april 20/RUN

4.5 miles
marshall loop (cleveland)
35 degrees
wind: 12 mph

Woke up this morning to snow on the back deck. Only a dusting that melted before Scott got up a few hours later. Cold. Wore my running tights, winter vest, and gloves. It felt windier than 12 mph, especially on the bridge. I took my cap off so it wouldn’t blow away.

10 Things

  1. cold wind in my face, making my eyes water
  2. little ripples on the river, looking like scales
  3. running past street lamps on the st paul side, noticing the wires at the base pulled out
  4. an empty white kitchen trash bag draped over a bench
  5. 2 teen aged boys jumping the fence near the lake street bridge steps
  6. rowers on the river! how do they row in this wind?
  7. the clicking and clacking of roller ski poles
  8. the clicking and clacking of a woman’s running gait — she had a hitch and stepped down in a strange way that made a scraping noise — they way she contorted her body with each step made my hips hurt just watching!
  9. volunteers on earth day just above the floodplain forest, picking up trash — I was almost taken out by little Giovanni — Giovanni! Watch out! an adult called
  10. little birds — sparrows? — swooping, low to the ground, just in front of me

Before I went out for my run, I was reading about images and metaphors and literal and figurative language. As I was finishing up my run, I was thinking that my image of the day — the image I’d like to think about and write around — is the street lamp on the side of the paved trail, its door open and wires hanging out . . . or maybe the image is not just one of them, but lamp after lamp all the way down the hill above shadow falls, all of them gutted or disemboweled, their wire guts hanging out. The idea of them being gutted seems too easy as a metaphor — perhaps I need to think about who or what gutted them? Or something more specific about the guts as veins or tendons? Now I’m thinking about cut wires and losing the circuit and being disconnected.

This afternoon, I took a 3 hour zoom class on ekphrastic poetry. I wrote most of this entry before it; I’m finishing now, after it. A great class with Heid E. Erdrich. Lots of inspiration for public art and responding to art. Erdrich mentioned writing poems or finding poems that fit as labels for artwork in museums. This made me think of my interest in alt-text. I’d like to explore this connection more. Very cool.

april 13/RUN

10k
hidden falls and back
66 degrees
wind: 13 mph / gusts: 25 mph

Another run with Scott. Today, too hot! We ran around 11, which was too late. So much sun and no shade. It’s time to adjust to running much earlier.

Of course, I’m writing this right after the run, when I’m feeling wiped out, so my perspective on it is skewed.

We talked about the Beaufort scale and songs that might fit with the different levels of wind. Scott recounted the history of the man behind Chef Boyardee. That’s all I remember.

10 Things

  1. wind — strong enough that I took my hat off on the ford bridge and held it so it wouldn’t blow off my head
  2. ripples on the river — I mentioned to Scott that they were referred to as scales on the Beaufort scale
  3. wind chimes, all around the neighborhood chiming
  4. soft shadows
  5. after months of not being lit, the street lamps along the river road are finally lit again
  6. on your left! a biker passing us on the bridge
  7. the water fountains aren’t working yet — we kept stopping to check, but no water yet
  8. a few LOUD blue jays
  9. swarming gnats!
  10. bright yellow and orange and green running shirts on other runners

before the run

Reviewing a link I posted earlier this month — Historical and Contemporary Versions of the Beaufort Scale — I started thinking about different versions of the Beaufort Scale that I could do. On the run, I’d like to talk with Scott about a wind song Beaufort scale that describe/ranks the wind using song lyrics. I’m thinking that Summer Breeze might be on one end and The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald on the other.

Other versions of the Beaufort Scale might include poetry lines — yes, a wind cento! — and things experienced while running.

