimes swim
as comb-jelly
a glass or two of wine below my surface.
Some regrets
won’t untangle. Others loosen as I watch the waves
spreading their torn nets
of foam along the sand
to dry. I walk and walk and walk and walk, letting their haul
absorb me. One seal’s hull
scuttled to bone staves
gulls scream
wheeling above. And here… small, diabolical,
a skate’s egg case,
its horned purse nested on pods of bladderwort
that still squirt
BRINE by the eyeful. Some oily slabs of whale skin, or
—no, just an
edge of tire
flensed from a commoner leviathan.
Everywhere, plastic nurdles gleam
like pearls or caviar
for the avian gourmand
and bits of sponge dab the wounded wrack-line,
dried to froths of air
smelling of iodine.
Hours blow off down the beach like spindrift,
leaving me with an immense
less-solipsistic sense
of ruin, and, as if
it’s a gift, assurance
of ruin’s recurrence.


The Crane Wife” parts 1, 2, and 3 from the Decemberists

swim: 1 small loop (1/2 big loop)
cedar lake open swim
88 degrees

First open swim with FWA at cedar lake! A great night for it: calm, clear, not too crowded. The buoys were up tonight. Hooray!


bike: 8.5 miles
lake nokomis and back
88 degrees

Yay for being able to bike without fear! The ride was hot but was fine. The key: don’t bike too fast. I noticed: no progress on the duck bridge that was removed a few months ago for repairs; hot pink tape or paint or something marking the cracks in the trail — the pink was very easy for me to see…nice! and a dude in an e-bike with a kid going way faster than the 10 mph speed limit.

swim: 3 loops (2.25 miles)
88 degrees

3 slightly choppy loops today. Definitely more difficult with the choppy water — how choppy was it? Not really that bad (compared to real chop in the ocean or a big lake), but it still made it harder to breathe. Saw 2 or 3 planes, some random woman floating in an inner tube in the middle of the lake (almost ran into her). Raced a swan boat, dodged flailing kids at the beach and breaststrokers mid-lake. Again this year, breaststrokers are my nemesis. Couldn’t see the green buoys at all; I used the glowing rooftop at the big beach as my guide. I couldn’t even see the green buoys when I was 20 feet away from them because of the bright sun. Didn’t bother me at all. I just kept swimming, only stopping to adjust my goggles and make sure my stiff left knee was okay. For just a flash, I thought about Tony Hoaglund’s poem (below) and the way water speaks. I thought about how, because I’m in the water and not standing on the shore, I can listen and understand (at least a little).

wordle challenge

3 tries:

water / inert / frost

a winter morning

water inert
frosted glass
slicked up streets
endless and empty

water inert on morning window: frost

a description by Alice Oswald in her reading of “A Short Story of Falling” that I listened to this morning as I memorized her beautiful poem:

What I love about water is that it spends its whole time falling. It’s always, apparently, trying to find the lowest place possible, and when it finds the lowest place possible, it lies there wide awake.

Alice Oswald

Water is never inert
always falling searching
for somewhere else to be
even in rest
as frost on winter’s window
it watches waits wants
to find the floor

The Social Life of Water/ Tony Hoaglund

All water is a part of other water
Cloud talks to lake; mist
speaks quietly to creek.

Lake says something back to cloud,
and cloud listens.
No water is lonely water.

All water is a part of other water.
River rushes to reunite with ocean;
tree drinks rain and sweats out dew;
dew takes elevator into cloud;
cloud marries puddle;


has long conversation with lake about fjord;
fog sneaks up and murmurs insinuations to swamp;
swamp makes needs known to marshland.

Thunderstorm throws itself on estuary;
waterspout laughs at joke of frog pond.
All water understands.

All water understands.
Reservervoir gathers information
for database of watershed.
Brook translates lake to waterfall.
Tide wrinkles its green forehead and then breaks through.
All water understands.

But you, you stand on the shore
of blue Lake Kieve in the evening
and listen, grieving
as something stirs and turns within you.

Not knowing why you linger in the dark.
Not able even to guess
from what you are excluded.

june 19/RUNSWIM

5.1 miles
franklin hill turn around
71 degrees

Warm again this morning. I need to start my run sooner. I heard the coxswain below instructing the rowers, but I forget to look for them as I ran down the franklin hill. I don’t remember looking at the river at all. Did I? I was too distracted by people — bikers, runners, walkers.

Best part of the run: heading down the hill, feeling good, someone else running up the hill called out, looking strong! I called back, you too! Her words made me feel good and even stronger. Such a kind gesture. I started thinking again about these small exchanges and how they give us the chance to be both an I (who recognizes) and a you (who is recognized).

Listened to rowers, birds, and cheering runners as I ran north. Listened to Hamilton on my headphones on the way back south. it’s a blur sir

wordle challenge

6 tries (with a hint from FWA): chirp / doubt / smoke / flank / wagon / KAZOO

In the morning

when the birds chirp
doubt goes up in smoke
delight outflanks grief
and regret hitches a wagon ride
out of town.
Only the faint buzz of his kazoo lingers
then joins in the cardinal chorus.

swim: 2.5 big loops (5 little loops)
cedar lake open swim
88 degrees

The first open swim at cedar! Wonderful. The water wasn’t too choppy or cold. Everyone was (mostly) swimming the right way. No leg cramps or worry about swimming off course.

