Poems on Bridges (Setu) - Rob Harle

The handmade bridge to our “Walden Pond” like cabin which we built in 1977.
A wonderful place for reclusive creative pursuits. There are many sorts of bridges (setu) the following three recent poems express some of these different approaches.

By Rob Harle

Cast Shadows 

(Inspired by the Jiri Barta film - The Club of the Laid Off)

The abandoned building beckons
a bleak bridge to the past,
paint flakes the wall
falling like downcast eyes,
an eerie dull light seeps insipidly
from a crescent moon,
a flickering dull-bright from
the cracks beneath the antique doors.

Damp musty scents waft over me
the presence of coal gas menacing,
somewhere a clock ticks loudly
reinforcing the curse of mortality,
Plath’s ghost sighs deeply
trying to recite Sheep In Fog,
impossible this side of the bleak bridge.

The one armed cook smirking
stirs the blood filled stew
and the broken stove creaks,
dinner for the laid off
half warm - soon.
the boy’s clock chimes his return
his broken lamp lifeless
casting shadows on nothing!

Rainbow Bridge

There is a bridge from Saturn to Uranus,
Chiron reaches out to all who come to cross,
tread carefully intrepid traveller
Saturn's hold is strong.
I tried to cross the rainbow bridge
from past to promised future
I lost my nerve and fell
falling, falling fast
like a leaden autumn leaf.

The abyss opened her withered hands
covering me in cloying darkness,
frantically I tried to struggle free
but like quicksand
I became engulfed,
as though wrapped in spider's web
soft, silken and sticky
I bound myself in deeper.

Pure white light
pulsated above
trying to penetrate the abyss of my ignorance
all was out of focus
like peering through watery, tear-filled eyes.
I searched desperately for Achilles the healer,
friend of Dionysus
to remove the arrow from my heel
so aeons of self-deception could drop away.

Bridge From Sustainability To Extinction

Poetry drafts written in longhand
exquisite blue ink flows freely
effortlessly from my Fountain Pen,
a gift some forty five years ago
a fountain of renewed youth.

My latest Smart Phone already doomed,
the battery sealed in
like a body in a sarcophagus
waiting discovery by an alien archaeologist.

Trash the phone when battery dies!
NO! – “Recycle thoughtfully!”
the shameful dying battery,
a slow-release chemical suicide
two years perhaps?
NO!  – perhaps - “Design more thoughtfully?”

Bloated bridge to a new epoch
looms large and lethal,
a crossing from sustainability to extinction
sweeping all before it.