Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Cycling to conference

Although my heart burned,
my gulped breaths seemed inadequate for my needs
and only a steel will kept the legs pumping
I was happy (in a funny kind of way).

Maybe it was the perverse stubborness
that wanted to do it differently,
defying convention,
shunning the easy options.

Or maybe it was the pitiful desire to be noticed
the inner child's attention seeking ploys;
the collected artefacts with which to start a conversation.

And - in part no doubt - it was.
But believe me also when I say I was a warrior that night.
I took on gravity with gritted teeth and heaving chest.
I raided oxygen from the evening's still, unguarded air and
Fuellled hot muscle with it's potency.

But I was a poet too, singing on the long freewheels,
leaning into curves with a whoop of praise
As the mind's calculations adjusted
Speed and angle and friction on the road;
No longer sums but
As if they were a set of songs,
not sums.

I have yet to mention the mental gymnastics
of the map, matching and measuring the mind's eye against the bold body of the land,
or the heart's delight in the curves of the hills beautiful as any woman's form.

The sheep called me as I passed,
quizzical faces aligned along magnetic fields of curiousity, turning as one.
The last of the skylarks descended on a song and the blackbird scolded his echo in the silent wood.

In the west light metamorphosed to night through a hundred shades of gold
and the sun flung fine-fingered rays on the cotton canvas of the clouds.

Maybe the man in me had many motives for the ride,
but the animal beneath was pure;
dumb in wonder,
deep in pleasure,
innocent and artless as the evening air.

(c) A McN


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