Hellish

I do not need to stand with them
In la grande place in Compiègne

Like men before a firing squad
Waiting for the flag to drop:

I know what lies in wait for me
Out on that sunny, flower-fringed road;

The broken pavé of my mind
Holds fears and traps and falls enough;

An endless Arenberg of fears
And sickly doubts; each secteur strewn

With loose, uneven thoughts, all poised
To rip my wheels from under me;

My every bone and muscle braced
For the sudden twist that smashes me

Face-first into the cobblestones
Dry-drowning in the drifting dust.

Yet I’ll go on. This is the course
That life has set for me to ride.

And I will conquer, live to tell
My story from the road through hell.

 
 

A poem for the day of Paris-Roubaix, the most infamous of the one-day Spring Classics in northern France and Belgium. Known as l’Enfer du Nord (‘The Hell of the North’) for its fearsome cobblestones, it was immortalised in the compelling 1976 documentary A Sunday In Hell by Danish director Jørgen Leth. Although my ride yesterday was as benign as Paris-Roubaix is brutal, life as it is at the moment ensured I had plenty to think about. N.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s