The Foot’s Silver Prayer

When Annie Dillard wrote about the man who kept a daily journal about the clouds, I thought the idea ridiculous. Who would document something as mundane as clouds?

Most of us think clouds as boring as the paint on our walls, simply, unremarkably, there. But would this documentarian of the sky have disagreed?

Today marks 600 runhaiku. Six hundred days that I’ve laced up my shoes, gone outside, run around a little, and written about it. Six hundred times that I’ve strung together syllables to describe the feeling of moving through the world on my own two feet.

So I find myself in the same shoes as Mr. Clouds. Endlessly documenting the extraordinary everyday.

Matthew Ogle recently delivered a poem (pome?) into my inbox, perfectly summarizing this odd and persistent practice:

Ars Poetica

May the poems be
the little snail’s trail.

Everywhere I go,
every inch: quiet record

of the foot’s silver prayer.
              I lived once.
              Thank you.
              It was here.


Aracelis Girmay (2011)

On the days where I’m at a loss to describe again summer’s “fresh morning air”, when all the syllables for winter’s “cold dark” are spent, maybe this is the reason to piece together one more poem:

I lived once.
Thank you.
It was here.