A Biker's Funeral
(In memory of Stephen (Reggie) Pearce
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?
Tuesday, October 18, 2005