Well, it is with sadness that I have to say that this is the final poem both of 2016, and of the Derbyshire Poem a Month blog. It’s been wonderful sharing poems with you all over the last 7 years and I’d like to thank all of the poets who have allowed us to feature their poems, my fellow poem a month bloggers Will and Priscilla, and to you all for following and commenting on the poems.
We’re finishing on a high with this wonderful poem, First Bike, by Jacob Polley. Enjoy the poetry. – Ali
‘I hope the poem is pretty self-explanatory, as it more or less describes its own writing, a process that was ignited by the sight of a child’s bike in a river. Sometimes moments of time interleave, or a gap in time sighs open to let you touch the past from the now, and this happened to me with the child’s bike. I learned to ride a bike in a back garden, near a stream, and somehow seeing the same elements – bike, running water – reconfigured many years later released the poem for me.’ – Jacob Polley
There, at the bottom of the river.
Time slips. The leaves are the leaves
of woods long felled, gold still, like treasure.
The current turns one wheel as if
you had just laid it down to run
from year to year, from bright to shade,
across the bridge from being young
to here where you stand, unwise and afraid
in grown-up shoes. Your father’s hand
once steadied you. When he let go
you rode, because you didn’t know;
you rode across the yard to find
your balance always was your own.
You rode on after dark alone.
Jacob Polley is the author of three acclaimed poetry collections, The Brink, Little Gods and, most recently, The Havocs, as well as a Somerset Maugham Award-winning novel, Talk of the Town. Born in Cumbria, he now lives in St. Andrews and works in Newcastle.
In 2004, he was named one of the ‘Next Generation’ of the twenty best new poets in Britain.