Iowa Writes

Walk, Don't Run

I was there at the dawn of the aerobics age,
a man of thirty-five, first-time jogger,
new member of a deeper-breathing breed
that saw the path to health and longer life
as one to be traversed at speed, in sneakers.

I absorbed the knee and ankle pounding, sent
quickened blood on body roads to distant
destinations, heard other runners tell about
their ecstasy when, winded to (and past) the point
of pain, they felt enveloped by their endorphins.

I didn't get in touch with mine. Instead,
one aching day I asked myself, why run
when I can walk? Much easier to breathe
this way, still satisfy the workout urge,
stop to give the dog a chance to sniff

or declare a patch of territory. Walk on,
watch a watching hawk or, on the lake,
a cormorant as it plies its natant trade,
neck above the water, profile of a U-Boat
stalking the North Atlantic, 1940.

Techno accessories not necessary now -
The brain needs room to roam out here,
contemplate a complicated question,
or even, if mood and muse concur, compose
a bit of prose, a lilting line or two of verse.

About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

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Joe Crowley is an Iowa native, born and raised in Oelwein and a 1959 graduate of the University of Iowa (political science). After a career as professor, author and administrator at the University of Nevada, Reno, he writes poetry in retirement.

This page was first displayed
on June 10, 2011

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