On Autumn Rides


SHINE light through mists and pedal toward your bliss,

  Rise with the sun and choose to find some fun;

Go seek out the day on a road and rest

  In mounds of colored leaves dried by the sun;

Repair the rubber of a flat with ease,

  And get back on the road to ride some more;

    To crest each hill, and pedal into dells

With quick speed downhill; to let yourself soar,

  Wildly soar, wheels spinning through the trees,

  Until you reach the farmland’s flat release,

    And feel the breeze o’erwhelm your winded selves.


Who hath not heard the crunch of frosty hoar?

  When Summer’s sunny days with haste unwind

And make the ground a frozen slippery floor,

  Thy tires quick-sliding through a harrowing bend;

While struggling through a field of harvest wheat,

  Push’d back by wind’s cool whisper, when a look

    Spots the quick flash before thunder glowers:

In moments when the weather dries the street

  Surface and day breaks through the storm’s loud hook;

    And finding that tail-wind, and downhill crook,

    One glidest then with ease for hours and hours.


Why must the rain pour now? Why, why today?

  Think not of it, there is still much for you, –

As tree’d isles burst from fog-morning day,

  Caressing shimmer-seas with emerald hue;

Smell as the fresh-cut grasses slowly warm

  Beyond their frosted furrows, let them waft

    In sweetly and blend with the salty tide;

When ravens cry to clouds and small gnats swarm;

  Cold lovers cling; and now in blankets soft

  They gather wordless in a cozy loft;

    Together for cider at each others’ side.

  1. DAVID said:

    Enjoyed your poetry, having been directed thither from the Neruda page you have re-blogged. Too few seem to have even noticed the anniversary of his passing.
    I’m not interested in Facebook or Twitter. But here’s a poem. It’s as exact an account as I could recall of the moments I first heard of 9s 11d in Sheffield. Make of it what you will.


    As I sat, home one afternoon,
    hunkering down to see
    that old film made to lift war’s gloom:
    slim, fragrant Vivien Leigh

    ringing the change on that obese
    and psychopathic whore
    who drove her one-eyed one-armed beast
    to bathe that other Bay in gore –

    year-one’s September afternoon –
    third such month underway,
    clock barely stricken three – someone
    breaks in on screen to say

    a blind jet’s hit a skyscraper!
    Death’s smell offends the morn.
    One was bound to do, sooner or later! –
    That damned Hamilton goes on…

    But John Snow soon comes back again –
    before it strikes half-hour –
    because another big jet plane
    has hit the other Tower

    to stop the show for good…

    I catch
    the town bus for a mag,
    get off on Leopold Street, snatch
    first sight of Town Hall flag

    half-masted: its blue-cantoned star
    and bars of white and red,
    remonstrate at that coup d’état –
    the disappeared, the dead –

    another September’s very same date –
    damned hawker-hunted democracy
    in thin land, half-a-world away
    round the Horn – things which we

    had all-but-forgotten when Time, the Thief,
    ran off with that first wrong
    so its memory hardly marred new grief
    in Fifty-Second’s song.

    Vulcan by shattered Egg Box stands
    with panoramic view
    from Auden’s York to New York – and
    of past and future too –

    and whispers Wystan’s words: “You should” –
    he said, September first –
    “wrong others not. Unless you would
    that others wrong you worse!”

    • Thanks for that! I’m glad you’ve enjoyed my poems. Funny, I started thinking Auduen just a few lines before you mentioned his name in that. Echoes of “the international wrong.”

  2. DAVID said:

    Hello, again. How time flies!
    I was just reminded of you when I posted on another blog.
    Someone else had reminded me of Auden.
    But I am far more concerned with international wrongs!
    Hope you are well.

    Epode to Atlantis

    I traced your site, and was surprised
    how very little feedback came
    on your attempt to emulate
    Pheidippides. Just yesterday,
    there was a man sat on the train,
    brow furrowed on The Telegraph.
    I noticed that a headline warned
    against some Spartan precedent.
    Assuming it would talk about
    Syriza’s shield lock, when I got
    the time to google, I found you.

    You’ll know of course Pheidippides
    encountered Pan, the story goes.
    Pan asked why the Athenians
    neglected him: he’d been their friend
    in times past and would be again.
    Herodotus knew History
    was sister Muse to Poetry.
    As you approached your tipping point,
    the mountaintop by 38
    Arcadia’s landscape turned “quite medieval”
    or so you say…

    I know someone preoccupied
    with so-called coma literature.
    I thought perhaps such “visions” came
    from actions of exhausted brains
    succumbing or emerging. I
    suggested that they just reflect
    existing credence or the lack
    of credence over gods and shades
    in their narrators. I’d no time for Freud.
    I pinned down lucky Oedipus,
    the red head, but that’s something else.

    Your story of the loneliness
    of your long-distance Spartathlete
    gave me a kind of confirmation
    for my limping speculation
    on, why on my katabasis,
    I saw no frogs or three-legged dogs.
    The man on the train seemed quite miffed
    at my perusal. “Buy your own!”
    he could have thought. Why should I? But –
    Eurotas gleaming before you –
    you know how the poem ends.

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