Beaufort Scale

force / name / for use at sea / for use at land

  • 0 / calm, still / sea like a mirror / smoke rises vertically
  • 1 / light air / ripples on water / direction of wind shown by wind
  • 2 / light breeze / small wavelets / wind felt on face, leaves rustle
  • 3 / gentle breeze / crests begin to break, scattered white horses / leaves and small twigs whirl, wind extends small flags
  • 4 / moderate breeze / small waves, fairly frequent white horses / wind raises dust and loose paper, small branches move
  • 5 / fresh breeze / moderate waves, many white horses, some spray / small trees in leaf start to sway, crested waves on inland waters
  • 6 / strong breeze / large waves, white foam, spray / large branches in motion, whistling wires, umbrellas used with difficulty
  • 7 / near gale / breaking waves blow in streaks / whole trees in motion, inconveniant to walk against the wind
  • 8 / gale / moderately high waves / twigs break from trees, difficult to walk
  • 9 / strong gale / high waves / slight structural damage, roof slates removed
  • 10 / storm / very high waves / trees uprooted, considerable structural damage
  • 11 / violent storm / very high waves / widespread damage
  • 12 / hurricane / air filled with foam, spray / widespread damage

I’m struck by how mild the wind is here in Minneapolis by the river gorge. The roughest wind I’ve run (or swum) in is 6, which is about 31 mph. That’s only a strong breeze and when umbrellas are used with difficulty. And that’s only halfway up the scale! I’m a wimp, I guess.

Looking at this a different way, I think there’s a lot more levels between light breeze and strong breeze. maybe I should try to notice and describe the differences between leaves rustling and leaves in a whirlwind? Or wind felt on my face as a soft kiss versus wind whipping my hair?

during the run

Scott was excited about the idea of creating a Beaufort scale with songs/song lyrics. So far:

0 / In the Still of the Night / Dion
1 / In the Air Tonight / Phil Collins
2 / Summer Breeze / Seals & Croft
3 / Sailing / Christopher Cross
4 / Dust in the Wind / Kansas
5 / Breezin’ / George Benson
6 / Blowing in the Wind / Peter, Paul & Mary
7 / Windy / The Association
8 / They Call the Wind Maria / Paint Your Wagon
9 / Ride Like the Wind / Christopher Cross
10 / Tear the Roof Off the Sucker / Parliment
11 / The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald / Gordon Lightfoot
12 / Rock You Like a Hurricane / Scorpion

This was fun and a great distraction as we ran!

april 11/RUN

3.1 miles
edmund, south/river road, north/edmund, south
56 degrees
wind: 12 mph/ gusts: 22 mph

Shorts and bare legs again today. Hooray! Was planning to do the 2 trails, but when I reached the entrance to the winchell trail I heard some very noisy rustling of leaves. Too big for a squirrel. A dog? A bear? A human? I tried to look ahead but all I saw was a black blob. I thought it was a person with a stroller so I moved a little closer. Nope — a male turkey with its tail spread like a peacock, a red wattle glowing, even for me with my bad color vision. Wow. I mentioned it to a man walking down the hill and he said, well, this is the way I’m going! and slowly and calmly walked toward the turkey. A showdown. After 30 seconds or so, the turkey relented and the man walked past. Not me, I climbed the hill and ran on the trail next to the road. This encounter will be my birding poem for the day!

10 Things Other Than Tom Turkey

  1. a woodpecker cry — pileated, I think
  2. another woodpecker cry a few minutes later — was this bird following me?
  3. loud kids at the playground, mostly having fun
  4. 2 bikers heading north — we can ride the wind now. I thought this meant that they would have the wind at their backs, so I would too, when I turned around. No. Wind was in my face heading north, later in the run
  5. admiring the view of the river from the overlook — the water on the other shore was sparkling
  6. mud and roots on the dirt trail between edmund and the river
  7. the clickity-clack of roller skiers poles behind me
  8. several of the benches had people on them — more than half?
  9. bird shadows
  10. a shrieking blue jay above me

After turning around because of the territorial turkey, I put in my “It’s Windy” playlist: They Call the Wind Maria/ the furies; Dust in the Wind/ insignificant or fleeting

The wind wasn’t overpowering but it was everywhere, coming from every direction. I remember noticing how it played with my hair, making my ponytail bob and my little loose strands fly around my face. Only once did I need to adjust my hat for fear that the wind might blow it off. I don’t remember hearing any skittering leaves or getting dust in my eyes, grit in my teeth. The wind didn’t sing or howl. It did push me forward and hold me back. And I think it made the whole run harder.

