The Seeker

A Meta-Cognitive Journal About Writing… Plus Other Stuff

The Big Payoff

with 3 comments

I’ve run 5Ks at Independence Grove Forest Preserve the last two Saturdays.  I’ve run there so many times that it may as well be my home course, and my familiarity with the paths has paid off with a pair of excellent finishes that have left me very satisfied.  I’ve benefitted greatly, too, from The Comely Lass braving the weather to support my efforts.

The course yesterday included a short wooded stretch on the south side of the preserve.  As I approached and ran through it, I recalled a cool fall day a few years ago when I had run through that same stretch.  The leaves were turning, and I remember how stunned I was by the vibrant clusters of gold and red I saw as I trekked along the north side of the running path and looked across the entire stretch of the nature preserve and beyond.  When I ran through the short wooded stretch that day, it looked like a tunnel masoned with gold bricks.  The effect inspired a poem:

After Running at Independence Grove, October 23, 2006 

Look again at the oak and maple archway over

          the path on which you ran–a sunny canal

          through which you burst reborn.

Look again at the leafy façade–gold bricks

          mortared to that arcade.

Look again.  It will have been deconstructed

          by the elements upon your return on the

          eve of winter, and you will that much

          closer to the same fate.  (end)

I remember submitting it as part of a portfolio I compiled for a poetry class I took a few months after the inspirational episode, but otherwise had forgotten about it until yesterday morning.  I got to digging for it a few hours ago and finally pulled it out of the back of my filecabinet.  My poetry professor noted that different line breaks would release the energy in the first sentence, which he thought was the best-written part of the poem.  It would have looked like this:

          Look again at the

          oak and maple arch-

          way over the path

          on which you ran–a

          sunny canal though

          which you burst reborn.

I never went back to work on the piece, nor had I intended to.  The practice of writing it was enough at that time, and registering the prof’s notes as part of my poetry toolbox has paid off –the same way my practice with the trails at Independence Grove has.

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Written by seeker70

April 17, 2011 at 12:32 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

3 Responses

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  1. Beautiful poem! I prefer the line breaks that you used originally.

    Annie

    April 18, 2011 at 10:13 am

  2. LOVE both versions of the poem!! Please share more of your poetry.

    Mommie Dearest

    April 18, 2011 at 6:14 pm

  3. […] my best race of the summer.  It helped that Independence Grove is pretty much my home course, as I’ve discussed before.  I came across the finish line after holding a few dudes off for the last half mile, and my time […]


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