Motorcycling Haiku

This collection started as a challenge in the about motorcycles web site several years ago. The keeper of the site suggested motorcycling might be a good source of haiku poems. I contributed a few and have since kept up the habit of composing them in the deep of winter when I start really missing riding.

Haiku is a traditional Japanese form of poem using 3 brief lines — short, long, short. The traditional form requires exactly 17 syllables (5, 7, 5). They should make a brief point, have a seasonal reference, and a “whistful” feeling. Modern English adaptations change these rules somewhat — either relaxing or strengthening them. The haiku below follow them exactly. I make no claim to be good at this, but it helps pass the winter.

Winter Waiting

Two deflated wheels
straddle an engine waiting
restlessly for spring.
Behind the cold door
impatiently in the dark
you dream of the road.
Memories of tar
speeding inches below us
fade as the snow builds.
Snow outside my door
makes me long for riding while
my bike waits for spring.
Dusty dry leathers
hang abandoned in the dark
waiting to catch bugs.

The Motorcycle

Two wheels and a seat,
you seem to silently shout,
“I have one purpose.”
Ready I inquire?
Your response, a throaty roar,
draws us to the road.


Entering the hills
the road starts to twist and curl
and my smile grows wide.
When I am riding
the landscape that I pass through
stays so close to me.
Crouched behind the screen
I hear the pings of insects
striking my helmet.

1 comment

  1. Good stuff!

    Though I’ve never lived in a climate where I can’t ride year round, I understand the frustration of my friends who do.

    Keep writing, keep riding.

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