Zen and the Art of Rhyming Maintenance – 14th May 2021

As an extra challenge to writing, I thought it might be interesting to write a poem for each of these quotes that I highlighted in my copy of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I don’t like to make things easy for myself.

If someone’s ungrateful and you tell him he’s ungrateful, okay, you’ve called him a name. You haven’t solved anything.

Problem Solved?

So, what’s the problem?
I’m an ungrateful prick?
Thanks for your comment
It really made me tick
Was it somehow helpful?
Did it get things straight?
I don’t think any thing changed
I guess you’ll just have to wait

…that old feeling I’ve talked about before, a feeling that there’s something bigger involved than is apparent on the surface.

Under The Hood

I can feel it in my bones
Unshakeable, but invisible
I try to look inside it
But, this time it’s not divisible
Clouding up the thoughts
Stumbling around my guesses
Impossible to clarify
Mixed within my messes
Can’t be touched upon
Or identified in the grey
It’s on the tip of my tongue
But what it is, I cannot say

He travelled alone. Always. Even in the presence of others he was completely alone. People sometimes felt this and felt rejected by it, and so did not like him, but their dislike was not important to him.

He Travelled Alone

You said that we all need a friend
And perhaps that’s really true
But I think that I’ve decided
That friend isn’t going to be you
I’m alone but I’m not lonely
It doesn’t matter what you know
You don’t have to be like me
I’m happy if you just leave me alone
I accept the way I am
And don’t care what you say
Why do you want me to be like you?
It’s just your ego getting in my way
I’m sorry if this makes you sad
But that’s really down to you
I’ll see you again tomorrow
And know my feeling’s true

It’s frustrating to see how completely unaware he is at the time of the significance of what he is saying.

Significant Words

I look back at my old words
I see I understood things well
Yet somehow I couldn’t act on them
I couldn’t really tell
That big truths underlie all this
Almost as plain as day
It’s so easy to say them
But much harder to put in play
Sometimes so unaware
I stumble way off course
I have to remind myself
And get back on my horse

No one is fanatically shouting that the sun is going to rise tomorrow.

Shout at the Sun

Some things don’t need to be said
But maybe they should be
Reminders to our busy selves
About how simple things would be
If we took time in appreciation
To really know that the sky is blue
Of course, we already know this
But we could really understand it too
Take a minute and look on up
Above your thoughts and feelings
Astound yourself with simple things
In all your daily dealings

The effort of fathoming what is in another’s mind creates a distortion of what is seen.

Are You For Real?

You don’t see what I can see
Do you?
You can’t see what’s in my mind
Can you?
You’ll never work it out now
Will you?
You aren’t really real now
Are you?

I see blue but you see red
You didn’t listen to what I said
I’ll react exactly the same
Until we can agree on a name
Let’s be clear, just talk it straight
You said mind games are what you hate
But you always do that so well
So deceptive, I couldn’t tell
Now I’m empty, now I’m blank
And for that I’ve you to thank

We have to keep going until we find out what’s wrong or find out why we don’t know what’s wrong.


What’s wrong? Do you know?
If not, why is it so?
Don’t stop, just keep going
On this path to one day knowing

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