Friday, June 24, 2011

Jogging with John

I thought about John Keats today
and about St. Agnes’ Eve,
how bitter chill it was.
Down here in the swampland
there is no chill,
and as I ran this morn
sweat pumped from every pore.

I thought about the owl,
a’cold, for all his feathers.
If I had feathers
I’d choose to have them on my feet.
I’d fly along th’ heat-shimmered street
like wingéd Hermes
on a mission from the gods,
dropping off a billet doux
from Aphrodite to her husband,
lame Hephaestus, at work below
at th’ eternal forge.
The heat that blasts his seaméd face
is of the dry variety
and would seem a quaint relief to me.

When I reached home at last,
Keats met me at the door
(only one of us was real;
take your pick).
We took our seats on my front porch bench
each in his hand a beaded glass
filled with ice and lemonade,
and I managed not to smack him
when he toasted me with his and said,
“Hot enough for you, Bill?”

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

This morning

This morning I jogged down College Street
in the thick shade cast by twelve tall trees
and I remembered running along that same street
when there was no shade
because there were no trees.

Warm up
the Geezer Bus.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Shoved aside by the wind’s huge hand
I tumbled toward the roadside ditch
landed on my shoulder
and rolled like an action-movie hero
though I didn’t spring to my feet
and hose a villain with an Uzi.
Instead I lay on my back
and hoped that the passersby
would think I was studying cloud formations
and not some old fool who’d fallen
while he was running
when he should have been at home in his underwear
sitting on the couch
reading the Geezer News.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Little League Try-Outs, January 22, 2011

Twenty-nine degrees.
Clink of aluminum bat.
The ball bounces once
on the infield dirt.
The shortstop misses,
and the ball
skims across the silver-frosted outfield grass.
The sun is barely above the horizon.
The players cast long shadows,
taller than the men they one day
will become.
Shadows longer even
than the boys’ dreams:
the homer that wins
the seventh Series game,
the picture on the baseball card,
enshrinement in the Hall.
When the boys leave the Little League
will they play on?
Or will they become accountants,
teachers, soldiers, saints?
One of them might even be
like me,
a solitary runner in the dawn.