Saturday, October 07, 2006

Shifting Gears

I always find it difficult to write poems on sports. It usually turns out to be a disaster.

This poem on cycling took me months to do. Wrote a bit, put it away, rewrote large sections. I kept biting on it, told myself at least finish one. And finally, satisfied, here it is, some words on a sport I like doing.



Mountain Bike
image by dsnake1


Shifting Gears


The sun beats down on the bike track
that stretches before me
like a brown, sunburnt snake.

i check the meter on the MTB
and pedals off the start line,
knobby tires crunching gravel

the click of shifting gears
loud in the hot air,
forks eating up the bumps

provides scant comfort
to numb arms
clutching rattling bars,

dirt dug out in clumps
as the bike lurches and brakes.
a faint cloud of dust tags

like exhaust smoke
behind the rider,
muscles straining

the momentum carrying me
over humps, sand , fallen twigs
past wild flowering shrubs,

lightning blackened trees,
as crows overhead caw
in agitated flight

as i loop the course
to return
15 minutes something seconds,

to the shifting down of gears
the clicks lost
in bre a t h l e ss

sweat
     drenched
exhilaration

19.3.06
*******

8 Comments:

Blogger Medusa aka expiringpoet said...

Not a very easy subject to write about but you made it very creative ! I like the clever line of "fork eating bumps" :)

07 October, 2006 23:50  
Blogger polona said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

08 October, 2006 04:01  
Blogger polona said...

thank you for the ride, enjoyed it!
(and now "bicycle race" by queen keeps ringing in my head :))

08 October, 2006 04:02  
Blogger Gilbert Koh said...

I thought this was quite good etc. A few minor (and subjective) suggestions:

1. "brown, burnt snake" sounds better to me

2. "lightNing blackened"

3. "crows overhead agitate in flight" sounds a bit more interesting

08 October, 2006 12:07  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

hey medusa,
it really is not an easy subject to write about. :)

hi polona,
thanks for letting me know about queen's "bicycle race"! It's a nice crazy song. (i went to youtube to check it out.) All i know about queen are "bohemian rhapsody" and "we are the champions". :)

hi gilbert,
thanks for your suggestions!
your 2nd point is right, it should be "lightning blackened..". i have corrected the post.

as for your other suggestions, i have tried them out, they do have their merits, but i think i will stick to the original words. :)

i used "sunburnt" because i wanted to give the impression that the track is "alive" but merely lying still. it can be quite an unpredictable track to the beginer rider.

08 October, 2006 23:54  
Blogger floots said...

enjoyed this one
very alive
didn't know you were so energetic
i'm in awe of "real" mountain bikers
a little mud is enough for me
(no i'm not an erotic wrestler) :)

09 October, 2006 14:40  
Blogger Pat Paulk said...

You have perfectly described an excellent work out!! I felt like I was sweating and exhilerated!!

09 October, 2006 20:31  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

hello floots,
i'm not really a "real" mountain biker, more of a weekend rider, but i do enjoy challenging courses, the more muddy the better!

hi pat,
have to do some exercise at my age. the previous exercises i did were playing mahjong and lifting beer glasses. :)

09 October, 2006 22:07  

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