Bordeaux Bay

Bordeaux Bay
Bordeaux Bay by Guernsey-based artist Tony Taylor

Sunday, 21 September 2014


While staying in Italy earlier this year, I watched a young man cycling in our village with a child strapped into a seat behind him. It brought to mind excursions with my daughter many years ago when we lived in Scotland. I went about on an old junk-shop bicycle with my tiny daughter perched precariously behind me in a rickety contraption that wobbled alarmingly when we went over bumps. Ah, the recklessness of youth!


The living world sails by, complete:
strange images engulf her; sounds
pour into her; she is caressed
by air, safe in the old bike seat
behind her father, the firm mounds
of his buttocks against her chest.

A young child, perched like a nestling,
in the metal-framed basket-seat:
his firstborn.  A small miracle,
the proud father thinks his offspring,
and to him, in the noisy street,
she clings, tight as a barnacle.

He pedals hard, pursued by time:
like roulette wheels, the bike-wheels whirl.
A breeze, around her soft hair, sings
with lyrical, unreasoned rhyme.
Euphoria engulfs the girl:
her arms reach out like stubby wings.


  1. Richard, I really enjoyed this poem, it bought back memories of care free days in Sark.

  2. Ah, Sark! There's something about the open air, sea-breeze, sunshine and salty air that no amount of indoor activities can quite match.

  3. I love the image in the final line, that wonderful gay abandon of the child.

  4. Thanks, Jane.