Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Poetic Run

   I had a great run tonight, and though I had techno beats turned up to drown out the sound of the wind and the traffic, my mind had great clarity. The last few days have been up... Then down. And something about the combination of that, my motivation to get out and run on the eve of our first real snow, mulling over a personal story of struggle & triumph shared by an artist I barely know (Chris B), and the Kanye West concert last night (hugely awe-inspiring... Another take on the same theme), seemed to work for me tonight.
   I wrote this in my head over the hourlong run and scribbled it down as soon as I got home, words flowing from my mind almost faster than I could write--and certainly faster than I can run! But I caught them all. I don't consider myself much of a poet, but it's a good challenge when the mood strikes.
   True story.

                         * * * * * *
Step outside
Pitch black, headlamp on stun
Nostrils freeze, eyes tear from bitter cold, but ready to run
First step is hardest, but it's behind me now
Surging into the wind—force into resistance
Fists clenched, teeth clenched, forehead drenched
Up and over highway bridges
Cars speeding below on predictable paths
They'll get there faster
     But I can go anywhere
                         * * * * * *
Making the game harder
Jumping electrical boxes, fire hydrants, rocks, anything in my way
Leaping onto concrete walls four inches wide--
High ground on left, long drop on right
Faster faster faster
Lean toward safety, then risk
Striking balance somewhere in between
Feeling unstoppable
Face arms hands numb head numb heart numb
From frigid air—NO—from life
And NO—not numb—tingling—feeling EVERYTHING
     Alive and exhilarated
                         * * * * * *
Headlamp fails, darkness wins?
I tumble end-over-end-over-bike-in-yard
Concealed in leaves, lying in wait
The cowardly rely on surprise, keeping secrets
     Jumping out of the black and biting hard
Forward momentum crashing to a halt
While the beat—life—goes on
My power spills before me
Knee slams frozen ground, arm pulls hard against socket
Searing pain
"It'll heal even stronger than before," Doc said of my broken arm
     And so it did. I did. I will.
                         * * * * * *
Did I run too far, too fast? Did I trust my feet too much?
Did my heart run faster than my legs could carry me?
Regret is a wasteland, and besides
Bones and hearts were made to heal
The past can be rewritten if you choose to believe
     Fate favors the bold who power through
                         * * * * * *
Halfway home, one way to get there
     I lift myself up
Wincing until cold masks the pain
Not cold—conviction
A ride would be easy, quick, comfortable
But challenge rewards the heartstrong
    Who choose to rise above
                         * * * * * *
Bumps in the road give strength and stamina
Tonight I could have run all night, fast and far and free, forever
     I wished I could
     And in my mind, I did
     Never looking back