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Motorcycle poetry?

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by incitatus, Aug 30, 2005.

  1. My other interest is aviation and there are numerous poems written about the feelings experienced when flying, some quite spiritual (see example below). In all the years I have been riding I don't think I have come across any real bike poetry. Does anybody know of any good motorcycle poetry? Something that really captures the freedom and magic that keeps people riding until their 80's not the 'big bad biker' God created Harleys bullshit crap.

    Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
    And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
    Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
    Of sun-split clouds -- and done a hundred things
    You have not dreamed of -- Wheeled and soared and swung
    High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
    I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
    My eager craft through footless halls of air.



    Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
    I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
    Where never lark, or even eagle flew.
    And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
    The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
    Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

    John Gillespie McGee, Jr. (1922 - 1941)
     
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  2. "I don't want a pickle,
    Just want to ride on my motor-sickle"

    Arlo Guthrie
    :LOL: :LOL: :LOL:
     
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  3. I wrote this one a while ago:

    on black rails, twisting into the canyon,
    all earthly things slipping by in periphery
    the destination forever the next bend
    death, he stands by the side of the road
    trying to catch your eye
     
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  4. Naa that's wat ahm talkin bout!
     
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  5. Mate, thank you for that. I seriously believe that that is one of the most sublime pieces of poetry in the English language. I don't even LIKE flying, but I get goosebumps every time I hear that quoted. Thanks for sharing the completed text with us.

    That's perfection in words.
     
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  6. Here's one I found on the net.

    The Old Man

    and The Motorcycle

    by Liam Rector

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The old man had cancer
    And the old man’s wife was dead
    And the old man’s kids didn’t like him

    So the old man sold most everything
    And the old man bought a motorcycle
    And the old man got back

    To the backroads, to the roads he’d enjoyed
    So much as a young man,
    And the old man figured what the hell,

    I’m sick I don’t have long I might
    As well die falling off this thing
    Somewhere: this affordable, this moving,

    This very last roaring thing on these roads.
     
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  7. Doubly poignant as it was found pencilled on the back of a letter to his parent. His Spitfire crashed before they saw him again.

    I have stood on too many cold airfields, keeping the minute's silence for friends who have't come back - competition gliding and hang gliding takes a toll not unlike motorcycling. This poem is always recited, and every pilot knows it. I don't know that there is an equivalent for motorcycling (but if there is, let's celebrate it), but the freedom that "High Flight" captures is the one I feel riding or flying.

    On a lighter note, read the annotated version http://polyticks.com/home/Visions/HighFly2.htm
     
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  8. As usual, Chairman, classic!!!
     
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  9. Hey incitatus - have you read any Saint-Exupery? (Speaking of slipping the surly bonds of earth.)

    I can recommend "Wind, Sand and Stars" - here's a blurb:

    "Having served as a mail pilot whose routes took him across the Mediterranean to the African continent & later across the Atlantic to South America, Saint-Exupery demonstrates how aviation ---a profession that often allows for long periods of solitude and contemplation--- led him to make his most formidable discoveries of the enigma that we call "life." Here, we see through the eyes of a pilot as he remembers not only his perilous travels, but his observations about duty, courage, love, war, sacrifice, death, and other fundamental issues that we encounter during our existence on this planet."
     
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  10. I respectfully disagree. I have been flying for over 25 years including competition aerobatics, many vintage aircraft (one as old as 1917), the youngest around 60 years old, and have yet to have a friend killed. On the other hand since 1966 I have had 3 close friends killed on bikes and several others severely injured.
     
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  11. I appreciate that our experiences may be different. GA is about the safest sport I can think of. Circling at stall + 2knots at 200ft AGL up a box canyon isn't. The statistics for gliding, and hang gliding in particular, are skewed away from the GA mean - particularly when you use a measure like deaths/incidents/accidents per hour flown.

    I've lost three friends to hang gliding accidents, and another three with injuries that leave them severely incapacitated. I've also watched two friends deploy their reserves at under 300 ft - fortunately, all successfully. I've been present at two events at which we've lost a sailplane pilot - one each to a mid-air and an outlanding in adverse terrain. But these were almost all under competition conditions - the same conditions that lead me (and others) to push beyond our skills as motorcyclists and set up high-risk situations.

    Best we have a beer one night, and you can tow me up in the morning. Last one to spin down is a rotten egg.

    Let's find us some good poems!
     
