running and poetry

{Found this among the stacks of drafts and decided to pull it out. Critiques welcome!}

 

The woods are January-quiet, and smaller than in the summer. (In the summer, you can get lost in the foliage and winding trails, but here, now, the paths are bare.) The air is icy hard, even the gold-liquid sunlight takes on a silvery glint that catches on the snowflakes as they fall. Only the trails catch the snow without melting it, so I follow the winding white over well-worn footpaths. From the ridge I can see over the river and all the trails beyond – silver-white ribboning between the damp dead trees. One set of footprints leads before me, gentle on the new, hard snow.

I stop at the bridge (which is a crossroads), panting a little for air, then listening. All is quiet, so I break the silence by yelling.

“I hate Mondays and I hate college and I-want-to-go-home and I’m sick of not feeling useful and I don’t know what to do with my life!!”

Then the woods ring with silence I gain. I grow quiet to match and the swift rush of the brown river beneath the bridge beneath my feet becomes apparent.

Quietly this time, taking in all the paths.

“God, which way should I go?”

I hadn’t really meant to ask that question the way I did.

Up. Go up.

So I do, and when I reach the top of the ridge I realize the lonely set of footprints had gone up too.

And the woods breathe so clean and meld the earthy wintry dull browns with a new clear white and I dare not speak any more so I don’t break the beautiful hush of the air. To my left gleams a sharp late-afternoon sun through pewter clouds, ice and silver and gray swept across the sky all on the same brush.

I have to stop again, and take it all in.

At my feet there is a seed pod the shape of a heart. It adds to the beautiful everything on all sides. Like a poem, I think.

This is how God writes poetry… this silver day is his poem.

A few lines, a few minutes. For my eyes only, seeping with reminders of his love. The woods are his page, the trails are his lines, and I am his pen.

I turn towards the distant opening in the woods and start running again.

regressada

The end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started
and know the place for the first time.

                                                                                                            T.S. Eliot

Ramblin’ Man:

GO to Colorado.

Your restless soul would
Fill up, your lonely world
spin dizzy under the wild splendor.
You would grow roots there.

Your Midwestern heart holds a shovel and a
hoe,
been taught to throw dirt on the dreams
that haunt you with whispers.

Forget them.
Clap your hands over your ears
Throw 12-hour days over the back of the chair
trade your boots for sturdy walking shoes

And follow the road across Kansas
to the place where
pines sigh and the aspens rattle
and the mountain lakes throw deep cold
breaths
right back into your lungs

Come to Colorado.

Right now
You are only mirroring the long empty fields
with long empty hours
you stay because it is the loudest clamoring
in your ear,

But isn’t the rolling whisper
echoing
from across the Kansas flatlands,
down from the mountains?

it will never quiet, you know
but will always clamor
back in your head

Listen to it awhile.

Aside

On checking out “The Book Thief” from the library

One book.

It’s better than the stacks I usually carry out of the library, making me hunchback…Stacks hunchback my brain too. I end up returning most unread, or half-read, or all read far too quickly and none of them enjoyed.
But when it is just one, I can breathe. The book breathes, too, and if I open the pages it rustles secretly, shivering in excitement, the words reaching up for me…

I slam the cover shut and the green trees are waving jovially along the sidewalks and I am walking towards the park
with one book.

Magic.

The Game Plan

I edited “The Meeting Before the Incarnation”. I still think it needs some work, but hey, a little at a time, right? Let me know what you think.

The Game Plan

I can imagine them sitting around up there
through the long midnight hours
over cups of burnt coffee and whiteboards crossed and recrossed in faded ink
the morning waits coiled and the hours peel back
until there is nothing left to say
or plan.

finally

God leans forward, sets his cup down.
“Well, son,” he says, slowly,
“This isn’t a pep talk.
You know what to do.”

Jesus nods.
The horizon turns the color of blood and rust
and the sky splits like a thorn.