cycling to Oude Kerk, Delft

  • No drivers get our apologies, off cycling we go
    on planned paths pushing pedals, fast and slow,
    route engineered, favoured lines straight,
    few lights forced stop, little traffic wait.

    We cycled beside canals, stagnant-still,
    swan-gliding barges, a paralysed windmill;
    regimentally planted poplar trees, all in row,
    Meccano-like iron bridges, arms akimbo.

    Primary-coloured carpet-pile, flower fields,
    quaint ancient houses, tidily well heeled,
    chain-cogs clicked, tinny bells sounded,
    track-tyres whispered, pleasantly expounded.

    Delft was where we cycled to, in morning sun,
    velo-voyage relaxed, ending happy as begun;
    Oude Kerk entered for toilets and tour,
    entrance fee paid, unwanted the brochure.

    Light-white arches lifted arms up in praise,
    canopied pulpits silent, sermons on Sundays,
    Calvinistic doctrine, scripture thundered here,
    under stone black slate lies the artist, Vermeer.

    Mighty ‘bourdonklok’ bell in leaning tower,
    twenty-thousand tons boom out each hour;
    echoing near altar, orchestral practice choir,
    Passion-opened hearts, tunes tearfully inspire.

    Stop-start echoed singing, stern conductor halted,
    Bach’s muscular melodies, high ceiling vaulted;
    heart-aching those arias, almost pleading prayers,
    rich liturgical longing warms the cool church air.


    image: The Oude Delft Canal and the Oude Kerk, Delft
    Jan van der Heyden, 16751526_56c613fc3047c3.21138319-big


2 thoughts on “cycling to Oude Kerk, Delft

  1. I wish we had such bicycle paths and respect for bicyclists here in the U.S.! The first three stanzas are absolutely true to my memories of 1993, although I didn’t ride a bike. You transported me back in time with this wonderful poem. On Good Friday my uncle took me to Oude Kerk in Delftshaven Rotterdam. I went up for communion and for the first time in my life had communion from a common cup and with real wine. We were called up front in groups to sit at the same old table that the pilgrims communed around before heading for America. We do not know what “old” is here.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s