Sunday, August 29, 2010

The poetry school bus

Tis finally back to school time and this week Karen's driving the TFE bus, so click here to check the homework of the other passengers.

This week's task was to write about school... so here's my poem about the school bus, in the days long before health and safety was ever invented.

There and Back


Sometimes we waited at the green leaf bush

Pinched and decorated by our bored hands

Love heart holes in every one

My eyelids heavy with a vicious sleepy sun

Slanting in the bus from its place in outer space

The dirt floor shuddered quivers, bus anticipation

Could never wait to start the odyssey to school

When all aboard the diesel smell would roar

Fooling off – we woke at gates, ten minutes later


At three, a fidget wait for our trip home

Excitement of cartoons, warm hugs, hot meals

We scratched bloodsuckers, ants into the wall

Big Tommy would drive fast, pushed on by cheers and songs

We danced meanwhile, tried touching heads to plastic ceiling

when speeding over bumps, show jumping

On our seats and in the aisle

In time to the lines sung, shouted, feeling great

Tommy cried “Sit down again, sit down”

The school bus heaved a sigh into our estate



18 comments:

NanU said...

The bus! the bus!
I only had a school bus one year, but it seems it was just like that.

Peter Goulding said...

Oh yes, rings very true. The bloodsucker ants and the driver you knew by the first name.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Great vivid memoriesthere Niamh.Love the love heart leaves and the image of trying to bash heads on the roof over the bumps. Were ye feckin giraffes?Coolius!

Niamh B said...

NanU - they were great fun in the day weren't they?
Peter - of course I never harmed a bloodsucker... that bit was made up.
Thanks TFE - We weren't giraffes but we found jumping at just the right time - ie when we'd go over railroad tracks - could lead to us hitting our heads against the ceiling. Tommy used to slam on the brakes with no warning too - sending us all flying towards the front of the bus. I think Tommy's probably not driving school buses any more.

The Bug said...

I rode a bus for, let's see, 6 years - from 7th grade to 12th. I mostly did my homework on my way home from school - & tried to avoid the glue sniffers. I was a GOOD girl - heh. Makes it hard to write anything about that time because I was so boring!

Dominic Rivron said...

Good one. One local school bus here has a driver who sounds like the opposite of Tommy. The kids (with that kid's ear for the apt) call him "steady Eddie".

the watercats said...

we had a big Tommy bus driver.. he used to spit in his door well and had a greasy ceiling above his head.
really love this poem though, it really captures that bus anticipation. I also love the heart hedge image.. never thought about doing that.. mind you, all I had was pine trees to play with!

Martin H. said...

Chaos of the school bus, nicely captured.

Niamh B said...

bug - must've been a long trip to have time to do homework - ours was no more than 10 mins, we were just too lazy to walk.
Dominic - "steady Eddie" that's brilliant!
Watercats - maybe it was the same Tommy? had a transfer? I could have seen him spitting too. Pine trees would've been tricky - we just had those lovely big plain green leaves. perfect for writing on etc
Very Kind Martin :-)

Enchanted Oak said...

It was a wonderful ride on your bus, strange and vivid. My bus rides were never that interesting.

Argent said...

What a rollicking ride there and back! Felt the sun on me making me sleepy and loved the jumping game!

Niamh B said...

Thanks Oak and Argent, glad ye enjoyed it, there were definitely some fun moments on that bus.

Anil P said...

Enjoyed the poem. Though I never had a school bus to go to school in, I can identify with your poetic memories of it.

Niamh B said...

Thanks Anil! Sorry you didn't have a bus... I'm sure ye had your equivalent times of mayhem though!

Jinksy said...

Sounds a bit traumatic to me - I'm glad Shank's Pony got me to my schools, after reading this! :)

Niamh B said...

Thanks Jinksy - shank's pony sounds like an adventure too though!

Karen said...

On our bus, we sang "Ba, Ba, Ba, Bar, Bar, Ba Ran...Ba, Ba, Ba, Bar, Bar, Ba, Ran...Barbara Ann, Gonna Take Your Hand, Barbara Ann!! Got me rockin' and a reelin', reelin' and a rockin, Barbara Ann!" Meanwhile, we bounced up and down with every syllable, doing our best to touch our heads to that plastic ceiling. We looked like some child's toy that you push down one and another peg pops up.

I live an ocean away. It was a generation ago. Things and people are all the same.

Niamh B said...

Brilliant Karen, it seems we weren't the only loons then