Some of my favourite writing and songs are about walking. Such a simple act, that can transform the way you feel, generate the most bizarre and touching ideas and get you from one place to another by simply moving one leg, then the other. Truly, one of the great, simple pleasures in life.
Werner Herzog's Of Walking in Ice, is a testament to all these things. It is a little book with great heart. In the winter of 1974 Herzog decided to walk from Munich to Paris. His journey was motivated by his friend Lotte Eisner who was quite ill at the time and living in Paris. In Herzog's mind, if he walked, he could save Lotte. The book is tender, maddening and touching. It is typical over the top Herzog from the get go and it is wonderful.
I wrote a poem called Munich-Paris after I read Herzog's book. This is one section of the poem;
sucking on sugar cubes
stare as I pass through their streets
women behind birdcages giggle
the absurdity of my journey implies
that I am not dreaming
I haven't walked much this winter. Today's sun is nudging me to get out there...I am reminded of one of those best walks that fill your heart right up to the brim, walking all the way from University College Dublin residence down Morehampton Road and into downtown Dublin on a Sunday morning in 1987. Stopping on the way at a tiny church, where I heard a surmon in "Irish" and shook the hands of total strangers, all the while thinking I belong here.
One of my newer pieces.
The collar around my neck
tight, like an obituary
tames the wind
in a minute it will be years
that we have walked together.
Over and out... with The Wooden Sky