10 Things

  1. the beach was packed with people
  2. the water, which is usually clear here, was opaque
  3. a few silver flashes below me — fish?
  4. stopping near the beach for a minute, I looked down in the water and saw shafts of light
  5. itchy vines, floating into me
  6. I swam over one vine floating horizontally and it felt like I was getting a full body scan
  7. many of the vines were attached — at both beaches I swam through a thick forest of underwater vegetation
  8. no buoys, only lifeguards on kayaks set up in the middle of the lake, which was no problem for sighting (at least for me)
  9. 2 different paddleboarders crossed right in front of me
  10. birds flying over the lake above me — I couldn’t tell how big they were

june 18/SWIM!!

1.5 miles* (2 loops)
lake nokomis open swim
69 degrees / light rain

*not quite sure of the distance, but I’m basing it on my strokes (which are very consistent) and comparing them to strokes per mile in the pool

Hooray for another open swim! Had to miss 2 this week because of moving Scott’s dad, so I’m very glad I was able to get to the lake this morning. I LOVE lake swimming. It’s hard, but is so satisfying and freeing. I love the gentle burn I feel in my shoulders for a few hours after I’m done. It was cold(er) and the water was a little choppy. I had to breathe on my right side most of the time. The few times I turned to breathe on my left side, water rushed over my head. I couldn’t really see the buoys but it didn’t matter. I was able to keep swimming and stay on course.

It was 10 years ago that I first swam across the lake for open swim. I was nervous and almost didn’t do it. I loved it instantly. I love it even more now.

10 Things

  1. a slight drizzle that I couldn’t feel in the water
  2. brightest color: the pink safety buoy tethered to a torso
  3. second brightest color: the orange buoy that was rarely visible
  4. dimmest color: the green buoys
  5. opaque water — no visibility underwater
  6. a single swan boat
  7. something flying in the air above me that could have been a plane, a bird, or a bug. I couldn’t tell
  8. a few green-capped heads bobbing near the far orange buoy
  9. the faintest white form of a vertical buoy just off the big beach — as I swam towards it, I could see the form hovering underwater
  10. my fingers going slightly numb, my right shoulder burning near the end of the second loop

wordle challenge

5 tries: wrest / cribs / spank / souls / SHYLY


For the wrest of the day I will put a w first in words that begin with r.
I didn’t have to wrest the answer from her; she told me willingly.

from Lucky Day Still/ David Rivard
Lucky day still spent wrestling the private problems
and obsessions encountered first in your youth
but played out now within the spectacle of public aging
(tho, strangely, as you age you feel less & less seen
by the young, a citizen active in frequencies of light waves
increasingly invisible—not even boring to 15-year-olds).


MTV Cribsthis is where the magic happens….
crib sheet
cribbage wars
(verb) to confine


spanking new

Knot is a tangle, a problem that needs
unraveling. Not is the thing that isn’t / doesn’t /

wouldn’t. Knot a securing, a way of holding on.
Not security’s antithesis—a refusal to hold

or to be held. Lover’s knot / not lovers / all
for naught. Knotty pine paint paddles broken

in a splintered rage when spanking the non-compliant
child. Not I, said the spy. (Knot eye.) Not the eye

skimming smoothly up the trunk into blue sky,
but a knot eye, a visual paradox, a trompe l’oeil.


Formed in trunks where branches used to be,
or where the trunk’s growth has choked off

the smaller, lower branches in a tree. Each knot
the mark of a tightening tourniquet surrounding

a phantom limb. Each knot a scar, a toughening
over to cauterize loss, seal the body shut so it doesn’t

bleed out in the snow. In a concentration camp
in Minidoka, Idaho, wood artist George Nakashima

learned to burnish the souls of trees through their scars:
their knots, their holes, their cracks, their broken histories


All Souls Day
eyes are (not) the window to our Souls

from When Great Trees Fall/ Maya Angelou

Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
radiance, fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance of
dark, cold

And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.


the way into the words
appears —

the problem of finitude (wrestling with death)
constrained in the awareness of impending non-existence (cribbed)
the sharp shock of what used to be (spank)
but is no more (when great souls die)

june 17/RUN

4.6 miles
marshall loop to cleveland
67 degrees

Nice to be home and able to run this loop after a few days away, moving a parent out of an apartment in one city and into another in another city. Wasn’t sure how it would feel to run up the marshall hill, but it wasn’t too bad. I remember noticing things as I ran, but now I can’t remember what I noticed, except —

screeching bluejays, leaves on trees shivering in the wind, voices floating up from the gorge, sparkling river water, a sandbar emerging from just below the lake street bridge. Bikers, walkers, runners

almost getting hit by a bike (my fault) — not sure how close it was; my body didn’t tense up in panic, so I’m guessing it wasn’t that close. It happened because my eyes/brain can only see one thing at a time and I was distracted by some stopped bikers who looked like they were going to cross, but weren’t. Why weren’t they crossing, I wondered, thinking maybe there was a car that I couldn’t see (it’s happened before).

