Monday, 16 September 2013

North of Somewhere.

It’s lovely going cycling. Try it and see.
Your legs get strong, your lungs fill with air
And your heart works a treat.
Then the k’s slip by as easily as a caress.
Before you know it you’re on your bike,
North of somewhere, turning a corner
And there’s rainforest cascading down the mountain
In a tangled profusion of vine and tree
Right to the very edge of the sea.
There’s little, thickly wooded, steep islands
Not too far offshore, and in their lee
The sea just quietly laps the low rocky shore.
Beautiful! If you’re very lucky
A cassowary might cross the road,
Or you find yourself at about 8 A.M.
Cycling beside a morning-touched river
With clouds and sky floating in the green stillness.
Up a little rise and around a corner
A cow looks up from her grazing,
Moos quietly and stares with dewy soft eyes.
You pass fields of sugar-cane, bananas,
Paw-paws, pineapples and rich, ploughed, red earth.
You notice the distant mountains
All clear, green and mottled with sunlight.
Maybe tomorrow you’ll grind your way up them,
But then you’ll see incredible things-
Crater lakes as lyrical as you could ever imagine;
Little turtles swimming in the clear water;
Pelicans gliding in so gracefully
And then floating in regal stateliness;
Strangler figs like something out of a fantasy story,
Huge and wide with an impenetrable mass of columns
Descending like some wooden waterfall,
Or maybe a monster pipe organ for forest nymphs;
Buttress roots from the forest giants,
Twisting and turning in elegant serpentine curves;
Columns of light descending in ethereal slant
Through the green tangled canopy to the forest floor;
Cascade of waterfalls into clear cool pond,
Reed-filled swamps where eagles nest in long dead trees.
You pass slowly through little heritage villages,
Once timber towns for kauri pine and cedar-
Wide streets, sprawling corner pubs, little wooden cottages
And there you’ll stop for a cool drink.
Oh yeah, it’s lovely going cycling,
The purr of tyres of the road, the whizz of chain,
Your body enjoying the exercise,
All those endorphins making you feel good,
A sense of being a bit more connected to things,
Like you’re part of something big and grand,
Not just rushing through it in a metal cocoon.
Yeah, it’s really lovely going cycling,
So go on, get off the seat, stand on the pedals,
Climb this little rise and taking a risk,
Turn the corner into the delicious unknown.

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