So. You might think I’m just riding along
With no agenda, purpose, urgency
(I know that’s how it looks) but you’d be wrong.
I’m not here simply for the scenery:
This is my office, and I’m working; words
Are waiting in the woods and fields for me,
And ideas dart, elusive as the birds
That hurry in the hedgerows as I pass.
What’s been, what is, what hasn’t yet occurred:
The rhymes and rhythms ripple like spring grass
In glossy swathes, which I will harvest when
I’m back in that false world of bricks and glass
And peddling their illusions once again.
For now, I’ll breathe clean air, survey the land,
Draw in the scents of flowers and soil. And then,
With all of this material to hand,
I’ll set it down on paper. I belong
To this place: everything I understand
Is here and, through this labour, I grow strong.
Though you might think I’m just riding along.
Thought it was time for another attempt at the terza rima, which I’m determined to crack eventually. Its endlessly circulating rhymes (ABA BCB CDC DED etc) seemed just right for a poem about cycling, which is, after all, a game of rotation and movement. The title, incidentally, is a bit of bikeshop-speak: mechanics get so many people bringing in ailing or busted machines and beginning their tale of woe with ‘I was just riding along when…’ that ‘JRA’ is now a common, if somewhat sardonic, abbreviation on many workshop job-sheets. N.