Back when an old hearse carried spare motorcycle parts for West Country
Bikers, one fateful night heavy braking killed the undertaker as the heavy metal crushed him against his wheel.
How much of one’s life is found in puddles?
The calm, still water reflects all that is beautiful, distant stars, the moon, the passage of clouds, street lights glow orange in its cold embrace.
We gaze into them when love is lost, we gaze into them afresh when new love found, and marvel at the shimmering patterns, seeking clues and signs that herald a future.
Clear and fresh, with new beginnings, but there are no fresh starts in life, we are a part of all we have been and know.
And so through these false mirrors the Undertaker creeps, heavy tyres shatter the
surface, destroy the dreams, moving the oasis to a new tarmac dell where others can gaze into its shallow depths to read false messages and wayward signs.
Facing reality is hard so, as the hearse glides through the arch, we feel the shiver of our own mortality strike like a hammer as, oh so softly, so gently, our lives ebb away and become shadows, a reproach for all we might have done and been.
The silk, black body gently moves with mesmerising growl, and purrs a mellow note of menace that belies the walnut dash, and rich leather seats that give illusions of security. Upfront the greased black hair, the impassive eyes, beneath hooked brows carry death, dismembered parts of what was whole, gently rest in oil, and await their resurrection not by the hands of Christ,
but by those who shun his name.
So through ancient lanes the old hearse creaks its metal load, old sprockets, cogs, rear fenders, and the like, greased chains, headlamp shells, and rims.
Each part carries the ghost of those who rode the mother bike, who found in life that fortune swiftly turns, death is shocking – unplanned and so abrupt. And bike crash carnage seems the worst, where all the friends and patches in the world cannot disguise the brutal truth.
Finally drawing up beneath the creaking sign, the Green Man lies beneath the moon.
Furtive shadows reach into the steely depths, trade their wares, then vanish back into the pagan throng.
The Undertaker moves, the crunch of gravel obscures the screech of sliding metal, cigarette glowing faintly, the
purveyor of death accelerates into the night. More power, metal shifts, more pace as he cranks the gears, more speed as hurtling through the high-banked sunken lanes, sweat drips from his brooding brow.
Momentum moves apace, the dead weight moves and screams against the racing steed as hurled through corners, dry earth showers, and sparks fly out behind as speed and power all consumes.
The differential shrieks its torment as rusted carburettors desperately suck air to feed fuel-starved lungs, the windscreen blazes silver as sprockets slide and roar, screaming tyres leave their tortured rims, and overshoot ‘Wicked Corner’.
Tearing, rending Satan’s laughter – obscene, hysterical, all pervading he joins his load.