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  12. Depends what you call GA. A Sopwith Triplane with 100hp rotary, no throttle, no brakes, no tailwheel, no forward visibility, so much adverse yaw it requires full opposite rudder to initiate a turn, and an engine that fails with monotonous regularity....thats the kind of aviation I refer to....and still no deaths. I like the beer idea.
     
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  13. You'd love my SR! I wonder if Yamaha stole the design specs from Sir Thomas?

    Edit: 100hp?...no, clearly not.
     
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  14. The SR aha...I once had the pleasure. I believe it was more like the Fokker EIII eindekker replica I flew at La Ferte in France.....much like the tripe but without ailerons...you had to warp the wings, rather like an SR frame.
     
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  15. "What do you want one of those things for?"
    The question, of course, asked.
    "Oh they save on a quite a lot of fuel..."
    Enthusiasm masked.

    "So you'll be an organ donor then?"
    That witty assumption quoth.
    "Whatever, mate. I'll go live life,
    While you fear for us both."

    "My best friend got killed on one,
    To ride should be a crime!"
    "Condolences, no disrespect;
    Was he speeding at the time?"

    "Son, if you go buy that motorbike,
    Don't bother coming back."
    "I have a job, I don't do drugs,
    Cut me some friggin' slack."

    "Well I sort of have this thing for bikes,
    And leathers on a man.
    Can you take me for a ride?"

    "Yes. ...Yes I can :cool:"
     
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  16. ok... just fractionally less articulate, but let's not discriminate eh?!

    I was down in the dumps, death-like
    My friends were suggesting a psych
    But with a nudge and a wink
    My blues turned to pink
    When I discovered the hills on a bike :LOL:
     
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  17. it's prose not poetry but there is good old Hunter S. Thompson.

    Song of the Sausage Creature
    by Hunter S. Thompson

    There are some things nobody needs in this world, and a bright-red, hunch-back, warp-speed 900cc cafe racer is one of them - but I want one anyway, and on some days I actually believe I need one. That is why they are dangerous.

    Everybody has fast motorcycles these days. Some people go 150 miles an hour on two-lane blacktop roads, but not often. There are too many oncoming trucks and too many radar cops and too many stupid animals in the way. You have to be a little crazy to ride these super-torque high-speed crotch rockets anywhere except a racetrack - and even there, they will scare the whimpering shit out of you... There is, after all, not a pig's eye worth of difference between going head-on into a Peterbilt or sideways into the bleachers. On some days you get what you want, and on others, you get what you need.

    When Cycle World called me to ask if I would road-test the new Harley Road King, I got uppity and said I'd rather have a Ducati superbike. It seemed like a chic decision at the time, and my friends on the superbike circuit got very excited. "Hot damn," they said. "We will take it to the track and blow the bastards away."
     
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  18. it's prose not poetry but there is good old Hunter S. Thompson.

    Song of the Sausage Creature
    by Hunter S. Thompson

    There are some things nobody needs in this world, and a bright-red, hunch-back, warp-speed 900cc cafe racer is one of them - but I want one anyway, and on some days I actually believe I need one. That is why they are dangerous.

    Everybody has fast motorcycles these days. Some people go 150 miles an hour on two-lane blacktop roads, but not often. There are too many oncoming trucks and too many radar cops and too many stupid animals in the way. You have to be a little crazy to ride these super-torque high-speed crotch rockets anywhere except a racetrack - and even there, they will scare the whimpering shit out of you... There is, after all, not a pig's eye worth of difference between going head-on into a Peterbilt or sideways into the bleachers. On some days you get what you want, and on others, you get what you need.

    When Cycle World called me to ask if I would road-test the new Harley Road King, I got uppity and said I'd rather have a Ducati superbike. It seemed like a chic decision at the time, and my friends on the superbike circuit got very excited. "Hot damn," they said. "We will take it to the track and blow the bastards away."
     
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  19. There’s a brotherhood, a family
    Friendships and the like
    That spring from one common factor
    The two wheels known as THE BIKE

    by me - I will complete it later :wink:
     
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  20. Riding Thru

    Under the wheels,
    Under my feet,
    Pass mile upon mile
    Of old fields of wheat.

    And out of the corner
    No the tip of my eye,
    There are fields of green
    Just passing right by.

    No matter how much
    I have in the bank
    Or how much I owe
    On this bike I now thank

    The mercy of nature
    For the fields I see
    And the fertile land
    In the heart of me.

    By Amanda Mapel
     
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