• Jim

Back to WWTF (and 200 years)


Ode on a Grecian Urn John Keats, 1819 “What men or gods are these? What maidens loth? What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape? What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?”… Ode on a Greasy Turn Chris Dolan, 2019 Keats had no use for the velocipede Which, he snarled, was the “nothing of the day” The Romantic preferred a nobler steed Nor would these awkward stanzas earn his praise Let us then lower our literary standards. Rain drips onto gray rock, slick, cool, and bright Did nature’s glacier so fashion this turn That eons hence wild, wheeled, woodland sprites Would worship here in joyful exertion? What ancients, with iron-rimmed, wooden wheels Plodding over cobbles could have foreseen The modern, carbon-framed speedster zooming Through dark, dense woods with soft pneumatic ease Our rider approaches the berm-temple Overwrought with its morass of wet moss Preparing to perform the sacred rite Resin on metal: The sound of hubris Icarus considers his altitude Was it Fortuna or bold artistry? The tires hold like raptor’s talons on prey The rider flung with centrifugal glee Toward the trailhead, to ride another day Free of abrasion, dignity unharm’d To the Dionysian delight of friends Our sylvan historian spins a yarn Of what fierce disaster might have been From amongst the mud-spattered friend-circle Comes a sudden, shouted query: “Say, fellas, what the f**k is a timbrel?”

Meet 5:45 Tuesday 8/27 at the West Windsor Town Forest parking lot at the end of Coaching Lane in Brownsville. We'll set rides and groups, and head out at 6:00.


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