Earlier this morning, I checked out Mary Oliver’s West Wind and found this delightful part of a poem about wild turkeys. It seems fitting to include today after seeing several hens — being guarded by the male turkey on Winchell.

from Three Songs/ Mary Oliver

1

A band of wild turkeys is coming down the hill. They are coming
slowly—astheywalkalongthey look under the leaves for things to 
eat, and besides it must be a pleasure to step alternately through the
pale sunlight, then patches of slightly golden shade. they are all hens
and they lift their thick toes delicately. With such toes they could
march up one side of the state and down the others, or skate on water,
or dance the tango. But not this morning. As they get closer the sound
of their feet in the leaves is like the patter of rain, then rapid rain. My
dogs perk their ears, and bound from the path. Instead of opening their
dark wings the hens swirl and rush away under the trees, like little
ostriches.

Returning to my birding poem for the day. I’m having a little difficulty finding the focus, so I thought I’d write a little more around this little poem. What are the details that I remember, that I might want to write about?

  • First thing noticed: an unusually loud rustling sound that I thought was too big for a squirrel, too much for a human
  • the moment of seeing something but not knowing what it was — a bear? a dog? a stroller? Not feeling scared, but feeling like I should stay back until I figured it out, feeling that it was something unusual. This moment last a long time, which was fine because I had time, but wouldn’t have been if I had needed to make a quick decision, like if the turkey was running towards me
  • the turkey was so big! its tail was up and spread out like a peacock, making him look even bigger and framing his face
  • the face — fuzzy but clear enough to know that this turkey was telling me to back off! I couldn’t make out his eyes, but I could see — or, maybe I guessed a little — when he was facing me — yes, it was the contrast of light and dark — when he was turned away, he was just a dark, hulking shape, when he was turned toward me I saw a pale beak
  • the red wattle — was it bright? I can’t quite remember, but I know it was red and big
  • when I felt fairly certain it was a turkey, I still couldn’t see details — just a small, light head with red, framed by broad dark tail feathers — how much of his bigness was because of his tail, how much his body? the form — menacing and comical at the same time, with its big circle for a body and its tiny head
  • the approaching man — I said to him, there’s a big turkey down there! He said something like, well, THIS is the way I’m planning to go! His tone wasn’t too jerky, just matter-of-fact. When he approached the turkey he called out sternly but not too aggressively — hey hey move! At first, the turkey wouldn’t budge and the guy looked back at me, but after some time, the turkey moved

Reflecting on these details some more, I’m thinking that the guy, albeit interesting, is unnecessary for my purposes. I think adding him might take the poem in a different direction. . . although, I am struck by the encounter between me, him, and the turkey. The guy didn’t seem like a jerk, but he did give off some older white guy energy — this is the way I’m going turkey! Your puffed up feathers can’t stop me! I was happy to stand back and observe the turkeys from a (respectful?) distance, while he was ready to keep moving through the turkeys.

The uncertainty from not being able to see what the turkey was is what I’d like to focus on, although I want to weave in the strange mix of menacing and comical too. Here’s a long passage from Georgina Kleege that is helpful in explaining my own process of seeing things. She is able to see most things because she expects to see them; it’s the unexpected things that make it difficult. oh — I like this idea of bringing surprise in here!

