The Go Between (extracts)

(from stanza 1)

The first they saw of it were islands erupting from the river bed
vegetationed with brightly coloured sticks and blocks:
here red, there blue, yonder yellow, white and brown
and, scuttling through this landscape, concrete-grey,
through black pipes stacked like tree trunks fallen,
strange inhabitants: toy-sized fluro green and orange men
picking ant trails through the jumble
while names like Leightons, Meales and Boon
blared business cards from cranes and boats to watching skies…

(from stanza 2)

Commuters, untutored, gawp from yellow caterpillar trains,
crane necks to marvel at this playground mess:
purposeful yet wondrous too –
splashes of colour, exultant ramblings,
here a dash, there a squiggle:
music notes in search of a score
while pile drivers thump/bang back beat
proclaiming this one-day-sometime bridge.

(from stanza 3)

Omnipresent, backroom hideaway despite,
Engineer Jones, enthroned, surveys creation:
floats high in cyberspace above the downtown river sweep,
consults the autocad and solid charts unfurled
defining where the bones will fall, and later
where flesh will form his Hale Street link;
where skin will stretch and living bridge
leap from the formwork boxed.

(from stanza 4)

Six thousand vie to name the child
who played with blocks and sticks -
sprang graceful legs before their eyes
to fathom River Life.
Across the water the band strikes up a tune
that sparkles over Spring Hill fair.
The fledgling bridge takes flight on songful wings
as citizens proclaim, and claim, their “go-between”.

Copyright © Paul Dobbyn Poetry