14 May 2014

Shadow Riding



In shadow land, she still rides bicycles
earnestly, concentrating to angle
the front wheel just right to aim and not fall.

She never leans to steer or swoop her turns
like her man did on his cycle, her hair
sweeping the ground and she hugging his back.

Once she threw caution to the wind and sped
down a mountain, hugging its slant, no brakes
except her head when a stone interrupted.

In sunny daze, she walks slowly, leaning
on her unnecessary drugstore cane
her insurance against touch and bumps.

Fragility keeps her feet on the ground.
Love plants a tricycle in her drawings.


Posted for my prompt at 



Copyright © 2014  S.L.Chast



19 comments:

Weekend-Windup said...

Beautiful words and the picture also resembles!

Anonymous said...

I agree you've done a beautiful job composing together with the portrait =) Oh that video is terrifying I have seen that one! How amazingly skilled he is

avalon said...

Oh - you can be whimsical about it. Nice.
Pretty tongue-tied, me.
I 've seen this chap in London, hanging out on the SouthBank. Danger is: you watch it and think it's easy :-)
Thanks for the fun, Susan.

Brian Miller said...

interesting contrast between her on the bike and her with the cane now..i grew up on a bike...and used to be a bit more crazy than i am now on them....hands free on the cross bar...ha...my son scares me with what he does on his now...

humbird said...

All my favorites:C. Monet, Neruda, touching Nikki Giovanni, video...and your poem about being unable to fall 'cause of fragility, sickness...sad and dramatic , thinking about life...powerful poem, great prompt!

World So Wide said...

Very nice poem to go with the painting!

jo-hanna said...

'hugging its slant', like that almost as much as somebody somewhere writing: 'hugging her sulks'.
In answer to your question:
Didn't want to let you down and fob you off with a rose...
so I wrote this ten minutes before the off. Then haberdashered it into a faux haibun :-)

Kathryn Dyche said...

Love the nostalgic feel to this. :)

Sumana Roy said...

the poem has a wistfulness for the colorful days...goes so well with the image...and thanks for the video..what a bike-rider...o my..he's literally flying :O

Anonymous said...

So sad! But there is a real danger there and a lesson to be learned. Beautifully put together, Susan! Such longing in the words...

Anonymous said...

Ah, the ebb and flow of this is wonderful.

Laurie Kolp said...

Ouch on the stone accident... and love the ending couplet.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I relate to "fragility keeps her feet on the ground". Today I tried to simply WALK to Tonquin Beach and it nearly killed me........more fun was sitting on the bench soaking up the Tofino energy........THAT I can do with aplomb!!!

rallentanda said...

Sad when age or ill health make a person immobile.

Walt Wojtanik said...

A great visual, Susan. Remembering as a kid taking the turn out of the driveway too quickly and the bike slipping off on the gravel. My mouth conveniently caught a iron property line marker turning my front teeth into a "V". They called me "churchkey" for years after. I loved the tale your poem tells.

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Wonderful poem, picture, video. Both poem and video were edgy and scary - in an enthralling way.

Arathi Harihar said...

Beautiful picture ..and a wonderful poem...:)

Mary said...

I hear the joy in the childhood bicycle riding you did. I think we all threw caution to the wind back then. Those childhood bike rides were really 'uppers,' weren't they? We knew no fear. I love the ending of your poem...the tricycle in the drawing! So very meaningful & apt.

(Sorry I was late with writing to your prompt.)

Aditi said...

What a contrast! How did you find a photo that went so well? :)