Expectation plays a large role in what I perceive. I know what’s on my desk because I put it there. If someone leaves me a surprise gift, it may take a few seconds to identify it, but how often does that happen? . . . . I can recognize most things through quick process of elimination. And that process is only truly conscious on the rare occasions when the unexpected occurs, as when my cats carry objects out of context. A steel wool soap pad appears in the bath tub. I see it as a rusty, graying blob. Though touch would probably tell me something, it can be risky to touch something you cannot identify some other way. . . . I once encountered a rabid raccoon on a sidewalk near my house. I learned what it was from a neighbor watching it from his screened porch. What I saw was an indistinct, grayish mass, low to the ground and rather round. It was too big to be a cat and the wrong shape to be a dog. Its gait was not only unfamiliar but unsteady. It zigzagged up the pavement. I moved my gaze around it as my brain formed a picture of raccoon. The raccoon in my mind had the characteristic mask across its face, a sharply pointed nose, striped tail, brindled fur. Nothing in the hazy blob at my feet, no variations in color or refinements in form, corresponded with that image. Its position was wrong. The raccoon in my image was standing up on its haunches, holding something in its front paws. And what does a rabid raccoon look like?

Sight Unseen/ Georgina Kleege (105-106, print version)

Kleege grew up, from age 11, with a big blind spot in the center of her vision. That was roughly 50+ years ago, so she’s had time to learn how to guess and eliminate and handle identifying unexpected objects. I’m still learning. Mostly, it doesn’t bother me, although i occasionally worry about my safety. Anyway, I find Kleege’s description of her process helpful in enabling me to describe what I did. Kleege saw “an indistinct, grayish mass, low to the ground and rather round.” I saw an indistinct, dark mass, somewhat low to the ground and rather round. My dark mass moved slowly but not awkwardly and was accompanied by a loud racket. I might have guessed turkey earlier if he, and his hens, hadn’t been so loud, and if he hadn’t been so big and round.

How many times have I seen a male turkey with its feathers puffed up? Looking it up, I read that this puffing could be a courtship ritual or a sign of intimidation — in my encounter, was it both? The courtship version involves a strut and a gobble — oh, I wish I would have heard him gobble! The only noises my turkeys made were with their beaks or feet as they rooted around for food. And, maybe his low, un-awkward (graceful?) gait was a strut that I couldn’t quite see?

possible ideas, images, descriptions to add: gobble-less, unexpected and unusual for this regular route, rotund (or round or a puffed up dark dot/circle), rooting racket.

clues to choose from: a dark mass too big for a bird (or so I thought), too small for a bear, a slow strut.

Something to think about: was it just the puffed up feathers that made seeing turkeys strange? I think so.

I almost forgot. I took a picture! Look at me, at a safe distance!

turkey sighting / 11 april 2024

april 3/RUN

3.15 miles
2 trails
41 degrees
wind gusts: 35 mph

Windy! Overcast. Quiet. A good run. Slow and relaxed until I reached a runner ahead of me with a dog who stopped then started then stopped again. At this point, I passed them and picked up the pace, hoping to avoid any more encounters. It worked! I felt good enough to keep running faster and faster. Fun!

Listened to the wind and some yelling in the gorge running south and on the winchell trail. Put in my winter playlist for the last mile, heading north on the trail.

10+ Things

  1. wind 1: soft, gentle, haunting wind chimes
  2. wind 2: a small branch of a pine tree with some green needles on the sidewalk
  3. wind 3: a swishing ponytail
  4. an empty playground, or a quiet playground
  5. nearing the Cleveland overlook: the memory of the very LOUD knocking of a woodpecker
  6. an open view of the river — can’t remember what the river looked like, just that it was wide and open
  7. mud on the trail
  8. empty benches
  9. the strong smell of weed in the 36th street parking lot
  10. wind 4: leaves scratching the street
  11. wind 5: a white plastic bag rolling across the street, then stopping in the middle, once side being lifted up
  12. wind 6: a waving bush

before the run

The difference between a sunset and a sun set/ting.

