There are many ways to Williamsburg,
I’ve never flown there,
It would probably be ugly
Going over DC, just as it is driving around,
But the Colonial Capital doesn’t have suitable airports,
Landing strips,
Acceptable fields,
Or hover pads to set down on.

Once there, however, the time is great.
Running in the woods,
Learning about my family,
Seeing my goat herding homie,
Barbecue and all those pines…
It’s great.

Still, I wonder,
What’s going on at the new governor’s haunts?
How cruel can old age be to alums and the face they put out there?
Would a genetic smash up of Don Johnson with Philip Michael Thomas
Create the perfect model of a dad with no chest chair,
His shirt unbuttoned to his ribs, a white man’s jeri curl,
And a shiny dinner jacket he bought in 1987 at the Casual Male?
Hey, good enough for a landing spot,
Faux fur or not,
Middle age can’t be covered up with a cosmetic counter’s worth of foundation,
But they played the part,
Like the homecoming parents, they were,
Smallish town royalty, bumpkins or wanna be’s.
Doesn’t much matter,

It’s all part of going home.

Seen in their natural habitats, animals exhibit their truest behaviors. They forget the responsibility for insuring the success of the herd and look only to protect themselves. Think of the teacher with closets full of supplies while the rest turn to funding sites to beg in a socially acceptable way for markers, erasers, paper, or scissors. Think of the teachers who see the classroom as their personal domain, as if it is an extension of their homes, so much so that they are put out when a transient is assigned to their classroom for a period or two.

Maybe it would be good if some kind of animal whisperer came into contact with these egocentrically inclined professionals. The trainer could show them the good of building strong relationships with other members of the pack. Their enlightened ways might help them share some of their resources or maybe even knock stressfulness down a level or two. Of course, the truest habits of an animal comes out in the most natural environments.

Old dogs, new tricks?

After a week that saw work rise with full force,
Unwanted comments about the hardness of whatever
From a work colleague, and an old lady
Putting her hand just above my butt and saying,
“Don’t back up, I coming in,”
I thought my Friday morning run
Might be simple and quiet,
An easy jaunt away from the weirdness
Surrounding my job.

Then, unrelated partners,
Moments of whim,
Conflagrations of inappropriateness,
And expressions of people’s overdeveloped
Senses of importance rose with the sun.

Friday became hypocritical…
Here they are,
The different things, out of sequence,
There for the hash taggers,
There for posterity,
Not posteriors, no matter the copy machine harassments.

I.

Ex mayor political expertise
At using hashtag comments with impunity
As needle moving provocations
To get hugs without allowing
Juice to get all over his dapper threads.

II.

Cold air brings nipples out
With their underdeveloped toughness
Succumbing to the abrasive ways
Of supercharged fabrics
That scrape and chaff
Like cheese graters on blocks of cheddar.

III.

Old men, no longer oozing testosterone
Angry at their inability to rise,
Getting mad at everything, unable to appreciate
The sweat and all juice has to offer.
Instead, dude should chill, age like a fine whisky,
Retaining its bite, curating a fire
So when the old plumbing finally falters
And the days are few,
Happiness still has a chance

IV.

“White people do that shit!”
The quote of the morning,
An observation straight from Puerto Rico
Said in the way only a Latina could express
About the ways of marriage and divorce
In the fairer skinned culture.
I would never dare to deny, nor suggest about others
With the same toned descriptions
For my people have long lost the right
To make stereotypical jokes
Outside of our troubled history.

V.

Duran Duran chimed in, “Mouth is alive, juices like wine,”
Just as Snoop did, offering,
“Rollin down the street, smokin indo, sipping gin and juice,”
Innuendo ruling the morning,
Enema inducing bike seat discussion
Peppered between the later-in-the-morning work day traffic.

That was enough for me,
Twelve hours later, I fell asleep sitting up on the couch.
Can’t wait for next week.

I know these people who run,
Some of their stories I know,
Most I don’t.
One became drawn to running
With one hand in a bag of chips
While watching a weigh-in
For a heavyweight fight.
He realized he weighed more than them.
He started running the next day.
He’s like the wind.

Another is a woodworker,
At least as a hobby,
His motor runs fast,
Commuting or running,
Feet barely touching the ground,
Hardly even working
There’s grace in his stride
Ease in his sweat
A lack of awareness of friction and gravity.
He’s like the wind.

Still one other, full of steam,
A seller of meat so fresh
It’s nearly alive,
Unassuming, but grizzled from sports
And a bout with biology’s wayward cellular mayhem,
This guy just goes,
No complaining, except about winter,
But all the time full of the attitude
The keeps him pushing along the rails
As his steam trails off in the wind.

There are others,
Cardiac crazies who dare to push their limits,
And I find them to be so interesting,
Compelling,
Insane,
My kind of people,
Riders of the wind,
Pounders of the pavement,
Folks I am struggling to keep pace with
For I have not quite taken up their flight…soon, though.

Trails with hills,
Fox hunting, and lots
Of suburban naturalists
Walking with their fleece,
Cell phones, and foo-foo
Breeds of dogs thinking that they are
Reconnecting with the wilds
Before heading to a microbrew
Or indie music playing coffee house
To brag about how they roughed it today
And how they need to exercise more.

