These verdant fields are violent lands, patrolled
By killers armed with talon, fang and claw:
The buzzard circles overhead with cold
All-seeing eye; the fox pads round the shaw
With studied stealth, burnt-toast ears pricked to catch
The smallest sound; pinned dark against the sky,
The kestrel waits; while stoat and weasel watch
The teeming, helpless warren hungrily.
And I am prey, too, tightened for the strike
That breaks me, robs me of my blood and breath.
I’m further down the food chain on the bike,
A lower-order species stalked by death.
My predators are monsters made of steel –
My deadly fellow creatures at the wheel.


7 thoughts on “Predators

    • Same over there too, huh? One of the (many) joys of cycling in France is that drivers give you lots of room and don’t seem to regard cyclists as, at best, second-class citizens or, at worst, a nuisance to be eliminated as they seem to in the UK. We now have a semi-official category of road accidents here known as SMIDSYs – short for ‘Sorry Mate, I Didn’t See You’, which is the standard response from drivers when they’ve knocked down a cyclist (either pedal-powered or motorised). Think there might be a poem iun that too, come to think o f it… stay safe out there, my friend,. and I’ll try to do the same! N.

  1. Continental Divide is in wonderful country, Nick, as you can see by the photographs we put on our site, but it is also off the dreaded Highway 40 which is chock full of semi trucks and traffic and is one of the terrible inventions of our age. We see cyclists in our country occasionally, and the Zuni Mountains near us has one of the world’s great mountain biking trails, but when I read this poem I smiled and then thought of Highway 40 where
    are monsters made of steel –
    and, for truth,
    My deadly fellow creatures at the wheel.
    This made me smile and grimace at the same time. An absolutely wonderful Shakespearean sonnet.

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