I've fought myself
with my every thought
now there's no doubt
I killed the thing that I fought
I studied the maps
my lies that I bought
I set a lot of traps
it was only me that I caught
swallowed my pride
I was doing as I taught
I looked deep inside
I found the monster that I sought
A wobble waiting in the shed
A bequeathal from Victorian comedians
A test of youthful instability
A trial by tarmac
An unyielding seat with changing views
A wetter way of travelling through rain
A soundless nemesis for pensioners
A tin-tack gathering machine
A complexity in ambulation
A tool used by the mad or desperate
A ticking mockery of balance
A frame for shaming the unfit
A creaking snail on hills
A public declaration of pretence or poverty
An undignified arrival
And a bait for thieves
I've seen a many things
like the pain a tortured spirit brings
a man standing in the rain
when seeking shelter is in vain
I've felt so many pains
like beating of a heart abstains
such a cold feeling stings
when the clock's pendulum swings
I've seen a many things
like a life that barely clings
there is no reason to remain
when seeking shelter is in vain
It stayed with her forever,
The faded **** in her skin.
A permanent reminder
Of courageous origin.
The week’s paper nestled at doorsteps
And cars lining driveways.
The sloped street dared
Every child to climb
Onto their bike and conquer.
She avoided it when shaving
As though an accidental cut
No stabilisers. Wicked.
The street’s children envied her.
A goddess of danger.
They all lined up on the day,
To see their idol
Dominate the asphalt *****.
Imagination made it prickle
In board meetings and cafes.
Time marched on
And the sensation with it.
Out their front doors.
Grandad stood vigilant
Fighting a smile.
The silence before calamity…
…and the forward push.
The scar sat beneath her shin,
Short from a distance but
Taller the closer
Whoosh. Down she went
Gulping the air and
Smiling like a belle.
Children blurred as she passed,
Everything became a haze
And she hollered.
At Grandad’s funeral last year.
That made her fight a smile,
And she eventually succumbed.
Euphoria blinded her
To the oncoming curb.
The bike lurched, and
Heaved her off.
Pain echoed through naïve bones
Radiating beneath her shin.
Her husband asked about it.
'I fell off my bike as a girl.'
Her children asked about it.
'I fought a dragon.'
Grandad appeared instantly,
Deft hands wrapping
Gauze around a cut.
With an affectionate ruffle,
He pulled her up onto his shoulder
And carried her back.
When she cried in pain,
He pulled her closer.
When I cycle without holding the handlebars on my bike,
I wonder if I look arrogant,
Like a bit of a *****,
In winter I don't care
because as I let go
and straighten my back and lift my arms and open my mouth and breathe in the sea
I feel like a butterfly or a comorant or a bumble bee lifting and gliding and riding winter up and up and up,
I feel like a tiny yellow light has been lit like a candle at the base of my spine and the soft warmth from it is thawing my body from my ribs to fingers.
Winter wants to hurt me,
At least it feels that way,
Put a bag over my head and expect me to smile,
My scarf is making my neck sweaty and itchy and I'm sick of it,
The ice is creeping deep and deeper into my head,
Whispering words I thought I'd buried.
In books set against snowy backdrops with whisky in pubs and cable knit jumpers and hands to mouths,
Winter is warm and bubbling with atmosphere,
And though I've seen glimpses and sipped on spicy *** and given myself red wine teeth and sore fingers from sitting outside and laughed until my belly ached,
Today it just feels cold
Colder than cold,
Cold and hollow,
Unless I'm riding my bike with no handlebars and looking at the sea.
I had a broken bicycle that was in red,
found a new way to contain my sorrow instead,
salvaging the tire got me ahead,
rolling it with a wooden stick I had painted in red.
Famous I became known as the tireless one,
I saved it in my shed to play every day save none,
friends told me wish they had my cheeky grin,
although I wished I was older to buy a shiny new one.
Every spoke of the wheel spoke to me,
I knew exactly the missing ones and there were three,
I haven’t loved anything to this degree,
a new one was in the shed not knowing I was an ardent devotee.
My red wooden stick would stay with me,
telling my dad he can ride the bike like it was a plea,
becoming that creature of comfort as far as I can see,
for I wasn’t ready to hang my tire yet on the summertree.
TS. 2019. Red bicycle and my younger days. Habits die hard even if we see there are better options :)
Like I hope one day, eventually your name will be erased out of my mind.
Ur name wouldn't bring back bittersweet memories like before.
Cause then, when I am fully healed, I would be able to love someone without the unwanted toxins in it.
Anything would just be enough, eventually in time.
So I'm guessing that right now, it's just a temporary goodbye.
the first letter of every sentence, love.
it is sixty degrees
the sun on your skin
you have nowhere to be
and everywhere to go
not a cloud in the sky,
not a bump in the road
just this moment
just this sliver of heaven
just your feet on the pedals
your eyes on the horizon
unspoken joy, an effortless smile
wheels turning forward motion
Burned out matches,
old bicycle patches.
I keep these with me to remind me of my journey.
To remind me of the people I've offered a light.
To remind me of a few who took my light,
and rode alongside me awhile.
To remind me of the mistakes I've made along the way.
I can change who I offer a cigarette to,
a warm comfort along the cold trail.
The repairs are only temporary,
but I can never change the way I ride my bike.
Eventually it will crumble.
Eventually my broken bike will send me off a cliff.
I wrote this after trying out mountain biking (it hurt a lot). Cigarettes represent the love (romantic love) I've given others, and the bike represents my body.