Tag Archives: poetry about cycling

Sunday Poem – Keith Hutson

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Evening folks.  I have exactly 32 minutes to get this blog finished and posted before it becomes officially not Sunday anymore.  Today the husband and I got up at 4.30am and drove over to Yorkshire to watch the Tour De France.  We parked up and walked 5 miles across the hills to get to Cragg Vale and meet this week’s Sunday Poet, Keith Hutson and his friends and family.  For some reason, in my infinite wisdom last night, I’d decided I would fill the rucksack I would be carrying with books, just in case I got bored, as well as the obligatory waterproof trousers in case it rained, a jumper in case it was cold etc etc.  After about the 3rd mile, I really regretted dragging along Sharon Olds, Hubert Moore et al and beginning to wish I’d bought a smaller bag with just clothes in.  I promised myself I would no longer live in fear of being bored and overpack books that I’d never get a chance to read.  I promised all these things!

Anyway, we managed to meet up with Keith – the husband had brought the cooker so he could make hot sandwiches ( he knows I don’t like cold ones) – and had carried huge amounts of water to keep us supplied in tea all day.  We had a brilliant time – people were chasing random cyclists up the hill, shouting and cheering them up the hill.  Everyone seemed in such a good mood – and the weather was really good – sunny but not too much.

When the cyclists go past it is all over very quickly – but it was definitely worth going to soak up the atmosphere.

The only other thing that happened this week is that I have a poem in the new Poetry News, on the theme of ‘loss’ as chosen by Carrie Etter.  The poem that Carrie is the first poem from the sequence and you  can click on the link below

http://www.poetrysociety.org.uk/content/membership/mempoems/membpo14/

So, I did have Keith Hutson down for a poem in a couple of weeks time, but as I’ve just been to the Tour de France and Keith has a brilliant poem in ‘Butcher’s Dog’ which is about cycling, I thought it would suit the day perfectly.

Keith has since been published by Pennine Platform, Ian Parks’ journal Hinterland (where he is now an editor), Prole Magazine, Butcher’s Dog and Meniscus.  As well as writing poetry, Keith is a Running Poet and coaches boxing as well!

I’m going to sign off now because I’m falling asleep whilst writing this blog – thanks again for reading..

I chose this poem because I don’t normally like poems about sporting themes but I really enjoyed this one.  I also like how the poem seems to contain a whole narrative about the ‘he’ of the poem.   I think this poem really creates pictures in your mind – I can see the spokes giving out silver showers of rain onto the pavement.  The appearance of auntie’s knitted racing jumper means I can picture the ‘he’ of the poem. The other thing I really liked about this poem was the beautiful ending – the recollection of the day ‘In spite of God knows what/it still remains.’  I should also come clean and say Keith sent me some cracking poems to choose from – he has another great sport poem called ‘Running with the Africans’ which I was very tempted to put up – but I thought that it was good to have a cycling poem on the day when I’ve spent all day watching lycra clad cyclists sometimes zooming, sometimes trundling up and down the hill.

I should also say that ‘Recycle’ was first published in the wonderful magazine ‘ Butcher’s Dog’ which is well worth subscribing to or scrounging off somebody if you want have a quick read.  It’s a great little magazine, and produced very beautifully I think.  If you would like to order a copy of Butcher’s Dog you can go to http://www.butchersdogmagazine.com/2012/12/subscribe.html

I’m going to stop here because I’m nodding off, whilst typing – I just hope I haven’t made any mistakes when typing up Keith’s poem…..

 

Recycle – Keith Hutson

Sunday, early, April ’74: a sky
still undecided whether to wear
rainbows, and a road already warm
and ripe for riding.

Underneath and all around him,
thin wheels whisper.  Touching
tarmac througha shallow
brilliance of rain, they lap up

liquid beads of light,
for spokes to fillet into silver
showers that tumble,
to be turned and tossed again.

In his wake, a trail is laid:
it glistens for a second,
then evaporates – an evanescent thread
that hobbles under every push

away from home, where bad
revision notes are turning brown below
the bed; beyond them lies the final day
at school, the God knows what.

He’s got his auntie’s knitted
racing jumper on, canary-yellow,
with the club name stitched in blue,
and he’s nestled in the corner of the bunch:

an easy-breathing train of chrome and corduroy,
conversation, rolled up crepes.
They’ve wedged him where, this time, he can’t
uncouple and get left behind.

Later now, return leg, and an uphill
crunch against the wind.  He’s knuckled
down and blowing hard, eyeballing
the handlebars, elbows riveted to ribs:

a flesh-and-fabric planet packing
itself back to core and generating
pain, but plumb in place – he’s fixed
and spinning in his citadel of space,

and though  a life ago,
this day of utter joy, it still
remains.  In spite of God knows what,
it still remains.