Friday, 25 January 2019

Burns Night again - so more cycling poetry


How about a bit of cycling-related poetry. Every year I say I'd like to get into poetry - along with writing that great novel that gets turned into a film! Once again I haven't got round to it, so here are a couple to celebrate while you enjoy a bit of haggis and whisky.  

The first poem has a moral at the end - if only I could ride a horse! The second poem is an ode to a place that many club cyclists go to for warm weather training, and I imagine for the other delights this Balearic Island has to offer!


Mulga Bills Bicycle
by 
'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze; 
He turned away the good old horse that served him many days; 
He dressed himself in cycling clothes, resplendent to be seen; 
He hurried off to town and bought a shining new machine; 
And as he wheeled it through the door, with air of lordly pride, 
The grinning shop assistant said, "Excuse me, can you ride?" 
"See here, young man," said Mulga Bill, "from Walgett to the sea, 
From Conroy's Gap to Castlereagh, there's none can ride like me.
 
I'm good all round at everything, as everybody knows, 
Although I'm not the one to talk - I hate a man that blows.
 
But riding is my special gift, my chiefest, sole delight; 
Just ask a wild duck can it swim, a wildcat can it fight.
 
There's nothing clothed in hair or hide, or built of flesh or steel, 
There's nothing walks or jumps, or runs, on axle, hoof, or wheel, 
But what I'll sit, while hide will hold and girths and straps are tight: 
I'll ride this here two-wheeled concern right straight away at sight.
" 

'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that sought his own abode, 
That perched above the Dead Man's Creek, beside the mountain road.

He turned the cycle down the hill and mounted for the fray, 
But ere he'd gone a dozen yards it bolted clean away.
 
It left the track, and through the trees, just like a silver streak, 
It whistled down the awful slope towards the Dead Man's Creek.
 

It shaved a stump by half an inch, it dodged a big white-box: 
The very wallaroos in fright went scrambling up the rocks, 
The wombats hiding in their caves dug deeper underground, 
As Mulga Bill, as white as chalk, sat tight to every bound.
 
It struck a stone and gave a spring that cleared a fallen tree, 
It raced beside a precipice as close as close could be; 
And then as Mulga Bill let out one last despairing shriek 
It made a leap of twenty feet into the Dead Man's Creek.
 

'Twas Mulga Bill from Eaglehawk, that slowly swam ashore: 
He said, "I've had some narrer shaves and lively rides before; 
I've rode a wild bull round a yard to win a five-pound bet, 
But this was the most awful ride that I've encountered yet.
 
I'll give that two-wheeled outlaw best; It's shaken all my nerve 
To feel it whistle through the air and plunge and buck and swerve.
 
It's safe at rest in Dead Man's Creek, we'll leave it lying still; 
A horse's back is good enough henceforth for Mulga Bill."

John Cooper Clarke-Majorca.

null

MAJORCA
By John Cooper Clarke (1976)
Fasten your seatbelts says a voice
Inside the plane you can’t hear no noise 
Engines made by Rolls Royce 
Take your choice 
…make mine Majorca
Check out the parachutes 
Can’t be found 
Alert those passengers 
They’ll be drowned 
A friendly mug says “settle down” 
When i came round i was gagged and bound 
…for Majorca
And the eyes caress 
The neat hostess 
Her unapproachable flip finesse 
I found the meaning of the word excess 
They’ve got little bags if you wanna make a mess 
I fancied Cuba but it cost me less  
…to Majorca
(Whose blonde sand fondly kisses 
the cool fathoms of the blue mediteranean)
They packed us into the white hotel 
You could still smell the polycell 
Wet white paint in the air-conditioned cells 
The waiter smelled of fake Chanel 
Gauloises… garlic as well 
says if i like… i can call him “Miguel” 
…well really
I got drunk with another fella 
Who’d just brought up a previous paella 
He wanted a fight but said they were yella’ 
…in Majorca
The guitars rang and the castinets clicked 
The dancer’s stamped and the dancer’s kicked 
It’s likely if you sang in the street you’d be nicked 
The Double Diamond flowed like sick 
Mother’s Pride, tortilla and chips 
Pneumatic drills when you try to kip 
…in Majorca
A stomach infection put me in the shade 
Must have been something in the lemonade 
But by the balls of Franco i paid 
Had to pawn my bucket and spade 
Next year I’ll take the international brigade 
…to Majorca
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