Poetry in motion

Some of the Easy Riders may know I thoroughly enjoy being a student, and my latest foray has been into poetry. I’ve struggled writing my essay over the last few months, so decided to try verse, as a different format. Class members described poetry as ‘a stockcube of language’ (ie short and powerful) or ‘a song without music’ (gets young people to take it seriously).

The class was designed to introduce complete beginners to various different forms of verse, each of which I have interpreted with the theme of riding a bike.

Acrostic These have a word running down the capital letters, and here uses the word Braintree. Theme of where we live

Bike ride to Maldon

Riding downhill

Across the railway lines

Into Kelvedon

Next up the hill

Through Tiptree

Riding the flatlands to the

Estuary at Osea

Easy Riding.

Free Verse No pattern, no rhymes.

A bike ride to A&E

I rode over a squirrel and it scratched me.

I rang 111.

"Wash it in soapy water.

Go to A&E within an hour!"

I rode past a gardener.

"Can I use your bathroom? - I've been scratched by a squirrel."

She gave me a new bar of soap.

A&E were expecting me!

They mentioned sepsis.

I only waited 3 hours (not 4!)

Tetanus jab, antibiotics and a sore arm for a week.

Thank you A&E.

Concrete These poems are written in a specific shape, where the shape adds to the interpretation of the writing. I drew round my hand, and wrote within the shape.

Cathy MacTaggart, "My Hands"

My hands are how I make my art.

They are so precious to me.

But when I ride my bike, I do not repair my own punctures.

Puncture repairs are too hard on my hands for me to damage them,

prising off types, getting covered in oil and dirt.

My solution to a tyre puncture,

is to give the bike (or the problem) to my husband

so he can repair it.

While I make him a cake.

Which he enjoys.

And we each use our optimal skills.

Haiku Japanese in origin. 3 lines: 5-7-5 syllables. About nature and zen moments. Here, applied to the theme of my bike in nature.

Bike ride in springtime

Cycle quickly to keep warm

Cafés need bike trade

Bike ride in summer

Essential to wear sun cream

Dry and bright and hot

Bike ride in autumn

Gravel and leaves - I can skid

Rising mist on fields

Bike ride in winter

Careful in the ice and snow

Do not slip or slide

Couplets I found this one most fun to write

Purely for pleasure I ride my Bike

Most of the time I go where I like

Breathing hard as I warm up slowly

Fell off hard, now my knee is hole-y.

Brush off gravel, spit on the graze

This slight slip-up won't leave me fazed.

Pedalling on, attacking the hill

Ride the chicane, precluding a spill.

Drop down the gears to maintain cadence

Spin, spin, and spin, this is sport science.

Cresting the hill and freewheeling down

Ecstatically laughing, just like a clown.

Desperate with thirst, I spy a tea shop

Perfectly timed, as I'm fit to drop

Search for the padlock, remember the number

Spin the digits and run to the counter

"Your largest scone please, with tea on the side

And extra hot water as we are so dried"

Refreshed and renewed we're back on our bikes

Next time we go out - could use our trikes?

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