We arrive in Dolgelley

the sun still rides the late peaks

and our day will soon be over. 


We ascend to the top floor

of a grey terrace pub

with its utility wardrobe whose door

cannot be closed. 


A late light informs the lace curtains

with its bleak projection. 


My brother's saddlebag has landed on the floor;

soon he will light a disgusting Falcon pipe,

make notes of the ride,



cycling stories of aching legs

proof shared between ourselves:

tonight a stone sink portraying its age with stains

the glandular hiss of water

ascending from the depths

tepid, uninviting. 


No teas or coffees in the room

but we make the bar in time

for shepherd's pie from a packet. 


The night dreams of itself

is pleased with the stillness

of the town asleep

with traditions we can only sense.

Tomorrow the long climb awaits. 




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Tue 25th Jan 2022 17:37

Many thanks for all you likers (too many to name if you don't mind).
Thank you Graham. I was trying to paint in the details I saw in my mind . Just a few ingredients really but I appreciate your close reading. Excellent.

Keith, the poem was set in the eighties believe it or not, but Wales was a bit tardy in the coming up to date department at that time. Not sure about the curtains....

Thanks Mark for your remarks. While the idea of allied mags is a lovely one, there was an air of indifference and slight hostility as I remember. I did do Devon on a 3speed Sturmey Archer hub gear, but derailleurs this time ( only 10 speed).

Thank you Stephen, and Stephen. So glad you approved


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Stephen Atkinson

Sun 23rd Jan 2022 22:00

A descriptive masterclass, Ray!

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Stephen Gospage

Sun 23rd Jan 2022 21:19

Another winner, Ray.

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M.C. Newberry

Sun 23rd Jan 2022 15:21

This certainly has the hint of "times past" in its content. I think I
"see" some Cyclists Touring Club (CTC) magazines on a table in that bar! Did the bikes have hub or derailleur gears? 😏

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keith jeffries

Sun 23rd Jan 2022 15:04

As I read this I thought to myself, this has to be in the UK several years past. It reminded me of the austerity measures that were in force after the war. Tell me Ray, were they lace or net curtains?
An unusual poem but one with real merit.

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Graham Sherwood

Sun 23rd Jan 2022 13:40

Ray this is quite simply a brilliant piece! There are so many great lines.

the sun still rides the late peaks

utility wardrobe whose door cannot be closed.

light informs the lace curtains

glandular hiss of water

I think this is one of, if not, your best works. One of those "I wish I'd written it myself" pieces.



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