Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Autumn Bike Ride

Yesterday, a few days into Autumn, the heat of the summer finally broke. I awoke to a chill in the air and the mid-afternoon temperature peaked in the low 70's. What a great evening for a enjoying the weather on my bike, and so I made good on the promise of a long ride.

Here's a poem that captures some of that spirit by Michael Schein entitled "Autumn."

On the first day of Autumn,

a chrysalis day of slanted light,
I am drawn back to my bike,
the steel Bianchi

I rode one-hunredth of the way

to the moon this year,
then abandoned in August to the spiders.

Oh, what joy,

to be pedaling again

into the headlong rush
of the September breeze,
into bird songs
and swirling sepia leaves,

past sculls cutting the canal,

my purring crank and derailleur

a clockwork of wheels within wheels
shifting light and dark

like this gloaming Equinox.

A bicycle is balance and momentum,

the music of the spheres
distilled in steel or aluminum.
It requires no balance

to ride in an automobile:

one devours terrain
oblivious to its texture,

to pleasure or pain,

lusting only for the destination.

Perched on my saddle,

I am soft and observant

as the day I was born,

calm as in my mother's arms.

"It's as easy as riding a bicycle" we say,
and it is easy, this gentle machine,

the most efficient way to transmit
our small strength into motion.

With ninety-nine more such autumns

and the solar wind pressing me forward,

I believe I could pedal to the moon,
and never miss a single hummingbird.


Rose Marie Raccioppi said...

OH, how the delight described is known, that sense of freedom and contact with All and Self! The Spirit in full ambulation. Love the poem, love the feelings.

Yes, the poet is heard.

Byrd said...

Lovely poem, and it inspires me. Although I am more of the eccentric lady with the plastic milk carton and bungee cords holding my groceries, rather than the sleek sportster. Nevertheless I am now motivated to pull out my purple bike with the purple bungee cords and purple milk crate, don my straw hat, and enjoy the fall weather.