Category: Poetry

Thundering forward…

Thundering forward Unstoppable momentum, Another driving test. My first ever attempt at Haiku (does it show?) I was trying to be all ambiguous there, the first two lines to suggest the truck, the third to suggest it is my training to which I refer. Please yourselves. You got in here for free you know! Perhaps I won’t give up my day job just yet. So, pretentions of poetic competence aside, it is my test tomorrow. Again. I’m clocking up the frequent flyer miles. The examiners ask after my family and want me to be a best man for them. Seriously though, my instructor has bought "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins on the strength of my recommendation. He’s only twenty or so pages into it, so hopefully I’ll have passed before he’s finished. I’ve been in the cab that long that we’ve even got around to discussing religion (not, I would suggest, a topic one raises with a stranger, unless it’s a very small stranger and you are carrying a very stout stick.) The cut and thrust of theistic debate invariably ends in a gunshot. As a Buddhist I am, of course, philosophically opposed to the concept of violence and will thrash soundly anyone who disagrees. I digress from my digression. I was merely saying that I’ve been under instruction for some considerable time. And if today is anything to go by, will be for some time to come. I booked four hours training for today, to get me back in truck mode. Bloody good job too. I was terrible. I mounted about three or four pavements, went into two islands too hot, and nearly took out one of those orange plastic light things they have on the little lane-dividing islands. Hopefully that will have shocked me back into alertness for tomorrow. I can’t stress enough how not good I was today. And I’m still too close to parked vehicles. It’s the curse of the biker. I’m not picking up on it because, unlike the pavements, my brain doesn’t automatically register it as a mistake. I know I can get through a gap, so am looking for the next problem, get through the gap and don’t panic that there was only a fag-papers distance twixt truck and passed object. It takes an ashen faced instructor to point out my …, over competence, shall we say. It will be down to luck again tomorrow, I have passed both parts of the test, now I have to do them both together. *Sighs deeply* Ho hum, Tomorrow will tell. Later, Buck. PS Unbearable tension Unrelenting, infinite hour Repeat ad nauseum. That’s right, I failed again. Still, I have the reverse sussed now! I mounted another pavement, and made a few silly mistakes due to flapping. I get to do it all again on the 28th. Joy.

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Here’s something to illustrate (wrongly) what I alluded to in my last entry, i.e. the glumness of being, the malaise of the mind, (the pretentiousness of) the ennui of existence. My November Guest MY Sorrow, when she’s here with me,   Thinks these dark days of autumn rain Are beautiful as days can be; She loves the bare, the withered tree;   She walks the sodden pasture lane. Her pleasure will not let me stay.   She talks and I am fain to list: She’s glad the birds are gone away, She’s glad her simple worsted gray   Is silver now with clinging mist. The desolate, deserted trees,   The faded earth, the heavy sky, The beauties she so truly sees, She thinks I have no eye for these,   And vexes me for reason why. Not yesterday I learned to know   The love of bare November days Before the coming of the snow, But it were vain to tell her so,   And they are better for her praise. – Robert Frost This I took to be a reference to depression, and the way it colours your whole perception. Or rather drains of colour. Until all that’s left is  grey, unremitting, interminable and devoid of even the hope of cessation. Turns out it’s nothing of the sort. It’s a tale of the poet going for a walk with his wife (his sorrow? Never heard of divorce?) and her taking pleasure in the season, and berating him for failing to appreciate it, whereas he was enjoying it just as much, but letting her extol it’s virtues to share the frission. Also, while we wax lyrical here is my favourite, and only memorised poem A Last Word by Ernest Dowson Let us go hence: the night is now at hand; The day is overworn, the birds all flown; And we have reaped the crops the gods have sown; Despair and death; deep darkness o’er the land, Broods like an owl; we cannot understand Laughter or tears, for we have only known Surpassing vanity: vain things alone Have driven our perverse and aimless band. Let us go hence, somewhither strange and cold, To Hollow Lands where just men and unjust Find end of labour, where’s rest for the old, Freedom to all from love and fear and lust. Twine our torn hands! O pray the earth enfold Our life-sick hearts and turn them into dust. Not bad for 1899. Keep smiling! Buck.

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