This page will feature occasional
bits of everything from news to spiritual reflections to doggerel poetry.
(part poem, part dog)
Here's a read-aloud poem about my hometown, Bloomington, Indiana, and how I like to enjoy it: slowly, and on a bike.
every kinda people,__ preference, and persuasion
every kinda EMployed 'n unemployed vocation,
every kinda domesticity, family 'n ethnicity, mentality, mobility, educational facility,
every kinda fast food, slow food, or taste treat
every kinda soup, sauce, pasta plate,'n pastry
every kinda weather, whether in or out of season
'N EVERY kinda hapning for any kinda reason.
every kinda music, 'n every kinda show,
'N every kinda every 'n some you'll never know.
'N if you're looking for ANY,
Why that's just a ten minute bike ride
From here, there, or any where to the south side of the Court House Square.
There 'n back, 'n back 'n there,
'N back out to d' Out back 'n the out skirts of this town,
Where one might gaze upon 'n move slowly by
The Hilly Hoosier farm road landforms, 'n lifeforms,
There to behold should you decide
To reside, ride 'n abide proximal
To the vicinity, multiplicity, and diverse municipeoplepality
We call Bloomington.
Yes folks. Hop on your
bikes. Hold on to your handlebars.
We're goin on a ride.
15 miles per hour is the ideal speed for a human being
to capture a feel for the land and be totally swept away by the scenery.
Any faster 'n we're just punchin in coordinates,
Waitin' to get there, 'N punchin out any body gets in our way.
Have you ever noticed
The slower people go, the more civil they are to each other?
I ask you! How often do pedestrians flip each other the bird?
Cyclers usually wave to each other. And when you ride your bike,
you get a strong, eye watering, breathless,
Slow Vision of where you are:
The hills nooks, brooks, rooks,
creeks, crags, cloughs, 'n lofts,
Becks, burrows, borrows, furrows,
hillocks 'n hummocks, hammocks 'n lawn ornaments,
The slacks 'n the gills, the wrens, 'n the whippoorwills.
The riggs, rails, trails, 'n trailers, n bailers 'N autos for parts,
mufflers 'n brakes, 'n man made lakes
Pontoons 'n ponds 'n bluegills 'n crapathons,
wallows, the ticks 'n the licks,
The hogback, frothy mounds bails 'n bailiwicks,
Hedges 'n henges, 'n hinges on doors of dilapidated sheds,
'n barns without floors, slouching on haunches
like cows in the fields 'n folds with fly flicking tails
waiting for an afternoon storm.
Fens 'n ferns 'n colorful lichens,
Escarpments 'n eskers, 'n moss covered trikens.
'N gorges 'n ridges 'n red covered bridges,
'N steep ravines with discarded fridges,
washers 'n dryers 'n terminal tires
Locust trees, honey bees, landfills with PCBs,
Ten-year locusts, 'n tenured teachers,
'N hot air balloons 'n hot air preachers,
Moraines, terrains, knobs, 'n gnomes, 'n names of yore
Like, Knawbone and Needmore.
'N there you are, bicycle born,
pedaling 'n spinning,
With all these forms moving slowly by,
With your own two points of contact with the ground
'N your own
The gravity of the world.
Words with their vowel overtones 'n consonant rhythms and generations of memory, never pound in the chest the way a bike ride grabs you wordlessly where you live. On this one day as the sun goes down, I'm riding along when I look off at one point from my preoccupation with pace, time, average speed, water bottle, and correct gear. There down and to my right is the sand brown crinoid creek bed. The road follows it. My eyes follow it and then drift up into the moving magic of limbs and leaves. Then I see it. 15 yards away in the air just above the creek, held in the blurr of stationary things, silently flying along beside me, is a great blue Heron equally oblivious to my presence as it glides lazily beneath the arched tunnel of sycamore limbs. It reaches a clearing and pulls out and away from me across the field. My bicycle disappears beneath me for I am now being carried away beneath this awesome display of bird flight, doubled neck, distended legs still leaving the earth. No Hands! I'm holding on to its silent grace, And I'm holding on to the festooned pattern of the goldfinches that appear shortly there after, little flecks of bright yellow, wing swinging through air and light, disappearing into the darkening haze of the forest wall at the far end of the widening valley. There on the power lines, flanking the road is the red tail hawk with isolated head movements looking and locking on prey.
Malcolm Dalglish April, 1999
1111 E. Wylie
Bloomington, IN 47401
812 333 0838 Studio & Fax
email: Contact Ooolitic Music