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Zen Track Rambling

Zen Track Rambling

Poem by: Jim Schroeder

Pre-dawn humid-warm mist
soothes aching muscles
hamstrings stretch
brain dead body
a stillborn 'morn ...

reluctant legs carry my tired body away
headlong into the green tunneled passage
the foreboding trail awaits me in the gloom
a worm hole-track ?
this better be good ...

sleepy face
bared arms & shoulders
i shred the night's sticky spider webs
casting away their patiently captured bounty
strands pitifully streaming from my legs
long-dead prey along for the stormy ride
skies grumbling at thor's demands ...

wary feet skip-hop the twisting shadowy roots
slithering across the sandy track
the mother trunks learing at the unwelcome runner
the intruder
i ready myself for the unknowns ahead ...

The chosen track winds gently downslope
a lazy early morning river awaits
my mind starts it's gradual awakening
the senses coming alive
ready for something
ready for the impending journey
down and up
forward and back
on the track
on track ... ?

Aaaahh, there's a sight!
my first sight
first sight best sight
towering bluffs oversee my track's attachment to ol' man river
i see that now
i've caught the connections just a bit
just maybe understand the reasons here
the structures of nature
the purpose exposed to me ...

My loosening legs search their natural rhythms
thoughts start flashing in and out
no patterns yet
ambling along
eyes scanning
ready for today's sun
mighty river on left
bluffs on right
birds chinging their morn's coded messages
waiting for my sun ...

There she comes!

Fiery midwest-red sun-disc edges cautiously into view
beckoning me into the zone
inviting me to zen track on the zen-track
this on a real fine midwest 'morn
somehow i am not surprised ...

Sheepishly i check the time-store on my wrist
a reluctant link to responsibilities
gauging the unwanted turn back to 'the world' ...

time to zone ?
zone time ... ?

i am not ready yet of course
never am doncha know ... ?

just a few more minutes i plead to mr sun
i don't want to go back ...

on and on
legs loose now
arms pumping
body-mind-sync zone penetrates deep
pain erased
body soothed mind
mind soothed body

full circle
i'll make time on fast-track-back i rationalise
i'll get back on track ...

No backtracks now!

As i stare quizzically at mr sun i sense the impending colour change
red sun can not last long
nothing can it seems
i've seen this before
can accept it now ...

i give over to the molting orange disc glaring relentlessly at me
cool-red morphs to red-hot orange
daring me to keep running
HALT! turn back runner boy ...

ooookay i say ...

Brain-quiet i start the back-track on the zone-track
zen-tracks on the zen-track
relief felt after decision's made
back on track ...

gotta think clearly
carefully recall trail breaks
note the route sign posts
easy to miss a key fork in the zone
overrun a necessary turn
rumoured it's possible to run clean off a bluff
kesey mebbe said as much i think
where would that trip end ... ?

Ohhh, i'm fast now!
oh yes, oh boy
oh here i go ...

but yesss, whole body muscles loose
astride of my stride
gut-drawn breaths suck hard on musty river air
wave-patterned track rises earily
flared nostrils greedily inhale zenair
inject enlightened air deep into my soul
all seems to make sense again ...

no worries
no hurries
it all fits
i feel nature's track
i'm on my track ...

cicadas sing-song chirps
in time to my steps ?
for my steps ... ?

green zone
speed zone
sweat zone
zzzen zone
i'm in it
zoned it!
make no mistake
knowhaddimean mate ? ...

My country-boy ears pick up chattering mr squirrel
i'm ready cuz i know he's planning to ping-dent me with a hickory nut shard
there, my eyes find him just in time
i wait to the last second
then feint right
off track
on track
hickory shell thud-thumps track
missed me
mr squirrel can not meet my sneering gaze!
i won that time
always a next time though
ya cain't win'em all ...

OKAY, cruisin' again
danger past
thoughts in focus
dreams re-ignite
mad thoughts
bad mad-thoughts
bad thoughts
mad bad-thoughts
but just thoughts
far's as i know ...

Past last majestic st petersburg bluff
ancient upthrusts
other worldlies

i pick a steeply climbing track back to the topside
winding back to 'the world'
burning thighs
searing lungs
tiring legs carry me slowly up and back ...

'the world' i muse
i muse 'the world'
it's a place i guess ...

workshop-mates pile hours on hours
good too of course
pleasant surprises
philosophical spurts amidst the bits
best bits for me
it's why i'm here afterall
after all ...

So, i'm running again ?
to where ?
where to ?
can i stop someday in someplace ... ?

Running to oz on jumbo ozoneplane
BACK and TO henley sea
there's good in henley
all kinds of good
heaps of good
i've missed it all
good to get henley-home
good to get back on that buss again
so easy to miss the buss ...

watching seat-mate sleep
sleep to where i wonder
wishing to know
not for me to know
not now ...

AWAY again for sure
to beyond forever
again ...

Run again soon ?
i always do
why ?
i don't know either ...

Do you ... ?

Jim Schroeder
Qantas Flights ORD-LAX-AKL-MEL-ADL
27-29 August 1999

This page last updated: Saturday 20 March 2010

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