or, the moment or the space that exists between a sun set/ting and a sunset. Ever since I read James Schuyler’s “Hymn to Life” and misread a sunset for a sun set, I’ve been thinking about the difference between them — one is a object (sunset), the others an action (sun set) or a process (sun setting). The difference between something fixed and something happening, moving, doing. Why does a sun set/ting appeal to me more? One obvious reason: understanding the sun as a subject, the natural world as an actor. Another reason: movement. A sunset is a fixed image, a sun set/ting moves. Poetry is about movement — associations between ideas, the flow of words and rhythms, the refusal to land (stand still) on one meaning or ending for too long or at all. My life is about movement — restlessness; the practice of running and writing; a difficulty in ever seeing objects as fixed, always slightly fuzzy, buzzing like static, not flickering but bouncing or shaking (or something like that). (quick thought: I’m drawn to light, but just as much to motion. How true is that for people with all of their cone cells?)

note: writing about this sparked new ideas, including a tentative focus for April, and some thoughts for a artist statement — more on that below.

Since last month, I’ve been playing around with a poem that attempts to describe the differences between a sunset and a sun set/ting. It’s slow-going. Here’s something to add to my already swirling, meandering thoughts: it’s a poem by Nikky Finney from Ross Gay’s discussion of her work in his talk, Be Camera, Black-Eyed Aperture. It’s not about a sun set/ting, but one rising. The italics are Gay’s; I’m keeping them because they’re helpful for seeing the connections to the movement of a sun set/ting:

The Squatting Sun/ Nikky Finney

6:38, flying east, I witness birth,
pushing out of the blushing vaginal rim

like some wide cherry-dropped child.
All the colors that make red have come

to the only straight line on the earth.
Ghostly, I blink, my eyes tweak her nipples,

she releases and the head does not wait
for my awe.

I thought I knew what red looked like.
Believed I had seen this daily drama before;

the earth in morning-mother motion,
the first bowl of earth-bread sipped,

but never had I been asked
inside the sun’s womb so deep.

What I see has so much to do
With the permission to look
.

My egg-white eyes labor to midwife
this moment out all the way.

The baby day pushes clean,
a quarter rim of cherry-spilled earth

lands in a head-back wail
inside my ladling pupils,

the first rising brightness, its long
equatorial head bursts, then crests;

new life passed on
to a pan of waiting salted water.

Some thoughts on the poem by Ross Gay:

. . .this poem witnesses the quiet interior horizon of experience, during which the unfathomably beautiful emerges, and is the contemplation of it. As Finney says, “I thought I knew what red looked like, / believed I had seen this daily drama.” Indeed, it’s the quiet looking that brings the sunrise, the day, wailing into the speaker’s eyes. 

Be Camera, Black-Eyed Aperture/ Ross Gay

Gay’s mention of quiet looking here is about black interiority and comes from Kevin Quashie’s The Sovereignty of Quiet. I’m thinking about the quiet looking as the labor it takes to see something — the process from light to cell to signal, from retina to optic nerve to brain, from being distracted to quieting to noticing. Usually, this labor is invisible; we believe we just see things, they are just there for our camera eye or eye-as-camera to see.

Whew — that’s a lot to think about and to try to make sense of. Anyway, back to what this sunset and sun set/ting thread inspired. An April challenge: wind! And, some thoughts for an artistic statement:

To describe the world (primarily in poetry) from the perspective of the peripheral and from where some central vision exists but is not/no longer centered. . . . new ways of writing about noticing the world that don’t center central vision or that rely on but don’t center peripheral vision (because peripheral vision, by virtue of how it works, can never be centered in the same way that central vision was/is). . . . a few images I’m currently obsessed with: birds, wind, the idea of the Form, not as Platonic but as vague, basic, lacking the specificity of focus — Tree Bird Cloud. 

after the run

After I finished the run, I took out my phone and recorded some thoughts, including:

Somewhat similar to sunset vs. sun set/ting: windblown vs. wind blowing
windblown = evidence that wind existed, witnessed, after the fact
wind blowing = moving through a seemingly invisible force that is happening right now

another example: the absence of birdsong — very quiet, which could have been caused by the birds not singing in the wind, but also by the wind carrying the sound elsewhere

birding: thought about the memory of the woodpecker’s knock near the overlook

i.

an echo
almost

memory
of dead

wood hit hard
somewhere

across the
ravine

ii.

