Running Poem R002

If this year for me
Were a novel –
I would probably
Want as its title –
To Kill Two Birds With
A Philosopher’s Stone




Copyright by Minh Tan on listed dated of completion.



Notes to this poem…

I must have already been on a runner’s high when I composed this on my run this morning to go shopping at an industrial park mall like 10K from where I lived. Saved myself a bus ticket and only used one going home.

I had to crest a big hill on Main Avenue in Halifax before descending into Bayers Lake Industrial Park. On the plateau at the top and going down into the park was where I got this idea. I was feeling exuberant with how easy it was for me to have conquered that big hill running, considering I don’t run much these days, which was what I meant by already having been on a runner’s high to get this abstract idea.

I was thinking about this inspirational quote for the new year which I had seen in the last days of 2015.

They mentioned a book, but not a title, so I asked myself, and what would you call that book that would be your year that you would write?

Efficiency has been on my mind as I have been changing my life to be more efficient, like these activity poems composed while doing something else like running. I was also going to look for wrist weights to wear while skating to strengthen my arms for next tennis season. As a result, the metaphorical expression to kill two birds with one stone came to mind. It was a bit violent for my liking so I made a metaphor within that metaphor, by referencing a philosopher’s stoneThat would be a legendary alchemical substance capable of turning base metals into gold or silver. If so, it’d kill the birds by turning them into metal rather than all the blood and gore of killing with a stone thrown at them. They’d also then be valuable, if not as a sculpture, then at least as gold or silver they had been turned into. And there’d be magic involved!

What does it mean all together? I don’t know, but I think I like leaving it that way. You interpret it.

But here’s the challenge for you, though. If your year were to be a novel you’d write, what would you title it?

The R-series poems were composed while I was out running, in an effort to find time for writing in a life that is always getting busier.


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