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

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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

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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.

Umstead 100

Bitter cold in pouring rain
Keep dry, keep warm, stay fed, stay sane
The finish line calls my name
The clock, keep pace, to win the game

Through sleet and snow and blister pain
Head up, form straight to minutes gain
Time check, split count, now light a flame
For buckle pride is why I came

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Today is Day 10 of the 2018 NaPoWriMo Challenge. I’ve missed the last three days because I’ve been busy running and recovering from Umstead 100 Mile Ultra. The challenge for today to write a poem of simultaneity – one in which multiple things are happing at once. The hundred is a great example of this and I’m sure I could have written about much more simultaneity if I wasn’t now simultaneously suffering from post-100 brain.

Race Ready

Cork from the bottle hung mid air in flight. Streamers, confetti, knee in a lightning jitterbug dance
Threadbare breath, sweat stained shirt, hands Jello and glue in a toothpick plane seat belt bound
Shield and sword in stored trunk, decoder ring on my lap, utility belt wrinkles my cape and leotard pants
Cumulus cloud dreams, pocket coin for the well, lift on airstream, vision of blue ribbon crown
Old Glory on peak, Neil Armstrong on the moon, Rosa Parks in a seat, my touchdown finish line swoon

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The Day 4 NaPoWriMo Challenge is to write a poem that is about something abstract – perhaps an ideal like “beauty” or “justice,” but which discusses or describes that abstraction in the form of relentlessly concrete nouns. Adjectives are fine too! For example, you could have a poem about sadness that describes that emotion as “a rowboat tethered with fishing line to a willow that leans over a pond. Rainwater collects in the bottom, and mosquito eggs.”

My poem is about the abstract qualities that come with preparing for and running a 100-mile race: Excitement, Anticipation, Courage, Hope, Accomplishment

Shared Paths

Trails
Build bonds
Time travels underfoot
Girlfriends navigating life’s trials
Together

Rivers
Shiver timbers
Whitewater fording soul
Current against linked arms
Forever

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This year I find myself so far behind in the 30-day NaPoWriMo Challenge. Here it is Day 23 and I’ve probably only written ten poems. But okay, I press on anyway.

The prompt for Day 23 is to write a Double Elevenie. An Elevenie is an eleven-word poem of five lines, with each line performing a specific task in the poem. The first line is one word, a noun. The second line is two words that explain what the noun in the first line does, the third line explains where the noun is in three words, the fourth line provides further explanation in four words, and the fifth line concludes with one word that sums up the feeling or result of the first line’s noun being what it is and where it is. A Double Elevenie would have two stanzas of five lines each, and twenty-two words in all.

Lucky

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.

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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.

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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