Do You Have What itTakes

Do you have what it takes
to dream scary big dreams
and dare to enter the race?

Do you have what it takes
to stand on the start,
surrounded but very alone?

Do you have what it takes
to climb hill after hill,
though the summits are far out of sight?

Do you have what it takes
to step on to the ledge
steeled to the drop far below?

Do you have what it takes
to stay strong and smile
while the clock ticks and runners stream by?

Do you have what it takes
to move heavy, stiff legs
when muscles and blisters scream no?

Do you have what it takes
to step back into the night,
while rain blurs the beam of your torch?

Do you have what it takes
to go without sleep
until you can’t tell the dreams from the trail?

Do you have what it takes
to go once again
when all senses are telling you stop?

Do you have what it takes
to trudge that last hill
the one that never ends?

Do you have what it takes
to throw up once or twice,
and head for the lights far below?

Do you have what it takes
to feel wildly alive
as the finish line comes into sight?

Do you have what it takes?
Do you have what it takes?
Do you?

Tears on Boylston

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There were tears on Boylston
On the day the runners came back.
Wrapped in scarves imbued with courage
The blue and yellow jackets of ’13
the first ones to arrive
In a race for restitution
For their numbers to be counted
they stood in contemplation
At the finish line rebuilt.
Boston Strong, they walked in quiet tribute
Along the street that was hurt

And the hopeful yellow daffodils,
wrapped in Boston blue,
Lined the street like supporters
Cheering those who passed.
The daffodils made me cry.

My Left Foot

My Left foot

isn’t handsome like Daniel Day Lewis

and though it leans to the left

and occasionally extracts the Michael,

it doesn’t wear a donkey jacket.

Most days, my left foot and I get along fine and dandy

much better than my knees, which make me look bandy.

My left foot has been frozen in snow, soaked in puddles,

stained brown with mud, peat and smelly brown sludge excreted by flatulent bovines.

But just when I need it most, my left foot throws a tantrum.

It  develops an attitude, becomes uptight and high maintenance

like a hormonal teenager it decides it has feelings

and firing stinging barbs into my delicate heel

it pouts, shrugs and declares that it has a Plantar Fascia

and what do you mean you don’t know what it is?

everyone else has one, you are just sooo out of touch!

If it wasn’t for the stabbing pain I am sure my left foot would stamp.

Please,  Plantar Fascia,  fascinating you may be,

but you are strung out like an over wrought piano string

I’m feeling like I stood on a key and there are too many sharps.

It is Friday night, have a glass and relax.

Cut me a little slack, hang loose.

Don’t force me to wrap you up in sticky brown tape

so I can’t hear you scream

while I  kidnap you,  hoping for stockholm syndrome.

There is training to be done in the morning, and my left foot has an appointment with Mr Brooks

Chasing Ghosts

There is a runner I’ve been chasing

he is out most days I run.

Always in the distance

but temptingly not out of sight.

Effortless, fleet footed, floating,

ageless, he covers the ground.

He is there in the rain, the wind and the snow.

Appearing through morning mist,

lean and lithe, gliding on trail and road.

Hills, he attacks, lightly climbing,

striding, ticking off the miles.

Where he’s been and where he goes

are secrets of the road.

Some days I think he sees me,

maybe, just maybe, a wave?

I stretch every sinew to catch him,

but each time he vanishes just out of reach.

In the heat of burning lungs and muscles on fire,

it crosses my mind –  man or ghost?

One perfect morning,

when the air was cool and still

and I flowed with quiet breathing

on a long straight road I caught him

and we ran ten strides together,

stride for stride.

Then he looked me in the eye

and with a nod flew off.

With that look I understood

He is a runner I can never be

I will never ever catch him,

that runner I’m chasing is me.