In Shoes Like These ...

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I’ve stumbled over rock and root,

torn fabric holes and worn out soles,

the dirt and fraying scars from days

spent pounding roads or rutted track,

while eager laced, I ran on routes

from which there was no turning back;

those proper runs, in shoes like these.


I’ve pushed old limestone crag beneath

this body. I’ve compelled the world,

with cadence eating up dead weights 

of daily chains that drag and snag

the rhythms of a mind where thought

and distance coalesce to fade

those binding cares, in shoes like these.


I’ve sought clean air by quiet lakes,

the stuff that flows through passing trees.

I’ve run on high and low terrain,

through woods, on fells and ancient hills,

where clearer views, perceived as real,

revealed such hidden sentinels

that raised the skies, in shoes like these.


I’ve forded streams, I’ve plodded, pushed

the limits, as fresh rivulets

of rain have blended on tired skin

with sweat, heart synchronised with breath

hard-earned; a soul in flight made free,

refocused in the rush of dreams

where space combines with time and peace,


in shoes like these.


◄ Book End

Goole Revisited ►


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Jonathan Humble

Fri 10th May 2019 23:25

Thank you Jennifer, Martin and Keith. The shoes won't get used this weekend as I've damaged my knee … : (

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keith jeffries

Fri 10th May 2019 15:22


you have chosen a simple subject and from it developed a poem which takes the reader with you to places and thoughts where imagination becomes richly creative. Incidentally my mother and all her family came from Maryport.

Thank you for this. An excellent poem

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Martin Elder

Tue 7th May 2019 20:54

This poem has a beautiful lyrical quality to it in its pace and rhythm. I did a little bit of running a few years ago but have had to give up due to my knee and ankle giving up. so I have stuck to walking and cycling.
Love it

jennifer Malden

Sun 5th May 2019 10:52



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Jonathan Humble

Sun 5th May 2019 08:20

I get these shoes out once maybe twice a week. In the distant past I ran middle distance and cross country as a youth. I miss those days and the benefits of running to body and mind. These days, I tend to go very early in the morning (between 6 and 7 a.m.) on the weekends so that I'm not embarrassed by pedestrians overtaking me as I shuffle the streets or country lanes of Cumbria.
Thanks for the comments guys.
JH : )

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Wolfgar Miere

Sun 5th May 2019 08:01

Ah the loneliness of the long distance runner.

I used to run a great deal, initially because I had to remain fit and then out of habit and because I liked it. I would often have to run with other people, I disliked that intensely. It wasn't until I started running alone and communing with the landscape around me I realised how therapeutic it was. I could think, have discussions with myself and occasionally stop and talk to horses!

I have destroyed many pairs of running shoes, when I came home from Kosovo my shoes disintegrated, we found out later we had been running across a depleted uranium site several times a week. (my boss liked running)

Your poem gets into a rhythm just as the body and mind does when running, especially long distances. Unfortunately my knees are shot away any long distance beyond walking pace is not possible. Non impact only for this old git now.

Nice one Jonathan.


<Deleted User> (21487)

Sun 5th May 2019 07:55

When my booots were finally retired they were given a good polish, had flower stickers stuck all over them and given several layers of varnish,
Now they are filled with stones to give them weight and used as door stoppers.
Did the young think that they invented recycling?

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Adam Whitworth

Sat 4th May 2019 21:08

I'd walk a mile in those shoes any day. I know it would do me no end of good.

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