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Rider Magazine Motorcycle Haiku Poetry Contest – Get Your Basho On

Bashō, the most famous poet of the Edo period in Japan, was recognized for his understanding and execution of the haikai no renga form of haiku poetry. An artisan famous for brief and striking  haiku, Bashō could really “diddle them words.”

It is generally accepted that the great one wrote this gem as his last offering to the world:

falling sick on a journey

 my dream goes wandering

over a field of dried grass

If you’ve ever wanted to provide a moving poem to the masses on your favorite subject – the motorcycle – now’s your chance to have your work immortalized in the simplest and best poetic form ever invented; haiku. The standard haiku form consists of three lines – the first has 5 syllables, the second 7 syllables and the third 5 syllables again.

For your mastery of language and invention, you can win yourself a load of motorcycle books which includes 101 Road Tales by Clement Salvadori, Stayin’ Safe by Larry Grodsky, Everything You Need to Know About Street Bikes by Bill Stermer and yet another 10 titles in all.

Our pals at Rider Magazine, the hosts for this most esteemed competition, say the whole package is worth a staggering $235.

Unafraid to do battle on the fields of language and art, I present this humble offering which I will refrain from entering in the contest in the interest of fairness to those less accomplished in the delicate art of haiku:

 I ride this machine

Which spouts tongues of  fire and soul

Along the high plain

– Basho Halterman, 2011

The contest runs through midnight U.S. Pacific time, Friday, December 16, 2011.

Post your haiku in the comments section here, or on the Rider Magazine Facebook page at

No profanity or insults and Rider Magazine urges you not to damage your karma with such horrors. And you won’t win the contest if you go there, so stay in bounds…

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