La Loire à Vélo.
We cycle along the Loire for a while.
There is bird song in the air.
It is quiet. The only sound is the swish of tyres
Or the gentle whirr of chain.
We are in no hurry, drifting along
As the Loire makes its full-bodied, green/brown,
Cloud-shadowed, tree-mirrored, sun-sparked way-
Dropping over weirs with a roaring surge,
Swirling and eddying around islands and under bridges,
Fields of young green wheat,
Bright green burst of new leaf grapes,
Long rows of young corn,
The beautiful litter of bright-red poppies,
Teetering, hay-filled ancient barns,
Little, carefully tended allotments,
Old villages with their cobbled, twisting streets,
Cottages bright with rose-flowering walls,
Grand chateaus either sheer and impregnable above the cliff edge
Or enveloped by its protective, swirling current,
Meandering through deeply shaded forest,
On and on, for hour upon hour, until finally we are at Tours,
A little tired, glad of a rest, a chance to attend
To the momentary human needs
Of beings so anchored in time,
To wash, eat, sleep, dream,
While the Loire makes its full-bodied, green/brown,
Cloud-shadowed, tree-mirrored, sun-sparked way,
Swirling, eddying, drifting, meandering,