Nordic Poetry

Smack.  Smack. My cross-country skis hit the ground.

Click. I hook my boot into the binding.  Click.  The other one now.  They are the most comfortable footwear I own.

I loop the straps of my poles around my gloves.  Ready to go.

Glide.  Glide.  Gliiide.  Gliiiiiide.  Gliiiiiiide. The journey begins.

I slide along.  Left pole/right ski, right pole/left ski.

Following the twin grooves left by my brother or sister before me.  If I am lucky, I will get to lay down the grooves in virgin, fresh snow for those who will come after me.

My gliding continues.  I go past frozen fields and ice-filled creeks. 

I see evergreens whose branches are loaded down with pounds of heavy snow.  The sky is cobalt blue above me.

I am alone.  That is part of the beauty.  I will occasionally meet and warmly greet others.  However, this part of the snowy earth is all mine. 

I marvel at the speed of cross-country skate skiers.  They are also my brothers and sisters.  Their poetry is different than mine. 

I curse snow shoers.  The snow-covered part of the earth is theirs entirely.  Why must they obliterate my trail?  They are not my brothers or sisters.  Their movements do not constitute poetry.  They are crunchy noise.

As I start up hill, my glides get progressively shorter.  The angle of my poling changes.   I’m into the climb now.  I start to pick my skis up slightly with each step.

Hop.  Pole. Hop.  Pole.  Hop.  Pole.  Hop.  Pole. I’m making my way up the steepest part of the slope now.  Slap.  Slap.  Slap. My skis hit the snow with a most gratifying sound.

Slice.  Slice.  Slice. My skis make their way back into the tracks at the top of the slope.  Glide.  Gliide.  Gliiiiide.  Gliiiiiiide.   Gliiiiiiiiiiiide.

I break out of the woods and into a clearing.  I am double-poling now.   My skis move back and forth rapidly like scissor blades when I put my weight on my poles.  I shoot forward and then glide.  I shoot forward and then glide.

I am at the top of the hill.  I ensure that my skis are properly aligned.  I push off with both poles.

Whoooooooooooooooooooooooooosh. I go into my tuck, making sure that my poles are not dragging.  Whoooooooooooooooooooooooosh.

At the bottom of the hill, I go back into Glide.  Gliide.  Gliiiide.  Gliiiiiide.

The journey continues.

— The Major


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by lisa on December 30, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    I’ve never done this but after reading your post, I want to try! Too bad I live in Georgia 😦


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