Friday 14 August 2015


I have been working on this poem for a couple of months. It has been hard to get it into a shape I like. I had the first half but could not see where it was going. 


We walk inside a tube of air,
all curved white tile walls,
under the River Thames,
but that's not the strange part.
Cyclists, mostly men, I note,
on top range mountain bikes,
and in all the right gear,
hurtle towards us.
It's 6:15, going home time,
and they are ever so eager,
to face the two mile challenge
of office to train.
I wonder if their work lives
in the counting houses of Babylon,
are as fantastic an illusion
as this scramble under the river.
It is based on a true event. One Monday evening in June I was in Greenwich foot tunnel and I was faced with scores of cyclist riding into my face. This annoyed me [especially as there were no cycling signs all over the tunnel floor] but I could not help but be amused by their top range bikes and cycling gear. I have seen less well equipped cyclists on top of the Quantocks - where you really do need a mountain bike. I suppose this poem is me venting my spleen.
The photographs are from our return journey.
I must have my misanthropic head on at the moment. Here is another sketch.

At last a taxi.
We clamber in to a monlogue,
his days as this small town's
bass guitar, heavy rock hero.
Put it all down to Vanilla Fudge he confides.
I remember them I reply.
Keeping to myself my opinion:
bloated, bombastic, sterile rock.
With this acknowledgement,
he feels free to eulogise them
all the way to our campsite.

This is not to be taken seriously. The link takes you to a performance by said band from 1968.
On a more melodic note: Hurray For The Riff Raff singing The Body Electric. This is an amazing song with a video to match.

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