nov 10/RUN

5.1 miles
franklin loop
37 degrees

More excellent November weather! A solid, relaxed, non-stop (except for walking up the bridge steps) run. Greeted Dave, the Daily Walker and, later, another friendly runner — Hi! Admired the blue river and the occasional flash of red in the trees. Took deep breaths of fresh, cold air. Listened, without headphones, to the traffic and a chirping bird, rustling leaves and an alarm beeping somewhere.

10 Things

  1. a clear view of the forest floor from above
  2. so many green leaves still on the trees on the east side — light, glowing green
  3. somber (or reverent?) wind chimes
  4. smell 1: stinky, sour sewer gas, faint
  5. smell 2: either skunk or weed, probably weed
  6. smell 3: hot chocolate
  7. bright yellow headlights from cars, cutting through the trees
  8. some part of a machine scraping on a sidewalk somewhere in the distance
  9. a tree that I thought might be a person until I saw it in my periphery: a tree with one branch holding a hat at head-height
  10. a woman walker in bright orange pants

At the end of my run, I took a picture from the top of the hill, above the tunnel of trees, across from the ancient boulder:

Overlooking a forest that winds down to the river, which is a faint white -- or no color, just the absence of brown branches and yellowed leaves. Mostly bare branches and a brown ground covered in fallen leaves. In the lower right-hand corner a chain link fence stretches. This fence marks where the Winchell Trail used to go after coming up from the ravine. Now it's barely a trail, mostly hidden by leaves, no longer maintained. Just outside of the frame on the left, a green leaf flutters in the wind.
a view to the river near the 35th street parking lot / 10 november 2023

I love this poem by Donika Kelly, and I love what magic she can do with words!

I love you. I miss you. Please get out of my house. / Donika Kelly

Nothing today hasn’t happened before:
I woke alone, bundled the old dog
into his early winter coat, watered him,
fed him, left him to his cage for the day
closing just now. My eye drifts
to the buff belly of a hawk wheeling,
as they do, in a late fall light that melts
against the turning oak and smelts
its leaves bronze.
Before you left,
I bent to my task, fixed in my mind
the slopes and planes of your face;
fitted, in some essential geography,
your belly’s stretch and collapse
against my own, your scent familiar
as a thousand evenings.
Another time,
I might have dismissed as hunger
this cataloguing, this fitting, this fixing,
but today I crest the hill, secure in the company
of my longing. What binds us, stretches:
a tautness I’ve missed as a sapling,
supple, misses the wind.

I love all the work the title does to set up the poem, how she describes it as watering the dog (and not giving the dog water), and these verbs: cataloging/fitting/fixing. My favorite sentence, and the reason I wanted to post this poem today, is this:

My eye drifts
to the buff belly of a hawk wheeling,
as they do, in a late fall light that melts
against the turning oak and smelts
its leaves bronze.

A late fall light that melts against the tree and smelts it leaves bronze? Wow. I want tp remember that line. I’d also like to find an example of it out by the gorge on my run today (I’m writing this bit before my run), but there’s no autumn sunlight today, just gray gray gray. I wonder, what does gray to those leaves?

during the run: I hoped to think about this question of what gray does to the leaves, but I got distracted, or maybe, it didn’t do much, at least not today. Most of the leaves were gold or orangish-brown, no shimmering or sizzling, just soft and flat.

Instead of thinking about what gray does to the leaves, I was thinking about some lines I’d like to add to my Haunts poem:

A girl runs
four blocks
to the gorge.
She’s all
muscle bone
and breath,
foot strikes and
arm swings.
The river
and ghosts

transcript: During the run I was thinking about ghosts and girls and the gorge. And I was thinking that what I’m really trying to convey is that there’s a heaviness and a solidness and a there-ness that is both good and too heavy. So there’s a desire to lighten up. What I want to do is convey the heaviness, so maybe using the word, “heavy,” heavy foot strikes. Then I was thinking of Lizzy McAlpine and her song, “all my ghosts.” And then I was thinking about how all these ghosts aren’t primarily a bad thing, but there are a few ghosts I struggle with more than others. I think the ghost of cancer is haunting me the most right now.

the chorus from McAlpine’s “all my ghosts”:

And all my ghosts were with me
I know you felt them too
Watchin’ as I started to get dizzy
‘Cause I hate all of my habits
But I happen to love you
I hope that’s true

another version of my lines:

A girl runs.
She’s all
muscle bone
and breath,
heavy foot
falls and
swinging arms.
At the
river her
ghosts wait.