Hah, Hah, Hah.

Duh.

They will complain about fox hunting,
Horse shit
On the trail, and
Whatever else these hipster family startups
With their pack and play learning stations,
Baby backpacks, beards, and road apple
Senses of entitlement
Can find wrong with a little piece of heaven that
Casts an analog version of something they saw online.

Perspective is the key for me
As I log slow ass miles on unfamiliar terrain.
I’ve got to remember that I’m no better
Never testing the wilds like some do,
Skitterish about snakes,
Too bothered by bugs
To get out there and go all out Walden or Muir.
No,
Eff that,
I’m slogging
Taking the beauty of these fields
And letting it buffer the waste filling my muscles
Without checking my social media,
Without worrying if a fox hound gets within fifty yards
Of my pure bread, long hair mountain-bred puppy mill bullshit
Breed of a dog.

“Control your dog!”
“Control your dog!”

No,
Eff that,
You shut up and walk your dogs
And while you’re at it,
Tell your overly coiffed, digitally addicted husband
To pay attention to the screaming kid strapped to his back
So it will allow me to hear the dogs barking off
In the woods.
Their call is much more soothing than that of your screeching kid
Who is destined to hate nature
Because you guys are polluting the environment
With your personalized formula of toxic waste
That oozes from a can of highly carbonated selfishness
And forces hazmat crews to clean up
After you try to turn this beautiful land
Into Sesame Street, Barney’s House, or
Whatever television edu show you are watching raising the little
Bullhorn on.

Give me Syd and Marty Croft. They seem more natural…

Maybe I should be surprised that a young family
Would act this way,
They don’t know better,
I mean a nature preserve with wide open trails
Has got to be scary to these pseudo hikers
And their early Sunday jaunt over hill and dale.
I bet they even used sunscreen and concentrated on rehydrating.

Just saying…

Running around and around and
Around a
Track
Allows time to get to know people
Without the burdensome responsibility
Of conversation and forced interaction.

Most of the time…

Three guys, same route,
Different paths,
Different inspirations.

The first, an older man,
Dealt a different set of cards
That allow him to be special.
He waddles around the track,
Each step more of a side to side
Than an efficient step to the front.
He’ll stop, scratching his back on a wall’s corner
And walk while expressing his gas
Without malice, but certainly gastric relief.

He’s amazing,
Never missing a day,
Keeping on his journey
Without impeding others,
Quite content going solo.
We spoke once,
About the beauty of Jamestown,
The original settlement
Being a place he loves.
Now we exchange simple salutations
And with each passing lap
I hope we’re sharing
Positive energy with each other.

I certainly draw it from him.

Another, guy, Type A
With a healthy dose of cynicism,
Does his workout
Reminding me of YouTube videos with Arnold and Sly
His body strong, his walking pace quick,
His fitness example exemplary,
But his negativity, a drain, motivational kryptonite
For me, a fossil fuel he burns with boundless energy
That pushes doubt, uses “Why?” to dismiss effort,
And allows “WHY NOT.” to be ignored or perceived as weird.

This guy, aggressive in personality,
Seemingly successful in business, unmeasured in opinion,
Full of the crooked smile that life is about living,
So far as it conforms to his raison d’etre,
Is one getting cursory courtesy from my developing social aura.
Running is tough enough, but for a recovering naysayer,
Being inundated with dirty exhaust
Can’t be good.
I know this and run my laps
With purpose, soaking his negative vibes in,
Diluting them with good energy, and
Recycling them into something that can help me
Get past what I once was.

I am learning from him.

The last guy,
With every reason to be mad,
As genetics and life’s planned obsolescence
Have left him walking
On a metal shaft,
Brings a smile to my heart each morning.
He is learning to walk again after an amputation,
He is still teaching us to live after his loss,
Never complaining,
Only relishing in the opportunity to keep going,
If he even talks about
His situation at all.

He encourages by example,
He smiles,
He is generous with his positivity,
Always showing the importance of hard work,
Himself, working with a purpose
That seems to accept his journey
As a continuum that is endless.
His soul is bountiful, his essence infectious.

I love running up behind this man,
Each step he takes reminding me of a toddler,
Sure on one side,
A swinging of a his new leg on the other.
He sways like the first guy,
Making me wonder if that is the key,
Learning to sway,
To rock like a boat in gentle waters,
Floating in a pool,
Or just realizing life
Is not a straight line effort,
One to be plowed through,
Rather we should rock a little
Taking it one positive step at a time.

I want to run with this guy.

Really, I’m there with them all,
Each letting their aura
Be true to them.
Each helping me on my way.
None are bad people,
Neither are they good,
They are themselves
Offering the world who they are.

I run with each.

It’s in us,
Powers,
We have them,
Natural, organic,
They are there
Waiting to be found,
Actualized, reclaimed.

We need to bring them back,
Kindness,
Hardwork,
Toughness,
Adventurousness,
Honesty, and integrity

We need to believe in us,
Our abilities,
Not sham politicians,
Self-aggrandizing celebrites,
Faux faith leaders.
It’s within us,
Everyone.