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.

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


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.