Scott, oh Scott, where have you gone?
with your chunky, grey
"Psycho" tyres, so precious
No more Shimano Deore LX
derailleurs, or Mavic M236
rims, Tektro brake levers
simple, easy to hold
I'm not on a diet
but I've lost 27 pounds
Now you've gone away
I'm lost, in a flat land, clean,
without my double-butted chromoly frame,
what can I do?
By Ruth Hite, aged 14, who receives Michael Rosen's Mind the Gap (Scholastic). Submitted by Mr C Yates of Maharishi School, Ormskirk, Lancashire, who receives the Poetry Society teachers' newsletter, a quarterly bulletin which includes features on innovative approaches to poetry in the classroom as well as news on the latest resources. Poetry Society events: 0171 240 4810
One of the great disservices we do in the name of poetry is to suggest to children that some words are "poetic" and others aren't. What I like about Ruth Hite's poem is her relish for a much-loved object, a relish that comes all wrapped up with its jargon. You can hear her slavering over "Shimano Deore LX derailleurs" and that cheeky little "approx" in the third stanza kills me. There's a nice double-edge to being "lost in a flat land" - it's a fine image of dullness but it would also be a great place to go cycling . . . if you had your Scott Boulder bike.