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Return of the Tyke

Return Of The Tyke

Tyke, tyke, tyke' they’d chant to bait the bairn.
But insult hurled at Yorkshire folk is water off a back.
Take it, use it, grind it through the crank
As fuel for the fire, grist to mill.
Man as boy the tyke unwraps his bike. 
Ride a mile, another ten. No stopping, pumping into the blood.
Cycle, eat, drink. Eat, drink, cycle.
Life’s biggest problem, darkest mood, cured in the turn of a pedal.
Through God’s own country
A yellow jersey pulls a golden thread.
Up fell down dale, through Yorkshire’s warp and weft,
It’s cruelest contours purled,
A bright new yarn weaves into the fabric of the hills.
Past mill, past gate, past pit-head dead, history’s milestones marked.
The ride is metaphor, the towns tell out my story.
Otley, Ilkley, Asgarth, Hawes.
Mum at factory, Grandma, The Black Bull - still standing.
The first sip of warm beer.
Mallerstang, Fleet Moss, Tan Hill.
Simonstone, that teacher, my Dad, Wensleydale and Granddad Thompson.
The Scar, the Cove, the Stang – part of us in every crevice, crook and corner.
Muker, Reeth, Masham, over cattle-grid, up the switch-back,
Buttertubs - Buttertubs - Buttertubs.
Suck at the air, tramp on the pain, tyres spit rubber, spit grit.
It’s all about the climb. Locked in battle against the gradient.
She’s out to hurt us, here to make us suffer.
In sickening waves her sweet call comes to quit, to quit,
To quit this spiritual ascent.
Up ahead, on the tarmac one by one, the giants of the fells swing into sight.
Robinson ‘55, Hoban ’68, doff your cap to Tommy Simpson
And Beryl Burton, she showed the lads a clean pair of heels.
I close the gap and hear them urge: “We too were once like you. 
Ordinary.”
My own story is forced out,
Spat through bleeding gums and panted breaths it comes
“I’ll catch you, catch you, catch you.”
In Oxenhope and through Cragg Vale
Spirit generations line the streets “Make us proud son, make us 
proud.”
We race by in a flash. As lives lived, as lives past.
One evening,
When final stage is done and life turns back to dust,
Take us back to the mountain top. Pause a moment as the weather turns,
Then set us free in the teeth of a gale.
I’ll call them on, those that struggle through the sleet and hale, soft and 
strong.
As I myself, one morning, was called.



© Ben Hodgson 2014


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  1. Date: 7/7/2014 7:40:00 PM

    Ben,, Stopping by with a nice, sweet Welcome to Poetry Soup. I will get much delight, in reading and in time become familiar with your verse. As for now, I will greet you with the same smile, others passed, when I first join the soup 4 years ago. I wish you the best when it comes to your compositions. I hope you get to meet all the nice poets around here. Starting with me. SKAT :-) Please drop a hello and tell me a little about yourself if you wish. I would like to be your newest poetry soup "FRIEND" Hugs* SKAT
  1. Date: 7/7/2014 12:37:00 PM

    Thank you for sharing :)
  1. Date: 7/6/2014 3:19:00 PM

    Welcome to Poetry Soup, Ben. I am glad you discovered this nice community of writers and hope you enjoy the site. Read the work of other poet's and comment if you find something you like; many poets will return the favor. Over time you will get to "know" some of us. You are welcome to visit my page anytime. Enjoy!
  1. Date: 7/4/2014 5:00:00 PM

    Hi Ben, this is such a deep powerful write! Well done!
  1. Date: 7/4/2014 2:06:00 PM

    - Warm welcome to PoetrySoup, Ben :) - I choose your first very well written poem - Nice to meet you :) - Hope you will be satisfied with our "soup family" - we are many .. but has plenty of room for you too- PoetrySoup Rule1: Be kind and keep PoetrySoup a haven. PoetrySoup is a drama free zone(Comment on the poetry of others and they will comment on yours.) Thank you posted your words and thoughts here, I want to come back to read more another day. -// Anne-Lise :)
  1. Date: 7/4/2014 9:40:00 AM

    Hey Linda thanks for that, I'll head over and check out the competition for sure. Meanwhile I'll follow your lead of posting a little link with this one to the short film in which my poem features. https://vimeo.com/99543237
  1. Date: 7/4/2014 9:33:00 AM

    Hello Ben, it's an honor to read your poem, it's very strong and overwhelming. Ben,, A nice warm WELCOME to poetry soup. I hope you enjoy the community, as I did when I first join, March 2010. You'll find many friendly poets, who are ready to support and give positive feedback. I want to be the first to invite you on over, to the contest page. I OFFER MY CONTEST, in hopes it inspires you to write another poem. I'm looking forward to following you and your poetry ha-ha a special pair:) here's the link to the contest page. http://www.poetrysoup.com/poetry_contests/ <---~Take Care!! From: your new poet friend @-> LINDA <-@
  1. Date: 7/4/2014 4:59:00 AM

    This poem was written to celebrate the 2014 Tour de France which began in Yorkshire, England. Part of the poem is used in the short film of the same name 'Return of the Tyke'.

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