Quiet. Not
absence

of singing
birds but

the presence
of wind

carrying
their notes OR their tune

somewhere else.

A good start. I don’t think I should use somewhere for both.

wind!

So many possibilities for this monthly challenge!

  1. Gathering all of the wind poems I’ve already collected.
  2. A wind playlist.
  3. Tagging related entries with “wind”.
  4. Reading The Wind in the Willows, which I was reminded of by Mary Ruefle when she described it as one of her favorite book on a podcast.
  5. Exploring the idea of wind as both a noun for a weather condition and a verb for wrapping something around something else — a scarf around a neck — or for traversing a curving course.
  6. Returning to the Beaufort Scale

april 2/RUN

5.2 miles
ford loop
38 degrees
snow flurries into rain drops

Woke up this morning to snow. What? A little stuck on the deck but nowhere else. Sometime during the run it turned into rain. Or, was that sweat? I think it was rain.

A good run. Right before I left the house, I had a little calf pain — a few flares of dull pain. Why? Not sure, but I decided it would be fine. In fact, it might help to go out and move. It was and it did. Whenever my calf grumbled, which it didn’t do very often, I sang the song, “Old Friends” from Merrily We Roll Along in my head. Hey old friend/ are you okay old friend? I’m trying to shift my perspective and remember to think about my body, pain, worry as old friends.

Before the run, I was adding some things to my “How to be” project on Undisciplined about not looking away:

An occasional poem by Danni Quintos:

Once I wrote a poem on a bridge
because you told me to find my ghosts.
I remembered you once said, Our job as poets
is to not look away. I looked & wrote
the scariest thing I could think & after
you read it, you gave me a book
(to borrow) which I hugged so hard
that the million synonyms inside
could hear my heart beating.

This looking, described above by Finney and Quintos, this black-eyed opening—this not looking away—is a poetics, yes, but as any poetics is, it is also an ethics. What we look at, what we see, and how, and if we say what we see, is an ethics.

Be Camera, Black-Eyed Aperture / Ross Gay

Unable to see faces, often staring into a void or a smudge or a darkness, it is hard to see, difficult to not look away. How do I reimagine this ethical beholding in ways that I can practice? What might not looking away mean without the looking? Not turning away? 

This is a problem of language, and more than a problem of language, I think. 

Behold is to eyes as ___ is to ears?
An ear-witness?

While I was running, I wanted to think about how I could reframe this not looking away. What does being present, noticing, witnessing mean for me? A thought popped into my head: be with the bird. To be with the bird — to notice them, not try to identify or know or classify them. Ever since I heard J Drew Lanham discuss this concept with Krista Tippett, I’ve loved it. Today I tried to be with the birds. Mostly I was, except for when my calf flared or when I smelled burnt toast —

The other day, I told my son that it smelled like coffee or burnt toast outside. He asked jokingly, are you having a stroke? Maybe I’ve heard this before and had forgotten, but the smell of burnt toast is, according to Scott and FWA, the sign of a stroke. . . . Just looked it up, and there’s no evidence to support that claim. Whew. Anyway, it is irritating and ridiculous and embarrassing to admit that I did contemplate whether or not I might be having a stroke as I smelled the burnt smell. Fairly quickly I concluded: no fucking way. It’s just smoke from somewhere.

