Miles at My Side

When next we meet, farewell we shall not say
Whether sleet or storm or blue of sun scorched day
I too would stay beside you every step
My fellow traveler, my heart’s desire you kept

That place, that night when I could run no more
Encouraged by your traveling friend support
Kind words dug deep in sharing hard fast truth
And silence while they settled yet unsoothed
That night all light was stricken from the sky
Was I night blind, my friends kind words the guide
This trail we chose a blackened cold highway
You, my friend, at my side did stay

That hill, that peak that I could not bear climb
A frosted ribbon ascending snow ridge line
In dance, like Spring, you bound to meet the grade
A jubilation playful game you made
Uphill, up swell of joy my hand you claimed
Whose eager ease fanned my dimming flame?
Making light of night’s rough darkened sea
My friend who ran one hundred miles with me

It’s Day 18 of the NaPoWriMo Challenge and the prompt for today is to first, find a poem in a book or magazine (ideally one you are not familiar with). Use a piece of paper to cover over everything but the last line. Now write a line of your own that completes the thought of that single line you can see, or otherwise responds to it. Now move your piece of paper up to uncover the second-to-last line of your source poem, and write the second line of your new poem to complete/respond to this second-to-last line. Keep going, uncovering and writing, until you get to the first line of your source poem.

The original poem I used is A Mile With Me by Henry Van Dyke. This poem is for Sara who ran every step of the Umstead 100 with me.

Half Wit Laces

running is stupid
the cold seeps deep
into the bones
it snows
a hundred miles
is a dumb idea
gut bombs bloat
blisters form
ultra-distance runs
are ultra-wrong
in shadow nights
visions stir
so run for fun
stay on roads
don’t let babies
set trail goals


Happy Monday. Welcome to Day 16 of the NaPoWriMo challenge. Today’s challenge is to write a poem that prominently features the idea of play. It could be a poem about a sport or game, a poem about people who play (or are playing a game), or even a poem in the form of the rules for a sport or game that you’ve just made up.
Having just completed Umstead 100 I’m reminded of the thoughts that stream through my head in the middle of the night at about mile 75. At those moments it’s challenging to remind myself that running is fun.


There’s no where to run, I continue to say
It’s not that kind of beach, too short, too steep to bother
Just try anyway, he insisted this day, try anyway
So I lace up my shoes and trot towards the water

In a brilliant sky day the ocean churns a low crash
Rutted deep sand seems to flatten ahead
Crabs scurry side step to clear my foot path
Keeping close watch from eyes atop of their heads

Haleakala before me and I at her feet
Her crown of ringed clouds guarding her crest
To my right easing surf in glass turquoise retreat
Banyan trees border the sand in wide arch on my left

A fortuitous sight, this must be a good sign
Leather belt bound with buckle weather beaten and strong
Sandy trophy for running wherever I find
The narrow beach curves then streches out miles long

No pack on my back, no bottle in hand
Just this smooth shell I rub between forefinger and thumb
Keeping a beat with the tide no earbuds could can
And I am grateful that I agreed to this run

In standing straight form ten poles planted in line
Their master casters crawl from low slung pitched tents
I duck my head beneath invisible filament line
That cross over the beach to the water’s clear depths

Three miles in buildings first enter my view
Yoga and crossfit pilates right there in the surf
I turn and head back salty sweat beginning to stew
And then there’s my husband an impromptu water stop crew

Again I am gone, a white lab sharing my gait
’till he turns  runs headlong into slow crashing surf
Chasing a fantom ball because he can’t wait
For the real one hidden deep in his keeper’s shirt

Long sweeping waves extend their greedy grasp
Poseiden reclaimig this portion of land
While pipers pipe piping he takes without ask
Narrowing even further this slender strip of sand

And I, I feel blessed, this day in this sand
For a the shore, these shoes and this life
But more for a man who loves me just as I am
And for this day long ago when I became his wife.

I’m a few days behind this year. This prompt was from Day 7 for the NaPoWriMo challenge. The challenge was to write a poem about luck and fortuitousness.

Discounting Naysays

And we’re back!  It’s Day One of the 2017 National Poetry Writing Month challenge.  If this is your first year following my journey of the NaPoWriMo challenge to write a poem a day for the month of April, welcome aboard. To the rest of you, welcome back!

I will be using the daily prompts from the NaPoWriMo team as inspiration for my writing.  So here we go.

Today’s prompt is to write a Kay-Ryan-esque poem: short, tight lines, rhymes interwoven throughout, maybe an animal or two, and, if you can manage to stuff it in, a sharp little philosophical conclusion.


Discounting Naysays

It’s step one
Two that keeps
The Voice of doubt
At bay
Closer yet to
Finish line
Three, four
While voices shout
No way. No way.

Five, six shuffle
muscle cramps
Like teenage
Girl’s Charley horse
Move seven, eight
Hustle dance
Distract the groans
To abandon hope
And course

Eight, nine, ten
Nearer every
Stride waves banner
Of the finish line
Doubters chime a
cheer eleven
Pipers piping
Claim they knew it
All the time

American River 50-Mile Charm

Water hump of dromedary
Medical apothecary
Wings of wasp and honey bee
Red bellied newt’s back left knee
Spin and spiral and whirl in space
Deliver me to race first place

Todays prompt from NaPoWriMo was to write a charm. It could be a charm against warts, or against traffic tickets. It could be a charm to bring love, or to bring free pizzas from your local radio station. Since I’m running AR50 in less than 48 hours I decided I could use a charm for the race.

The Girls on PCT

With broken breath we climb to heights unknown
Beckoned upward above the drifts of snow
Through fields of mule ear, flowers bloom yellow
Open vistas to crystal lakes below
We scamper over loose flat granite rock
Along the thumbs up darkened crag out crop

Backpackers pass head on from distant miles
We nod, slide by, share understanding smiles
Some tell trail tails, and stop to talk a while
While others chug steep up the scree rock pile
Sun beats, wind blows above the green tree line
Legs burn, air thin, as farther up we climb

On ridge between the mountain range beyond
Stands high and mighty crest of Tinkers Knob
We climb to peak, legs ache with angry throb
Still we peruse, inspired by the awe
Now aim well met, to view our just reward
We point downhill and run back toward the car

Morning Song

I wake first light and early with the dawn
Greeted by the feathered friends morning song
Quiet winds slip softly pass my window
Invites my spirit come enjoy the show

See morning rays break through the darkened night
Watch orange streaks cast day across the sky
Through filtered limbs the branches silhouette
The feathered chorus rising higher yet

Alone I sit to gather my day plans
Daybreak begs me to join the song began
The trail I know lie out in dark it waits
For me to join the feathered friends today