Walking the Sun Awake

6:00 a.m.

Sound shreds the gentle dark

the anonymity of sleep that held me 

lulled me through unconsciousness

for eight blessed hours

shattered, ruined and tossed

in piercing shards, daggered awake

high pitched, throbbing and insistent

mosquito on a Red Bull binge

the sound refuses to stop

6:01 a.m.

My blind hand reaches for something

before my brain slips into gear

the ridged plastic bar fills my fingers

I, a well-trained rat in Pavlovian experiment

press the bar 

censor the sound

opiate waves of relief flood my body

struggling clothes at the foot of the bed

donned in the dark

6:05 a.m.

Like a burglar leaving the scene of the crime

my hand slides the screen door silently back

don’t disturb the neighbors, my sweetheart, or my dog

escape into the dark before anyone asks

Is the coffee ready

Did you remember to pack my lunch

My dog dish is empty and Take me with you

Where’s the toilet paper

Can I have a biscuit

Do I smell bacon burning

I slip out before all that starts

6:10 a.m.

Bright, white and glowing

a Cheshire cat grin

claims the indigo sky as its own

yesterday’s gritty moon

 washed by dew

and night

The soft padding sound

my feet playing a pavement drum

careful to avoid the cracks

though my mother died long since

and the only back I can break

is mine

6:15 a.m.

Street poles spread orange light

A-line skirts against the night air

urge my walking-running toes

first to this pole, then the next

breaking it down so that

all I have ahead of me

are accomplishable goals

the quiet peace still surrounds me

dawn grows less dim

6:20 a.m.

Two figures, one tall, one short

pumping hands and feet in rythym

approach and pass, not even smiles

somehow aware of the unspoken

rule of the pre-dawn walker and runner

we don’t break the spell

we just nod

and keep going

6:25 a.m.

Slipping past houses of black and grey

lamplit windows giving away

those whose occupants have risen

or maybe never went to sleep

walls turn from grey to beige

and charcoal lawns spread green

revealing the sun has risen

my heart beats faster

pumping feet carry me

round the last corner

6:30 a.m.

Light fills the sky as sound steals the road

throbbing wheels and engines

full of people heading into the day

oblivious of my quiet world on foot

and of the robin who woke

as I passed his branch

he sat still, trusting

that I would not disturb him

streets lights sign off duty

one block from home

6:35 a.m.

I slip inside the quiet house

and close the sliding door

an alarm clock rings upstairs

feet hit the floor above me

and the shower door slams open

then closes to the sound of screaming water

my dog’s tail thumps in greeting

I missed you

Where have you been?

“Walking the sun awake,” I tell her

as if she might believe

that is one of my responsibilities


Photo courtesy of Google images: http://claire.nu/day/001.jpg




Filed under Non-Fiction, Poetry, Uncategorized

32 responses to “Walking the Sun Awake

  1. Such a beautiful poem……………

  2. Magda

    You are doing it! I love the report, it inspired me not to slack

  3. Cristina Cassidy

    This captured the morning jog perfectly from the Piercing shards” of the alarm clock to the dog’s tail thumping, you took us with you and engaged all our senses. You are a gifted poet and writer. If I may make one suggestion. I think changing son
    Me of the similes “like” into direct metaphors might strengthen those images. Just a thought. Similes often make me step away. If something “is” rather than “like” something else in a poem I connect more viscerally to it.

    • Oh wow – some really decent crtical feedback – you have no idea how I treasure this rare treat!! I’m going to go back and edit – see if I can get that visceral connection you speak of – you’re so right. I often feel like I’m cheating when I use “like” or “as” and I want to develop a better way. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  4. walking the sun awake – wow – how lovely you write
    like the pace of running in this poem and the mood you create
    i bike to work and leave at 5h40 in the morning – and yeah – i bike the sun awake…smiles

    • I will think of you now on my morning walk-runs. I live near Sac State university and used to go there nearly every day. I loved riding my bike to school! I took the back way in so was able to avoid traffic and it was really good exercize. No stress until I got to campus and all those students who text and walk, or wear head phones, would saunter into my path, despite my little bell going bling, bling! BLIIINGG!! They must have wondered who that crazy old lady was, with straw hat and noisy bell falling off her bike all the time. 🙂

  5. You had me from the title and I enjoyed every step of your pre-dawn walk. Such wonderful descriptions, I was with you every step of the way. You captured the essence of the early morning so beautifully.

    And tell me – how do you sneak out of the house without the dog going crazy? My two are on me like glue the minute my feet hit the floor – lol!

