NDSU Magazine logo -Spring 2006

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Vol. 06, No. 2


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First Ride

Poems on the bus

In some cities, the insides are peppered with snappy advertisements, layers upon layers of personal messages carved or markered or inked by passengers. In the No. 13 buses in Fargo, a rider inclined to read will find poetry.

Short-short poems -- small enough to fit on the wall and easy to read while bumping along on the road -- will be updated a couple of times a year.

The city and the university also collaborated in adding art to the bus shelters around town.


A woman wants to communicate A man tells her which buttons to push A child watches

--Amy Hanstad, NDSU Creative Writing


"Invalid" or "thank you" -- what will it be today?
My card is so ragged I never know what it will say.
Thank goodness it thanked me, so I can sit down
Next to a stranger. I smile, he frowns.
Up and down my stomach starts to feel icky.
What's that? Oh no! I just put my hand in something sticky!
Who puts their gum under the seat?
Wait, oh ... crap, there goes my street.
Pull the yellow cord and jump off out of place.
He pulls away as if in some sort of race.
Walking to school, I guess it's not that far.
Besides, riding the bus is better than filling my car.

--Laura Oja, NDSU Creative Writing


Even his skeleton
Has stripes!

--Glenna Luschei, NDSU Creative Writing


Cold coffee
Burnt bagel
Late for class

--Angela Smith, NDSU Creative Writing


If you can make a poem
A farmer approves of,
You should feel lucky.
A blacksmith you can never figure out.
The worst to please is a carpenter.

--Olav Hauge, N.D. poet


I can't really transcribe his laughter. Partly because
it's not always clear what he's laughing about.
He seems just to laugh. Has whole conversations
with himself in the language of chuckles.
He's carbonated.

Surely we don't have
a Theory of Laughter? I won't look it up.

--Cynthia Nichols, NDSU poet and teacher


Why are you looking
at poetry instead of
out the window there?

--Terry Mondry, NDSU Graduate Student in English

Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.