a shell with 2 rowers on the river, the bells at St. Thomas chiming nine times, sprinklers, tree roots, hard-paced dirt, almost losing my balance on the edge of the east river trail but managing to stay on the path, looking strange to anyone who might have seen me, I’m sure

Listened to birds, voices, my breath for most of the ran. Put in a Bruno Mars playlist for the last mile.

wordle challenge

4 tries: tough / beach / march / ranch

tough: and the grass was as tough as hemp and no color no more than sand was a color(I Remember/ Anne Sexton)

beach: from Dan Beachy-Quick (This Nest, Swift Pasterine) in april 24, 2023 entry

the eye sees
also through the ear a double infinity

march: Dear March — Come In — (Emily Dickinson)

branch: from Winter Branches/ Margaret Widdemer

Clear-cut and certain they rise, with summer past,
For all that trees can ever learn they know now, at last;

june 15/RUN

2.5 miles
austin, mn
60 degrees

written a few days later

Did a quick run in Austin with Scott that ended at The Coffee Place in downtown Austin, across from the SPAM museum. Ran past: the cemetery with Scott’s mom’s grave, the mill pond (I think it’s called the mill pond), the Plantar’s Peanut Mobile parked by a chain-link fence, I-90, and a lot of other things I can’t remember. It was smoky from wildfires in the Boundary Waters and cooler than I expected.

The things I remember most about this morning were not the run, but: the reconstituted eggs (yuck!) at the hotel breakfast buffet, watching bits of a few episodes of Living Single, and the phone call from the doctor telling Scott that his dad was being released from the hospital much earlier than expected. Instant decision: instead of going home, which was our plan, we drove over to Rochester and loaded up a car with a mattress and bed frame, then drove to Scott’s dad’s new assisted living apartment in the twin cities to drop it off. Then drove back to Rochester (60 miles) and loaded the car up again. Mayo Hospital had led us to believe he wouldn’t be released until the following week. I am not a fan of Mayo (and never have been) — they may be good at curing unusual diseases but they suck at caring for actual people. Boo to arrogant doctors. Boo to prioritizing fancy buildings over the needs of community members. Boo to insurance companies that pressure hospitals into releasing patients too soon.

Wordle Challenge

note: I didn’t have time to do the wordle challenge this morning, so these words are from the next day when I didn’t run.

4 tries: flash / waxes / apron / STRAP

a flash of white
the moon grows and shrinks
waxes and wanes
all in an instant
as an apron of clouds
travels across the sky
sometimes the clouds appear as soft cover
and sometimes they seem to conceal and subdue,
each thick layer of vapor a strap
securing the moon to the sky

note: I’d like to replace one of the skies with something else — I’ll think about it some more

revision, 18 june 2023

A flash of white
grows and shrinks
waxes and wanes
all in an instant
as an apron of dark clouds
travels across.

Sometimes the clouds offer soft cover
and sometimes they conceal and subdue
each thick layer of vapor a strap
securing the moon to the sky

june 14/RUN

3 miles
2 trails
67 degrees

Ran on the dirt trail between edmund and the river road heading south, then down to the winchell trail for the way back. A good run where I mostly ran slow with a few stretches of fast.

Listened to the water dripping, the cars gently whooshing, giant mowing machines whirring on the way south and for most of the winchell trail north. Put in Lizzo for the last mile.

9 Things I Noticed

  1. the water was blue when I had a clear view and a blinding, shining white through the gaps in the trees
  2. another friendly exchange and shift from I to You when I thanked a pedestrian for moving over for me: Thank you! You’re welcome!
  3. couldn’t hear the water dripping below 42nd because of the dizz dizz dizz of a giant machine up above
  4. the same almost fallen branches, leaning over the winchell trail
  5. rowers! never saw them, but heard the coxswain prepping them on what to do in a race
  6. lots of cars steadily and gently moving north on the river road
  7. birds birds birds — didn’t see them, only heard them
  8. wet dirt on the trail — was it dew or did it rain last night?
  9. lots of bikers and walkers — less runners, no roller skiers

wordle challenge

3 tries: plaid / write / crime

3 poems:

plaid: The Plaid/ Edna St. Vincent Milay
write: How to Write a Poem/ Laura Hershey
crime: Severed Head Floating Downriver/ Alice Oswald

june 13/SWIM!!!

1 mile / 2 loops
lake nokomis open swim
85 degrees

Open swim! Open swim! A perfect night for a swim. Warm, sunny, low wind. The water was smooth and I had no problem seeing the buoys. Hooray! I swam without stopping at the shore, which made the loop much shorter. I guess 6 loops = 3 miles this year.

wordle challenge

4 tries: fiend / grunt / plunk / clunk

a fiend
a grunt
a loud ker-plunk
the clunkity-clunk of feelings sunk