    • Thanks, Talon. The trick with the dog is no trick. She’s 13 and likes to sleep in until 7 a.m. Once I get back, the lunch is packed and gone with a kiss and a have-a-good-day, the dishes are washed, and one cup of coffee downed with orange juice and several vitamins and anti-everything, pro-everything else supplements, Libby staggers to her feet and demands Her walk. It takes just as long as the earlier one, but we cover alot less territory! By the time the clock strikes 9 a.m. the day is mine again for a few hours and then, I write. ……Heaven. What breed of fluff greets you every morning?

  6. marion and jim Coyne

    Again Cindy, you take us on a journey with your words. You snatch us out of our everyday routine and plunk us right into a kaleidoscope of experiences. Oh yes, now we have one more answer to “Who wakes the sun up?”
    All the best, Marion and Jim

  7. Chloe

    An amazing poem which captured my attention from the start and had me reading with interest every step of the way. And you end it with such a beautiful sentiment – that you “were walking the sun awake”! Wow – such a wonderful image! Thank you!

    Have a great day, Chloe xx

    • Thanks, Chloe. Somedays I feel that if I don’t ‘walk the sun up’ nobody else will, so I just have to get out there and do it. On other days I realize the world is not all about me and I’m grateful to the sun for giving me a good reason to get out of bed in the dark. 🙂

      • Chloe

        Lol – I think you conduct an essential duty for the whole world when you DO “walk the sun up”!! And on the other days keep enjoying the rays – as you deserve ’em 😀 !

  8. Girlfriend, have you written this for me????? I leave my house exactly at 6am every single morning…walked with you every step of the way…this was so wonderful to read…difference, I come back at 7am and Coco, my dog goes with!!! Thanks my friend…I really loved this so much xxx

    • You are the 2nd person that I’ll be carrying in my 6 am thoughts then. And I thought waking up the sun was my my sole responsibility – dang. Now I can share the burden! I’d love to take Libby, but at 13 and a half, she can’t keep up, so poor thing sleeps in. Then when I get home, she’s awake so I go out again for another half hour and take her, but we do the dear-old-dog-crawl and cover only a third of the distance. No exercize for me, but it sure cheers Libby up! My friend bullied me into this early morning walk/run and I’m so grateful she did. It changes my outlook and energy for the whole day in the most positive way. What kind of dog is Coco? I’ll think of the two of you together. Have you ever written a poem for her? If not, there’s your challenge for this week. 🙂

  9. thoughtsnotlost

    Captured perfectly. Really enjoyed this.

    A little present for you:

  10. I love the opening line here. I have two awards for you, if you’d like them: http://frayedges.wordpress.com/2010/09/06/blogger-awards/

    • Thanks so much for your comments – I always value them. It’s funny that you should mention the first line, because I made a suggestion on your blog about writer’s block that involves first lines. Great minds must think alike. 🙂

  11. Aww…and even though it’s a routine, you have said in the best of ways!! Refreshing to read this!! I am sure you enjoy this !!!
    “6:25 a.m.
    Slipping past houses of black and grey
    lamplit windows giving away
    those whose occupants have risen
    or maybe never went to sleep” — the latter is me!! 🙂

  12. walking the sun awake – Lovely poem, love it 🙂

    • Thank you Marinela. Glad you enjoyed it. I just visited your site and had a very quick look (I’m busy working at the moment) and will go back again later. Your first poem BROTHER was sweet – photography, particularly those luscious double tulips, is beautiful. By the way, advise is the verb; advice is the noun. You might want to edit that.
      Have a great day!

  13. lovely done as always…

    Poets Rally week 28 is on,
    Welcome in.

  14. Barbara

    Good description of a well-crafted transition from dream consciousness to time chiseled out for renewal and energizing, before heading back for the demands of daily life. I admire your self-discipline! “Mosquito on a Red Bull binge” – love it! “Like a burglar leaving the scene of the crime” – I know that feeling so well!

  15. “Walking the sun awake”..what a lovely expression!!. Alas! I seem to be one of those unfortunate ones for whom early morning lethargy has become a fact of life, what with a thyroid problem and all. On days, when one is able to get up early though, it seems there’s so much more time to a day. Walked all the way with you on this morning and enjoyed it every bit. Thanks:-)

    • Thank you Nadira, you seem to walk with me on these pages as if we were sisters walking on opposite sides of the earth, yet seeing and marveling the shine in each other’s eyes, then smiling as we walk together.

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