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Screamin’ Beemer

When I was 16-years old I bought a 1966 BMW R60RS motorcycle and, in 1974, I rode it on a 7000 mile loop of America along with my dad and two brothers. Still, the BMW had “a face only a mother could love” and was not a “cool” bike for a young man at that time. I wrote this poem when was 17 in defense of my motorcycle.

I rode into this dust-bowl town,
Ate beans at the local dive;
When a few old boys began to noise
Some anti-Beemer jive.

Now, I had a screamin’ Beemer,
(That’s B.M.W. to you),
And she could pass ‘most anything,
Either around or through!

But these yahoos just laughed at me,
‘Claimed I forked an old man’s bike;
‘Suggested that I trade her soon
On a wheelchair or a trike!

I challenged them to meet me
Come sundown, Friday night;
They all showed up, though few came back,
I reckon they died of fright.

They all lined up along the side
Of the dustiest road around;
Just bat your eye and the breeze from that
Brought dust from off the ground!

I had the Beemer atop the hill,
The crowd stood there below;
Just a-laughin’ and a-pointin’
And a-darin’ me to go!

I fired her up, she came to life,
And roared like the ocean’s tide!
‘Made mountains quake and people shake
And dogs run off to hide!

I looked along the dusty road
To eyes peering up in wonder;
At first they searched the skies for clouds
As they heard my Beemer’s thunder!

I hauled in the clutch, dropped her in gear,
‘Said, “Town-folk, hold on tight!
If you’ve not seen pure hell on wheels,
You’re gonna see it tonight!”

I blasted down that dusty road,
And had already doubled back,
Before the dust from my first pass
Had lifted from the track!

‘Caused eyes to pop and chins to drop
‘Til belly met with jaw;
No one really quite believed
What their eyes just saw.

As I shot past people asked,
“Is it a rocket or a jet?”
My show was through ’cause everyone knew
I’d just won my bet.

I still felt disappointment
As the end of the ride grew near;
The motor hadn’t been running right,
She’d been stuck in second gear!

Then as I slowed, and as I stopped,
And as I turned the Beemer off,
A silence fell across the crowd,
Except for an occasional cough.

Two hundred eyes were on me;
My blood began to run cold;
When some man said, “Hurray for him!”
And then he stood up bold.

He said, “You’re what we’re looking for!
Yes, you’re just what we need!
Our town could be a metropolis
If but my plea you’ll heed!

No one ventures to our town
Because of all this dust;
So, if we’re to grow this dust must go,
Really, sir, it must!”

I said, “I see you’re right, sir,
But there is nothing I can do.”
He said, “There IS! The answer is
Your B.M.double-U!

Mass in motion creates a draft,
(Now follow my deduction),
Your Beemer’s speed is all we need
To build the needed suction!

You can see that with this dust
We’re really in a pickle;
But you could haul it all away
In the slipstream of that sickle!”

Suddenly…In harmony…
A cheer rose from the crowd;
It started low, began to grow,
And soon was sung out loud!

Fireworks fired out,
Each one followed by a streamer!
A plane was writing in the sky,
“WE THANK THEE FOR THY BEEMER!”

A pretty girl with flowers
kissed me on the cheek;
I helped her board the Screamin’ “B”
And took off in a streak!

That dust was like a mountain,
but I knew that I could move her;
As I flew past people asked,
“Is that a Kirby or a Hoover?”

I dumped the dust days later
In an old mine-shaft I found;
And that pretty girls with flowers
Is still a-hangin’ ’round.

The town is growing quickly,
Like it’s never going to stop;
Now boasts the country’s largest
Screamin’ Beemer shop!

So if somewhere someone’s saying,
With an eye to future cast,
That the Beemer’s days are numbered
As a relic from the past;

Take a trip to this old town
At friday’s final gleam;
A tradition set to this day yet,
The purebred Beemers scream!

Picture of Wes Stephenson

Wes Stephenson

Author, motorcyclist, poet, and adventurer. Let's journey together.

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