Be with the Bird, 10 Things

  1. the soft, sharp knocking on wood somewhere
  2. a flicker from a tree branch, flight, then a shower on my head, then birdsong
  3. an eagle-less tree by the bridge
  4. tweet tweet tweet
  5. chirp chirp
  6. fee bee
  7. a thought: could it be what I’m hearing is not birdsong, but bird warning calls alerting others to my presence?
  8. birds singing in the far off trees
  9. birds calling in the bushes beside me
  10. another thought: do birds like the rain?

a few poetry inspirations

1 — my weather description: snow flurries into rain drops. This transformation of states reminded me of a poem I read in an entry of april 2, 2020:

Because You Asked about the Line Between Prose and Poetry/ Howard Nemerov – 1920-1991

Sparrows were feeding in a freezing drizzle
That while you watched turned to pieces of snow 
Riding a gradient invisible
From silver aslant to random, white, and slow.

There came a moment that you couldn’t tell.
And then they clearly flew instead of fell.

Of course today, the water went the opposite way, snow to rain. So poetry to prose?

2 — to rain, raining. As I ran beside the gorge, I frequently heard water falling below me. The snow/rain was creating waterfalls on the limestone and through the sewer pipes, making it sound like it was raining. Suddenly I thought: there’s no rain, but it’s raining, which reminded me of a poem I posted a few days ago:

an excerpt from Raining, Outlined/ Margarita Pintado Burgos

Translated from the Spanish by Alejandra Quintana Arocho

The forest. To say the forest. To suggest some music.
To carve the breeze.
To see a landscape. See it raining. Without rain but with raining.

march 30/RUN

4 miles
river road, north/south
36 degrees

Hello spring! Much of the snow has melted and the sun was out. There were rowers on the river — not seen, but heard. Passed so many happy runners — Hi! Good Morning! Heard lots of birds. Felt strong and happy and free, able to forgot about the bad mood I woke up with. No calf pain today, hooray!

Listened to the birds running north, my winter playlist running south.

10 Things

  1. the river, sparking and burning a bright white
  2. only a few clumps of snow on the trail
  3. a squirrel that I first thought was a dark tuft of grass — or maybe a ripped up bit of weed blocker, which makes no sense because this was above the gorge, not near someone’s lawn
  4. the coxswain’s voice, calling out instructions
  5. a group of women running, talking about tempos and repeats
  6. the floodplain forest — open, bare, a white floor
  7. voices on the old stone steps
  8. bright blue sky
  9. stopped at the trestle — someone moving just below
  10. at the very beginning, birds calling out — can’t remember how they sounded, just that I felt like they were telling me to have a good run

Walking back, heard more birds. Stopped to record them just as a plane roared above — a duet? Watched the silvery white plane, its nose up, cutting through the blue sky. Listened to the recording. Not a duet, more like layers of sound, disconnected, no noticing of each other. The birds kept on singing their song, the plane buzzing its buzz.

noisy trills
in trees

the buzzing
of a

plane — neither
seem to

notice the
other

I see a
silver

nose rising
but no

small throats . . . ?

Not quite finished with this little birding poem. I’ll try to come back to it later today.

Raining, Outlined/ Margarita Pintado Burgos

Translated from the Spanish by Alejandra Quintana Arocho

The forest. To say the forest. To suggest some music.
To carve the breeze.
To see a landscape. See it raining. Without rain but with raining.
With that raining that I always conjure when slowly, softly,
filled to the brim with tiny traces of an air that’s weightless,
I say to myself I’ll see it rain. I say it again, beside the window,
that it’s going to rain. That I’m going to see it rain.

To put forth the idea of rain before. The downpour plants
all its doubts.

To pour oneself on the raining. Allow oneself to rain.

To see raining. To say I see it’s raining.
Until the raining.
Until the rain.
Until then.
Until.

I love this poem and idea of rain/to rain versus raining.

I’m thinking about the connection between a rich green or heavy gray and the word, raining, appearing in my head — maybe, it’s about to be raining? I’m also thinking about my interest in the difference between the sun setting (raining) and a sunset (rain).

