Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Bridges of Hope

image by Glenn Buttkus

Bridges of Hope

“Men build too many walls, and not enough bridges.”
--Joseph Ford Newton.

Poets know that words
    are the concrete and steel
           we need to build bridges--
    words that can touch,
                      have effect,
                      penetrate deeply
                      cajole gently,
                      elicit joy,
                      celebrate liberty,
                      create affection,
                      conjure love and
                      reinforce positive ideals.

Most friendships, family units &
diplomatic solutions to volatile situations--
all are bridges,
all connect two separate sides,
all provide access & egress,
whether made up of rope & nets,
                                 cable & iron,
                                 wood & nails, or
                                 skin and bone--
these bridges are essential as
they complete disparate factions
and emotional bonds.

                         Still, one must accept not
                     all bridges are bright and
                  shining, sweet & smiling,
               for there are bridges, like
            the infamous one from El
       Paso to Juarez that can lead
   to a hellish haze, deception,
danger, and even death.

    Defective bridges, like the old
         one at the Tacoma Narrows,
              dubbed as “Galloping Gerty”,
                 can fail and fall down. It is indeed
                 sad that sparse government funds 
                 that are allocated are less than 
                  adequate to bolster our nation’s
                  crumbling infrastructure.

Hell, I drive across bridges daily
that sway, creak and wheeze--which
leads me to nightmares of a bridge
disaster, where my car drops hundreds
of feet into chilly dark water, and I must
facilitate an escape from the vehicle
while underwater.
                   These days I have more broken
                    bridge nightmares than those 
                    where I’m caught in a house fire,
                    being eaten alive by a grizzly bear,
                    or being shot while shopping at a
                    mall, working at the office. eating
                    at a restaurant. or watching a parade.

On a happier note, as a photographer I find myself
fascinated by bridges of all kinds, and I snap images
of them like others do of cathedrals. For me, trestle
bridges are the most interesting, their naked steel
girders and massive rivets reminding me of those 
super--structures reaching for the sky on new buildings, 
and those celebrated photographs of steeplejacks sitting
on suspended girders eating lunch.

Bridges are needed
to span gaps, relationships,
and grand ideas. 


Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub


brudberg said...

Love how you have gone all concrete here... your poem resembling the form of a bridge structure. And then the metaphor of bridges, the ideas and the way we can bridge ideas... (we need that)

lillianthehomepoet.wordpress.com said...

Trestle me a Glenn version of a bridge too far :) I especially like your beginning as I've always thought there are tremendous powers (notice the plural) in words! You've talked of many here. I think of those swaying rope bridges....that's what I feel like this country is on right now. So here's the thing -- your title says it all. We all need bridges of hope! :)

paul mortimer said...

Wow! What a journey through the world of bridges. Love the talking ones that 'creak and wheeze' ... There's so much going on here and yet strip it all away and a bridge is what will get you to what would otherwise be unreachable. Great write!

Grace said...

I know you are a happy photographer snapping those bridges and city life Glenn ~ Love that our words are bridges but it would be a nightmare to fall from the bridge ~

Thanks for joining us Glenn ~ Brian M joined us yesterday, in one of the comments, for Haibun Monday. Take care!

Maria said...

I enjoyed the flow of your thoughts. Pensive.. And I love the quote you used from Joseph Ford Newton.

De Jackson said...

Yes! YES. Such true words. Love that "creak and wheeze..." Sometimes I feel my words do this, as well. ;)

grapeling said...

reminds me of Frost, somehow - a retelling - good bridges make good neighbors ~

Sanaa Rizvi said...

Wow!!❤️There is such a lot of passion here! Especially love; "Still, one must accept not all bridges are bright and shining, sweet & smiling" and oh "Bridges are needed to span gaps, relationships, and grand ideas" sigh.. beautifully expressed!❤️

lynn__ said...

Glenn, I loved the positive flavor of the first half...wishing you'd ended there with added haiku (wish all bridges were good connections).

Paul John Dear said...

I'm right there with you on this Bridge Glenn. Stunning writing.

Ostensible Truth said...

The bridged formatting adds a whole extra layer - paces the imagery and construction and compliments the depth

Anonymous said...

the bridge shape, the bridge as metaphors, the ending haiku. perfection, Sir!