Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Bokeh on my visor

I’m generally a pretty upbeat bloke brimming with optimism and I definitely ascribe to the power of positive thinking. One day when I knew the traffic was going to be absolutely batshit insane due to rain and roadworks, I decided before jumping into the fray I’d focus on remaining in a good mood. So thinking happy thoughts and singing a soppy love song I set out, and managed to arrive 45 minutes later (instead of 10 with no traffic) still with a smile on my face. Similar road conditions on the way back and it worked for the return journey too, and while idling at a traffic light I started to think of how to put a positive spin on describing it. The obvious answer to me was poetry. While I don’t mind the occasional haiku, or a bit of ribald doggerel poetry never really did it for me.  

But I read recently on Buddhafulkat’s website that it’s Poetry Month. It’s perfect timing, as we’re slogging through a unit on poems at school. 
Not just any poems but... dun Dun DUN: 
Like comics, poetry was not something I ever really got into.  I don’t have any old angsty poems where everything is black and depressive squirrelled away anywhere.I’ve got a vague handle on it from teaching it for so many years, and know the basics. I have recently borrowed a colleague’s favourite poetry book and am working my way through them to see if anything rubs off. So far though, still not a fan.
OK so admittedly the traffic isn’t usually as bad as this picture from the Hanoi Grapevine, but there’s nothing wrong with a bit of hyperbole.

Gentle rain falls like mist
Bokeh on my visor
Muted tones, dull and damp
Occasional flashes of vibrant colour -
Like small gleaming fish
The yellow of altar flowers 
Awaiting sale in a basket.

Red light; a pause for thought
Discordant cacophony of horns
Be still, contemplate the moment
This time while watching others struggle
Empathise with them, even as they 
Swim like salmon, upstream against the traffic

Easing back into the flow, leaving a gap
So that others may be grateful
For the proffered mercy; not naivete this time 
But a rare case of kindness
On these hectic roads.

Bottlenecks and jams
Accompanied by strident honking
Savour the pause by being lost in thought
Practice patience and generosity.

Enjoying the warmth of fond memories
Buoyed and cheered by who awaits
The journey enhanced by the destination.

Final stretch, muddy puddles splashing
Warm chocolate merely lacking marshmallows.

Back to the loving embrace.

From Sinfest - perfect illustration if this is too overwrought. Not being a fan of the style, I can’t really tell.


  1. I loved your poem - beautiful all the way through.

    I was totally the teenager with angsty poetry that I later destroyed so that no one would ever know, ever. Except that I just admitted it here...but at least I destroyed the evidence.

  2. Congratulations!!!! I hear you're a father now and Tho is a mother =)

  3. Thanks mate, yep, she came on the weekend, and while she isn't doing many tricks just yet, she is still fun to play with :D