Old Dogs


I'm out
on the river path
my daily stroll
of about four

not here
for exercise
you understand
just trying to attune
to the environment
and escape the confines
of a dark room
before I read
and write myself
into a spiritual

I time
the excursion badly
right at lunch hour
downtown office types
trying to cram some jogging
into their hectic workdays
before scurrying back
to their cubicles
afternoon meetings
and teleconferences

walking up
the east bank
a major thoroughfare
to my right
with noontime traffic
creating a foul atmosphere
which hangs oppressively
above the asphalt

the Arkansas River
to my left
flowing gently to the south
bordered by verdant growth
and covered
with cleaner air

I can almost
fool myself
into seeing
how it all
must have looked
before the city arrived
until a break
in the trees
on the opposite bank
allows a glimpse
of oil tanks
to filter through

perspiring group
approaches me
on the path

expensive running suits
and spandex ensembles
in soulless colors
accessorized with
hundred dollar shoes
and short

I hold my ground
in the middle
as they pass
around me

long hair
cut offs
and well-worn sneakers
a red
and blue skull
grins maniacally
on my black
sleeveless shirt

I feel
like a countercultural injection
into this lame artery
of fuchsia
and teal
a little too late
to cure the infection
already too deeply
in the patient

who though
was I to say?

I had a philosophy
of the city streets
but my soft
was rooted firmly
in the cushy realm
of apartment complexes
and happy hours

I had neither
the tenacity
nor the apathy
to exist completely
in either world

it was time
to crawl back
into my dim sanctuary
read some more
and write this