I look for little things:
the goslings eating grass,
the hues of green that change from day to day,
the way the water ripple from the breeze.

I listen for the blackbird’s song
for tunes of tires on the gravel road
for alder shiver in a sudden gust .

On my chain and sprocket stead
in rain and wind or graced by sun,
with calves and thighs,
with lungs and heart,
with open eyes and ears.
with all the little things
another office day can start.

Aristide Bruant on His Bicycle by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

Aristide Bruant on His Bicycle by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

Today Gabriella wants us to write poetry that starts in our every day, the simple things, the routines maybe. I decided to describe my bicycle ride to work, could it be more routine yet more unique? Everyday I follow the same path along the water, I watch the seasons change, I meet the same people and say goodmorning. It sounds idyllic and it is indeed, but at the end of the trip there is an office waiting.

May 26, 2015

37 responses to “Commuting

  1. I do a bit of cycling an dI love the image of your “chain and sprocket stead”. I also think “alder shiver in a sudden gust” is quite fresh. Thank you and keep writing 🙂

  2. How it is that the day brights up when we look for (and see) the mundane but beautiful. Excellent Björn.
    Anna :o]

  3. “… for alder shiver in a sudden gust.
    On my chain and sprocket stead
    in rain and wind or graced by sun,
    with calves and thighs,
    with lungs …”


  4. I too look for those things that are beautiful although ordinary and seen everyday. Watching the seasons change, the colors and depths of the river by the road, flowers that bloom at different times in the median…this is a lovely look at the ordinary becoming extraordinary.

  5. I find myself looking at these little things as I drive the same route or as I walk the same path. This spring I delighted in watching the trees bud and then finally leaf out. And there is a little restaurant I always observe, which never has any customers at all…. It is the small details that give ‘spice’ to life. And I imagine these details are very vivid as you ride!

  6. For almost a year I drove about 30 kilometers to work every day. One thing I delighted in was to observe the minute details and also the changing light as I drove. It never became a routine – maybe it would have after a few years.

  7. that is a reason why i love biking to work – the senses are sharp to take in the small things along the way… thanks for taking us along with you… have to take the car today as we’re having heavy rains in the forecast…

  8. even with the office waiting at the end, this sounds lovely…seeing the changing seasons, watching the growth of those goslings from day to day…sounds wonderful!

  9. Great words, Björn – transforming the everyday into less mundane….I love ‘chain and sprocket stead’

  10. There is something almost zen to the noticing – seeing the little things and letting that bring you into peace before the day starts in all its chaos.

  11. Never have been a cyclist, but always envied those of you who are. My commute to work for 30 years was mostly freeway, traffic flows & migraine headaches from stress & in climate weather. Your piece has both the simplicity & beauty that rocks the prompt & has us mentally pumping alongside you. I like the line /for tunes of tires on the gravel road/ & like several other I dug the “shivering alders”.

  12. It sounds like such a nice ride Bjorn. And how good that you notice all those little things before you get to the office.

  13. before gardening, today, we went for a ride up and down our rolling hill… amazing the landscape as it changes riding down a country road… you captured the feeling well

  14. I really enjoyed reading your poem about seemingly “ordinary” events and objects. I also try to walk a little slower and focus on things beyond my own ego and personal drama. Thank you for reminding me how important it is to meditate on the small things in life.

  15. I suppose commuting by bike does allow one to take in all the details along the way much more so than commuting by car. But I’ll be sticking with my car and just have to enjoy the commute vicariously through you today. Peace, Linda

  16. As odd as it may sound, this was like getting to enjoy a cup of morning coffee with you. Very nice, personal style. I like the repetition in the last stanza. It emphasizes without being heavy.

  17. Bjorn, you have captured the everyday..when I am driving to work I often sky watch looking for birds, shapes of clouds or just watching the sunrise on the commute. Of course I have to keep one eye on the road. smiling..

  18. Got to beat commuting on the London underground, which is what I used to do… Now I have a lovely walk and hear the birds singing and watch which blade of grass has grown most. It’s a very gentle, sweet poem, quite a change of pace.

  19. So many things to observe that an everyday thing will always present itself as something new! It does not matter at the end of it is the office to face!


  20. Hey Björn,
    I too wrote on my commute.

    I wish I could ride a bike, like you. But if I were, I am sure I would enjoy just like you. Your poem let me feel your ride. Thank you

    BTW, possible edit: at the end of your post you wrote “but at the trip” — was it suppose to be “but at the end of the trip”?

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