Poetry by Christopher Bernard

Bike Angel

I fly down the hill on my black bike.
I know what I love, I know what I like.
I conquer the slopes on my bike’s back
like a wild black angel, the way I like.

She’s a Raleigh ten-speed, phat and sleek,
titanium light and chrome with slick,
quick to the touch and smooth on the road,
hot and fast and rad and black.

We cut close capers, free and all,
skid on concrete and never fall,
we weave a spell as I ride tall.
The girls smile deeply, all the girls, all.

With her, I’m my own man, we weave and spin
between the traffic, and always win.
Trucks and us, we’re real close kin:
they win with big, we win with spin.

I know all the looks, I know all the moves
as I race my own shadow, the way it grooves
just ahead like a ghost, the way it proves
it’s always beyond me, like storming horse hooves.

I dream as I ride of Larissa and me,
She rode me and rode me like a demon of love.
Then one day . . . the silence went dead like the wind.
Bike and me are now steel heart in a chrome glove.

I learned how to fly the other night.
I put on my shades against the light,
and rode my angel so out of sight
I didn’t need love, I didn’t need light.

I’ve been riding for days now, for months, for years
it feels like; nobody sees me, the tears
in my eyes are like spirits, I remember the day
I left for a long ride – to forget, let’s say.

The sun in my eyes, the wind in my face,
the shadows beside me kept pace, kept pace,
till the turn at hill’s bottom and I came face to face
with a dark car. That was the end of my race.

I conquer the hill on my bike’s back
like a wild black angel, the way I like.
I know what I lost, I know what I like.
I fly down the hill on my black bike.

Christopher Bernard is a widely published writer, critic, playwright and poet, co-founder of the literary and arts magazine, Caveat Lector (www.caveat-lector.org), and author of the novel, A Spy in the Ruins. Contact Bernard at christopherwb@msn.com.

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Popsicle Bike

She goes and she goes and she moves and she flows
down streets and through intersections, past stop signs, down roads,
through traffic, past CHPs, semitrucks by the load,
busses in gridlock, pimp RVs in droves,
in the rain and the sun, at twilight and dawn,
she slips, sleek and fast, my bicycle, song
of my lungs and my legs and my arms and my toes,
she rides and she skids, and she runs and she flies,
fast and fly, slick and high,
my bike, how I like,
my practical, farcical, icicle, fascicle, tricycle, risible, popsicle bike.

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Bikeness

There is something about riding on a bike
That brings out soul and heart and the like.
You never feel lonely on the back of a bike.
You’re never completely alone on a bike.

Now, Mason, when he rides his bike to town,
Mason wears a holy crown.
He feels on top of the world, renowned,
Whenever he rides his bike to town.

Teresa, when she rides on her Raleigh pink
Feels one with all of nature, a link,
And she rings her little bell, chink-chink,
When she rides and rides on her Raleigh pink.

When Michael takes his Nishiki out
He feels like a sovereign on his route
Between his cities, he cannot pout
Whenever he takes his Nishiki out.

When Darlina joins a Critical Mass
Her heart and her senses thrill, that lass,
To be a part of that noble biker class
Whenever she joins a Critical Mass.

When Yukio takes his bike on a run
He feels so free and wild and alone
Nothing can conquer him under the sun
When Yukio takes his bike on a run.

When Nora rides with her girl on a tandem
She feels life is good, even if random,
To be one with her lover, if only in tandem,
Whenever she rides with her girl on a tandem.

When Joe’s on his bike he waxes philosophical,
As he rides between road and sky, it’s quite logical
To become contemplative, meditative, analogical
On a bike, like Joe when he becomes philosophical.

When Maryam first got a bike, her veil
Got caught in the chain, it made her rail
Discreetly, as her friends giggled, but she sailed
Bravely on anyway, Maryam in her veil.

When Tony’s on his bike, he lets his tie
Fly in the wind, it makes him feel high
As he pedals to work. I tell you no lie:
When he bikes to work, he lets his tie fly.

There is something about riding on a bike
That brings out soul and heart and the like.
You never feel lonely on the back of a bike.
You’re never completely alone on a bike.

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