One thing I wonder at every day here in Hanoi is the way motorbikes are used – as family vehicles (amazing how many people can ride on one bike!), as shops, as taxis, even – to my amazement – as beds. I have seen many riders stretched out on the back of their parked bike fast asleep. But the use that amazes me the most is for transportation of stuff. I wish I had started photographing these sooner – photos I didn’t take included a whole single bed innerspring mattress being carried on the seat of the motorbike and a piano being carried in a tiny trailer behind a motorbike. I was also delighted to see a boy sitting on the back of the bike driven my his mother. He was not holding on – because he was too busy reading a book!
Anyway, I have started collecting photos of some of what I see being transported, which has made me ponder even more the very exact art of loading, and securing that load. And, of course, wondering how often loads come loose or the whole bike topples. I did pass one bike on its side outside a shop, with the shop staff unconcernedly carrying the various scattered boxes into the shop.
As I thought about how to put all this into a poem, it occurred to me that the art of loading a motorbike is very like the art of writing a poem. So here’s what I came up with.
Loading a Hanoi motorbike
Is much like
Writing a poem.
First you collect
All that you want to include
Then you carefully
Add and layer
Layer and add
Shift things round
Then, when you are done
You take off
Sometimes it works
(Poem Copyright Sally Murphy 2018)
That’s it from me for this Poetry Friday – but don’t forget you can see what other poetry lovers all around the world have posted today by visiting the Poetry Friday Roundup, hosted today by the wonderful Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference.
PS. This post, and my visit to Hanoi, are made possible by the amazing Asialink Arts Program, and with the funding support of the the Western Australian Government through the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries.