Sunday, 3 April 2016

Building Bridges

My history skills aren’t quite polished, so when I was given the theme of Building Bridges, my mind immediately jumped to the expression, the idea where two different people compromise to create something new. When I think of actual, physical bridges, I imagine structures which are valued on their flexibility. Some are stubborn, uncompromising and can withstand practically anything. Others, which you often see in chase scenes set in a jungle are less stable, more adventurous and the worst nightmare for those afraid of heights.
                                                                                                                                                 While two people can definitely reconcile and build a bridge between them, to me I normally see the term associated with larger collectives or organisations, working together to qualm a conflict in ideology. But as good as the idea is, you don’t really see it happen that often. When I was at university, there was a battle being waged between the chancellor and the rest of the academic staff. Now, instead of mutually working to build a bridge, the chancellor simply continued to raise her own wage while not really spending the university budget on issues that affected the wider community. And then after her damage had been done, she resigned. But this is an issue you’ll see in many places, in various academic institutions, in workplaces, politics (once a blue moon!) and in friendship groups.
 The poem I include here today focuses on the bridges, but also on their effect on the people around them. The act of compromise between two otherwise different groups is something extraordinary in itself. But when you begin to apply its effects on the individuals around them, then imagining its scale becomes impossible. I hope the poem does the topic justice!

The Bridge
Two hands shake,
the fingers spin and weave a silky
wooden metal
A structure
that allows silhouettes to glide
across the water
A road in the sky
for the traffic jams to spread
through toasted heat like butter
A meeting spot
for birds to catch
the gentle wind and waves
And a shelter for the creatures
light had tucked away

Dean Tsang



Steve Rowland said...

Thanks Dean. I enjoyed this. Welcome to the blog.