M90 Haiku Time

Recently I have spent a lot of time driving between Aberdeen, where I live, and Aberdour, where my mum lives, in Fife. This is because I was keen to spend as much time with my family over the Christmas period as possible, but didn’t manage to get the time off from my job in Aberdeen. As for a lot of this time I was by myself, I started going a wee bit mad, having stared at the same monotonous stretch of road so frequently for hours at a time.

I couldn’t help but feel that time spent between the A90 and M90 was being wasted, so I decided I needed something vaguely creative to be doing. Also, something to stop my mind from going to sleep. I started trying to make up haikus about what I was seeing around me, which I hoped would make me notice wonderful traits of the motorway that had thus far been unapparent, making for a more interesting journey. The results of this were not great at all, but it kept me entertained for some time at least.

The following is the recordings of me trying to conjure up some poetry on the 1st of January, whilst commuting from Fife to Aberdeen for my seven hour shift, and then coming straight back down again after.


This was definitely a questionable decision, and it made the first day of 2018 a very long and dreary one. That being said, the M90 was completely empty when I joined it at 8am on New Year’s morning and so I had the freedom to take in the beautiful surrounding scenery without having to be as concentrated on the road as normal. It was early enough as well that the sky still held that certain light that seems kind of fresh. For this reason, I think the ones in the morning are slightly nicer (I mean they’re still shit but a bit nicer), as by the time I was heading south again it was completely dark and i’m just kind of reading signs out loud to myself. I would like to claim that these are not overly inspiring because I was too busy concentrating on driving to achieve my full poetic potential, but unfortunately I don’t think that is the case. At least this activity encouraged my brain to stay slightly engaged.

There was absolutely no elegant poetry produced, however I quite like the idea of haikus that are boring. Imagine a book of totally pointless poems about a thoroughly mind numbing stretch of motorway. No one would buy that, apart from me maybe, but it’s something i’m thinking about continuing to play with. I’ll be absolutely raging if a book of A90 Haikus comes out before I have the chance to exploit that gap in the market.


Some examples from this recording:



red sky in morning

a V of birds flying high

over West Lomond


again the pips pip

every hour is women’s hour

a murmuration


S. O. S. phone stop

wouldn’t want to be stuck here

on this boring road


I see a sign post

Castleton shop and café

wonder if it’s good


did you hear that joke

about the magic tractor

turned into a field


no wonder this road

has no cultural reference

it is shit haiku


thought it might be good

the creative A90

an un-mined resource


Edinburgh straight

Milnathort, Sterling exit

Aberdeen behind


Loch Leven near by

that’s where Mary Queen of Scots

went to her wee jail


back past West Lomond

second sighting since morning

a beautiful place


road is busy now

this man behind me’s light’s out

could lose licence soon


Kelty and Dollar

must be reaching the Fife sign

oh there it is now


honda civic there

used to like them as a kid

now I think they’re shit


windsock sign tells truth

windy nature of Scottish



five hours spent today

driving this dull motorway

little been achieved


Dunfermline, Rosyth

next exit will be my one

Inverkeithing slip


tourist info sign

about to pass my old school

Divit attraction




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