Sunday Poetry: What Else Can He Do But Run?

Welcome to Sunday Poetry.   If this is your first visit you can read about the purpose and inspiration of my Sunday poetry blogs here.

I’ve spent the last few weeks trying to figure out my future.  My husband is retiring this summer, and we plan to move south.  Where?  Not quite sure.  When?  Don’t know that, either.  When and how will we sell our house here in Virginia?  Another and temporarily all-consuming mystery.

In the meantime, I’m feeling pursued.  Pursued by a deadline for a book that’s going great guns but wants every minute of my day.  Pursued by the “junk” I’ve collected over years and don’t want to take to another house.  Pursued by decisions.  I remind myself this is good stuff.  We want to move.  We want to move to a warmer winter climate.  We want to start this different phase of our lives.  But pursuers are rarely silenced with logic.

Pursuit, by Stephen Dobyns arrived on my homepage today and I knew, immediately, I had to share it with you.  What’s pursuing you?  Are your pursuers the “chaos of the mind?”  “Failure?”  I’m pursued by fear I might make a mistake, which would, in the long run, mean I’m just another ordinary human being prone to error and success, sometimes both in the same moment. 

Maybe you’ll find this one as relevant, thought-provoking and in the end, as satisfying as I did.

Remember there are no quizzes here, no right ways to read or contemplate the poem we share.  Absolutely no dissecting allowed.  Just come along for the “read.”  What line, word or thought will you carry with you this week?  If you’d like to tell us where the poem took you?  We’ll listen.


  1. JoAnn Ross on March 4, 2012 at 8:38 am

    Oh, that’s wonderful and once again you’ve nailed my life! After Jay’s Parkinson’s diagnosis last November, once I could think fairly clearly again, I decided that my scrapbook theme word for 2012 was ” now.” As in living in the moment, and not trying to plan/ control everything in our life. It’s a challenge, but we’re getting better at it.

    Good luck with your move and honey’s retirement! xo

    • Emilie Richards on March 4, 2012 at 8:44 am

      I thought of you when I posted this one and thought you might feel this one right down to the bone. I remember having dreams as a child when I was being chased by an unseen assailant. I remember stopping and turning around to face whatever was after me, only to find my pursuer wasn’t as bad as I’d thought. As a girl, I thought that just meant I was a cowardly person who didn’t have the strength to keep running. Now I have to smile. I hope I always have the courage to stop and turn around. It sounds like you’re doing just that.

  2. Lynn Ross - Toledo on March 4, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    I’m with you, Emilie! The poem really speaks to me, too. “…a blend of stock car racing and the never-ending building of a gothic cathedral…” reminds me of my younger years when my children were little. Other things pursue me now as we prepare to move, also. Your fear of “not making a mistake” strikes a resonating chord within me. It makes me realize that just might be the reason I have always procrastinated and find myself with so much clutter. It seems when I throw somethig out, I always need it next week. Thanks, Emilie! I always wondered about that.

    • Emilie Richards on March 4, 2012 at 5:25 pm

      You’re absolutely right about clutter and fear you’ll need something. And like you, I always do. Invariably and instantly the moment it’s gone.

  3. Helen Harman on March 4, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    I have not had the experience of moving every few years. In fact I have lived in this house in St Petersburg 31 years this month. But I am now 79 and the time is coming when the responsibility of a three bedroom house will be more than I want to carry. When I move it will be nearer my daughters who both live in Clearwater. All of about 15 miles away. They want me there now but I am not ready yet.

    I have the same feelings about downsizing,and moving to a smaller place. I know you will find the perfect area here in Florida. Good luck.

    • Emilie Richards on March 4, 2012 at 5:23 pm

      Thank you, Helen. Clearwater’s lovely,too, but I’m a St. Pete girl, so I can definitely understand your feelings about moving. The good news is that you will still be close by.

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