Shard#3: Relay Race Runner

Cal W. Stannard
2 min readMar 27, 2021

I am the Relay Race Runner, I’ve been pro for years
I have fans all across the world, I’m at the peak of my career
But today I feel like fucking up, today will be the day
Take a good hard look at my face. I am bigger than this race

We start running with the gun, neck and neck with the breeze
But I don’t wanna meddle, it’s time for me to leave

My teammate stands waiting, poised for the baton
But when I come to pass him, I decide to run on
And on his face confusion, in my palm; cold steel
I am tired of how winning feels, I am heading for the hills

I take the baton with me, the race cannot be won
I am the lonely champion, spoiling all the fun
Out towards the country til all the crowds have gone
Only then I stop to breathe, alone in the tall reeds

I piss into the estuary, a great grey heron looks at me
Me and the great grey heron, alone in the tall reeds

They send search parties for me, articles are run
On the strange Relay Race Runner who got it all wrong
Eventually they leave me be, save a few disciples
But my race is long said and done, I live now beneath the sun

My beard grows out like it never did when I was young
My eyes are wild, my skin cracked red and numb

Newborn lambs in the fields today, I watch them as I pass
Their little eyes find mine and I know that this can’t last
I could run and run forever but I don’t know how to stop
I am the lone and angry Ram, I can’t remember who I am

I am the Relay Race Runner, on the run for years
Each night out by the creek I call but no one ever hears
One day I will return to be your champion once more
I’ll take my cold steel baton and lay it at your door.

With 30 approaching I decided I should start actually ‘publishing’ the scraps and shards of stuff I’ve been writing over the last couple years rather than hoarding and picking over them for eternity. They’re not all fully formed but I think it will encourage me to be a bit more intentional about continuing if I have an audience (ain’t that always been the truth)



Cal W. Stannard

I write short stories, lyrics without songs, talk about music and mental health and share photography. “I speak that ugly elegant”