To see a landscape. See it raining. Without rain but with raining.
This line makes me think of looking off in the distance and seeing it raining, or have Scott tell me its raining — and not having rain where we are. Raining without rain.

march 23/RACE

10k
Hot Dash
18 degrees

Not a fast run, but I felt relaxed and strong, and I powered up the big hill. No difficulty at all. I picked it up a little at the end and enjoyed crossing the finish line. A victory! Maybe the hardest thing about the race was holding back — I kept wanting to go faster than Scott, but I kept it slow and relaxed. My goal is not a fast time, but to be able to run the marathon with Scott.

For most of the race I recounted stories — probably the same stories — about past races: having to run ahead to get water for FWA in our 5k, RJP being very disturbed by a runner who was dry heaving as he neared the finish line, a wheezing runner dying on a hill, running way too fast in the first 5k of a 10k then dying and having to stop and walk several times for the second 5k.

10 Things

  1. 2 women behind us lamenting how they were both such bad singers — I played an instrument, but I just can’t hear the notes. I turn the radio way up to drown out my own voice. I wanted to turn aroudn and say, Me too!
  2. the crappy pre-recorded version of the national anthem before the race
  3. cold, cold fingers and toes for the first mile
  4. Scott yelling, Banana!, when a guy in a banana costume ran by
  5. Overheard: Oh right — I get a beer when I’m done with this! note: our bibs had a ticket for one free beer at the end
  6. Overheard: runner with a 1/2 mile before she would reach the turn around: where is the turn around anyway? I wanted to say, a long way, but didn’t
  7. a few patches of snow and ice near the edges of the road
  8. snow on the grass
  9. the cobblestones at the end were in bad shape — lots of holes, rough, uneven
  10. on the cobbles, I heard someone behind sprinting and yelling but they never passed. What happened? did they think the race finished sooner? did they sprint too soon and run out of gas? I’ll probably never know

march 17/RUN

6.2 miles
minnehaha dog park and back
wind: 13 mph / gusts: 27 mph

Another weekend run with Scott. We talked about Ada Limón’s National Park project and I recited Scott’s favorite line from one of the poems featured in the project. The line — Surely you can’t imagine they just stand there loving every minute of it. The poem — Can You Imagine/ Mary Oliver. Scott likes the line because it’s also a line from the Loverboy song, “Loving Every Minute of it.” As we ran into the wind I mentioned the terrible wind (and rain and cold) in the 2018 Boston Marathon. Scott talked about a dream he had last night that he went to a friend’s gig and how, when he woke up, he realized that that friend did actually have a gig last night. He also talked about birds — wild turkeys and his favorite encounter with them when he saw two walking side-by-side down a busy sidewalk near lake street.

When we started running, it was snowing — small flurries. At some point it stopped, but it stayed cold and windy. Writing this now, a half an hour later, I’m still cold.

image of the day: a robin on the edge of path, hopping along then flying across the path. Having noticed the leaves skittering in the wind on the other side of the path, at first I thought the robin was a leaf. But then, when it landed on the fence, I could tell it was a bird. After mentioning it to Scott, I recited a line from ED’s “A bird came down the Walk –“. I think I’ll write a little birding poem about this Robin!

10 Things

  1. skittering leaves
  2. a robin — first on the ground as a dark form that could be anything and that I thought was a bird, then fluttering across the path, then landing on the top of the fence
  3. flurries in the air — steady, then swirling, then a clump of them dumped
  4. water falling at the falls, a few bits of ice near the edge
  5. the creek, mostly flowing, but still on the edge, and low
  6. a walker with an unleashed dog, wandering around the trail
  7. the view of the river obscured by a screen of thin, unleafed branches
  8. the fake bells of the light rail on the other side of Hiawatha
  9. the curve of the river below us as we ran south toward fort snelling
  10. a steady cadence — the lift lift lift of my feet, slightly slower than Scott’s