Autumn Gold

Long Eaton ParkRun 7 October

Autumn Gold

As golden leaves begin to slowly fall,

the runners stretch and bend,

With thoughts of sizzling bacon cobs awaiting at the end.

In lurid technicolor the people come to run

Excited chatter fills the air in the bright October sun

Elites are bouncing, anticipating, the reward from all their training

Whilst hounds are yelping, happily; leashes all a’straining

Muscles tense as runners wait,

their fingers poised on Garmin

Mums encourage one another,

while babies are alarming

Clock strikes 9 and off they go,

a blur of Lycra neon

I shout aloud amongst the crowd

and cheer the number 3 on

At halfway mark the cowbell clangs inspiring weary faces

Applause and cheers are not reserved, we’re there for all the paces

First across the bridge appears,

exerting power and energy

His focused eyes unwavering,

his driving stride in synergy

Sprinting to the finish line,

he crosses at a canter

Whilst others chase his rapid pace

to cries of friendly banter

Pacers drag a following of eager PB chasers

25 or 45, result brings happy racers

A hiccup in the funnel, runner fails to take a token

Sync is out but never fear, we’ll fix what has been broken

Tail Walkers arrive at last, position 407

Selfies snapped commemorate, they’re all in 7th Heaven

But now the work must really start

To scan, reorder tokens

Upload the stats to state the facts

For the runners who’ve awoken

And braved the chilly morning

To release their own potential

Syncing all the finish times is totally essential

Email tells your time and pace

And urges you to better

Even more determined now

To be a PB getter!

But whether running in a crowd

Or striving on your own

You’ve exceeded the achievements

Of the folks who stayed at home!

The Rhythm of the Race

I run to the rhythm of a 4/4 beat
It’s percussion brings a meaning to my ever-pounding feet
Every inch a victory, every mile a stone
Every challenge that I conquer
Is an enemy overthrown

Seeeya ha harrrhah
Seeeya ha harrrhah
Seeeya ha harrrhah
Seeeya ha harrrhah

Navajo staccato rhythm breathed loudly in defiance
My lungs breath deep 
The clean fresh air 
No longer ventolin reliant 

I reach my toes and guide my feet
Through muddy tracks
And cobbled street
With wind in face and sweat on back
I bow my head and plod my track

Each runner set before me 
Is a battleground to take
Each landmark I attain 
Is a fortress that I stake

And lay my claim 
To victory
Over self and doubt and past
And blistered feet and aching bones 
And times I wasn’t fast.

But finishing is what we seek
Our eyes like flint on goal
And as we strive to reach that line 
The end will make us whole

Every single sinew strains
Your focused eye unwavering 
And faster now the heart-drum pounds 
As finish line you’re savouring

Hiyaha haw-haw, hiyaha haw-haw
The tribal chieftain cries
Every fibre of your being is straining for that prize.

High lift knees and rapid feet 
Emerge with sudden kick 
As you relish this – your chosen moment 
And take a hungry lick 

Of the feast of opportunity that lies now at your feet
Calves and thighs in synergy and faster yet the beat
And poured out like an offering
Is this heady, sweaty potion

To a god of sport and energy
To a demigod of motion.
Your passion etched across your face 
You pass them one by one 
And take your place in history
As one who came and won.

P J Deakin 2017 ©

Choose to Love

On a cold, starry night,
Two young people wander
On a journey, their lives to discover
As a man led his donkey 
To Bethlehem town
Her cargo, a soon-to-be Mother

With pain she’d looked back
As they’d left Nazareth
The hatred they’d shown had surprised her
When the people perceived
That the babe was conceived
Out of wedlock, they’d all ostracised her.

No room could be found 
In King David’s home town

For the couple and their precious burden
As she cried out in pain
One man listened again 
Calling out, 
They both paused as they heard him

“I have here a stable
It’s not much to see
But it’s warm and it’s dry and it’s free!”

Tired from their journey
The young aching Mother 
Lay down in the hay to give birth
Such humble beginnings 
For this newborn child
The King of all kings of the Earth!

Surrounded by livestock
And sacrifice lambs
The unblemished Lamb he was born
In a cow’s feeding trough
He made his first bed
His clothes made of rags that were torn

Shepherds came to visit He
Whom Angels had adored
And silently they worshipped Him, 
The tiny infant Lord

Whilst still a toddler
Wise men came from Persian lands afar
Recounting their incredible tale
A sparkling bright guiding star!

Dictator King, Herod the Great
Explodes with rage and fear
A newborn King to take his throne
Lived in a town so near!?

A massacre, the despot decrees
Consumed so by his hatred
Each boy child of two years or less
Must be exterminated!

Awoken by a warning dream
The father wakes his family
Heads south to Egypt to escape, 
Political refugees.

This humble Jesus, born so low
Our own hearts does unveil…
And reminds us all to love once again
In this familiar Nativity tale.

P J Deakin 2015 ©