Sunday, 31 July 2016

Poem - from an antipodean cycling friend

It was a dark and moonless night.   Kelvin L Wilson 

It was a dark and moonless night
As oft the story goes,
When on these dark and ill lit nights 
When men discover woes:
The story I will now relate, let it a warning be;
To all intrepid cyclists, who ride but cannot see.

It was a dark and moonless night,
The road was inky black;
I’d been down to the local
And now was heading back.
I lived not to far out of town 
And for economy’s sake,
I’d ride to town on me pushbike,
The one with a dodgy brake.

The evening had been pleasant, 
Enjoyed my favourite band,
With music coursing through my heart,
 My homeward way I planned.
The road that led to my place 
Was black tar, black as pitch;
Of course I had no headlight
It had a broken switch.

I thought I‘d have to walk home 
For I couldn’t see to ride,
My eyes unused to the evening’s gloom
As dark as a cow’s inside
I started walking carefully I didn’t dare to ride,
But as my eyes accustomed grew
The centre line I spied.

The faint outline of the centre white line,
Showed in the starlight dim.
First one showed then another,
My face began to grin.
It was a quiet country road 
With few turns as it went.
I could hear a car that’s coming
And get off before I’m bent

So on the bike I mounted and slowly pedalled on,
Watching for each white line,
Leading me to home.

The farther that I traveled, in confidence I grew,
I started going faster in fact I fairly flew
Speeding through the darkness 
Wind whistling in my ears
I thought not of the danger that suddenly appears


I’ll soon be home I’m thinking
Wind streaming through my hair,
Not thinking of the pain to come or bicycle repair.
With self congratulations I rode without a fear.
How could I think that someone else
Would have the same Idea.

Two silent men on bicycles, 
Speeding through the gloom,
Unheeding of the danger or our impending doom,
We met there on that country road,
Both pedalling hell bent,
The silent stars gave witness
To the horrible event.

The tangled heap of arms and legs,
Assorted cycle parts,
Our bruised and battered bodies, 
Our palpitating hearts;
Were strewn across the roadside,
I lay with pain intense.
Until the other rider,
Showed a shred of common-sense 

He dragged me to the roadside; 
I lay beside the fence,
My mind was wandering feverishly,
I was not making sense.
I lay there bruised and battered, 
My face a grisly mess,
With broken nose and cheekbones
And what else you can guess.

I’m lying in intensive care
To tubes and wires I’m tied,
Wondering in my fog bound mind. 
Is this life or have I died?

It was a dark and moonless night 
As oft the story goes,
When on these dark and ill lit nights
When men discover woes:
The story I have told you let it a warning be;
To all intrepid pedallers, who ride but cannot see.

Regards from Kelvin
 
Kelvin and his wife were staying with Diane and Martin Young and had come over from Australia to visit UK. They met us at the coffee stop in Ennerdale Bridge where Kelvin recited this poem!

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