The wealth of poetic talent apparent in our blog’s comment section and on our Facebook page since the weekend would lead the casual observer to think they had somehow stumbled upon Samuel Coleridge’s previously unpublished musings on the subject of cycling up and down hills.
So far we’ve been (poetic license ahoy) inundated by a flood of burning lungs, oak-heavy limbs, sweat-salty brows and flatteringly happy posteriors.
Most of our haiku writers are managing to keep correct count of their syllables. We had to check this one from Belzal Geretz twice though…
When I saw the box
“SADDLES BAGS ETC.”
I knew I had won.
Has lots going for it. Haiku judging panels can never get enough of self-referential playfulness. Opinion is divided in this case, however, as to whether use of the past tense assists, or detracts from, the poem’s ability to capture a “moment”. Belzal’s optimistic offering describes a “moment” for sure, but it perhaps doesn’t put “us” right “in” that “moment”.
Ken Wolfe‘s middle name is “Prolific”. His nickname is “Punning Yoda”.
Sun there is, and time.
My cycle Brooks no excuse.
Today, ride I must.
Here he is again, narrowly avoiding disaster, possibly.
Seconds from a fork!
Speed necessitates instinct.
Swooping to the left!
Whether it’s a bona fide moment, or merely a tiny fraction of a second, only Ken can tell us for sure.
Practice does make perfect, though. Here’s Ken once more.
Sixty miles til lunch.
Gastric echoes of breakfast.
I regret the milk.
Tough guy Bryan Rierson takes up the story…
Hammering warms me
As the crisp air bites my face
Water bottles freeze
All he needs now is a set of burning lungs and some struggling calf muscles, or vice versa. Step forward James Iain Mackeddie.
Calves burn, Lungs struggle
Slumping on top of saddle
Not drunkenly passing out at a barbeque while the smoke from grilled steaks wafts over him, as it at first glance might appear.
Seamus Kelly goes all stream-of-consciousness on us…
Hot wind drying throats
Sticky tar stuck tyres dragging
Tea stop quenches thirst
“Tyres” is one syllable, as we saw last week, so it’s a regulation seventeen syllables. It’s also about seventeen moments, though.
A long journey on ahead
Roll in the wake of
The journey we leave behind
By placing himself ingeniously between a journey “ahead” and a journey “behind” Patrick Foley is on course to capture a moment, but then somehow finds himself rolling in the wake of 19 syllables. Wake up, Patrick!
More waking- Paul Wakefield sticks to seventeen in his lung-free advertisement for the Oxford Rain Cape.
Sleet scythes steel-grey sky.
Gnarled, ancient hills loom; legs groan.
Lights beam hometown hope.
While Jennifer Friesen can manage but (a nonetheless sweet) sixteen,
Target just ahead
Legs outstretched, eyes closed tight
Puddle sprays fender.
Only the lowest of pedants would ask how she knows it’s a puddle spraying a fender with her eyes closed tight; but said pedant could be quickly put in his place by informing him that puddle spray makes noise, and that most people use a bit of common sense when they’re reading poetry.
Here’s a nice one from Thom Denton, describing a spin on his gaffer-taped, cable-tied, twine-clogged frame.
Silent blossoms fall
Obscuring hasty repairs,
Wheels whir softly.
If he’s hoping to win new bike parts be causing us to pity him, he’s come to the wrong place.
Keep those entries rolling in, preferrably in the comments section below, or alternatively on our Facebook page. We’ll have a look at another batch over the next days, as well as a few more of the fine rewards we have on offer for the most pleasing efforts.