Week 44 – entries and results

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Photograph by Chris Sims

Week 44

Lots of lovely poems and only one winner – this week it is is Sue Spiers with I saw a bike love poem. Thank you to everyone who entered and voted.

Poem 1

The Wheels of Time Turn


Six robin outfits strut

on New Year’s Eve,

bobbing and singing to the Welsh

sheep, shepherd and dog.

Cascading fireworks fling

strangers to each others arms

and undying love

struggles in wet knickers on the falling tide.

Stars flicker and wink at tired children

as they loll and dribble

on the shoulders of yesterday

and the crowd sinks lower in the

streets of the dawning day

and cats paw cans down the alleys

of another year.


Angie Butler


Poem 2

Mountain Bike Blues

Too tired to wheel on by, I slowly brake,

skid-stop on paths long walked to share heart-ache.

These woods, or “The Cut” is where I come to grieve,

we connect, I weep; trees creak and shed leaves.

The wind blows our tears away; natures rake.


Chain-lock the frame to a deep rooted stake

and then retrace the steps we used to take,

pedalled emotions are wiped on my sleeve;

too tired to wheel on by.


By rotting camp and scattered ash, I shake-

place songs inspired by Cohen, Cave and Drake;

the wind blows cold on my split-knuckled nieve.

Quick-release skewer, memories to retrieve

but the shock won’t absorb when I’m awake


and I’m too tired to wheel on by.


Tomas Bird


Poem 3

I Saw a Bike Love Poem



I had cause to think of you today,

remembering how much I wanted you;

cycling along Dilly Lane

bare legs brushing past cowslip hedges,

midges getting caught in my hair,

breathless, pedalling

up the incline, bumping over mud

tractors clumped by the fields,

pulling in past the milking parlour

with its pungent smell;

the herd urgently lowing their need,

propping the bike by the collie’s kennel

trying to look unflustered,

hoping you’d want me too.

You probably only saw the sweaty girl

who traded jokes and kicked your shins.


Sue Spiers


Poem 4

World’s wheels

Wheels move the world,

From a bike’s mechanical advantage

To  a hard drive’s digital scatter

To an engine’s  infernal combustion

To CERN’s radial collision.


Only now in the latest technology

Is motion made in solid state

Or, soon, maybe, quantum physics will bring to us

The unwheeled reality of uncertainty.


Otherwise, for centuries, wheels have moved us,

Powered us, broken us, carried us,

From carts to cars, tortures to tours.


The world turns, endlessly cycling

Through the universe

Gravity controlled,

Ever closer to its destiny,

A speck on the spoke of time

Between the black hole hub

And the galaxy’s star shot rim.


For now, while we quaff a pint and pie,

Wheels rest in alien, solid state.

Soon we’ll turn again against gravity

And make for the timeless, certain mountain.


Michael Docker


Poem 5

From grass fields to concrete road,

compact village to a cramped city,

bamboo fences to brick walls,

bullock carts to exquisite cars,

parched fields to skyscrappers,

the three brothers saw all, from

colorful tricycles to grey bicycles,

a journey to start, seemed a new cosmos,

yet with hope rekindled,

the life to be led from now on.


Denim Deka


Poem 6

The Proficiency Test


Sorting through a cupboard long untouched

I come across an old and battered box.

Inside, evidence of a childhood’s progress:

School reports, scout badges, a football medal.

And a certificate showing I had passed,

Aged twelve, a Cycling Proficiency Test.


A memory flares, dormant for decades.

My father’s promise of a new bike

If I should pass the test, and me imagining

The racing machine of my dreams –

Drop handlebars, streamlined saddle

And eighteen Derailleur gears (eighteen!).


The disappointment was inevitable.

Oh, he kept his promise, my Dad.

The new bike arrived, a safe and solid

Regulation model, with lights, pump,

Saddlebag and three-speed Sturmey Archer.

A fine bike; I could see only what it was not.


I rode it dutifully for years

Until motor-bikes, then cars took over.

At some point the bike was lost, and with it

My lingering, unreasonable resentment.

It returns to me now, but shamefully; a sense

Of a test of emotional proficiency, failed.


David Prior


Poem 7

Wheels within Wheels


Those who made the models of the universe

Now gracing spacious galleries and halls

In Greenwich Maritime could never dream

Of all those cogs and wheels, rings, circuits, sprockets

And ratchets with clotted chains so finely toothed and tuned;

Could never comprehend the complex modern bicycle.


Yet the cosmos spins along its merry choreography

For all our lack of grasping, mapping it.

And you do not have to understand the ticks and flicks

Of turning wheels—thank heaven’s high and sparkling host

(Which Ptolemy and Halley approached with such humility)—

To mount up in the saddle and wobble


Waggle, pedal giddily away

Down Ashford Road

At five years old

With a whole wide world,

A giggling universe bowling,

Unfolding under your circling feet,

Your starry, shining eyes.


Lizzie Ballagher


Poem 8

Lost Youth

Peaceful years

before the carnage returned

One day a week

Respitefrom toiling

on the factory floor

Young chums cycled



to the gathering

dark clouds of



Peaceful years

before the daily grind of work


by the hell

that was Dunkirk

The golden age

of cycle club rides


that September day

when all hopes for peace



Carol Mills


Poem 9


Time Trials


I used to do time trials on the A1079,

My racing bike was sleek and lightweight ,

Although never the fastest, I was doing fine

Cycling the Wolds and vales with mates.

Now the bike gathers dust on a rusted spike,

Resting unused in the corner of my garage .

It’s been replaced by matching mountain bikes ,

We cycle country lanes demurely in marriage ,

With time to ponder, talk, or wait

To catch our breath, enjoy the view,

To lean the bikes, sip water by a gate

And watch the young speed by like youth’s adieu.

Cycling still has capacity to restore

Vitality of life, peddled with the one I adore.


 Clint Wastling