The choice of today’s contribution to poetry month was inspired by news about the cycle way .


Ode by Gillian Allnutt comes from All the Poems You Need to Say I Do, edited by Peter Forbes, published by Picador.




To depict a (bicycle) first you must come to love (it).

Alexander Block


I swear by every rule in the bicycle

owner’s manual


that I love you, I, who have repeatedly,



with accompanying declaration of despair,

tried to repair


you, to patch things up,

to maintain a workable relationship.


I have spent sleepless nights

in pondering your parts – those private


and those that all who walk the street

may look at –


wondering what makes you tick

over smoothly, or squeak.


my trusty steed,

my rusty three-speed,


I would feed you the best oats

if oats


were applicable.

Only linseed oil


will do

to nourish you.


I want

So much to paint



Midnight blue


mudgutter black

And standing as you do, ironic


At the rail

Provided by the Council –



the sun caught in your back wheel –


or at home in the hall, remarkable

among other bicycles,


your handlebars erect.

Allow me to depict


you thus. And though I can’t do justice

to your true opinion of the surface



of the road –

put into words


the nice distinctions that you make

among the different sorts of tarmac –


still, I’d like to set the record of our travels straight.

I’d have you know that


not with three-in-one

but with my own


heart’s spittle I anoint your moving parts.


Gillian Allnutt.


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 )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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 )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: