Running along the riverbank this morning with the cloying scent of the cow parsley and the sun-baked clay reminded me of this:

TRAINING RUN by Adam Horovitz

for Ashley Loveridge


Linear. Beyond lines. Path swallowed

by the mare’s tail flick of cow parsley.

Your feet pound out the hollowed

laughter of this discarded canal. A sparse lee


in the woods jolts you awake,

out of the hammered dream of the run;

it writhes with the scent of rain, aches

under a blanket of wild garlic, sun.


You have bitten, sharp as an arrow,

into the low heat of the dusk,

the deep focus, the valley’s marrow.

The world is a husk


until you run it, until you find your way

over nettle creep, cow dung, hard-trodden clay.