The Bridge

The Bridge

Bestridden and below, the letted vein

twitches and judders towards not an end

but a beginning neither; we meet at

a confluence of something and nothing.


How it engulfs those above, that other

blighted stream: the barter and traffic of

consumer junk and hurried ferried souls

heedless of all but the Poundland shuffle.


Where once the stuff of Empire swelled and flowed,

and now, the smear of headlamps and brake lights

dragging the river’s muddied silt pool, whorl

of a moment washed under in a breath.


Limping quietly on, the Ship Canal

unkinks the river’s troubled story like

a bandaged splint; but the view from The Bridge

is of nothing that anchors the gaze.


M a e r e – s e a


Say it slowly and it’s pleading you hear,

say it fast and its gone in a puff of

diesel; ‘border river’ in ancient tongue,

but aren’t they all, in their own different way?


The Bridge gathers its supplicant stream, arched

to the heavens while below slips unseen

to depths none but the wretched can fathom,

for the view from The Bridge is of nothing.


That anchors the gaze.




December 2012