The Bridge

an exercise in speculative thinking

'Look at me. I stand forever...'

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Look at me. I stand forever,
a bridge too far by normal measure.
I boldly go where none have gone
and stride across the Rubicon
to meet en entente harmonie
with France our ancient enemy.

Conventional wisdom's staying hand
has no part in where I stand.
Posterity will bear with me
and judge my part in history.
Lest dull alternative be found
To urge a crossing underground.

Tunnels are, in vulgar terms,
fit for moles and mice and worms.
Trapped by darkness fire or flood,
such places are no earthly good,
in panic push and desperate shove
with no escape to worlds above.

I cross the channel in fifty strides
producing energy from the tides
by simple well known exploitation
of spinning worlds - a power station,
my turbines using ebb and flow
produce more power than winds can blow.

Two decks for road and rail complete,
and one for wind-sports, bikes and feet.
On perches migrant birds will rest,
below decks kittiwakes shall nest.
You can walk it in four, bike it in three,
and do a run for charity.

No formal carriage or wormlike queue.
No blank walls to impede your view.
My promenade is wide and free,
you can stand and stare or stop for tea.
In case of rain bring your own tree,
for only weeds will grow on me!

You can watch the big ships passing through
wave at passengers and crew.
enlist their aid, their passionate pleas,
get them to write to their MPs
before the rest like sheep will bleat
And start digging tunnels under my feet.

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     Text & paintings © Alan Mann 2006 - 2009