march 18/BIKE

30 minutes

A 10k run yesterday on a recovering calf means no running today. Decided to bike in the basement just so I could move a little. I should have watched Dickinson, but I watched an old Ironman instead.

All day, I’ve been reading my old Haunts notes, trying to pick one thing to write about. Am I getting somewhere? Maybe. Maybe not.

Here’s a beautiful poem I just discovered from Terrain. Wow!

Prayer of a Nonbeliever/ Tim Raphael

Cathartes aura—purifying breeze—
is one name for a turkey vulture,
and what if prayer is like that—
praise song for a scavenger?
What if prayer is like this walk,
the same one every day,
a mantra of footsteps on mesa rock,
raptors in the wind?
What if it begins as a hint
on the piñon stippled hills,
unfurls like a scent the dogs sense
with raised snouts?
I suspect there’s prayer in the primrose
come into flower,
flake-white blossoms
blanketing the path,
in the rhythm of my quickened pulse
on the climb.
And if prayer takes its time on ridgelines,
in scant shade,
if it lingers by a petroglyph picked
into basalt—two figures with hands on hips
as if ready to dance—
then perhaps I am learning to pray.
Today, another friend’s diagnosis,
and who am I to scoff at believers?
I too like the idea of prayer as a stand-in
for clumsy words like hope,
wonder and love—for this green
green valley slaked on spring runoff,
for the whorl of dihedral wings
and the uneven heat of rising air.

that turn — another friend’s diagnosis — wow, those 3 words recalibrating the poem! I’d like to do something like that with my poems about the gorge!