The Truck Drivin’ Poet

The Truck Drivin' Poet

I once knew an old truck driver
Who’d been drivin’ a rig all his life.
And he never knew a single worry.
Nor was he ever bothered with strife.

His life was oh so relaxin’.
As for stress, he just didn’t know it.
He had not a care in the world,
For he was a truck drivin’ poet.

When traffic was backed up for miles
And he was in a rush to get through,
Instead of getting all upset,
Here’s all he would ever do:

Into his citizens band radio mike
He’d recite a verse or two
Of Blake, Shelley, cummings, or Whitman.
To him any old poet would do.

Cuz it’s poetry that kept him so happy,
And kept his life completely carefree.
It’s poetry that taught him ’bout livin’,
And that life’s what he makes it to be.

But when he recited the oldies
The other truckers would always complain.
Cuz to them those old poets were so boring.
They made staying awake such a strain.

The truckers wanted poems with attitude—
Poems that would make them tap their toes.
They didn’t want to be bored and befuddled
By such pitilessly pretentious prose.

The Truck Drivin’ Poet wasn’t offended.
It happened to him all the time.
So he stopped recitin’ Ferlingetti
And started recitin’ poets who rhymed.

He recited poems that had rhythm,
And poems with discernible beats.
And soon the truckers were much happier
Than they had been while listening to Keats.

Now Keats, himself, had some rhythm
(And the truckers did give him a try).
But for them he was way too Romantic
And his poems just a little too dry.

What those truckers wanted to hear
Were poems with a lively, snappy tone.
Shel Silverstein pleased them the most.
Second were the Authors Unknown.

And what they wanted he’d sure try to give ’em.
Cuz all he ever wanted to do
Was to make them truck drivers happy
So they’d know not a worry, too.

For he knew truck drivin’ wasn’t easy—
It’s tough drivin’ a rig every day.
And that’s why he recited them poetry—
To help drive their troubles away.

From Poem Man


24 Replies to “The Truck Drivin’ Poet”

  1. Have you ever read the Icelandic Sagas? Lots of poetry in them. Egil (pronounced Aeo), the subject of Egil’s Saga, was a warrior and poet who after he lost his brother and son was ready to give up because he thought the gods had given him nothing. Then he realized the gods gave him language so he could speak and compose words into poems. It is a great gift he realized as his poems live to this day.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. There are lots of sagas to be enjoyed. Many people have a hard time reading them because the writing seems too unstructured and chaotic. But they are really well written and portray the lives and interactions of viking families, so they are complex, often convoluted and unpredictable — basically stories about life.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Literary to begin with, but now my wife is studying Old Norse and doing research on the saga and translating parts of the sagas as part of her current classes in linguistics. Never been to Iceland, but it’s definitely on our list.

            That site is a good place to start. The translations are old, but that’s not to say they are bad.

            Liked by 1 person

      1. You are most welcome, Kurt. I read your poem in much synchronicity with much recent pondering on the liberating freedom in not being affected by circumstances, not talking about ignoring them but by ‘playing’ with them in your own way, as your truck driver. I enjoyed it much :)

        Liked by 1 person


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