Author Topic: seeking pardon's sweet grace


seeking pardon's sweet grace
« on: September 24, 2011 »
Ode to Simon Legg

We cycle to the sea: you, them, and me
Cycle through the night, who needs a reason,
We leave the Smoke, that distant shore to see
Brighton, twinned with Hove, where love's in season.
What sylvan arms embrace us in the dark?
What maidens sleep in castles that we pass
Whose dreams are unravished by lycra'd knight?
Which Sussex towns and villages do hark
Where doors will open normally shut tight?
What starry starry sky will rain clouds lash?

Freewheels tick except for those on fixed
The conversation's light, what I can hear,
Novice and experienced are mixed
They've come from far and near – well, mostly near,
There's expectation in their hushed tones
We know what's coming, only in broad strokes,
The roads that lie ahead have hidden charms
And hopefully hidden masts for mobile phones,
Language of signals meant to ward off harm
Keep body whole and wheels from broken spokes.

So far the rhyme I've schemed without (too much) fail
It may not be an urn nor nightingale
But melancholy points its finger at me,
Bidding me unburden my troubled soul
My beating bleeding wildly fluttering heart,
That strains my sad emptying vessel to fill
This may not work, it may not make me whole,
It may do nothing but the passions kill
No time to waste; I'd better make a start.

Which came first, the bandage or the Legg,
The restless spirit that wanders on carbon frame?
Do you have GPS inside your head?
I sometimes wonder in my oft lost shame,
For every ride you're surely riding twice
Back and forth a sheepdog always counting,
It matters not, the helpers you employ
No insult meant, I'm sure they're very nice;
They do the job, but bringing greatest joy
Is when that knee appears, injury flouting.

I never quite fit in, feel out of place
And often gravitate out to the front,
I know it's just a lark it's not a race
I'm not a fox, hounds baying on the hunt,
Can't help myself, I'm eager for the hill
It keeps me keeping on because it's there,
And conquers my ambitions every time
To reach the top has always been a thrill,
Leaves me breathless, wordless, reduced to mime
Who brings me there, is Simon in his care.

I could go alone, and quite often do
I do not need a group to make it good,
But monthly I am pulled to be with you
The moon tugging the tides as all moons should,
You take the worry from the route, you know
And let me concentrate on other things
Like hills and stars (when stars there are), and bliss,
The sights to see along the traveling show
Which otherwise I might so easily miss
So many foolish things, the singer sings.

So far, so good, there's little cause for tears
No drama to justify the stanzas,
No sign of gossip here to perk up ears
No emotional extravaganzas.
Here's the nub, I'll make it plain for seeing:
The FNRttC belongs at ACF, where it first grew!
This new one, because it's better suited
To company that you might be bringing,
Now the idea's been publicly mooted
(Public as this is...), I'll leave it with you.

This came to me as usual, on my bike
Brighton bound, the Beacon to be topping,
It struck me with a force I didn't like
Momentum shot by forever stopping,
To take it down for later transcription
[Memo to self: write ode to recorder],
The day was perfect, made just for riding
Losing oneself in a suicide mission,
Downs in the distance, soon no more hiding
Pleasure and pain, made almost to order.

Three hours to get here for nine minutes up
Slowly I savoured each heavenly stroke,
Endorphins were overfilling my cup
Unbandaged knees, neither in on the joke.
I avoided the vista's distraction
Higher I climbed, seeking pardon's sweet grace,
For poetical crimes I'd soon commit
Damned if I would be printing retraction,
Just another meter, just one more hit -
It was oe'r too soon, I'd scaled the south face.

Odes are for drama queens, of course it's true
They're meant to stir the soul and keep it hot,
That's what I've gathered, I've only read a few
This may have done its job or it may not,
Depends who reads and if they think or scoff
How serious am I, well, who can tell?
Serious enough to write a hundred lines
With just two more before I turn it off:
If Ditchling's the heaven for which my heart pines,
It's also all I need to know of hell.

It was either this or 'The Ballad of Simon Legg'. Which has a certain ring to it.