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Cycling home down Maryhill Locks

Zaman Hazir

Gilded by this august night

light both on sense and sight

my borrowed bike weightlessly glides

down the glistening Forth & Clyde

Along the curves of the locks

even the snobbish swans they mock

my machine’s aimless urgency

intensified by gravity

Seducing me with supple charm

branches softly brush my arm

slow down, they whisper, stay a while

but I’m too seasoned for their guile

Images courtesy of the author

What is that hypnotic smell?

hard it really is to tell

flowering bush or a deathly spell

that puts you a hundred years to sleep

and makes the sorry Willow weep

Sensing my sweet journey’s end

I slingshot round the last sharp bend

only to startle and offend

a walker and her furry friend

I raise my hand just to show

should’ve rung the bell, I know

but it’s still shaking with the thrill

of the magical locks of Maryhill

Though short, the winding path is worth

all the happiness on earth

these few hundred yards or so

can clear your head of all you know

and fill your heart with childhood’s glee

with treasures and enchanted trees


Zaman Hazir is a Pakistani MAMIL* settled in Glasgow. He loves stuffing himself into bright spandex and taking on local biker gangs of aggressively competitive 4-6 year olds. Other days, he can be found pottering peacefully around the flat (in a similar outfit) seemingly immersed in some obscure creative process. His links with art, design and writing are unverified.

*Mamil (or MAMIL) is an acronym and a pejorative term for a ‘middle-aged man in lycra’ – that is, men who ride an expensive racing bicycle for leisure, while wearing body-hugging jerseys and bicycle shorts. The word was reportedly coined by British marketing research firm Mintel in 2010.

(From Wikipedia)

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Wasif Mumtaz
Wasif Mumtaz
Oct 10, 2021

B e a u t i f u l a n d p u r e j o y t o r e a d

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