On thing I don’t usually do on Baroque is print poems by myself or my friends, or whatever – I feel enough blogs do that, it’s not what this one’s about. But we’ve got an exception here. I had an email from a friend after she read Egg Printing Explained, exclaiming how like one of her poems my ‘Forth in July’ is. Naturally it’s a little annoying to hear that one of your poems is a bit like someone else’s. Nobody wants to hear that. But Martina specifically cited certain images, and attached her poem, ‘The Shining Steed’. And indeed: we plough a similar furrow, though it is only an overlap, not a duplication (thank God).
Then last week she sent me a rather creepy, double-entendre-laden poem about going to the dentist, and I was immediately struck by a similarity in approach with my poem ‘The Acupuncturist‘ (which isn’t in any books).
So here, as a tribute to dying summer, on a wet Bank Holiday weekend, and to friends who write similar things, is a bicycling poem by Martina Evans:
The Shining Steed
……..‘Is it about a bicycle?’
………………..The Third Policeman, by Flann O’Brien
When he led me into the kitchen with my eyes closed,
I was no longer mystified.
Wrapping couldn’t hide
that distinctive shape, two wheels, a saddle
and a basket reminding me of nosy Fifi
hanging out of that older basket as I tore
through Burnfort on Ber’s bicycle-
she called it her shining steed.
Never occurred to me to want my own
after the shock at seventeen,
falling off Foxy John’s hired bicycle,
five stitches on my chin in Dingle hospital
and the priest asking Ber what were two girls
doing out so early in the morning.
I cycled twice since: in traffic-free
Rottnest Island where small marsupial
Quokkas hopped, and Inishmore,
also quiet except for the odd sad donkey
with his head over a gate. At forty seven,
I wobble off around the side roads of Mistley,
from time to time meeting a little girl on a pink
bicycle, her tongue is out and silver streamers
hang from her handlebars. Like me, she’s intent
on getting in the practice. They say
you never forget and it is true. I’m whizzing
back to the house now, ringing my bell, the sun
glinting on my blue and white wheels.
Getting off, I pat the saddle, wave
to the pink and silver girl as she labours by,
like she’s someone I’ve been missing
all these years.