Le Grand Du Nord


This weekend I had the honor of writing a poem for the Le Grand Du Nord gravel race in Grand Marais, MN, hosted by my friend Jeremy Kershaw of Heck of the North Productions. I am in the process of making a letterpress broadside of the poem that will be available soon in my store. Sign up for my email list to get a notification when it is done. In the mean time here is the poem in digital form.

Le Grand Du Nord

In this birchy dirt 

up and down kerfed roads 

winding through glacial end-grain, 

and fossilized rift,

the only thing I fear

is that when the ride is over 

I might loose the cascading sense 

that somewhere out along these roads 

I became part of the dirt,

and that in retuning home 

the concrete and smoggy grind 

of work and domestication 

will out talk the echoing 

voices of this kinship 

the many hands of the land 

forged within my body while riding.

As necessary as drinking water 

it is crucial to remember 

that the antidote to fear 

is always creativity and imagination.

In the interest of preserving 

the potential that each one of us 

may be transformed by the dirt today

out along this sawtooth ribbon 

of Le Grand Du Nord,

I have an offering for us:

ride until you cant tell 

which side of the dream you are on

till you don’t now if it’s you 

or the road doing the talking, 

till the river comes at you 

bearing in its hands 

a bouquet of daisies 

pulled up from the ditch,

till the wind buries itself 

at the base of your sternum

and you feel the breath of trees 

bending over to blow the  

sweat off the back of your neck. 

Salvage the wayfarer inside of you,

transform your struggles into

new friends, new stories, 

and a different way home, 

let a star fall into your eyes

so that when the ride is over  

there is no question 

in which direction your heart 

is meant to pedal. 

Ben Weaver2 Comments