Image by Sharron Bennett

Training on the Peninsula

Brian Turner


Training on the Peninsula

Brian Turner


Training on the Peninsula

Training on the Peninsula

The blue and yellow light
on the rolling land
and the sea
begins, the longer I look,
to feel as if it radiates
in me, and the day before
this lights up the day
before that, and so on
endlessly until the blue and white
sky stretches as far and as high
as the mind’s eye
imagines and is completely
unrestrained.
I push the gear lever
down a little and the chain
drops on to a smaller sprocket
and the wheels begin to spin
faster, and the air’s
like a quick tongue
in my hair as I descend
swinging in wide curves
around the hill.

How easy it is to do something
different, how hard to do
it better, is the message I get
as I hear the tyres purr
over the smooth seal, and sense
the kind of peace that one can
rarely bear for long
because it fetters
wholeheartedness.

On the flat
I take the long road back
in and out of the bays, spinning
steadily, enjoying a tail wind
home for the first time
in I don’t know how many days.


from All That Blue Can Be (John McIndoe, 1989), © Brian Turner 1989, used by permission of the author. Recording from the Aotearoa New Zealand Poetry Sound Archives 2004.

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