…and an old heaven


And yet, I know there is another way:

A tangled net of narrow country lanes
And backroads I know better than myself
And could ride blindfold; every hill and wood
Each hedgerow, field and farmhouse; every curve
And corner as familiar as my face;
A constant heaven I can call my own
Where seasons roll yet decades leave no mark
My past and present blurring as I pass.

This road is in my head and heart and legs;
Its every inch is graven in my skin.
I’ve sweated through its summers, felt its chill
Chew through my clothing, biting at my bones.

And as all other things are lost, this place
Might be all that remains to me; a road
That I can always take on trust, forget
That hellish other beaten out for me.

Where I may live and wander as I choose.
A paradise that I can never lose.


10 thoughts on “…and an old heaven

  1. I would like to use this poem at Dad’s funeral, a life long cyclist (last peddling at 86 but forced to stop at that point by a fractured femur from which he never regained mobility). I would show it as : “credited to “gonecycling”: https://gonecyclingagain.wordpress.com/about-2/)”. Is that acceptable to you?

    It just perfect expresses one of Dad’s greatest joys in life.

    Many thanks for your inspiring work – it speaks volumes.

    • Dear Mike

      Thank you for getting in touch; sincere condolences on your loss.

      You’re most welcome to use the poem; thank you very much for asking. It’s inspired by the roads and lanes in my corner of East Sussex, where I’ve lived and ridden for more than 20 years. My ambition is to be like your Dad, still going strong in my 80s, but I’ve got a few years to go yet!

      As it happens, this is the second piece of mine that’s been used at the funeral of a fellow cyclist; it’s humbling to know that something I’ve written captures thoughts, emotions and ideas others can recognise and relate to.

      With very best wishes


  2. Hi there,
    Beautiful words. Your poem really connected with my dad’s love of cycling. He passed away last week. Would you be kind enough to let us use it at his funeral?
    Best wishes,

  3. Hello Marie

    Very sincere condolences on the loss of your dad. Hope you and your family are doing OK.

    So sorry not to have replied sooner; I’ve been on holiday and out of email contact. Of course I would be delighted and honoured if you’d like to use the poem for the funeral. It means a great deal to me that my words capture something other cyclists can relate to.

    With very best wishes


  4. Hello,
    My father died recently in a road accident while cycling, he was 93 and cycled most days. Please may we use your poem at his funeral, I would be very grateful.
    I could not tell the title or who we should credit. In fact my daughter has found your poem on another site and it says anonymous, which is sad as you should get the credit. Thank you

    • Hello Susan

      So sorry to hear about your father. Still riding at 93: what an inspiration.

      You are of course more than welcome to use the poem; it’s always a great honour and privilege. Thank you very much for asking.

      With very best wishes and sincere condolences to you and your family.

      Nick (Moore)

  5. Pingback: Imposter Syndrome (33) – Isobel Moore

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