Today, our Cedar Bark Poets have been challenged to write a poem about bridges. A bridge is a powerful metaphor, and when you start looking for bridges in poems, you find them everywhere. Your poem could be about a real bridge or an imaginary or ideal bridge. It could be one you cross every day, or one that simply seems to stand for something larger – for the idea of connection or distance, for the idea of movement and travel and new horizons.
The Lion’s Gate
I built cat’s cradles
Both my hands fluid
With emotion they spoke
I held my hands firmly together
You found a different way
To raise yourself.
Released.I let them dangle
I wove a rug of daisy’s
Sturdy and miles long
From my heart to yours
Walk to me in beauty
Allergic to flowers-your reply
I painted rainbows
Such solid bands-beautiful
Waited at the end of the spectrum
It would have held you
Only after the colours faded
Did you venture out.
Paper strips glued
Cooled the coals over fire
Slack lines cinched
Rocks laid in rivers
Logs positioned across ravines
Tolls paid in advance
Lines of rope,suspended.
I have moved into a tree house.
Pulled my ladder up.
I eat mangoes
Perhaps one day
Someone will construct
Bridges for me.
Over and across
Over and across
Cables hang majestically,
Scratched, dinged, rust ringed
Or fresh paint, shiny traces of age faint.
I have crossed countless times
And have many pictures of it in mind
High tide or low,
It matters not to me which way the currents flow
This bridge bridges river over and across
Both memories and sense of loss
For it takes me both there and back
And while crossing, memories, I never lack
As deteriorating paving and potholes, wheels on, go clack, clack, clack
And far below pilings waves attack
I walk on, my pace slack.
A gusting wind over the deck blows straight across the flat
This bridge in fact does have a rigid tact
But I tell you there is a soul
A personality that it does enrol
You can not walk across this bridge without the feelings pull
And on some level it still exacts a toll
For so many years
I have crossed these piers
In times of hardship heard it’s groaning tears
And the few of prosperity, when it looked far younger than its years
But often stopping at the mid point and standing here
On this bridge held so dear
As I stand in this viewing place
By me cars, trucks bikes and busses race
From high above perched, a seagull leers
As someone lost over railing peers
But rivets of plates long ago seared
Hold fast against cars trucks and buses that occasionally into veered.
Part of a bridge designed for function
To but merely span a junction
Yet beauty finds its way into this conjunction
Every element and curve, elegant as it serves it’s function right down to the lowly puncheon
Though maligned by traffic snarls and accidents
as someone hot headed rolls down a window and vents
I laugh at the thought of his intellect possibly spent
The bridge is still busy in its functions intent
Harp like cables by wind plucked
And another maintenance cut ducked
This bridge sometimes feels into good fortune lucked
But countless initials into countless coats of paint stuck
To a bridge like the rings of a tree bucked
I near the bridges sidewalk end, the excitement almost seems shucked
On finally reaching the other side back into me the memories I tucked.
Crossed and over I have again been
And the reminder of all memories I have here seen
To the brim with traffic it still teems
but I have crossed in times of plenty and times lean
and all my memories bridge the years of my life, messy and clean
but I always look forwards, and never, over the side to look down lean.
for vertigo is just too mean.
and the river below might seem to sweep me away, like my memories of this bridge have been.