Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Forever bicycles


Toronto's Nathan Phillips Square

3,144 bicycles by Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei 




this 
is what our sky looks:   
tower of wheels, frames & gears
stacked in stainless steel & metallic paint
the smell of gas, smog & paved roads
fanning our cheeks with humid 
air 

this 
is how our city stands:
leaning forward, eyes on fast turn
of cars across super highway, one foot pressed
on gas pedal racing against the clock- by grid-
 lock, we crowd, an indistinguishable 
face-

this 
is what we have become:
mechanically pounding city streets
chasing another sale or dollar, cycle/in/cycle 
we say we're lucky we got a job but who's 
minding rice fields, fish ponds &  
forest?

sun - 
a slit behind grey clouds,
is off-center, less king in our eyes
perhaps a dying star, but we're busy taking shots of bicycles- 
no handlebars nor seats, an art statement  
or a silent protest:  is this 
progress? 



Posted for:   D'verse poets pub - OpenLinkNight - Happy Tuesday to all ~

52 comments:

  1. Sometimes progress is regress isn't it...? What a wonderful and thought-provoking write.

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  2. Ha! I love your descriptions, guided by questions, especially how you place the sensations of bike riding at the beginning of each stanza before sliding into gas-guzzling alternatives. Perhaps it would be progress from jams and poison air to have bicycles--but Weiwei may be making a different statement from a Chinese city where streets are jammed with bikes! Poor off-centered sun.

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  3. Moving forward can be a crock as it takes us back way more

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  4. Reminds me of the song by Katie Melua." Nine million bicycles in Beijing.....

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  5. You packed so much into these four beautiful stanzas; all from the peek at the 3k bikes hanging as art; I find philosophy, political statement, social satire, angst, & a call for conservation, all gathering momentum as we become so focused on the rut we skip feeding the Koi, reseeding the forests; nice ride, def 4 sure; thanks.

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  6. Such depth and clarity in your poem, and my goodness what a photo that it is in itself!

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  7. smiles...it is interesting what we deem as progress...as to the art i think it is pretty cool...as a society we have become a perpetual motion machine that will eventually break down when it can not sustain the stress and pace....and then it will be---a mess....

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  8. Loved your poem and the photo. But in spite of all the negatives of the big city, I still love Toronto, my fav Canadian city, always. There is a vibrancy to the people that live there, filling the streets with activitiy, purpose...the neighbourhoods, the food, the lake, all the things one can do there...loved it all.

    Happy Week to you, G

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    1. Toronto City is still beautiful, I agree ~ Thank you ~

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  9. Grace, I love your words and the 3,144 bicycles by Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei ...so cool.

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  10. I guess it would be better to use the bicycles to reduce our carbon footprint

    Good formed print.

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  11. the daily race... just coming home after 11 hours in the office...and can feel it in every bone... the wheels turning and piling...and we're somewhere in the middle and wonder where this goes.. very cool artwork as well...

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  12. So powerful, Grace... everything in perspective.

    Love your new header.

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  13. we say we're lucky we got a job but who's
    minding rice fields, fish ponds &
    forest?

    Grace, your poem has me wondering what really is the price of progress! I really enjoyed the photo, by the way.

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    1. Thanks Mary ~ I will have the chance to personally view them as the exhibit runs until the end of October ~

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  14. Grace, you're right--not all change is progress. Very strong imagery. >KB

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  15. it makes me sad as this is what we have become...somewhat.

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  16. We are on our way of becoming machines as well. I don't know if it is progress or not but it is true that we are losing ourselves in this fast pace of the world today. Very well-written. I loved the questioning quality of it.
    -HA

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  17. powerful poem, Grace - you really tell it like it is, incl that tough question at the end

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  18. a question we all must ask ourselves wherever we live.

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  19. Beautifully symmetrical, well-contained piece, despite the underlying anger and sadness...

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  20. With all the grim feel of things, is it progress? Good question! Certainly a thought provoking question! A great write Grace!

    Hank

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  21. Good points to ponder, however..if indeed progress is causing such detriment the real question is why doesn't everyone stop..

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  22. strong writing. I wonder the same myself. change is inevitable, certainly. progress is debatable!

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  23. I too wonder where we are going so fast that the sun seems a mere slit--strong write Grace

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  24. that was chock ull of content.. and its theme explains why I venture less and less into Toronto....to much of much...

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    1. This was actually set up during the weekend as part of open art exhibition ~ I hope to see the cool set up in the coming weekend ~ Thanks for the visit ~

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  25. The wheels of change keep spinning around and around..cool exhibit though..

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  26. Great poem! I absolutely love the structure of it. Very thought provoking. :-)

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  27. A fair question and eloquently put - loved your structure here Grace - mirroring stuff... with best Wishes Scott www.scotthastie

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  28. Powerful, poignant and thought provoking. Very cool.

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  29. Oh Grace such brilliant structure and message here, great stuff.

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  30. Great lines ("who's minding" the fields and forests), visuals, and shape. It echoes the shape of the artwork. Nicely done.

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  31. and this is why I have left urban behind for something slower, more grounded in the soil
    and soon, to go even deeper into the nowhere of Africa

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  32. Great combination of your words and the art. I kind of think that anything that stops us and makes us think, or look at things with a different perspective is progress...and your words did just that. I saw Ai Weiwei's tea cube a few months ago...still haven't made my mind up about his work 😊

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  33. Cool poem and I love the photo and the ideas that circled in your verse~

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  34. You have given us much to ponder Grace! The progress of some is unfortunately not always progress for all.

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  35. Interesting and original take on this component of progress, Grace. I enjoyed your use of form, too, bringing the eye (and ear) out and back...Fine writing. I live so close to Toronto, I should find a way to get there. No need to visit back--no post for me this week.

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    1. Thanks for dropping by Steve ~ Fascinating what is called art nowadays ~ Perhaps more grounded, less abstract and using the materials from the urban life which surrounds us ~

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  36. Replies
    1. Some parts are under construction, messy & full of traffic ~ What I admire though is its vibrancy & openness to embrace culture & arts from various artists ~

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  37. Your words bring such energy and meaning to the visual--and vice versa. A well-conceived and well-written piece.

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  38. I particularly admire this piece. A pleasure to read. Your layout is amazing and the message profound.

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  39. The everyday evolution, the trend, got me worried sometimes..

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  40. Progress is a blessing but, I agree with you... there's great relevancy in your poetry friend ~ I've been blessed to live outside of such visual progression but many friends have decided to move from these areas. You're impeccable in your conclusion ! Faithfully Debbie

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  41. I love how you relate the world to the art but not sure we can compare art to progress. Unless "what good could have been done in the time it took to create the bicycle art". But it inspired you to write such wonderful words. Progress...yes?

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  42. Grace this is a powerful poem!!xo

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  43. Cool poem a wonderful mix of thought and questions about our so called progress - nice structure too and sorry - did not know of this site which I have just followed. :-)

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  44. Very well said, and an excellent question. Most often my ideas of progress are not popular, and I see many things as being the opposite. On a purely rural note - THAT IS A LOT of BIKES! LOL

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  45. Somehow i envision watching rats on treadmills..or even dogs..when I read you words...

    There was a time where the only time i removed myself from the rat race was in driving..long distances...not often enough..or mowing grace with the escape of gasoline fumes and consistently loud noises to drown out the rest of culture...

    I am so glad i no longer AM part of thIS system..as IT truly is bleak from the rear view..if one wills..mirror..

    But..IT IS nEVER Too L@E to escape...

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Thank you for your comments and visit. I appreciate them ~