Pete Crowther

(Hull, East Yorkshire, England)

A Biker's Funeral


(In memory of Stephen (Reggie) Pearce
of Kilnsea,1980–2005)

The wind blows cold through the churchyard trees
and sadly tolls the passing bell
as mourners shuffle up the leaf-strewn
narrow path between the leaning stones.

He was just twenty-five, so young,
so full of life, and love of life
and laughter — killed outright one night
in a head-on crash on his motorbike.

From far and wide we’ve gathered here
to pay respect to our young friend.
I’ve never seen the church so full,
oh death, how can you be so cruel?

Who will forget this funeral?
Four hundred strong in the nave we stood,
family and friends both young and old
and a phalanx of bikers in leathers and boots.

Between the holy platitudes
and hymns they played his favourite songs;
one had to smile to hear within
that ancient august church of stone

come belting out the vibrant tones
of modern rock and heavy metal.
Who can forget the coffin passing
in procession like a royal barque,

the biker’s helmet on its lid
resplendent in heraldic tones
— rich gules, azure, argent, or,
a shining light of knightly splendour?

Who will forget that send-off from
his fellow bikers when three score
or more bright gleaming motorcycles
with a thunderous roar led off the hearse?

Submitted: Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Edited: Friday, December 23, 2005

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  • purple moon (6/19/2007 1:01:00 PM)

    this is beautiful. and this will live forever like your memories. well done. x (Report) Reply

  • Cyclopseven R (12/19/2006 4:52:00 AM)

    This person must have been such a wonderful soul that attracts many to bid the final farewell. Wonderful elegy. I feel I too missed him a lot, whoever he is. God bless. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 1 Points Original Unknown Girl (10/10/2006 7:34:00 AM)

    What a lovely ode to one who died so young. Sounds like this guy was very dearly thought of and loved. It's good to preserve those thoughts in a poem. HG xx (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 1 Points Patricia Gale (2/28/2006 4:21:00 PM)

    Fully descriptive to were you could feel the vibrations from the engines as the rumbled. Great write

    Patricia (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 1 Points Sally King (2/17/2006 6:20:00 AM)

    Wow! I can smell the engines and hear the echos of music still ringing in my ears.... very simply phrased and beautiful. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 1 Points Graham Jones (2/6/2006 9:47:00 AM)

    Outstanding Peter not only the detail but the images produced, as a biker myself for over fifty years, I know what this is like as I have attended more then a few myself, a pleasure to read though. Regards Graham. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 1 Points Scarlett Treat (2/5/2006 7:38:00 PM)

    I had a dear cousin, a biker through and through. When he died at a very young age, we were all heartbroken. Two things stand out - the sound of the motorcade of bikers to his funeral, and the fact that when it came time to close the grave, as the back hoe moved in to do it, the bikers stopped the backhoe, picked up shovels, and closed his grave. How sweet a service for a dear friend and fellow biker. This poem really touched my heart. Linda (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 1 Points Elphaba T. (12/12/2005 4:56:00 PM)

    Peter- Your described everything so well. I could picture the whole thing. The title caught my attention. My dad rides a harley, and he told me about some people he knew that died in a bike crash. Mostly when larger vehicles don't see or hear them. Its so sad when you hear or read about it happening.

    Great poem, Trina Elam (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 1 Points Lee Tran (10/30/2005 4:17:00 PM)

    May your words speak for all bikers that have lost their lives on the highway...Great tribute Peter! ! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 1 Points ***** ********* (10/30/2005 5:56:00 AM)

    Hello Peter, I was attracted to the title of your poem, because I have loved and lost many a friend in this way. I think, looking back at least a dozen school friends died in this way before they were 20. It sickens me, that young people takes such risks...die young, stay pretty sort of attitude to life. I understand the buzz but the waste and grief is beyond me. A tribute poem and hopefully a lesson to those who ride those mean machines. 9 from me. All the best Tai (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 1 Points Eman Elbadawi (10/29/2005 12:41:00 PM)

    The question of death is really hard to answer, isn't it? May he rest in heaven and we all meet God's Mercy... (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 1 Points Lara W.a (10/20/2005 10:58:00 PM)

    Peter, this is nice. Ur descriptions are vivid, i can picture the whole thing.

    A wonderful tribute indeed. Good job, Peter =) (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 1 Points Egal Bohen (10/19/2005 3:01:00 PM)

    Significant poem Peter- Motorcyclists will bond - death can unite - Egal Bohen.. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 1 Points Amberlee Carter (10/18/2005 5:36:00 PM)

    as sad as this is, I get the feeling he would of wanted to die riding his bike...though I don't really know since I didn't actually know him. either way, this is a wonderful tribute to another soul...well done my friend.. (Report) Reply

Read all 17 comments »

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