Back Catalogue # 6b Bridge and Ford (1994)

[As part of the ongoing project of publishing poems from my back catalogue and in response to the #WordPrompt prompt ‘Bridge‘, I am posting this 1994 prose poem entitled Bridge and Ford]

Bridge and Ford

A bridge is no place. A road in the air, thrown between never more than two separate earthbound regions. Normally obviating something – water or a drop – that is of another element; to which it nonetheless owes its name.

To claim a bridge has arms and hands wedded at the centre of gravity forever would be a sentimental exaggeration. 

Bridges pull themselves up by their own weight: an exercise in the reflexive mood. A complex of just stable tensions. Concrete and stiff cables swaying in the wind. Fragile strength. At times calm and strong; at others rippling and turbulent.

Yet, all bridges, of whatever character, share the same destiny. The same project; the same end. Slung by human beings  – a non-illusory rainbow – between unlike places; denying or defying something of an utterly unlike nature; generating association.

Like a word whispered cleanly in the ear. Through an air, willing yet alien. 

*

A ford, conversely, is a place where nature cedes right of way at times, depending on whimsy or season. Semi-permeable, it does not link entirely unlike things. Folk on either side speak the same tongue. Have grown up together. At a sensible distance. Road and flow blend together in a pleasing rhythm. A proper name known by heart; but without meaning.

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