Hark rumour outcast ghetto track,
Wood clack, rattle, quivering slat.
Orbicular ghost pedal whirrs,
Summon memory of victory cheers.
Crooked curtsy to spruce sentinel,
Abrupt celebratory firework crack,
Soft snowy silence answers offence,
Whilst night threatens overpowering pretence.
Unknown footsteps snap awake
Winter’s white recumbent state.
Stilted parapet truss ascends,
Adhering track slopes and bends.
Adoring homage to veteran majors,
Encompass curving circuit stage,
Distant races conquered, played.
Arresting ingress hinged by rubber,
Intersected ambitious artery inner.
Past summers linger on, browned,
Intruding shoots reclaiming land.
Nature’s seasoned right of way,
Moves forth over abandoned ground.
Lonely in wild December wood,
Forlorn cyclist forgotten, stands.
Ghettodrome is the result of a little side project I did whilst on residency at Arteles, Finland. The derelict velodrome in Tampere was mentioned by an artist I met and I went to check it out. The continual rain we are having here in Cardiff is a reminder of the enduring Finnish winters. This, and a feeling of isolation in the wilds inspired the poem.