august 17/RUNSWIM

4 miles
minnehaha falls and back
65 degrees
wind: 17 mph

Another windy day. I recited a few of my favorite wind lines while I ran — I am the wind and the wind is invisible and Who can see the wind?/Neither I nor you:/but when the leaves hang trembling,/the wind is passing through. Cool, fall-ish. Today the wind sounded like water. It made the leaves fizz and sprinkle and gush like a waterfall, the acorns sounding like a raindrops on a roof

I listened to the wind and the gentle whoosh of the cars on the road as I ran south, stopped at my favorite spot to admire the falls, then put in my headphones and listened to an audio book, Killers of a Certain Age as I ran back north.

Anything else? Gushing falls, a runner in a bright orange shirt, the dirt trail littered with acorn shells, the briefest flash of the river through the thick trees. No roller skiers or big groups of runners or regulars. No frantic squirrels or noticeable bird calls. No geese (yet). No overheard conversations or songs blasting from car radios. No rowers.

In theory (and from a distance), I love bats. Here’s another poem to add to my

collection of bat poems — bats:

Exodus/ Joseph Fasano

I don’t know why I should have woken today
remembering it, but I did:
1989, the lights turned down,
and we’d locked ourselves in a closet
in Goshen, New York,
my mother and I,
because a bat was trapped in the house.
This was before
life before alcohol before madness—
and you can imagine
what happened next,
you can hear her
squealing when something touches her shoulder
and she realizes it is not
my hand, or the hand of my father,
and the door bursts open and
a woman stumbles through a house
praying and thrashing her hands,
her nightgown catching on the furniture,
and a small thing
crouched in a closet,
dark and wild and
hearing it all,
wondering how the hell to get out of there.

this class sounds great!

Found this wonderful course description (I wish I could take the class!) via twitter. It shares some similarities with the course I teach at The Loft:

The Outside World in Words (Poetry) / Suzannah V. Evans

Delve into the outside world in this six-week course, where we will experiment with mapping the local environment in a variety of poetic forms. From rivers and trees to streets and weather, we will turn our attention to the rhythms of the human and more-than-human world, exploring the role of observation in poetry. Sticks, leaves, crows, graffiti, mud, and cycle paths will all form a part of our poetic investigation. Creative exercises, prompts, and constructive feedback will jolt you into new ways of thinking and writing about your surroundings.

3 big loops*
lake nokomis open swim
75 degrees

After yesterday’s choppy swim, I decided to wear a wetsuit. I didn’t really need it, but I liked swimming with the wetsuit. So much higher on the water! Faster. The little bit of chop not bothering me. This was my first wetsuit swim since last summer.

*They must have had a shortage of lifeguards — college kids heading back to school? — because they only had the orange buoys up. The course was a lot shorter. I swam 4 loops, but the distance time number of strokes matched up with a 3 loop swim.

At least 2 menacing swans, nearing from the side. Do they see me? Not sure, but they didn’t hit me. A few wandering canoes and several swimmers deciding to swim this lake like Cedar: going which ever way they wanted.

a little kid to an open swimmer: hey, do you have a spare pair of googles?
the swimmer: sorry, no

Anything else? I think I actually saw a fish — and not just a silver flash — below me. It happened too fast to be freaked out by it.

A great swim. I stopped at 4, thinking that would be enough since Scott was waiting and I’m swimming again tomorrow morning. Should I have done one more loop? Maybe.