W10 5RB - N1C 4TB

Fantasia on a Cycle Commute

Bear Shaw


Here in the Orchard

we are sleep’s accomplice, you and I

witnessing its slow, subtle, shift

towards dawn. Laddering the light through her tights

she quietly hangs up her coat,

Blackbird in pocket, at its breast the new day

awash with motives and fragments.

held on the oceanic grumble of the West Way.


Through Muggers’ Alley

I weave my wheels, carried atop carriages

Beckon’d to the bridge to borrow a line of salmon

from a Shepherd’s sky, noted on the underground

rolling ever on. 


Tracing Tavistock Crescent’s gibbous shadow

arcing the villas of Leamington

where I count and count again the colours

of the leaves singing to me from the trees

the rustle of an orchestra leaving the stage.


A dart of a swim against the traffic

to share the Cavedone sun with the postman

carrying our burdens through Stephen’s saintly garden

rolling ever on.


Chain whispers a cadence


kneading the bitumen dough at my wheels

leavening sighs from sleeping policeman

eft dreaming , as the Alinéa Bindery  

opens a new chapter of morning chiaroscuro

which warms to its task on Porchester baths

melting the icing of Gloucester Terrace.


Left into the basin

Praed Street, stands a ease

all duffled and ambered with stickiness

ahead herds of red dinosaurs graze on commuters

rolling ever on.


As I slip invisibly between chapel and cabbala

raising a futile, Lowry stick of an arm, I rage

like a heathen, until I muffle my protest when

out of the drunken shadow of the Larrik

Eliot propping up Homer cautions me

Hurry up please, its time.


Death’s blackened chauffer, the cab

hovers at my side waiting for its fare

all hackneyed vowels and knowledge

caught in Portland’s architects stare

rolling ever on.


Laying traps in packs these orange Cyclops

colluding with Harley and his fellow clinicians

search their frequencies for my squeaky knee

transmitting its signal through the crank.


Dotted morse and more illegal dashes find

streets of Carburton and Cleveland

wrong way, one way, this other Eden, Fitzroy Square

Tallis passing through the trees with Dexter sheen

moment to stand and stare

that only ever rolls on.

Into evolving sun and its doorstep milk bottle warmth

fabric of the university crowd with Darwin at their door

anagram of Byng placed in his anxious beard

quick bite, sound bite chitting away at my chipped mind

King Falafel? Another history lesson sadly missed.


Following these streets

has become some tedious argument

destination already known, already written

rolling ever on.


Juddered by the cobbles of Cromer’s clichéd Coast

Miles from the sea they for now my Dogger, my Fisher, my German Bight

On whose tide I am delivered into the hands which hold the hour

the solemn blackened fingers of Pancras’ tower

Tuesday’s legs now feeling like Friday’s

I stop pedalling, and like Raeburn’s Reverend

skate serenely into Kings Cross.